March 21, 2009
WACO, Texas -- Brooks Pinckard got Taylor Ashby to fly out to center, stranding runners at first and second in the top of the ninth as No. 9 Baylor held off Texas Tech 5-4 in Saturday night's Big 12 Conference action at Baylor Ballpark. Baylor (14-4, 3-2) clinched the series with the win, its fourth straight overall and ninth straight at home. The Bears moved to 8-1 in one-run games this season, winning their seventh consecutive such game.
Baylor led 5-1 entering the final inning, but a one-out Willie Rueda walk started the rally for Texas Tech (8-14, 2-3). Michael Reed reached on a fielder's choice that forced out Rueda at second; the ball was a potential double play, but Shaver Hansen lost the handle on the exchange and could not make a throw to first. Joey Kenworthy followed with a double, and Chris Richburg walked to load the bases.
Scott LeJeune and Garrett Totten then doubled in consecutive at bats; LeJuene's was his fifth hit of the night and plated two runs, while Totten's pulled the Red Raiders to within one run. That was as close as Tech would get, though, as Don Lambert hauled in Ashby's fly ball to deep right-center.
That made a winner of Logan Verrett (6-0), who became the first Baylor true freshman to make his first career start in a Big 12 game. Verrett scattered 11 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, allowing only one first-inning run. He lasted 7.0 innings, facing two batters in the eighth.
Verrett became the first Baylor freshman to win each of his first six decisions since Abe Woody accomplished the feat in 2003. He also became the 11th Baylor freshman to record at least six victories, joining teammates Kendal Volz (2007) and Shawn Tolleson (2008) on that list.
Tech got a run on three singles in the first. Reed singled with one out and later scored on LeJeune's two-out single. Baylor quickly answered in the bottom of the inning on Dustin Dickerson's two-out solo homer to right-center.
Baylor scored two runs on three hits in the second. Aaron Miller singled to lead off the inning; one out and two batters later, Lucas Hileman singled to left. Gregg Glime followed with a single to right-center, plating Miller and pushing Hileman to third. The Bears got another run on a first-and-third double steal.
Dickerson blasted another solo homer to right-center with one out in the fifth. It was Dickerson's first career multiple-homer game; he has 11 career home runs, three of which have been solo homers against Texas Tech. The Bears added a run on a hit and two walks in the sixth.
Texas Tech starter AJ Ramos (2-1) took the loss; he allowed four runs on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts over 5.0 innings.
Dickerson, Hileman and Glime all had two-hit nights for the Bears. Kenworthy, Ashby and Totten all had two-hit games for the Red Raiders, while LeJeune was 5-for-5 with three RBI.
Baylor and Tech conclude the series Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. CDT first pitch at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears send right-hander Craig Fritsch (1-2, 7.88 ERA) to the mound, while the Raiders counter with right-hander Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.42 ERA).
NOTES: Texas Tech leads the all-time series 70-68; however, the Bears are 43-24 against the Red Raiders in Waco. ... Baylor is 21-29 against Texas Tech during head coach Steve Smith's tenure. ... Baylor defeated Tech in the middle game of a series at Baylor Ballpark for the first time since 2001. ... Baylor won a game when being out-hit by at least five hits for the second time this season. ... Baylor improved to 10-1 at home this season; the Bears have won nine straight at home. ... Baylor improved to 11-3 this season when its starter lasts at least 5.0 innings. ... Baylor improved to 10-1 this season in night games. ... Baylor improved to 10-0 this season when the temperature at first pitch is at least 70 degrees. ... Miller extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games; he also has reached safely in each game this season. ... Hileman (six games) and Dickerson (five games) also extended hitting streaks, while Joey Hainsfurther (four games) and Pinckard (three games) both saw streaks end.