April 30, 2014
WACO, Texas- Baylor baseball topped Texas A&M Corpus Christi 8-4 on Wednesday night at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (20-26) used a three-run fourth inning to take control over the Islanders (25-21) and Josh Michalec closed it out to set BU's new single-season saves record.
Trailing 2-0, Baylor rallied in the fourth to take the lead and never looked back. Matt Menard reached on error to start the inning. Aaron Dodson singled and Darryn Sheppard was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Joe Sabatini, who singled home a run. Ben Carl followed with an RBI HBP and Lane Kelly grounded out to bring in the third run of the frame.
Carl struck again in the sixth to single home Darryn Sheppard, who walked to lead off the inning and stole second base.
After the Islanders scored on a sacrifice fly in the eighth, the Bears bounced back with four runs in the bottom half. Kelly helped the first run score as his bases-loaded grounder to first was not fielded cleanly. Hayden Ross followed with a two-run single before Brett Doe bunted in the final BU run.
Michalec entered the game in the eighth with runners on first and second and two outs. He quickly ended the threat by striking out Cody Stephens. He then went into strike-throwing mode and gave up a run on two hits in the ninth as he had an 8-3 lead to work with. His 16th save of the season set a school single-season record and locked down the first collegiate win for reliever Joe Kirkland (1-0), who threw a career-high 4.1 innings and tied a season-high with two strikeouts as he gave up a run on two hits and two walks.
*Baylor's 20th win gives the program at least 20 wins in every season since 1972 - a span of 43 years.
*Baylor is 5-2 against the Southland Conference this season and 206-113-1 overall against current members of the league. The Bears topped Lamar, Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word (twice) earlier this season before losing to Sam Houston State on April 8 and April 30.
*Baylor is 8-0 all-time against Texas A&M Corpus Christi as all games in the series have been played in Waco under Steve Smith. The last time the teams met was on April 18, 2012.
*Baylor is 18-8 at Baylor Ballpark this season, which is its best record at home since 2012.
*Nick Lewis made his first collegiate start, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits in three innings.
*Joe Kirkland earned his first collegiate win by coming out of the bullpen for a career-high 4.1 innings and tied a season-high of two strikeouts while allowing one run on two hits and two walks.
*Hayden Ross extended his first collegiate hitting streak to five games. He also added his first two RBI of his career with a two-run single in the eighth inning.
*Aaron Dodson has reached base in each of his last five games and has a hit in each of his last four games. Both streaks tied season highs.
*Brett Doe has reached base in each of his last four games.
*Joe Sabatini has a hit in each of his last three games for his first collegiate hitting streak.
*West Tunnell has reached base in each of his last three games.
*Adam Toth has a hit in each of his last three games.
*Lane Kelly made his first collegiate start and notched his first career RBI.
*Ben Carl had his second multi-hit and multi-RBI game of his career.
*Josh Michalec picked up his 16th save of the season and career as he is now 16-for-17 in save chances after converting his first 11 attempts. He entered the week ranked third in the NCAA in saves. He's closed out 16 of Baylor's 20 wins with nine of the saves coming in multi-inning efforts. He now has sole possession of first place on the BU single season list, passing Zane Carlson (2000). He's also tied for fifth on the Big 12 single season list with Oklahoma's Ryan Duke (2009), passing Huston Street's 2003 season for Texas.
STAT OF THE GAME
4 - The amount wins by Baylor this season that have not needed a save from Josh Michalec.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"[Josh Michalec] throws strikes with multiple pitches and is a pretty good athlete. For him to [set the Baylor saves record] this year with zero [saves] coming into the year - and one year, your senior year, you set a school record with 16 out of 17 so far and 16 of our 20 wins - that is really remarkable."
- BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor heads to Norman, Oklahoma, this weekend for its last road Big 12 series of the regular season. Games are slated for 6 p.m. CT on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.