May 26, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY - Willie Kempf turned in 4.1 innings of one-hit shutout relief to lead Baylor to an 11-8 win over Kansas State on the first day of pool play action in the Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark.
The Bears (32-21) came out on top in a roller coaster game that featured a nearly three-hour-long rain delay and a blown seven-run lead. With the win, Baylor extended its winning streak to six straight.
Kempf (8-2) picked up his third victory in the last eight days to become the first Baylor pitcher since 2005 to win eight games in a season. Freshman outfielder Logan Vick reached base safely in all six plate appearances with a pair of home runs, a double, three walks, three runs and three RBI.
"Willie (Kempf) couldn't have done any better," head coach Steve Smith said. "It is extremely disappointing to give up a lead like that. I thought the team showed a tremendous amount of resilience to give up that lead and then retake it."
Kansas State (36-19) answered with a run of its own against Baylor starting pitcher Logan Verrett in the bottom half of the first on Kent Urban's RBI single, but the Bears got that run back and then added a couple more in the second.
Raynor Campbell led off with a solo homer to left field that cleared the outer wall of the stadium, and three batters later Vick delivered a two-run homer to right field to give the Bears a 5-1 lead. Just moments after Vick crossed home plate, the game was halted due to lightning, and play didn't resume for another two hours and 54 minutes.
Verrett turned the ball over to Shawn Tolleson, who worked put up zeroes in the second and third inning, and the Bears built their lead to 8-1 on Landis Ware's three-run homer off the left-field foul pole in the top of the third.
KSU cut into the Baylor lead with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and reliever Matt Applegate settled down and retired eight straight batters to send the game to the bottom of the fifth with the Bears leading 8-2.
Tolleson got the first two outs in the inning, but three straight singles brought in a run, and then Tolleson hit a batter and gave up three more singles, as the Wildcats cut Baylor's lead to 8-7.
Kempf was summoned from the bullpen, and he gave up a RBI single to Jake Brown that tied the game at 8-8, but that would be the last hit of the game for Kansas State, as Kempf allowed only two more base runners on a walk and a hit batter.
Vick swung the momentum right back to Baylor when he hit the first pitch from Evan Marshall into the upper deck in right field for his 10th home run of the season, one that would prove to be the first game-winning homer of his career.
The Bears added on a run in the seventh when Max Muncy walked and later scored on Ware's two-out RBI single, and Baylor extended its lead to 11-8 in the eighth when Cal Towey doubled and scored on Muncy's double.
Kempf retired eight of the last nine batters he faced to seal the win for Baylor. Ware finished 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBI, while Campbell, Muncy and Towey each added two hits.
Kansas State was led at the plate by Daniel Dellasega, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. Matt Giller was the only other Wildcat with multiple hits in a 2-for-3 effort.
Marshall (5-5) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings of relief.
Baylor has Thursday off before resuming pool play at 6:30 p.m. Friday against No. 2 seed Oklahoma. The Sooners are expected to start right-handed pitcher Zach Neal, but the Bears have not yet announced a starter.