May 12, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - Baylor dropped a pair of one-run games against Oklahoma in Saturday's doubleheader at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The 1-0 loss in game one and 2-1 defeat in game two ended the Bears' streak of nine consecutive Big 12 series wins.
Baylor (39-10, 18-2 Big 12) had won all 22 games started by either Josh Turley or Trent Blank this season, but Oklahoma (32-19, 12-10 Big 12) pitchers held the Bears to one run over 19 innings to end each pitchers' streak.
"The first game was really something to see with the two left handers going at it," head coach Steve Smith said. "We had an opportunity in that game, and little things were the difference in today's games. We didn't get a sacrifice bunt down in the first game that would've probably put a run across the plate, and we didn't do it in the second game, but to concentrate or focus on that would be a mistake. They pitched it really well, our guys pitched it really well, and that's the game - two well-played games, two highly competitive games. They got after us good with fastballs, we did the same, and they come up a run better in both games."
Game One: Turley tossed 7.0 shutout innings, but Oklahoma's Jordan John matched him with 8.2 shutout innings of his own, and Erik Ross' two-out single in the bottom of the 10th plated the winning run.
"Josh Turley was as good as I've ever seen him, but we've looking out there at John and he's pumping 90 in the eighth inning," Smith said. "I thought he was as good a left hander as we've seen all year, a physical guy who kept his stuff the whole game."
Turley has allowed only three earned runs in 38.2 innings over his last five starts, lowering his season ERA to 1.59. Crayton Bare and Ryan Smith combined on 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, but the Sooners scored against Dillon Newman (3-2), who took the loss after allowing one run in 0.2 inning.
Baylor had two runners on with no outs in the second, but after a bunt attempt failed, John got Cal Towey to ground into a double play. That proved to be the Bears' best chance, as Baylor finished the game 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Max Muncy went 2-for-4, and Nathan Orf provided the Bears' only extra-base hit with a one-out double in the third. Six Oklahoma hitters had one hit each, with Evan Mistich's single leading off the bottom of the 10th leading to the eventual winning run.
Steven Okert (6-6) picked up the win by holding the Bears scoreless in 1.2 innings of relief, and he worked around Dan Evatt's single leading off the 10th when the Bears moved him into scoring position with one out after a sacrifice bunt.
Game Two: Blank pitched his first career complete game, but his 11-game winning streak was snapped after the Baylor offense was held in check in a 2-1 defeat.
Jonathan Gray (6-4) allowed only an unearned run in 7.1 innings, and Okert pitched out of a jam and picked up his third save with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Blank (9-1) tied his career high with 8.0 innings retired 16 of his final 17 batters faced, allowing only a bunt single after the third inning, but the two runs Oklahoma scored early in the game proved to be the difference.
"(Blank) was really good, and to see him start off like that and then put zeros up is really good to see," Smith said. "This is uncharted territory for this particular team right now, and that's a pretty nice thing to be able to say after 50 games. It'll be a good opportunity for us to bounce back tomorrow and see if we can play a little better."
Cody Reine tripled with one out in the first and scored on Max White's looping single that landed just out of Muncy's reach behind first base. The Sooners added an unearned run in the second on Caleb Bushyhead's run-scoring groundout, and Blank held them in check the rest of the way, but Baylor's offense came up short.
Nathan Orf broke the Baylor single-season record when he was hit by a pitch for the 24th time this season leading off the first inning, but he was stranded at second base. The Bears finished game two 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Baylor's best opportunity came in the eighth inning when Jake Miller and Adam Toth led off with consecutive bunt singles. Orf followed with his second hit of the game to score Miller and cut the deficit to 2-1 with two on and no outs. The Bears couldn't get a bunt down, and Gray got a strikeout for the first out before turning the ball over to Okert.
Muncy hit a grounder on a hit-and-run, but Oklahoma still managed to turn an inning-ending double play after Orf was thrown out on a close play at second and Mistich managed to keep his foot on first base when the throw to get Muncy pulled him down the right-field line.
"We had an opportunity there late and just couldn't make it happen," Smith said. "Give them credit, they played it really well on the infield. It's the nature of baseball, if you're going to win, you don't want to play one-run games because the little things can get you, and that's what today was about. We just weren't quite as good at the little things."
Baylor also had a chance in the fifth when Logan Vick singled, stole second base and moved to third base on a one-out wild pitch, but Gray got a popout and a strikeout. The Bears also put two runners on with no outs in the sixth, but Gray got the lead runner on a bunt attempt and worked his way out of the jam unscathed.
Baylor and Oklahoma conclude their series at 1 p.m. Sunday in a game scheduled to be televised on FCS. The Bears are expected to send senior Tyler Bremer to the mound against Oklahoma's Dillon Overton.
Game One Notes: Baylor's Big 12-record 18-game winning streak in conference play came to an end ... The Bears lost for the first time this season in a game started by Josh Turley (now 11-1) ... Max Muncy extended his hitting streak to 7 games ... Muncy (18 games) and Nathan Orf (career-high 17 games) extended on-base streaks ... Orf extended his Big 12 hitting streak to 9 games ... Josh Ludy and Dan Evatt extended Big 12 on-base streaks to 14 games ... Muncy made his 130th consecutive start at first base ... Muncy (58th career) had a multi-hit game.
Game Two Notes: Baylor dropped its first Big 12 series since April 23, 2011, snapping a streak of nine straight Big 12 series wins ... Nathan Orf broke the Baylor single-season record when he was hit by a pitch for the 24th time this season in the 1st inning ... The Bears lost for the first time this season in a game started by Trent Blank (now 11-1) ... Max Muncy (19 games) and Orf (career-high 18 games) extended on-base streaks ... Orf extended his Big 12 hitting streak to 10 games ... Muncy moved into a tie for 6th on Baylor's career Big 12 walks list with 40 ... Muncy made his 131st consecutive start at first base ... Logan Vick recorded his 27th career stolen base ... Orf had his 38th career multi-hit game ... Baylor is now 35-35 in the all-time series against Oklahoma, including a 7-21 record in games played in Norman and a 25-29 mark during the Steve Smith era.