March 29, 2009
WACO, Texas -- Brooks Pinckard stranded the potential tying run at first base in the eighth and ninth innings as eighth-ranked Baylor held off Kansas State 7-6 in Sunday's Big 12 Conference series finale at Baylor Ballpark. Baylor (17-6, 5-4) clinched the series with the win. The Bears moved to 10-1 this season in one-run games with their ninth straight victory in one-run games.
Kansas State (21-7, 2-4) took an early lead on Justin Bloxom's first-inning, two-run double. That lead was short-lived, though, as the Bears scored four runs on just two hits in the bottom of the inning. Shaver Hansen tied the game with a two-run homer just inside the foul pole down the right-field line. After Aaron Miller and Dan Evatt walked, Adam Hornung delivered a two-run double to right-center. The Bears never trailed again.
However, Kansas State made things interesting in the late innings, scoring four runs on the Baylor bullpen. Jason King and Drew Biery had back-to-back doubles in the sixth to plate one run, and Nick Martini delivered a two-run double in the seventh. Biery was hit by a pitch to leadoff the eighth and later scored on Mike Kindel's pinch-hit sacrifice fly.
That was as close as Kansas State would get, though. Pinckard worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to notch his first career save; he struck out one in 2.0 innings.
Baylor starter Willie Kempf (2-1) earned his second win of the week. He allowed two runs on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 5.0 innings. Kempf worked ahead of batters throughout the day; he built an 0-2 count on nine of the 21 batters he faced and struck out four of them.
Hornung and Ware both had two-hit days for the Bears, who moved to 11 games over .500 for the first time since ending the 2006 season 37-26.
Baylor returns to action Tuesday, hosting Texas State for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears also host Prairie View A&M at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before traveling to Kansas for a three-game Big 12 series next weekend.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 31-12, including a 21-2 advantage in games played in Waco. The Bears are 30-11 against Kansas State during the Big 12 era with a 30-9 advantage in regular-season Big 12 meetings. ... Baylor improved to 13-3 when its starter lasts at least 5.0 innings. The Bears moved to 15-2 this season when the temperature at first pitch was at least 70 degrees. ... Baylor has been out-hit in eight consecutive Big 12 games; however the Bears are 5-3 in those games. ... Dickerson (10 games) and Hansen (five games) both extended hitting streaks. Dickerson also has hit safely in eight consecutive Big 12 games.