April 27, 2008
Box Score |
WACO, Texas -- Paul Miles' two-run single keyed a four-run first inning, while Willie Kempf and Mace Thurman combined for 11 strikeouts as Baylor defeated No. 8 Nebraska 8-3 in Sunday's Big 12 Conference finale at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (25-20, 9-12) snapped losing streaks of five games at home, five games in Big 12 play and nine games against Top 10 opponents. The Huskers (32-8-1, 15-5-1) fell to 3-13 all-time at Baylor Ballpark.
Baylor sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning. After Shaver Hansen struck out to start the inning, Beamer Weems and Dustin Dickerson wrapped back-to-back singles. Adam Hornung walked, and Aaron Miller followed with a flare RBI single to left-center. Raynor Campbell followed with a sacrifice fly, and Ben Booker walked to reload the bases. Miles then punched the first pitch he saw through the right side, scoring Hornung and Miller.
That proved to be all the offense Baylor would need as Kempf and Thurman held Nebraska to three runs on six hits and four walks. The Huskers got a solo home run form Craig Corriston in the second, a two-out Jake Opitz RBI single in the third, and a Mitch Abeita one-out RBI single in the eighth.
Kempf (6-2) moved to 6-1 in his career at Baylor Ballpark after suffering his first career home loss in relief in the series opener. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 5.0 innings. Thurman walked two and struck out seven, a career high, over 4.0 innings for his second save of the season; Abeita's eighth-inning RBI single was the only hit Thurman allowed.
Nebraska's solo spots in the second and third innings pulled the Huskers to within two runs at 4-2. However, the Bears answered with four one-run innings of their own. Hornung doubled with two outs in the fourth, and Miller followed with an RBI single. Weems followed Hansen's two-out single in the fifth with an RBI triple down the line in right. Hansen singled with one out in the seventh, stole second and scored on Dickerson's two-out RBI single.
Miller capped the scoring with a leadoff homer down the right-field line in the eighth. It was his 10th round-tripper of the season, the most by a Baylor player since 2004 when Josh Ford had 14 and Michael Griffin had 10. Miller is the first Baylor sophomore with at least 10 home runs since 2002 when Ford had 12 and Griffin had 11.
Nebraska starter Aaron Pribanic left the game after opening the second inning with two straight balls. He allowed four runs on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Erik Anderson, who faced only two batters and recorded the final out of the fourth inning, was the only of Nebraska's six pitchers used on the day to not allow a run.
All nine Baylor starters reached base safely at least once, and eight of the nine recorded at least one hit. Miller was 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBI, while Dickerson was 3-for-5. Booker, Hansen and Weems had two hits each, and Hornung scored twice.
It was Baylor's first win against a team ranked in Baseball America's Top 10 since sweeping fifth-ranked Nebraska in 2006.
Baylor plays two midweek games for the sixth consecutive week. The Bears travel to UT Arlington for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch at Clay Gould Ballpark. Baylor hosts Sam Houston State for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch Wednesday in a makeup game of a March 18 rainout.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 29-22-1, including a 19-6-1 advantage in games played in Waco. The Bears are 21-18 against Nebraska since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, including a 19-12 advantage in regular-season Big 12 meetings. This was Nebraska's first Big 12 series win at Baylor Ballpark in five tries. ... Booker (four games) and Campbell (four games) both extended hitting streaks. ... Campbell has hit safely in four straight Big 12 games and in 15 of his last 16 league games. ... Weems' triple was his sixth career three-bagger in Big 12 play, tying Chris Durbin (2000-2003), Michael Griffin (2002-2005) and Kevin Sevigny (2003-2006) for second place all-time at Baylor.