May 11, 2007
Box Score |
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Jeff Mandel tossed 7.1 scoreless innings, and Chase Gerdes went 4-for-4 with a home run as Baylor defeated Nebraska 9-2 in Friday night's Big 12 Conference series opener at Haymarket Park. Baylor (28-21, 9-13) has won four straight for the first time since a seven-game streak in February. Nebraska (25-21, 10-12) has lost four straight for the first time this season.
Baylor has won eight of the last 10 regular-season meetings with Nebraska. Friday was Baylor's first win at Nebraska in a series opener since 1997. That season, the Bears swept the series at Buck Beltzer Stadium; that was Baylor's last series win at Nebraska.
Mandel (6-7) snapped a personal two-game skid and evened his record in Big 12 games at 4-4. He scattered six hits, walked three, hit two and struck out three to earn just his second career victory on an opponent's home field in seven career road decisions. Mandel also improved to 2-0 in his career against Nebraska; he earned the victory in the series finale against the Huskers last season at Baylor Ballpark.
Matt Czimskey got Baylor's offensive attack started with a two-run double in the first inning. The Bears doubled that lead in the fourth thanks to a Dustin Dickerson sacrifice fly and a Raynor Campbell two-out RBI single. Gerdes gave Baylor more of a cushion in the fifth with a two-run homer that landed in the Bears' bullpen beyond the right-field wall.
Baylor's bats were not done as Beamer Weems blasted a two-run homer to left in seventh that landed on top of the concession stand nearly 100 feet beyond the wall. Not to be out-done, Dustin Dickerson launched a solo home run of comparable distance to right-center in the eighth.
Mandel exited the game after allowing a one-out single in the eighth. William Draper struck out the first batter he faced and then hit a batter before getting a groundout to escape the jam. Jake Weghorst was touched for a pair of runs on three hits in the ninth as Nebraska avoided its first shutout at home since an 8-0 loss to Missouri State in the 2003 NCAA Regional championship game.
Gerdes' four-hit game his first since collecting four at Oklahoma in his first career game during the 2004 season. He also tied his career high with three runs scored. Three of his eight career home runs have come against Nebraska as he has one in each of the last three series against the Huskers.
Weems finished 2-for-3 with two walks and tied his career high with three runs. Czimskey had two doubles, while Dickerson and Campbell had two hits each.
Baylor and Nebraska continue their three-game series Saturday at 2:05 p.m. CDT. The Bears send junior right-hander Randall Linebaugh (2-5, 5.72 ERA) to the mound, while the Huskers junior right-hander Johnny Dorn (7-2, 4.94 ERA). Saturday's game will be televised live on Nebraska Educational Television and re-broadcast Monday at 5 p.m. on CSTV.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 27-18-1; the Bears have won eight of the last 10 regular-season meetings. Nebraska holds an 8-7 advantage in games played at Lincoln. The Bears are 20-14 against the Huskers since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, including an 18-8 advantage in regular-season meetings. ... Baylor is 6-2 in its last eight road games after starting the season 2-9 in such contests. ... Czimskey (10 games) and Campbell (seven games) both extended career-long hitting streaks. Ben Booker (six games) and Weems (four games) also extended hitting streaks. ... Weems has reached safely and/or produced a run in 30 consecutive games. ... Campbell has reached safely in 20 consecutive games and in 25 of the last 26. ... Dickerson has reached safely in 15 straight. ... The first run scored on Gerdes' two-run homer was the 100th RBI of his career.