April 23, 2010
WACO, Texas - Joey Hainsfurther's eighth-inning sacrifice fly plated Landis Ware with the game-winning run, as Baylor overcame a 6-5 eighth-inning deficit to knock off Nebraska, 7-6, in the series opener on Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.
Baylor (23-15, 6-8 Big 12) won for the 16th time in its last 18 home games, but the Bears needed a pair of late rallies to earn the victory.
Nebraska (18-20, 5-11 Big 12) jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer from Adam Bailey in the third inning. BU starting pitcher Logan Verrett struck out the first two batters of the inning, but he gave up a double to DJ Belfonte and then hit Kale Kiser with a pitch to put two runners on for Bailey, who extended his Big 12 lead with his 15th home run on a 1-1 pitch from Verrett.
Verrett bounced back and struck out four while facing the minimum over the next four frames to keep the Bears within striking distance until the offense got hot.
Nebraska starter Michael Mariot allowed just a pair of singles through the first three innings, but the Bears finally broke through in the fourth. Tyler Collins hit a two-out single, and Gregg Glime knocked a RBI double down the right-field line to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Raynor Campbell followed with a single, but Glime was thrown out attempting to score from second base, and Nebraska carried its 3-1 lead to the sixth.
Muncy led off with a single and Collins followed with a double to put the tying run in scoring position with no outs in the bottom half of the sixth. Glime followed with his second double of the night, tying the score at 3-3. Campbell delivered the Bears' fourth straight hit to put runners on the corners with no outs, but Mariot struck out the next three to keep the score tied.
After Verrett again put up a zero, the Bears took their first lead of the game when Muncy drove in Brooks Pinckard with a single that chased Mariot from the game. Jordan Roualdes came on to face Collins, who delivered his second double in as many innings to give the Bears a 5-3 lead heading to the eighth.
Mariot allowed five runs on 13 hits with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings, but he did not factor in the decision.
Verrett gave up a leadoff single in the eighth, but he induced what looked like a tailor-made double play grounder off the bat of pinch hitter Kyle Bubak. However, Campbell never saw the ball off the bat, and his error put runners on the corners with none out in the inning.
Pinckard moved from center field to the mound and promptly walked Belfonte to load the bases. Kiser drove in a run with a fielder's choice, and after another walk loaded the bases, Pinckard struck out Josh Scheffert for the second out of the inning. Cody Asche followed with a two-run single to give the Cornhuskers a 6-5 lead.
Verrett did not factor in the decision after allowing five runs - three of which were earned - on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
The Bears rallied for a second time in the bottom of the eighth. Kenton Gedwed led off with a pinch-hit single, and Ware worked a walk to put the go-ahead run on base. Logan Vick moved both runners up with a perfect sacrifice bunt.
Pinckard hit a chopper to Chad Christensen at shortstop, and pinch runner Chris Slater beat the throw to the plate to tie the game at 6-6. Hainsfurther followed with his sacrifice fly that gave the Bears the lead, and Pinckard retired the side in order in the ninth to close out the win.
"I knew he wasn't going to try and blow a fastball by me or anything because I knew he was going to try and get me to hit a ground ball since they had the infield in," Hainsfurther said. "I just tried to stay back and lift it up a little bit, and luckily I was able to do the job."
Pinckard (1-1) earned the win after allowing just an unearned run in 2.0 innings, while Casey Hauptman took the loss after allowing two runs in 1.2 innings.
Hainsfurther had three hits in addition to the game-winning sacrifice fly, Collins went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs and one RBI, and Glime drove in three runs with a pair of doubles.
Baylor and Nebraska resume their series at 3 p.m. Saturday. Craig Fritsch is expected to start on the mound for Baylor against Nebraska freshman Tyler Niederklein. Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m.