March 21, 2014
WACO, Texas- Baylor baseball opened its series against No. 20 Oklahoma State with a 4-1 win on Friday evening at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (12-9, 3-1 Big 12) picked up their sixth win over a ranked team this season as the Cowboys (15-7, 0-1 Big 12) fell in their Big 12 opener.
Baylor's first inning scoring trend continued and Brad Kuntz tossed a gem to put the Bears in position to win their second Big 12 series in as many tries over the next two days. To get their sixth straight game with at least a run in the first frame, Lawton Langford led off the game with a walk, moved to second on Brett Doe's sacrifice bunt and scored on Matt Menard's sacrifice fly.
The Cowboys answered to tie it in the third on a two-out RBI single by Tanner Krietemeier, but Baylor's response in the bottom of the frame was the game-changing factor.
Doe led off with a single and moved up on Adam Toth's sac bunt. Menard followed with a bloop single and Mitch Price roped a one-hopper past the shortstop for an RBI single. Duncan Wendel capped the scoring with a sac fly to put BU ahead 3-1.
The Bears added an insurance run in the sixth after Wendel doubled with one out and scored on an error. However, the Baylor pitching staff already had enough runs to work with.
Kuntz put together his fifth straight start of allowing one run or less as he tallied career highs of seven innings pitched and eight strikeouts. In improving to 4-0, he gave up the one run on eight hits and one walk while throwing a career-high 118 pitches.
In the eighth, Drew Tolson got the first two outs and gave up a single. Doug Ashby relieved him and walked his only hitter. With runners on first and second and two outs, closer Josh Michalec got pinch-hitter Corey Hassel swinging to evade the threat.
In the ninth, Michalec made things interesting for himself by walking and hitting the first two batters. He regrouped to strike out Donnie Walton and get a fly out from Krietemeier, but then walked Zach Fish to load the bases. However, he induced a ground out to second from pinch-hitter Garrett Williams to nail down his ninth straight save.
Taking the loss for OSU was starter Jon Perrin (2-1), who gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
*Baylor moved to 11-2 at Baylor Ballpark this season and is off to its best start since going 11-2 in 2009. The program's best-ever home start to a season is 23-0-1 in 1998.
*Baylor improved to 6-5 against ranked teams this season and 6-4 against top 25 teams. No other school in the Big 12 has played more than five games against top 25 teams while Baylor has six top 25 wins and has played 11 of its 21 games against top 25 foes.
*Baylor moved to 36-38 in the all-time series against Oklahoma State and 19-12 in Waco. The Bears have won nine straight games against OSU in Waco as the last Cowboys win came in a 6-5 decision on March 14, 2008. The last time OSU won a series in Waco was June 4-6, 1999 in the NCAA Waco Regional. The last time OSU topped BU in a series was March 31-April 1, 2007, in Stillwater.
*Baylor improved to 5-1 this season in TV games as all six games have come against ranked opponents. Since 2011, BU is 22-13 in TV games and 52-54 all-time as the game was televised on FOX College Sports.
*Baylor is 4-1 on its current season-long, seven-game home stand.
*Baylor has scored at least one run in the first inning in each of its last six games.
*Brad Kuntz continued his run of one-run efforts while establishing career highs of seven innings pitched, eight strikeouts and 118 pitches. In each of his last six starts, he's thrown at least five innings and allowed one run or less. Each of his last three wins have come against ranked foes as he beat No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, No. 23 Texas Tech and No. 20 Oklahoma State. During his six-start stretch, he's thrown 29.2 innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on 20 hits and 13 walks with 28 strikeouts.
*Lawton Langford has reached base in eight straight games but his season-high five-game hitting streak came to a close.
*Duncan Wendel went 2-for-3 with a double, run and RBI. He now has his second hitting streak of the season with hits in each of his last three games. The multi-hit game was his fourth of the season.
*Brett Doe extended his second career hitting streak to four games, marking a career-long streak.
*Doug Ashby extended his scoreless appearance streak to seven and has yet to give up an earned run all season. During the stretch he's thrown 5.2 innings while allowing six hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
*Josh Michalec picked up his ninth straight save to move into a tie for the NCAA lead with UC Irvine's Sam Moore. Michalec is now a perfect 9-for-9 in career save chances and has closed out nine of Baylor's 12 wins with five of the saves being multi-inning efforts.
STAT OF THE GAME
13 - The amount runners Baylor pitchers stranded on base.
TWEET OF THE GAME
@BaylorBaseball this kid is pretty good, isn't he?-- Brody Burks (@brodyvess) March 22, 2014
"I'll take Brad Kuntz when he's like this to go up against anybody, and he's been like that ever since the first outing of the year. Ever since Arizona State, he's been pretty good. When I see he's been competing, that's really him. He's a competitor. He's tough on himself, but I see him maturing from the standpoint that he can handle a little failure when he walks a guy or gets behind in a count. I think he's maturing and growing up as a player." - BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor ends its season-long, seven-game home stand by facing Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. CT Saturday on FOX College Sports and 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX Sports Plus. BU will throw RHP Austin Stone (2-1, 1.29 ERA) and RHP Dillon Newman (2-1, 3.08 ERA), respectively, against OSU's starters that have yet to be announced.