COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Zach Dillon went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI as No. 10 Baylor completed the series sweep of Texas A&M with a 6-4 win Sunday afternoon at Olsen Field. Baylor (34-18, 18-6) remains atop the Big 12 Conference standings and picks up a game against second-place Nebraska, which lost 7-6 Sunday at Texas Tech.
The sweep was the fifth series sweep of the season for the Bears and their fourth in conference play. Texas A&M (29-23-1, 8-16) joins Vanderbilt, Texas, KansasState and Kansas as teams to drop all three regular-season meetings to Baylor. It marks the first time in Baylor baseball history that the Bears swept the regular-season series against both Texas and Texas A&M.
Dillon got the offense going in the second inning, leading off with a double down the line in left. Reid Brees followed with a single up the middle, giving the Bears a lead they never relinquished. Josh Ford doubled Baylor's lead in the third with a solo home run to left, his sixth of the season and estimated at 450 feet.
In the fourth, Dillon came through with another clutch hit, this time lining a two-out, three-run homer down the line in right. Throw in a double in the fourth and Dillon finished the day with a career-high tying three extra-base hits.
Despite the 5-0 deficit, the Aggies did not go away quietly. Chad Pennington cut into the Bears' lead with a two-run homer to left in the sixth. In the eighth, Kevin Sevigny led off with a single, stole second and moved to third when Pennington misplayed catcher Justin Pouk's throw down. Two batters later, Paul Witt lay down a suicide squeeze to score Sevigny and stretch the Bears' lead to 6-2.
Things got interesting in the eighth, though. After RBI singles by Pennington and Andrew Baldwin, the Aggies had the bases loaded and one out. Reliever Ryan LaMotta then induced a 6-4-3 double play to get the Bears out of the jam. Brandon Glover managed a two-out single up the middle in the ninth, but LaMotta got Pennington to fly out to center, ending the game and completing the sweep.
Baylor starter Cory VanAllen earned the victory, his first in four starts. VanAllen (7-4) allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in 6.0 innings. LaMotta yielded two runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout in 3.0 innings for his fifth save of the season.
Texas A&M starter Chance Corgan (4-3) was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
Baylor returns to action Tuesday, May 17, hosting TexasState in the final non-conference game of the regular season. First pitch between the Bears and the Bobcats is scheduled for at Baylor Ballpark.
NOTES:Texas A&M leads the all-time series 138-110-1, including a 68-34-1 advantage in games played at College Station. Baylor has won four of its last five at Olsen Field. The Bears are 18-11 against the Aggies since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997 and 21-17 against Texas A&M under head coach Steve Smith. ... This mark's Baylor's first series sweep with at least two of the three games played at Texas A&M since the 1991 team won all three meetings at Olsen Field. ... Baylor is 11-2 on Sunday this season, 6-2 in Big 12 play. The Bears also are 12-3 in Championship Gold jerseys. ... Baylor is 9-5 this season in games started by VanAllen, 11-7 in his 18 career starts. ... Ford's home run was the 34th of his career, tying Eric Nelson (1996-99) and Michael Griffin for sixth all-time at Baylor. ... Ford has hit safely in five straight games and in eight of the last nine. He has reached safely in nine consecutive games and has reached safely in 50 of 52 games this season. ... Sunday was LaMotta's 84th career appearance, passing Frank Foltyn (1989-92) for fourth in Baylor history.