RELEASE ONE FEB. 7, 2007
Friday Baylor vs.
Saturday Baylor vs. Rice, 7 p.m. CST
Sunday Baylor vs. Vanderbilt, 2:30 p.m. CST
Tuesday Baylor vs.
BAYLOR/ISP RADIO NETWORK
1660 ESPN RADIO (
Tom Barfield, play-by-play
Lark Smith, color
Video: www.BaylorBears.com (Tuesday only)
Baylor opens the 2007 season this weekend, making its fourth appearance in the Houston College Classic hosted by the Houston Astros at
The Bears (0-0) enter the 2007 season unranked nationally by Baseball
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on
Friday, Feb. 9
Vanderbilt vs. Rice, Noon
Saturday, Feb. 10
FanFest 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Baylor vs. Rice, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 11
FanFest 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Baylor vs. Vanderbilt, 2:30 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday, Feb. 9
BU RHP Randall Linebaugh * (6-1, 3.42 ERA, 71.0 IP, 65 K)
UH RHP Aaron Brown (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 0.2 IP, 0 K)
Saturday, Feb. 10
BU LHP Cliff Springston * (2-1, 6.39 ERA, 25.1 IP, 12 K)
RICE RHP Ryan Berry (0-0, 0.00, 3.0 IP, 2 K)
Sunday, Feb. 11
BU RHP Jeff Mandel * (2-3, 4.40 ERA, 57.1 IP, 38 K)
VU RHP Brett Jacobson * (2-0, 4.20 ERA, 15.0 IP, 16 K)
* - 2006 statistics
Since the start of the 2003 season, Baylor is:
- 116-43 (.730) when its starting pitcher lasts at least 5.0 innings
- 27-7 (.794) when its pitching staff records at least 10 strikeouts
- 110-32 (.775) when scoring first
- 127-25 (.836) when out-hitting its opponent
- 119-32 (.788) when holding its opponent to fewer than five runs
- 108-22 (.831) when scoring at least six runs
- 97-15 (.867) when scoring at least seven runs
Since the start of the 2002 season, Baylor is 154-7 (.957) when leading after eight innings. The Bears have won 14 straight, 48 of their last 49 and 83 of their last 85 such games.
Baylor has won 20 of its last 21 games when hitting at least two home runs.
The Bears posted a regular-season facility record with 27 victories at Baylor Ballpark last season. Baylor is 32-8 at home since the beginning of the 2005 postseason.
Baylor and Houston meet for the 143rd time Friday with the Bears holding an 83-59 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1951 season. The Bears are 17-14 against the Cougars during head coach Steve Smith's tenure.
Because the game is played at
The Baylor-Houston series is the sixth-most played rivalry in Baylor baseball history behind
Overall: Baylor leads 83-59
Neutral Site: Baylor leads 6-2
Unknown Site: Tied 4-4
First Meeting: Houston 5, Baylor 3 
Last Meeting: at
LAST TIME vs.
HOUSTON 5, BAYLOR 3 MARCH 14, 2006
The loss spoiled a strong start by Randall Linebaugh, who allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk over 5.1 innings. Tim Matthews was saddled with the loss as he allowed the consecutive hits to start the seventh; he was touched for three hits with a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning.
Baylor's bullpen duo of Nick Cassavechia and Jeff Mandel, which had not allowed a run in 16.1 combined innings this season, was touched for all three runs in the eighth. Cassavechia surrendered two runs, while Mandel was touched for one run, ending Mandel's 22.0-inning scoreless streak.
THE RICE SERIES
Saturday is the 211th meeting between Baylor and Rice, making this the fourth most-played series in Baylor baseball history behind only
Baylor holds a 125-84-1 advantage the all-time series, which dates back to April 25, 1919. However, Rice has won nine of the last 10 meetings and four straight. Baylor's lone victory in that stretch was a 6-1 victory at the 2005 Minute Maid Park College Classic. The Bears are 12-18 against Rice during head coach Steve Smith's tenure.
Rice holds a 3-1 advantage in neutral-site meetings.
Overall: Baylor leads 125-84-1
Neutral Site: Rice leads 3-1
Unknown Site: Baylor leads 9-2
Smith vs. Rice: 12-18
First Meeting: [4/25/1919]
Last Meeting: at Rice 7, Baylor 4 [6/5/2006]
LAST TIME vs. RICE
RICE 7, BAYLOR 4 JUNE 5, 2006
Baylor's three-run third was answered by Rice's five-spot in the bottom of the inning, and the host Owls never trailed again en route to a 7-4 victory over Baylor in the NCAA Houston Regional championship game at
However, the Bears' lead did not last long as Rice immediately got the offense started on Tyler Henley's leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Two outs later, Josh Rodriguez blasted a two-run homer down the line in right. Joe Savery and Aaron Luna followed with consecutive singles and both scored on Adam Zornes' double to right-center. Jordan Dodson followed with an RBI triple past a diving Kevin Sevigny down the right-field line.
