May 22, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY- No. 7 Baylor baseball used strong pitching and a four-run third inning to eliminate No. 21 Kansas (No. 3 seed) on Thursday with a 4-3 win on the second day of the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Down 1-0, Baylor rallied for four runs in the third to provide all the offense it would need. Logan Brown and Joe Sabatini led off with singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Nate Goodwin, Lawton Langford dropped an RBI single just over the shortstop to tie the game. Following a Brett Doe HBP, Adam Toth drove in a run on a sac fly to center, Grayson Porter singled to right for another run and Aaron Dodson singled to right to cap the inning with Baylor ahead 4-1.
After allowing a sac fly in the second, BU starter Drew Tolson settled in to keep Kansas at bay with three straight scoreless frames. He ran into trouble in the sixth as the Jayhawks rallied with two outs. Connor McKay did the damage with a two-run double to make it a one-run game. On the next play, Ka'iana Eldredge hit a sharp single to left field but Grayson Porter fielded the ball cleanly and delivered a solid throw to catcher Nate Goodwin. With a one hopper just a bit up the line, Goodwin made a nice play gathering the ball and reaching across his body for the tag to prevent the tying run from scoring.
BU then went to weekend starter Daniel Castano for scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth to bridge the gap to record-setting closer Josh Michalec. All Michalec allowed was a one-out single to Eldredge as he earned his 21st save to extended his BU single-season saves record and take sole possession of the Big 12 single-season saves record.
Michalec locked down the win for Tolson (4-5), who gave up three runs on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings. KU starter Frank Duncan (6-3) took the loss, surrendering four runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.
*Baylor leads the all-time series against Kansas 46-16 and 5-0 in neutral site games. The Bears ended a six-game losing streak to the Jayhawks with the win.
*Baylor owns a 4-0 record against Kansas in the Big 12 Championship. In 2005, No. 2 Baylor beat No. 7 Kansas 2-1 in 10 innings in the opening round. In 2009, No. 8 Baylor topped No. 5 Kansas 8-4 in the third round. In 2010, No. 6 Baylor beat No. 7 Kansas 6-3 in the semifinals.
*Baylor is just one of two teams (Oklahoma) to qualify for all 18 Big 12 Baseball Championships and owns a 29-30 all-time record in the event. In Oklahoma City during the event, the Bears are 27-26 and 27-24 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Bears are 11-7 in opening games, 6-8 in elimination games and 0-6 in title games. In tournament format, BU is 31-32 in the event.
*The Bears have been the No. 7 seed in the event only one other time (2002). In 2002, Baylor fell 11-9 to No. 2 Nebraska and then 6-2 to No. 6 Kansas State. Overall in the event, No. 7 seeds own an 18-29 record and have appeared in the title game twice (Missouri in 2004 and Kansas State in 2008) but have never won. Baylor has appeared in the title game six times but has never won.
*Baylor won three of its six series vs. ranked teams this season. The Bears are 4-7 against teams ranked by Baseball America this season and are 23-22 vs. Baseball America ranked teams since 2011 and 188-274-1 all-time.
*Baylor is 9-11 against top 25 teams this season and 9-12 vs. ranked teams.
*Baylor is 10-4 in one-run games this season.
*Baylor is 11-15 this season in TV games with eight wins and 16 of the 26 games being vs. ranked teams - BU is 8-8 vs. ranked teams. Since 2011, BU is 28-27 in TV games. Overall, BU is 58-68 in TV games.
*Brett Doe has reached base in each of his last four games.
*Logan Brown has a hit in each of his last three games. He's 12-for-30 (.400) over his last nine games with eight runs scored.
*After missing last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Drew Tolson has been finding his groove on the mound as he gets more innings and starts. As a starting pitcher this season, Tolson is 4-2 with a 4.21 ERA in seven starts as he's given up 21 runs (17 earned) on 41 hits and seven walks with 23 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.
*Josh Michalec picked up his 21st save of the season and career as he is now 21-for-22 in save chances after converting his first 11 attempts. He entered the week ranked second in the NCAA in saves. He's closed out 21 of Baylor's 25 wins with 10 of the saves coming in multi-inning efforts. He extended his BU single-season saves record to 21 and took sole possession of first place on the Big 12 single-season saves list from Oklahoma's Jeff Bajenaru (2000). Michalec ranks third on the BU career saves list.
STAT OF THE GAME
21 - The number of saves for Josh Michalec this season to set a new Big 12 single-season record.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"I felt we got off to a good start with Drew [Tolson] on the mound. It was a bit of a debate in my mind on who to go with today. It's always refreshing when someone rewards your decision. He was very efficient. He got some strikeouts early in the game that I thought were important. He ate up innings and we got a couple of timely double play balls. The offense we got from the guys at the bottom was important. I'm very proud of those guys."
- BU head coach Steve Smith
No. 7 Baylor faces the loser of No. 2 TCU vs. No. 6 West Virginia tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. CT on FOX College Sports in another elimination game.