May 16, 2006
WACO, Texas - Baylor's five non-pitcher seniors collectively went 11-for-19 with 10 runs, seven RBI, four doubles, a triple and three stolen bases as the 25th-ranked Bears eased to a 15-6 victory over Dallas Baptist in the final regular-season home game of the 2006 season Tuesday night at Baylor Ballpark. Baylor (34-19) won its seventh consecutive game, its longest winning streak since a seven-game run in March 2005.
Seth Fortenberry led the offensive charge for the Bears, going 4-for-6 with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored; it was the first four-hit game of his career. Zach Dillon was 2-for-2 with two doubles, two walks and three RBI. Kevin Russo was 3-for-5 with three runs, a triple, two RBI and a stolen base, and Kevin Sevigny was 2-for-5 with two runs and two stolen bases.
The only Baylor seniors not to hit safely Tuesday night were Mike Pankratz, who was 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting role, and pitcher Ryan LaMotta, who paced the dugout lobbying for an at bat through out the game to no avail.
The Bears swiped eight bases as a team, one shy of the school record. Chase Gerdes led the way with a career-high three swipes.
Baylor finished the regular season 27-7 at Baylor Ballpark, establishing a facility record for the most regular-season victories. Only one team has won more games at Baylor Ballpark in the facility's eight-year existence; the 1999 team had 28 wins, but four were in the postseason.
Tuesday's paid attendance of 2,580 put Baylor's season home attendance total to 96,427, a regular-season school record and second all-time at Baylor.
Trevor Head gave Dallas Baptist an early lead with a one-out solo home run down the left-field line in the second inning. That lead was short-lived, though, as the Bears plated five runs in the bottom of the inning and two more in the third.
Starter Randall Linebaugh ran into trouble in the fourth, allowing four runs on four walks and three singles as the Patriots pulled to within two runs at 7-5. However, the Bears would let Dallas Baptist no closer, scoring three in the fifth, two in the seventh and three in the eighth. The Patriots scratched for a run in the ninth before Baylor's Big 12-leading 52nd double play ended the game.
Linebaugh (6-0) remained perfect in seven career decisions. He allowed five runs on four hits and five walks with eight strikeouts; both the walks and strikeouts were career highs. Linebaugh has tallied 21 strikeouts in 15.0 innings over his last three starts.
Baylor returns to action this weekend, traveling to Manhattan, Kan., for a three-game Big 12 Conference series at Kansas State. The Bears and the Wildcats meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.