May 23, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY- No. 7 Baylor baseball (26-30) eliminated No. 6 West Virginia (28-26) with a 9-4 win on Friday afternoon in the third day of the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Baylor overcame an early solo home run by WVU's Billy Fleming in the first inning by answering with a pair of homers of its own. Brett Doe launched a solo shot with two outs in the fourth and then Aaron Dodson put one out in the fourth to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
BU starter Nick Lewis settled in after allowing the homer to retire nine straight batters before hitting a batter with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. The only inning WVU really got to Lewis was in the sixth as he walked Taylor Munden to start the inning. After a stolen base and throwing error on the play put Munden at third, Bobby Boyd scored Munden on a sac fly. An out and walk to Ryan McBroom later, Jacob Rice roped a double down the left field line that looked as if it would score the go-ahead run. However, Grayson Porter threw a strike to shortstop Brett Doe and Doe delivered a decent throw up the line to Nate Goodwin at home. Goodwin made an excellent play to gather the ball and swipe McBroom's chest before he crossed the plate to end the inning with the game tied, 2-2.
The play created quite a momentum swing as the Bears poured on five runs in the seventh and two more in the eight to seal the deal. Joe Sabatini had a fielder's choice RBI with an error on the play that allowed another run to score. Goodwin had a fielder's choice bunt RBI and pinch-runner Lane Kelly slid under the tag. Doe had an RBI walk and Adam Toth had an RBI HBP to cap the seventh.
In the eighth, Logan Brown roped a two-run triple over the right fielder to put the game on ice. The runs allowed the Bears to withstand a small two-run rally by WVU in the ninth.
Lewis (3-2) earned the win as he set career highs of six innings pitched and five strikeouts. He allowed two runs on two hits and three walks. Doug Ashby earned the save by tossing the final three innings. WVU starter Ross Vance (3-4) took the loss after giving up seven runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
*Baylor and West Virginia are tied in the all-time series, 3-3, and had never faced each other in a neutral site game before today. The teams had also never met in postseason play. The Mountaineers took both games in the regular season in Charleston, W. Va., as the finale was washed out.
*Baylor is just one of two teams (Oklahoma) to qualify for all 18 Big 12 Baseball Championships and owns a 30-30 all-time record in the event. In Oklahoma City during the event, the Bears are 28-26 and 28-24 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Bears are 11-7 in opening games, 7-8 in elimination games and 0-6 in title games. In tournament format, BU is 32-32 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 a 19-29 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 is 12-15 this season in TV games with eight wins and 16 of the 27 games being vs. ranked teams - BU is 8-8 vs. ranked teams. Since 2011, BU is 29-27 in TV games. Overall, BU is 59-68 in TV games.
*Nick Lewis set career highs of six innings pitched and five strikeouts in his win in just his third collegiate start.
*Doug Ashby pitched three effective innings to finish the game and earn his first career save.
*Brett Doe has reached base in each of his last five games and hit his first career home run.
*Aaron Dodson hit his third home run of his freshman season and second as a right-handed batter.
*Logan Brown has a hit in each of his last four games. He's 15-for-35 (.429) over his last 10 games with eight runs scored.
*Ben Carl has reached base in each of his last five games.
*Duncan Wendel has reached base in each of his last three games.
STAT OF THE GAME
5 - The number runs scored by Baylor in the seventh to break the game open.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"We had a really good pitching performance out of Nick [Lewis]. For him to perform that well as a freshman against a really good veteran offense in an elimination game is pretty special. I think I'm noticing that our seniors are not ready to stop playing. We have some really special seniors on this team that are doing an exceptional job right now leading."
- BU head coach Steve Smith
No. 7 Baylor faces No. 2 TCU tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. CT on FOX College Sports in another elimination game.