May 11, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas - Baylor had the potential tying run at second base with no outs in the ninth, but the Bears rally came up short as TCU escaped with a 7-6 win on a rain-soaked Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium.
Baylor (24-22) had already erased a three-run deficit in the seventh inning, but TCU (34-14) rebuilt its lead with a pair of runs in the eighth to take a 7-5 lead to the ninth. Max Muncy cut the deficit to one with a RBI single, but he was left standing on third base when Stefan Crichton got a strikeout to end the game.
"It's not for lack of trying," head coach Steve Smith said. "We just have got some real inexperience in the field, on the mound and behind the plate. It's who we are and we are having to fight through it and try to get better. The effort is there, but the awareness is sometimes not."
The Bears took an early lead with a pair of runs in the second when Joey Hainsfurther was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Cal Towey drove in a run on an infield single, but TCU erased the deficit with three runs on two hits in the third.
The Horned Frogs added two runs to the lead in the fourth - one of which was earned - to take a 5-2 lead, but Logan Vick made a leaping catch at the wall to take away a three-run homer and record the third out of the inning. Lightning struck seconds later, sending the game into its second rain delay, this time for one hour and 31 minutes. The first delay was a brief 22 minutes between the second and third innings.
When the team returned to the field, Josh Ludy hit a two-out RBI double to score Muncy and cut the lead to 5-3, and two innings later Muncy tied the game at 5-5 when his seventh homer of the season scored Towey.
Muncy finished 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, while Towey went 3-for-5 with two runs and one RBI in his first career game batting in the leadoff spot.
The Bears got strong work from Trent Blank out of the bullpen, who allowed only two hits and struck out four in 3.1 innings of shutout relief. Starter Brooks Pinckard gave up four earned runs on four hits with three walks in 3.2 innings, but he did not factor in the decision.
"The good news is this was a really impressive outing for Trent Blank," Smith said. "During the week we have had off, one of the things that he has done is drop his arm down a little bit. He didn't give up any velocity and got a whole lot more sink and movement. He was able to miss some bats and that's very, very encouraging to see that."
Max Garner (2-2) took the loss after an error leading off the bottom of the eighth led to a pair of unearned runs on Kyle Von Tungeln's RBI triple and Brance Rivera's sacrifice fly.
Towey led off the ninth with a single and moved to second on an error before Muncy drove him home with a single through the middle. Dan Evatt drew a walk to move Muncy into scoring position, but Vick grounded into a double play and Ludy struck out to end the game.
Crichton (5-2) earned the win after allowing one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of relief. TCU starter Nick Frey allowed two runs on three hits and hit four batters in 4.0 innings.
Baylor returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Northwestern State for one dollar hot dog night at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears send senior right-hander Jon Ringenberg to the mound against the Demons' Jacob Roark.