May 14, 2004
WACO, Texas - Reid Brees doubled twice, scored a run and drove in another as Baylor defeated Nebraska 2-1 Friday night at Baylor Ballpark in the series opener. By virtue of other Friday night results around the league, the Bears (24-25, 11-9) are now one-half game behind fourth-place Texas Tech in the Big 12 standings.
The win did not come easily, though, as Nebraska (33-17, 10-12) put the tying and go-ahead runners on base with two outs in the top of the ninth. However, Baylor closer Abe Woody got Colin Shockey to fly out to Brees down the left-field line, ending the threat and the game.
The Bears have now won five of their last six Big 12 games. Texas Tech (12-9 in league play) lost 14-2 at Oklahoma State (15-6), while Texas A&M (11-10) surrendered three runs in the top of the ninth in a 3-2 loss at home to Kansas State (4-18). That puts Baylor even with Texas Tech in the loss column and one game back in the wins column.
Baylor set the tone of the game early with a run in the bottom of the first. Brees laced a one-out double to right-center, and two batters later Kyle Reynolds singled up the middle to plate Brees. The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh when Brees followed a two-out Paul Witt infield single with an RBI double down the right-field line.
Meanwhile, Baylor starter Sean Walker (4-5) held the Nebraska bats in check. The junior right-hander tossed 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks with four strikeouts before giving way to the Bears' bullpen.
Andy Pape and Ryan LaMotta combined to get the Bears out of a jam in the top of the seventh as the Huskers left runners at the corners. LaMotta then pitched a perfect eighth before handing things off to Woody.
Alex Gordon singled to left with one out in the ninth; two batters and one out later he stole second. Jake Mullinax then singled to right-center, scoring Gordon, and John Grose was then hit by a pitch. That was all the damage Nebraska could do, though, as Woody induced Shockey's fly out on the next pitch.
Nebraska starter Zach Kroenke (7-3) took the loss, allowing two runs on nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Jeremy Becker pitched the eighth, allowing only a one-out Josh Ford single.
Witt and Brees both finished 2-for-4 on the night as Baylor got hits from eight of nine starters. Mullinax had two of Nebraska's six hits.
Baylor and Nebraska meet again Saturday for a 7 p.m. CDT first pitch at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears send southpaw Trey Taylor (5-3) to the mound against Nebraska right-hander Phil Shirek (5-1). Seniors Zane Carlson, Jared Clements and Jared Theodorakos will be honored prior to the game along with three graduating support staff members - Will Blackstock, Tim Hunter and Jay Lockett.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 21-14-1, including a 13-4-1 advantage in Waco. The Bears are 6-1 against the Huskers at Baylor Ballpark. ... Baylor improves to 5-6 on Fridays, 4-3 in Big 12 play. The Bears also improve to 6-7 in series openers, 5-3 in Big 12 play. ... Sean Walker posted his third consecutive victory. The Bears have won four of his last five starts. ... Paul Witt's infield single was his seventh of the season, tying Chase Gerdes for the team lead. ... Michael Griffin picked up career hit No. 230, tying David Murphy (2001-2003) for eighth all-time at Baylor. ... Ryan LaMotta made his 50th career relief appearance, matching Justin Taylor (1999-2002) for eighth all-time at Baylor. ... Michael Griffin, Paul Witt and Tyler Bullock all extended hitting streaks to three games. ... The Bears, who lead the Big 12 in team batting average in league games, have collected 10 or more hits in 14 of 20 conference games. ... Reid Brees, Kyle Reynolds, Drew Sutton, Tyler Bullock and Josh Ford all extended conference-only hitting streaks to six games. ... Reid Brees and Michael Griffin have both hit safely in 17 of 20 Big 12 games.