Bears Edged by Red Raiders 8-7

March 24, 2007

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WACO, Texas -- Baylor closer Nick Cassavechia was called for a balk with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the 10th, allowing James Leverton to score the winning run as Texas Tech defeated the Bears 8-7 in Saturday night's Big 12 Conference action at Baylor Ballpark. After Friday's 5-1 Baylor victory, the series is tied.


The loss snapped a 27-game winning streak for Baylor (14-11, 1-4) when leading after eight innings. The Bears also dropped just their fourth extra-inning game in their last 18 such contests.


Leverton got the 10th inning started for Texas Tech (18-9, 3-2) with a single to the hole at short. Roger Kieschnick followed with a single to center, and Geoff Byrns was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Cassavechia then struck out Matt Smith for the first out of the inning.




With an 0-2 count on Doug Thennis, Cassavechia stepped off the rubber with his left foot before coming set or stepping off with his right foot. Home plate umpire Mike Morris was quick to call the balk. Cassavechia went on to strikeout Thennis and Taylor Ashby, but the damage had been done.


Baylor had several opportunities to win the game before it went to extra innings. The Bears' 5-3 lead was erased when Texas Tech scored three runs in the eighth. Baylor quickly recaptured the lead with two runs in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from Chase Gerdes and Matt Sodolak.


The Red Raiders tied the game in the top of the ninth, though. Ashby singled, stole second, moved to third when Sodolak's throw to second sailed high and scored on Blake Lemen's pinch-hit single up the middle.


Baylor again had a chance in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with one out. However, Dustin Dickerson and Seth Hammock struck out to end the inning.


Neither starter factored in the decision. Baylor's Randall Linebaugh allowed three runs on four hits and a career-high six walks with six strikeouts over 5.0 innings. Texas Tech's A.J. Ramos surrendered four runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 5.0 innings.


Cassavechia (3-1) took the loss for Baylor; he yielded three runs on six hits and no walks with a career-high six strikeouts over 3.0 innings.


Travis Young (3-0) retired Baylor's final four batters in order with two strikeouts to earn the victory.


The two pitching staffs combined for 30 strikeouts, three shy of the Baylor Ballpark single-game record. Baylor's three pitchers tallied 17 strikeouts, a school-record for a Big 12 game and three shy of the overall school record established in a 22-inning game at Houston in 1999. Willie Kempf had five strikeouts in succession for the Bears during the sixth and seventh innings.


Texas Tech's Kyle Martin hit the game's second pitch over the left-field wall for his ninth home run of the season. Martin has homered in five consecutive games against Baylor.


The Bears answered in the bottom of the first as Aaron Miller delivered a two-run double off the wall in center. That 2-1 lead stood until the Raiders plated a pair of runs with two outs in the fourth.


Baylor tied the score at 3-3 in the fifth on Beamer Weems' two-out RBI double down the line in left. Dickerson homered to right on the first pitch of the sixth, giving Baylor a 4-3 lead with his first career round-tripper. Weems had another RBI double in the seventh, pushing Baylor's lead to 5-3.


The Bears and the Red Raiders conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. Baylor sends freshman right-hander Kendal Volz (2-1, 6.94 ERA) to the mound, opposite Texas Tech senior southpaw Aaron Odom (3-2, 3.82 ERA).



NOTES:  Texas Tech leads the all-time series 68-64, including a 20-16 advantage since the inception of the Big 12 Conference. Baylor holds a 40-24 advantage in games played in Waco. The Bears are 17-27 against the Red Raiders during head coach Steve Smith's tenure. ... Texas Tech's last four wins at Baylor Ballpark have all been one-run affairs. ... Cassavechia's fifth strikeout of the night was the 100th of his career. ... Weems (seven games), Sodolak (six games), Dickerson (four games), Raynor Campbell (three games) and Gerdes (three games) all extended hitting streaks. Hammock saw his three-game streak end.

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