RHP Craig Fritsch logged a season-high nine strikeouts and earned the victory in relief as Baylor knocked off fifth-ranked and top-seeded Texas 14-9.
May 20, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dustin Dickerson's two-run double keyed an eight-run sixth inning as Baylor rallied past fifth-ranked Texas 14-9 in Wednesday's pool-play action at the Big 12 Conference Championship. Baylor (28-23) posted its first victory over a Big 12 opponent since April 17 and snapped a six-game skid against ranked opponents.
It was the Baylor's 13th come-from-behind victory this season and the Bears' largest scoring output against Texas (38-13-1) since a 16-6 victory in the 2001 series finale. Baylor became the sixth eight seed to defeat the top seed in the first day of the Big 12 Championship in the 11 years since the event went to an eight-team format.
Baylor trailed 7-3 entering the sixth inning, but the Bears loaded the bases with one out. Ben Booker delivered an RBI single, and Don Lambert followed with an RBI walk. After Brooks Kimmey's pinch-hit sacrifice fly, Joey Hainsfurther reloaded the bases with a walk. That set the stage for Dickerson's double to left-center that gave the Bears an 8-7 lead. Raynor Campbell followed with an RBI single, and Shaver Hansen's two-run double capped the inning.
The Bears stretched their lead to 13-7 with two runs on three hits and a Texas error in the seventh. The Longhorns got a pair of runs back on Brandon Belt's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, but that was as close as Texas would get. Dan Evatt tacked on a solo homer in the ninth to close the scoring.
Craig Fritsch (3-5) earned the victory in relief for the Bears. He allowed two runs - one earned - on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over 4.2 innings. His nine strikeouts were a season high and one shy of Baylor's school record for strikeouts in relief, which Fritsch shares with Logan Verrett and Aaron Miller. Verrett started but was chased from the game with one out in the second; he surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Kendal Volz, making his first relief appearance since his freshman season, nailed his first career save. He worked the final 3.0 innings and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts. It was a familiar role for Volz, who served as closer for the USA Baseball National Team last year and was eight-for-eight in save opportunities.
Reliever Austin Dicharry (6-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman in one-third of an inning. Starter Cole Green lasted 5.0 innings and surrendered three runs on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
Aaron Miller's two-out, two-run homer in the top of the first inning gave Baylor an early lead. However, Texas quickly responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Keyes's two-run single in the second stretched the Horns lead to 5-2. Baylor got a run back in the third when Hainsfurther opened the frame with a triple and scored on Dickerson's groundout. Texas answered with two runs in the bottom of the third on Michael Torres' sacrifice fly and Belt's RBI double.
Booker, Campbell, Dickerson, Evatt and Hansen all produced multiple-hit games for the Bears. Booker was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Dickerson, Hansen, Kimmey and Miller all had multiple-RBI games; Dickerson led the way with three. Campbell reached safely in four of five plate appearances and scored three times. Booker, Evatt, Hainsfurther and Miller also scored twice each.
Belt and Brandon Loy each had four-hit games for the Longhorns, while Belt and Keyes each had three RBI.
Baylor continues pool play Thursday, facing fourth-seeded and 17th-ranked Kansas State in the Bears' second of three pool-play games. Miller (3-3, 5.28 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bears. Right-hander A.J. Morris (12-1, 1.61 ERA), the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, is scheduled to start for Kansas State.
NOTES: Texas leads the all-time series 227-99-4; however, the Bears are 12-7 against the Longhorns in neutral-site meetings. Baylor is 4-2 against Texas at the Big 12 Championship, including a 1-1 mark in pool-play meetings. The Bears are 27-31 against the Horns during head coach Steve Smith's tenure. ... Baylor improved to 16-2 this season when enjoying an inning of at least four runs. ... Baylor's pitching staff logged 12 strikeouts, its most since a 12-strikeout performance March 22 against Texas Tech. ... Dickerson's two-run double in the sixth was the 200th hit of his career. ... Evatt's home run was his seventh of the season, leaving him two shy of Matt Williams' 1998 Baylor freshman record. His homerun total is Baylor's best by a freshman since Beamer Weems had eight in 2006. Evatt is tied with Ken Kolkhorst (1975), Fritz Connally (1977) and Michael Griffin (2002) for the third-best freshman homer total in school history. ... Dickerson extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He now has hit safely in 35 of 36 games. Hansen has hit safely in three straight. ... Miller's home run was his 12th of the year. He is the first Baylor player two hit 12-plus homers in consecutive seasons since Josh Ford accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004. ... Baylor has won 52 of its last 64 games when hitting at least two home runs. ... Baylor improved 234-13 since the start of the 2002 season when leading after eight innings. The Bears are 20-0 this season when leading after eight and have won 26 consecutive such games. ... Baylor's eight-run sixth was its largest inning against a Big 12 team this season and the Bears' largest inning against any opponent since a 10-run third inning April 7 against Northwestern State. ... Volz now has 224 career strikeouts, one shy of Baylor's career top-10 list. ... Volz now has 21 career strikeouts in Big 12 Championship play, two shy of Jason Jennings' school record.