April 17, 2009
STILLWATER, Okla. — Aaron Miller blasted a two-out, two-run homer well over the wall in right-center in the top of the first inning, and Kendal Volz never relinquished that lead as seventh-ranked Baylor defeated Oklahoma State 8-5 in Friday night’s Big 12 Conference series opener at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. Baylor (25-11, 10-6) earned its first victory in a series opener at Stillwater since 2003. Oklahoma State (24-15, 4-9) has lost five straight Big 12 games.
Volz (3-3) allowed five runs – only two of which were earned – on nine hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 8.1 innings, a career-long outing. It was his first Big 12 victory on the road since April 15, 2007, at Kansas. Miller’s first-inning home run sent Volz to the mound in the bottom of the first with a lead for the first time since the Bears scored two runs in the top of the first against Oklahoma in the final pool-play game at the 2007 Big 12 Championship.
Landis Ware pushed the Bears’ lead to 3-0 with a two-out RBI single in the top of the fourth. Oklahoma State got a run back in the bottom of the inning on Neil Medchill’s one-out solo homer. Baylor answered in the sixth as Kenton Gedwed delivered a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit single. It was Gedwed’s sixth hit in 10 pinch-hit appearances this season.
Raynor Campbell extended Baylor’s lead to 7-1 with a one-out single in the seventh. That proved to be a crucial hit as Oklahoma State plated three runs in the bottom of the inning. Shaver Hansen’s two-out fielding error kept the inning alive, and Kevin David made the Bears pay with a three-run double down the line in left. Tyrone Hambly followed with a deep fly ball to center, but Lucas Hileman made the catch a step shy of the wall.
Ware led off the eighth with a single and later scored on Miller’s RBI fielder’s choice. Michael Dabbs delivered a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, but that was as close as the Cowboys would get. Volz gave way to Logan Verrett after Dabbs’ home run. Verrett walked the first batter he faced but got a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.
Oklahoma State starter Tyler Blandford (6-2) took the loss; he allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
Ware and Hansen both had three-hit nights, while Campbell was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks. Campbell and Hansen scored twice each, and Miller had three RBI. Dustin Dickerson led off the third with a single, extending his career-long hitting streak to 22 games. That is the longest streak in the Big 12 this season, the fourth-longest in Baylor history and the longest by a Bear since Kelly Shoppach’s 28-game streak in 2001.
Baylor and Oklahoma State continue the series Saturday with a 1 p.m. CDT first pitch. It will be dueling southpaws as the Bears send Aaron Miller (3-0, 2.48 ERA) to the mound against OSU’s Tyler Lyons (4-3, 3.78). Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on FSN.
NOTES: Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 34-26, including a 14-11 edge at Stillwater. The Bears snapped a four-game losing streak at Reynolds Stadium with the win. Baylor is 21-22 against OSU during head coach Steve Smith’s tenure. … The Bears improved to 6-2 this season on Friday night. … Volz recorded the 200th strikeout of his career during the game. … Baylor has now outscored its opponents 44-21 in the first inning and 115-57 in the first three innings. … Miller’s first-inning home run was Baylor’s 11th first-inning home run this season. … Dickerson has hit safely in 15 consecutive Big 12 games and in 21 of 22 league games dating back to last season. His conference streak is the fifth-longest in Baylor history and the longest by a Bear since Shoppach’s 18-gamer in 2001. … Miller (11 games), Campbell (five games), Ware (four games) and Gedwed (three games) all extended hitting streaks. … Ware (eight games), Miller (seven games), Hansen (five games) and Campbell (three games) also extended Big 12 hitting streaks.