March 25, 2011
WACO, Texas - Chris Slater's walk-off double scored Landis Ware to give Baylor's 21st-ranked baseball team a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in the series opener against Kansas State on Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.
The Bears (15-7, 2-2 Big 12) entered the ninth inning trailing 4-3, but Kansas State (12-8, 0-4 Big 12) reliever Evan Marshall couldn't close out the win. It was the Bears' fifth walk-off win this season.
Baylor pinch hitter Lawton Langford led off the inning by reaching on an error when his sharp grounder up the middle was thrown in the dirt by KSU shortstop Tanner Witt. Steve DalPorto moved Langford up with a sacrifice bunt, and Ware delivered a RBI single to right-center to tie the game at 4-4.
Brooks Pinckard followed with a deep fly ball that was caught on the warning track in center field, and with Slater batting, Ware stole second base to get into scoring position. Slater hit a 2-1 pitch down the right-field line, giving Ware plenty of time to score as the ball rolled to the wall.
"I think experience is always good," head coach Steve Smith said. "He is a senior, Landis Ware is a senior and there were a few younger guys who did some things as well, but Landis being able to steal that base when it needs to be stolen, and then Chris Slater not trying to do too much, just taking a nice stroke and letting the pitcher do the work - it was good for him."
Baylor starting pitcher Logan Verrett held K-State scoreless in six of seven inning of work, but the Wildcats sent nine batters to the plate in a four-run third inning. Those runs erased Baylor's 2-0 lead that had been built on Max Muncy's RBI triple in the first and Ware's two-out RBI single in the second.
Verrett allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Reliever Max Garner (1-0) picked up his first career win by allowing only an infield single in 2.0 innings of shutout relief.
Marshall (2-1) took the loss by giving up a pair of unearned runs on two hits in 1.2 innings of relief. KSU starter Kyle Hunter left the game in line for the win after surrendering three runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings.
Ware delivered his second of three RBI hits on the night in the fourth inning when he brought DalPorto home with a two-out RBI double that cut the Kansas State lead to 4-3, but that's as close as the Bears would get until their ninth-inning rally.
Ware finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI, one run scored and a stolen base. Slater and Muncy had two hits apiece for the Bears. Witt, Mike Kindel, Shane Conlon and Jake Brown each had two hits for the Wildcats.
Baylor and Kansas State meet for game two of the series at 3 p.m. Saturday. Josh Turley is scheduled to take the mound for BU against the Wildcats' Matt Applegate. Heart of Texas Community Day starts at 1 p.m. and a limited number of free tickets will be given out for the baseball and softball games.