Baylor starter Tim Matthews was saddled with the loss; he was touched for five runs on 10 hits and a walk with one strikeout in 3.0 innings.
Rice tacked on a run in the fourth and another in the fifth, stretching its lead to 7-3. Beamer Weems' had a two-out RBI single up the middle in the top of the seventh, but the Bears could get no closer.
THE VANDERBILT SERIES
Baylor and Vanderbilt meet for the eighth time Sunday. The Bears hold a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to a 10-4 Baylor victory at the 1999 Houston Invitational.
The Commodores took two of three at Baylor Ballpark in 2004, but the Bears swept Vanderbilt in a three-game series at
Overall: Baylor leads 5-2
Neutral Site: Never Met
Smith vs. Vanderbilt: 4-2
First Meeting: Baylor 10, Vanderbilt 4 [2/19/1999]
Last Meeting: Baylor 4, at Vanderbilt 1 [3/13/2005]
LAST TIME vs. VANDERBILT
BAYLOR 4, VANDERBILT 1 MARCH 13, 2005
Chase Gerdes drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk and Michael Griffin followed with a two-run single as Baylor scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to complete a three-game series sweep of Vanderbilt 4-1. Vanderbilt suffered its first non-conference sweep since losing five straight to
Reliever Ryan LaMotta earned the victory, allowing two hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 2.0 innings. Starter Mark McCormick allowed one run on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
Vanderbilt drew first blood, scoring a run on three hits in the bottom of the first. Mike Baxter had the run-producer, a two-out double down the right-field line.
Baylor was quick to answer, though, tying the game in the top of the second. Josh Ford was hit by a pitch to open the frame and then stole second. Zach Dillon followed with a double off the right-field wall, but Ford was forced to stop at third on the play. Kevin Russo plated Ford with a groundout to second.
The teams first met March 26, 1919. Baylor is 30-11 against the Bobcats in
Overall: Baylor leads 37-14
Neutral Site: Never Met
First Meeting: result unknown [3/26/1919]
Last Meeting: at Baylor 5,
LAST TIME vs.
Tim Jackson's two-out, two-run single keyed a three-run seventh inning as Baylor defeated
Baylor again loaded the bases with the score tied 2-2 and no outs in seventh. Pankratz flied out to right but not deep enough to score Zach Dillon from third. Booker then struck out swinging. Jackson, who grounded out to third in each of his first three at bats, then looped a single into shallow left-center, scoring Dillon and Kevin Sevigny. Seth Fortenberry, who went from first to third on Jackson's single, then scored on a wild pitch to give the Bears a 5-2 lead.
Jeff Mandel earned the victory in relief, allowing one run on one hit and a walk with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings of relief. Starter Randall Linebaugh did not factor in the decision; he left the game with a 2-1 lead after holding
Sevigny's RBI single gave the Bears a 1-0 lead in the first, but
BAYLOR AT THE
This is Baylor's fifth appearance at the Houston College Classic, formerly known as the Astros College Classic and the Minute Maid Park College Classic. Baylor is 7-5 all-time at the event, including a 3-0 mark in 2005. The Bears were 2-1 in 2001, 0-3 with three one-run losses in 2002 and 2-1 in 2003.
A Bear has been named MVP in three of the four events in which Baylor has appeared, even in 2002 when the Bears did not win a game -- C Kelly Shoppach (2001), OF Tim Hartshorn (2002) and OF Michael Griffin (2003) have been so honored.
Baylor is 3-1 against
Date Opponent Result
Feb. 1, 2001 Rice L 0-1 (10)
Feb. 2, 2001
Feb. 3, 2001 TCU W 12-4
Feb. 7, 2002 Rice L 9-10 (12)
Feb. 8, 2002
Feb. 9, 2002 TCU L 5-6
Feb. 14, 2003
Feb. 15, 2003 Rice L 3-4
Feb. 16, 2003 Louisiana-Lafayette W 12-4
Feb. 11, 2005
Feb. 12, 2005
Feb. 13, 2005 Rice W 6-1
BAYLOR IN SEASON OPENERS
The Bears are 7-5 in season openers under head coach Steve Smith, including last year's 9-2 victory over Stephen F. Austin at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears, who have won each of their last two season openers, are 22-15 in such games since 1970.
This is the fourth time Baylor has opened its season at the Houston College Classic. The Bears also opened the season at the event in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
WEGHORST ENTERS 2007 SEASON WITH IMPRESSIVE STREAK
RHP Jake Weghorst ended the 2006 season with a 27.0-inning scoreless streak that spanned 17 outings. That is the longest scoreless streak by a Baylor pitcher since Ryan LaMotta's 27.2-inning streak during the 2005 season.
Weghorst established himself as one of the nation's top setup men in 2006, posting a 1-0 record with a 1.73 ERA in 36.1 innings over 24 appearances. Dominant coming out of the bullpen, Weghorst held first batters to a .095 average (2-for-21) in 23 relief outings with three double plays and two sacrifice hits.
