April 5, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Shaver Hansen homered three times and No. 7 Baylor tied a single-game school record with eight home runs as the Bears pounded Kansas 21-9 in Sunday’s Big 12 Conference series finale at windy Hoglund Ballpark. Baylor (20-8, 7-5) clinched the series with the win, two games to one. Kansas (18-12, 4-5) suffered just its second loss in 17 home games this season.
Baylor last hit eight homers in a game April 20, 1999, against UTSA in Waco. The Bears’ eight-homer performance against Kansas also was its most ever in a Big 12 game; the previous record was seven at Missouri in 1999. Baylor’s 21 runs were its most in a Big 12 game since a 22-6 victory against Kansas State in 1999 and the most the Bears have ever scored in a Big 12 road game.
Hansen tied Baylor’s single-game record for homers by an individual. He joins Aaron Miller, Charley Carter, Eric Nelson and Jon Topolski as the only Baylor players to accomplish the feat; Topolski did it twice. Hansen is the first Bear to hit three homers in a Big 12 game since Nelson also hit three at Kansas in 1999.
Dustin Dickerson and Hansen had consecutive solo homers in the first to start the long-ball barrage. Dan Evatt had a three-run shot in the third, and Raynor Campbell had a two-run homer in the sixth. Baylor added three homers in the seventh inning; Campbell led off with a round-tripper, Hansen added a one-out solo shot, and Ben Booker capped the inning with a three-run homer. Hansen blasted a two-run shot over the batter’s eye in center in the eighth.
Despite the eight home runs, the game was not safe in hand until the late innings. Kansas got two unearned runs in the bottom of the first to tie the score at 2-2. Baylor recaptured the lead with a four-run third, but the Jayhawks answered with a three-run fourth and a solo spot in the fifth. The Bears put five runs on the board in the top of the sixth, but Kansas pulled back to within one run at 11-9 with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
That was as close as Kansas would get, though, as the Bears pulled away with a five-run seventh, a two-run eighth and a three-run ninth. Meanwhile, Craig Fritsch held Kansas scoreless on three hits and one walk over the game’s final 3.2 innings to earn his first save of the season. Fritsch, who entered the game after Tony Thompson’s three-run homer in the sixth cut Baylor’s lead to 11-9, had five strikeouts on the day.
Baylor starter Willie Kempf (3-1) earned the victory, allowing nine runs – seven earned – on 11 hits and four walks with four strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Travis Blankenship (3-1), the second of seven Kansas pitchers on the day, was saddled with the loss; he allowed four runs on two hits and two walks with one strikeout over 2.1 innings.
Booker paced the Bears’ offense, going 4-for-5 with four runs and four RBI; he was a triple shy of the cycle. Hansen and Campbell had three hits each, while Dickerson, Miller, Evatt and Brooks Kimmey all had two-hit days. Each starter had at least one hit. Hansen scored four times, while Dickerson and Miller scored three times each. Evatt and Hansen joined Booker with four-RBI games, and Campbell had three RBI.
For the second consecutive day, weather played a role in the game. Rain mixed with light snow fell most of the morning, tapering off about an hour before first pitch. Temperature at first pitch was 38 degrees with a 26-degree wind chill as winds were persistent at 30 mph from the northwest (out to right-center) with gusts eclipsing 40 mph.
Baylor returns to action Tuesday, hosting Northwestern State for a midweek game. First pitch between the Bears and Demons is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CDT at Baylor Ballpark.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 38-6, including a 32-6 advantage in regular-season Big 12 meetings. The Bears are 16-5 all-time at Lawrence, all of which has come during the Big 12 era. … Baylor’s three-homer seventh inning was its first since May 6, 2003, when the Bears hit four homers in the seventh inning against Centenary. … Dickerson extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games; it is the second-longest by a Baylor player and the third-longest in the Big 12 this season. … Booker (four games), Miller (three games) and Evatt (three games) also extended hitting streaks. … Campbell and Hansen both produced the first multiple-homer games of their careers.