April 5, 2011
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Baylor carried a 2-0 lead to the bottom of the eighth, but Sam Houston State battled back to tie the game with two runs, and then the Bearkats won 3-2 with a walk-off single in the 10th on Tuesday night at Don Sanders Stadium.
Braeden Riley hit a one-out, bases-loaded single into left-center field to drive in Ryan Mooney with the game-winning run. Mooney had reached on an error earlier in the inning, giving SHSU two runners on with no outs.
Chris Andreas drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Baylor reliever Brooks Pinckard got the first out of the inning when he induced a grounder to Jake Miller at third, who threw home to get the lead runner, but Riley followed with the game-winning hit.
Pinckard (2-2) took the loss despite allowing only an unearned run in 2.1 innings of relief. Michael Burchett (3-1) picked up the win, working 1.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Bearkats.
Both teams got solid pitching early in the game. Baylor starting pitcher Jon Ringenberg held Sam Houston State scoreless on one hit with four strikeouts in 3.0 innings before handing the ball to Dillon Newman out of the bullpen. Newman and fellow freshman Trae Davis each worked 2.0 innings of shutout relief, keeping SHSU off the board through the first seven innings.
"It was a very well pitched game on both sides," head coach Steve Smith said. "I thought their two young guys, both freshman left-handers, threw really well. We threw a lot of guys and I thought all of our guys threw well too. Any time you play close games like this, any little thing can turn the game and there were just some really interesting things that happened there late in the game that just cost us."
Baylor took an early lead when Chris Slater hit a two-out single to score Jake Miller in the second inning, and the Bears padded their lead when Josh Ludy delivered his second double of the game in the fifth inning, driving in Max Muncy to give Baylor a 2-0 advantage.
Bearkats starter Cody Dickson allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings. Caleb Smith and Burchett combined to hold the Bears scoreless on five hits over the final five innings.
Max Garner came on in relief to start the bottom of the eighth for the Bears. He allowed a leadoff double to Greg Olson, and Mooney followed by hitting a sharp liner that bounced off Garner's right elbow and into left field for a RBI double. Garner was down on the ground for a few minutes before walking off the field on his own.
"No team can afford to have a lot of guys hurt and I'm sure we'll be without Max this weekend," Smith said. "That's a pretty tough one to lose right now, because our issue clearly is the back-end of our bullpen and he's been one of our better guys."
Pinckard came on in relief and retired the next two batters, but Mooney moved up a base on each out, scoring on Mark Hudson's sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2.
The Bears had a chance to regain the lead in the ninth when Steve DalPorto led off with a bunt single and stole second base with one out, but they couldn't bring him around to score. Baylor also got a leadoff single from Ludy in the 10th, and had runners on the corners with two out, but Burchett got Miller to ground out to end the threat, setting up the Bearkats game-winning hit in the bottom half of the inning.
Ludy went 3-for-4 with a walk and one RBI, and Miller and Joey Hainsfurther added two hits apiece for the Bears. Kevin Miller had three hits in four at-bats for the Bearkats.
Baylor returns to action this weekend when Texas comes to Baylor Ballpark for the first two games of the annual split-series. Friday's series opener is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The teams meet again in Waco at 3 p.m. Saturday, and the series concludes with the finale at 1 p.m. in Austin on Sunday.