March 30, 2011
WACO, Texas - Six Baylor pitchers combined to walk 10 batters and hit two more, helping Lamar score in five different innings on its way to a 7-3 win over the Bears on Wednesday night at Baylor Ballpark.
With the loss, Baylor (16-10) lost consecutive regular-season games for the first time since May 1-2, 2010. Lamar (18-10) used seven different pitchers in the victory, none of which recorded more than four outs.
"I just thought we were bad pitching and that set the tone," head coach Steve Smith said. "We got a really crisp top of the first but it just went downhill from there."
John Gilligan (2-0) picked up the win for the Cardinals after allowing one hit in 1.1 innings of shutout relief. Crayton Bare (0-1) took the loss for Baylor, though his 2.1 innings pitched were the most of Baylor's six pitchers. He allowed two runs on one hit, walked one and struck out three.
Dillon Newman made his first career start for Baylor and allowed one run in 2.0 innings of work. Lamar struck first after Newman walked the first two batters in the second, allowed a one-out single, and hit Andrew Dewey with a pitch to bring in Joey Latulippe.
The Bears responded and took their only lead of the night with two runs in the bottom of the third. Max Muncy led off the inning with his second walk of the game, Dan Evatt doubled down the left-field line, and Jake Miller followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Cal Towey's two-out RBI single gave the Bears the lead, but Baylor wouldn't score again until the eighth inning.
Lamar tied the game in the fourth on Aaron Buchanan's bases-loaded walk from Trae Davis. Bare came on in relief and struck out Jeff Abt to strand three runners on base, but Lamar took the lead for good in the sixth.
"We are just not going to win games like that," Smith added. "I know our players know that, and I know that our pitchers involved know that. They have pitched a ton. Why we walk so many batters, I don't know."
Bare hit the leadoff batter, then allowed a double to Kevin Roebuck. Buchanan put Lamar in front with a run-scoring groundout, and Abt's squeeze bunt extended the Cardinals' lead to 4-2.
Baylor put two runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, but couldn't capitalize. Both teams missed opportunities to put up crooked numbers, with Lamar stranding 14 and Baylor leaving 13 runners on base.
Lamar added two more runs in the seventh to extend its lead to 6-2. Baylor got a run back in the eighth when Brooks Pinckard delivered his second consecutive single to score Landis Ware. Pinckard also stole two bases, giving him 24 on the year - the most by a Baylor player since Anthony Hensley stole 32 in 2000.
Towey had his fourth consecutive two-hit game and drove in a run, while Evatt went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Buchanan led Lamar at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two walks and three RBI. Roebuck added a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to put the final run on the board.
"I thought (Evatt) swung the bat pretty well, and that is good to see," Smith said. "It is also good to see Cal Towey get a couple of hits and kind of get himself going a little bit. Hopefully we are seeing what we saw last year with him, where he got off to a slow start and then when he finally got going he was really good. Confidence is everything, and I would like to instill some in some of our guys. We have a few who look like they just don't have any confidence."
Baylor returns to Big 12 Conference play this weekend when it travels to Lawrence, Kan. for a three-game series against Kansas. The Bears send Logan Verrett to the mound at 6 p.m. in Friday night's series opener at Hoglund Ballpark.