March 30, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. -- Dustin Dickerson's one-out RBI single in the top of the seventh broke a 2-2 tie, and No. 20 Baylor never trailed again as the Bears defeated Oklahoma 7-3 in Sunday's Big 12 Conference series finale at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Baylor (16-9, 3-6) snapped a five-game Big 12 losing streak with the win, also snapping a seven-game losing streak in conference road games that dated back to last season.
Baylor, which lost the first two games of the series 11-2 and 3-2 in 10 innings, respectively, successfully staved off a sweep on the road in Big 12 play since April 28, 2002, at Kansas State. The Bears also snapped a seven-game road losing streak with the win.
While Dickerson's RBI single gave the Bears a lead they never relinquished, it was three Baylor home runs in the final two innings that proved detrimental for Oklahoma (20-8-1, 2-3-1).
Raynor Campbell's two-out, two-run shot in the eighth pushed the Bears' lead to 5-2. After the Sooners got a run in the bottom of the eighth, Aaron Miller and Landis Ware led off the top of the ninth with consecutive homers to push Baylor's lead back to four runs.
Matt Harughty led off the ninth with a single for Oklahoma; however, Tim Matthews got Spencer Selby to foul out and Jarod Freeman to ground into a game-ending double play.
Willie Kempf (4-1) earned the win for the Bears; he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 7.0-plus innings, facing one batter in the eighth. Matthews allowed one run on three hits with one strikeout over 2.0 innings for his first save of the season.
Ryan Duke (4-3), the first of three relievers on the day for Oklahoma, took the loss; he allowed one run on two hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 1.1 innings. Starter Michael Rocha surrendered a pair of runs on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over 5.0-plus innings, facing one batter in the sixth.
Oklahoma's Mike Gosse led off the bottom of the first with a double and later scored on Jamie Johnson's two-out RBI single. Baylor tied the game at 1-1 in the third on Shaver Hansen's one-out RBI single, and Miller's one-out solo homer in the fourth gave the Bears a 2-1 lead. It was the third multiple-homer game of Miller's season and the fourth of his career.
Baylor's lead did not last long, though, as J.T. Wise led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run to left-center. Kempf surrendered a single to Johnson on the next pitch but did not allow another hit the rest of the day.
Campbell, Dickerson, Miller and Jon Ringenberg all turned in two-hit days; it was Ringenberg's first career start. Beamer Weems went 3-for-5 with two runs scored; Weems, normally a switch-hitter, batted from the right side of the plate against right-handed pitching for the first time in his career.
Baylor returns to action Tuesday, April 1, traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, for a midweek game at TCU. First pitch between the Bears and the Horned Frogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT at Lupton Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 32-28, including a 21-17 advantage since the inception of the Big 12 Conference and a 19-17 edge in regular-season Big 12 meetings. However, Oklahoma leads the series 18-7 in games played at Norman. ... Baylor is 22-22 against Oklahoma under head coach Steve Smith. ... Baylor hit four home runs in a game for the first time since doing so April 15, 2007, at Kansas; that game was Miller's first career multiple-homer game. ... Miller is the first Baylor player with at least three multiple-homer games in a season since Josh Ford had three in 2004. Miller is the first Bear with at least four career multiple-homer games since Ford, who had four from 2002 to 2005. ... Miller and Ware became the first Baylor players to produce back-to-back home runs since April 15, 2007, when Weems and Miller went back-to-back at Kansas. ... Hansen (five games), Campbell (four games) and Ware (four games) all extended hitting streaks.