May 30, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY - Baylor carried a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning, but Texas A&M rallied for two in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, and Brodie Greene knocked a two-out, walk-off homer in the 10th to give the Aggies a 5-3 win in the Big 12 Championship title game at Bricktown Ballpark.
With the loss, Baylor's (34-22) season-long eight-game winning streak came to an end. Texas A&M (40-19-1) claimed the Big 12 Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, but Baylor is expected to receive an at-large bid for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons.
The Bears took an early lead when Max Muncy and Raynor Campbell knocked back-to-back doubles in the second inning, but Campbell was thrown out on a close play at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Baylor starting pitcher Willie Kempf was dominant through his first six innings of work, allowing just one runner to reach scoring position and facing just one batter over the minimum.
"I thought we ran our best guys out there," head coach Steve Smith said. "Willie (Kempf) was tremendous. Although his pitch-count wasn't high, my sense when I went out there was that he was getting a little fatigued. He was effective. I thought he did a great job of just keeping them off-balanced."
Kevin Gonzalez led off the bottom of the second with a double, but Kempf got three straight groundouts to get out of the inning, starting a stretch where he retired 12 of 13 Texas A&M batters.
The Bears added another run in the eighth when Landis Ware led off with a single and advanced to third on an error. Vick then singled through a drawn-in infield to give Baylor a 3-0 lead.
Kempf gave up two singles to the first three batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth, ending his day in favor of Logan Verrett out of the Baylor bullpen. The Aggies cut their deficit to 3-1 when a run-scoring fielder's choice, but Verrett got a flyout to center to send the game to the ninth.
Texas A&M chased Verrett after three straight singles to start the bottom of the ninth cut the Baylor lead to 3-2, but Pinckard came on in relief and worked his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a double-play grounder that sent the game to extra innings.
Pinckard reached on a two-out triple in the top of the 10th, but A&M reliever John Stilson got a groundout to keep the Bears off the board, and Greene ended the game in the bottom half of the inning when he hit Pinckard's 0-2 pitch into the left-field stands.
Kempf got no decision after tying the longest outing of his career and allowing one run on five hits in 7.1 innings. He extended a scoreless innings streak to 20.1 before the Aggies broke through in the eighth, making him the first Baylor pitcher was a scoreless streak of 20 or more innings since Jake Weghorst during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Pinckard (2-4) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. Stilson (8-1) got the win by holding the Bears to an unearned run on four hits in 4.0 innings.
Vick led the Bears at the plate with two hits, a run and one RBI, and Campbell added two hits and one RBI. Greene was the only Texas A&M player with multiple hits in a 4-for-5 effort.
Baylor now turns its attention to the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship selection show. The 64-team field will be announced Monday at 11:30 a.m. CDT on ESPN. The Bears are aiming for the 11th regional appearance in the last 13 years.