A 2003 Lorena [
BEARS HOPE 2006 MIDWEEK SUCCESS CARRIES OVER
Baylor posted a 13-4 record in non-conference midweek games during the 2006 regular season, including an 11-3 mark on Tuesdays. That was quite an improvement from the 2005 season when the Bears were 7-8 in non-conference midweek games, including a 6-6 mark on Tuesdays.
CASSAVECHIA NAMED TO STOPPER WATCH LIST
RHP Nick Cassavechia was named to the 2007 Stopper of the Year Watch List, announced in early February by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Cassavechia joined
A product of St. Mark's High School in
Cassavechia's 2006 saves total tied for the sixth-best tally in school history. He tied fellow Bear Jeff Mandel for fourth in the Big 12 last season in saves. Cassavechia and Mandel, who moves to the starting rotation for 2007, are the two top returning pitchers in saves in the conference this year.
LINEBAUGH, MILLER HONORED BY BASEBALL
RHP Randall Linebaugh and RF Aaron Miller were honored by Baseball
Linebaugh, a junior from
Miller was a third-team Baseball America High School All-America selection last spring. He hit .581 with 14 home runs, 49 RBI, 11 doubles, two triples and 20 stolen bases while playing first base for Channelview [
SCHEDULE AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
Baylor's 2007 schedule is projected as the nation's 20th-most difficult slate, according to Boyd Nation of BoydsWorld.com. The Bears' schedule is rated as the third-most difficult in the Big 12 behind
Long Beach State's schedule is predicted to be the most difficult, followed by Southern California, UCLA, Stanford, Cal Poly, Pacific, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara and Texas.
BEARS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON BIG 12 COACHES' POLL
Baylor was picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 Conference, according to the preseason coaches' poll released by the league office. The Bears garnered 57 total points, seven behind third-place
Defending regular-season champion
This is the third consecutive season in which Baylor was picked to finish fourth in the preseason coaches' poll. In the 10-year history of the Big 12 Conference, only five schools have claimed regular-season titles: Baylor (2000, 2005);
BAYLOR RANKED NATION'S 17TH-BEST PROGRAM
Baylor was listed as the nation's 17th-best collegiate baseball program since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999, according to a recent study by Baseball
With 150 total points, Baylor was the third highest-rated Big 12 Conference program behind only top-rated
Programs were awarded one point for every .010 above a .500 winning percentage, five points for each regional appearance, seven points for each super regional appearance, 10 points for each College World Series appearance, 20 points for each national title, one point for each CWS appearance prior to 1999, five points for each first-team All-American, three points for each second-team All-American, two points for each third-team All-American, two points for each player drafted in the top 10 rounds and two points for each former player to play in the Major Leagues during the period of study.
With 19 players drafted in the top 10 rounds since 1999, Baylor tied
BAYLOR/ISP SPORTS NETWORK
Catch every inning of Baylor baseball in 2006 on the flagship station for Baylor athletics, 1660 ESPN Radio.
Popular on-air personality Tom Barfield enters his fourth season as the primary play-by-play man for Baylor baseball. Barfield, the operations manager for KRZI/KRZX and KLRK-FM in
Barfield is joined by Lark Smith in the booth. Smith, whose attachment to Baylor baseball dates back to the days of coach Dutch Schroeder, was sports director for the Baylor campus radio station in the late 1970s and served as play-by-play voice for the Bears' 1977 and 1978 College World Series teams. After nearly two decades in broadcasting, Smith now works for the Heart O' Texas Federal Credit Union in
Live audio for all Baylor baseball games also are available online at www.BaylorBears.com.
INSIDE BAYLOR SPORTS
Inside Baylor Sports, a half-hour look at the world of Baylor athletics, airs weekly throughout
HEAD COACH Steve Smith
Steve Smith is in his 13th season as head coach of Baylor's baseball program in 2007. In his first 12 years, Smith guided the program to unprecedented heights, including the most successful nine-year run in the program's 102-season history and a College World Series appearance in 2005.
Smith has compiled a 454-284-1 career record, all at Baylor. He holds the best winning percentage (.615) of any coach in Baylor baseball history, and he ranks second among the program's 18 head coaches in career victories. Smith has led Baylor to eight NCAA Regional appearances, three NCAA Super Regional appearances, one College World Series appearance and two Big 12 Conference titles. He also has coached 12 All-America selections and seven USA Baseball National Team members while at Baylor.
The 2005 USA Baseball National Team head coach, Smith came to Baylor from
A former standout pitcher at Baylor in 1982-1983, Smith led the Southwest Conference with a 1.72 ERA as a junior. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1983 Major League draft by the San Francisco Giants and played four years of pro ball before moving into the coaching ranks.
Smith has tutored seven pitchers in the last 13 years who were selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. He also has coached at least one all-conference pitcher in each of the last 13 years.
UP NEXT ...
Following Tuesday's midweek game at home against