March 15, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Baylor had to rally from six runs down in the first game and four runs down in the second, but the Bears were up to the challenge and extended their winning streak to 19 games with a pair of wins at Kansas State on Sunday.
The eighth-ranked Bears (30-7, 15-0 Big 12) rallied from 10-4 down to win 14-12 in the resumption of Saturday's game that was suspended by lightning. Baylor trailed 5-1 in the series finale, and the Bears rebounded to win 12-11 in 11 innings, completing their five consecutive Big 12 series sweep.
With the second win of the day, head coach Steve Smith tied Mickey Sullivan for Baylor's all-time wins record with 649 career victories.
"Obviously this was a hitters' day today, which makes it miserable for coaches and pitchers, because you know a lead is never safe," Smith said. "There's nothing in baseball more difficult than winning in extra innings on the road, and we got it done."
Baylor had game-winning home runs in both games. Nathan Orf's three-run shot broke a 10-10 tie in the first game, and freshman Michael Howard hit his first career home run to break an 11-11 tie in the 11th inning of the second game.
Saturday Game (resumed at noon Sunday):It took more than 24 hours, but Baylor rallied from a six-run deficit to win 14-12 in the second game of a three-game set at Kansas State. The game started at 1 p.m. Saturday and finished just over 24 hours later, but Nathan Orf hit a game-winning three-run homer to break a 10-10 tie in the seventh inning.
Baylor trailed 10-4 after five innings, and the Bears scored four runs in the sixth inning before lightning suspended play on Saturday. The game resumed with runners on the corners and one out on Sunday, and Max Muncy scored on a wild pitch to cut KSU's lead to 10-9.
Tyler Bremer came on in relief and worked a scoreless sixth inning, and the Bears took the lead for good in the seventh. Michael Howard's RBI single tied the game, and Orf hit a three-run homer to left field to give the Bears the lead. Logan Vick added a RBI double to put BU in front 14-10.
K-State cut the Bears' lead in half with a two-run homer in the seventh, but Bremer worked his way out of the inning without further damage, and Max Garner pitched 2.0 scoreless innings to close out the win and earn his fourth save of the season. Bremer (3-0) picked up the win with 2.0 innings of relief.
Howard finished the game 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and one RBI. He had hits in his first four at-bats, giving him hits in eight straight plate appearances dating back to a 4-for-4 game on Wednesday. Lawton Langford had three hits, two runs and two RBI for the Bears, and Josh Ludy finished 2-for-2 with a two-run homer and three walks.
KSU reliever John Fasola (0-1) was the Wildcats' first pitcher when the game resumed on Sunday, and he took the loss after allowing five runs on four hits and two walks in 1.0 inning of relief. Wade Hinkle finished 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs and two RBI to lead Kansas State at the plate.
Sunday Game:Baylor rallied from 5-1 down to take a 7-5 lead in the fifth, and even after Kansas State rebounded to take a 9-7 lead through seven innings, the Bears rallied for a 12-11 11-inning win to complete its their consecutive Big 12 series sweep.
"It was as competitive as it could've possibly been," Smith said. "I think the world of the K-State club, because they competed so hard and made things so difficult on us, but then I think just as much of our guys. Our guys played hard, both teams played extremely hard, and it's as good of a win as I can remember in a very long time."
Josh Ludy hit three home runs and drove in seven runs to lead the Bears at the plate. His three-home run game was the seventh in program history, and his seven RBI were the most by a Baylor player since 2004. Ludy finished 5-for-6 and scored three runs in the game.
The Bears got on the board first with Ludy's two-out RBI single in the first inning, but Kansas State took advantage of an error to score five runs in the second.
Max Muncy drew a two-out walk in the third inning, and Ludy followed with a two-run homer to cut the Wildcats' lead in half. Baylor starting pitcher Joey Hainsfurther worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half, and the Bears' offense went back to work in its next trip to the plate.
Nathan Orf hit a two-out RBI double, and Lawton Langford followed with a two-run single to put the Bears in front 6-5. Ludy added a solo homer leading off the fifth, but the Wildcats had three consecutive run-scoring hits with two outs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead at 8-7.
KSU added another two-out RBI double in the sixth, and the Wildcats escaped a jam in the seventh to stay in front. Baylor loaded the bases with three straight one-out singles, but Howard hit a sharp grounder right back to the mound that turned into an inning-ending double play.
The Bears broke through with four runs in the eighth. Orf was hit by a pitch leading off, Langford drew a walk, and Muncy's liner was caught at third base for the first out, Ludy hit an opposite-field three-run homer to give the Bears a 10-9 lead. Cal Towey followed with a towering solo homer two pitches later, and that insurance run proved crucial when K-State tied the game with two runs in the bottom half of the eighth.
KSU loaded the bases with no outs, and after Crayton Bare got the first out with a strikeout, Dillon Newman came out of the bullpen. He allowed a sacrifice fly to get the second out of the inning, but a single through the right side tied the game at 11-11.
Newman (3-1) struck out Mike Kindel to strand a pair of runners in the eighth, and he worked scoreless ninth and 10th innings to keep the game going. Newman earned the win with 2.2 innings of shutout relief, and Garner worked around a hit batter and an error in a scoreless 11th to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Howard hit the first pitch of his 11th-inning at-bat against reliever Matt Wivinis just inside the right-field foul pole for the game-winning home run. Wivinis (0-1) took the loss after allowing one run in 3.0 innings of relief.
Baylor will look to tie the longest winning streak in program history when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday. The Bears and Islanders meet again at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday, and Baylor returns to Big 12 play on Friday when it takes on Texas A&M in the final Big 12 edition of the Battle of the Brazos. Friday's game is in College Station at 6:35 p.m., and then the series shifts to Baylor Ballpark for the final two games. Saturday's game is at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday's series finale is slated for 2:05 p.m.