May 15, 2014
(36-15, 15-7 Big 12)
(24-27, 8-13 Big 12)
WACO, Texas- Baylor baseball used a pair of three-run innings to defeat No. 13 TCU 6-3 in the series opener on Thursday night at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears' (24-27, 8-13 Big 12) win over the Horned Frogs (36-15, 15-7 Big 12) was secured by Josh Michalec as he earned his 20th save to tie him for the Big 12 single-season saves record.
With a 2-0 deficit after the top of the second inning, the Bears answered with a huge hit by Aaron Dodson to take the lead in the bottom half. Grayson Porter led off by reaching on an error and Duncan Wendel followed with a walk. Then on a 1-2 pitch, TCU starter Brandon Finnegan (8-3) left a slider hanging over the plate and Dodson launched a moonshot, three-run home run over the left field fence to put the Bears ahead for good.
With new life, BU starter Dillon Newman seized the opportunity by throwing four scoreless frames to end his day. He even got more help from the bats as Darryn Sheppard, Logan Brown and Brett Doe all drove in a run apiece in the fourth.
Doug Ashby took over for Newman in the seventh and got himself into a jam in both the seventh and eighth innings, but worked out of it relatively unscathed each time. With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Ashby induced a 1-2-3 double play by Garrett Crain to keep BU's lead at 6-2. In the eighth with the bases loaded and one out again, he gave up a sacrifice fly to Cody Jones before getting a grounder to shortstop to end the rally.
Then Michalec dominated the ninth in a perfect frame with one strikeout for his 20th save to move into a tie with Oklahoma's Jeff Bajenaru (2000) for the Big 12 single-season saves record. His save locked down the win for Newman (5-3), who allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in six innings.
*Baylor leads the all-time series over TCU 139-112 overall and 72-42 in Waco. The last time the teams met in Waco resulted in a 7-1 BU win on Feb. 21, 2012 and the Bears have now won four of the last five contests at Baylor Ballpark in the series. The last time the teams played a three-game series in Waco was Feb. 18-20, 2000, and the Bears swept the series.
*Baylor has won three of its five series vs. ranked teams this season. The Bears are 3-4 against teams ranked by Baseball America this season and are 22-19 vs. Baseball America ranked teams since 2011 and 187-271-1 all-time. At home against ranked foes, BU is 105-100-1.
*Baylor is 8-8 against top 25 teams this season and 8-9 vs. ranked teams.
*Baylor has won five of its last six games.
*Baylor is 20-8 at home this season, which is its best home record since 2012.
*Baylor is 10-12 this season in TV games with seven wins and 12 of the 22 games being vs. ranked teams - BU is 7-5 vs. ranked teams. Since 2011, BU is 27-24 in TV games. Overall, BU is 57-65 in TV games.
*Adam Toth has reached base in each of his last eight games and has a hit in his last four. He's 19-for-34 (.559) in his last eight games.
*Logan Brown extended his season-long hitting streak to six games. He's 7-for-18 (.389) in his last five games.
*Aaron Dodson hit the second homer of his freshman season in the second inning and first as a right-handed hitter. It was just the second homer that TCU LHP ace Brandon Finnegan had given up all year in 77 innings. Dodson also notched his sixth multi-hit game.
*Josh Michalec picked up his 20th save of the season and career as he is now 20-for-21 in save chances after converting his first 11 attempts. He entered the weekend ranked second in the NCAA in saves. He's closed out 20 of Baylor's 24 wins with 10 of the saves coming in multi-inning efforts. He extended his BU single-season saves record to 20 and tied for first place on the Big 12 single-season list (Jeff Bajenaru (Oklahoma) in 2000). Michalec also took sole possession of third place on the BU career saves list from Abe Woody (2003-05).
STAT OF THE GAME
11 - The amount of runners Baylor pitchers left on base while BU's hitters only left four.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"[Aaron Dodson] hit it well [on his home run in the second inning]. He wasn't going to get any help. The wind was blowing across the field so I was surprised that it carried."
- BU head coach Steve Smith
The teams continue the series tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Southwest and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Plus. Friday will feature a pregame ceremony for senior night and Saturday will feature a pregame ceremony at 6 p.m. to retire Jason Jennings' jersey. The scheduled pitching matchups are BU LHP Daniel Castano (5-3, 3.63 ERA) vs. TCU RHP Preston Morrison (7-3, 1.28 ERA) on Friday and BU's starter that has yet to be announced vs. TCU LHP Tyler Alexander (7-3, 2.23 ERA) on Sunday.