Cal Towey is Baylor's returning statistical leader in home runs and RBI.
Baylor at UC Irvine Feb. 15-17, 2013 | Irvine, Calif. | Anteater Ballpark GAME NOTES
FRI. | 8:30 P.M.
Probable Starters: BU - RHP Ryan Smith 2012: 3-1, 3.14 ERA, 28.2 IP, 15 K UCI - RHP Andrew Thurman 2012: 8-3, 2.66 ERA, 98.0 IP, 69 K
SAT. | 3:00 P.M.
Probable Starters: BU - RHP Max Garner 2012: 3-3, 4.89 ERA, 46.0 IP, 43 K UCI - LHP Matt Whitehouse 2012: 0-2, 4.15 ERA, 13.0 IP, 17 K
SUN. | 1:30 P.M.
Probable Starters: BU - RHP Dillon Newman 2012: 4-4, 2.40 ERA, 45.0 IP, 44 K UCI - RHP Evan Brock 2012: 2-1, 2.12 ERA, 34.0 IP, 25 K
IRVINE, Calif. - Baylor baseball begins the 2013 season this weekend by traveling to Irvine, Calif. to face UC Irvine in a three-game series at Anteater Ballpark. The season opener is scheduled for Friday at 8:30 p.m. CT, followed by Saturday's 3 p.m. game and Sunday's series finale at 1:30 p.m.
Both teams are ranked in preseason polls as Baylor's highest ranking is No. 23 in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches' Poll and UC Irvine's highest ranking is No. 30 in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. The Bears won both games against the Anteaters last season at Baylor Ballpark.
Baylor dropped its first game of the day against Lamar, 8-0, but the Bears bounced back in the nightcap to take a 6-1 win against UC Irvine during the second day of the QTI Baylor Classic on Saturday night at Baylor Ballpark.
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco's 1660 ESPN Radio. Tom Barfield provides the play-by-play with Lark Smith adding color commentary. Live streaming audio and GameTracker also are available for all Baylor baseball games online at www.BaylorBears.com, the official website of Baylor Athletics and a member of the CBS College Sports Network.
Dates: February 15-17, 2013
Times: 8:30 p.m. CT | 3 p.m. | 1:30 p.m.
Location: Irvine, Calif.
Stadium: Anteater Ballpark
Radio: Baylor IMG College Sports Network and ESPN/KRZI 1660 AM (Waco)
Talent: Tom Barfield (pxp); Lark Smith (color)
Overall: Baylor leads 6-3
Waco: Tied 3-3
Irvine: Baylor leads 3-0
Neutral Site: Never Met
Smith vs. UCI: 6-3
First Meeting: 2/28/2003
Last Meeting: 3/3/2012
UC IRVINE ANTEATERS
2012 Record: 31-25
2012 Big West Record: 13-11 (4th)
Head Coach: Mike Gillespie
Career Record: 963-568-2 (26th season)
Record at UCI: 200-97 (6th season)
RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS
AVG: Connor Spencer (.306)
2B: Jeff Stephens (8)
HR: Taylor Sparks (3)
RBI: Connor Spencer (30)
SB: Scott Gottschling (2-2)
- Baylor is ranked 23rd in USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches' Poll and 27th in NCBWA Preseason Poll.
- Baylor was picked 4th in the Big 12 Preseason Poll behind Oklahoma, TCU and Texas.
- Baylor is 11-7 in season openers under Smith, including wins in 4 of the last 5.
- BU returns 20 letterwinners from 2012 team that played in its 4th Super Regional (1999, 2003, 2005, 2012).
- Smith was named 2012 Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the ABCA for the 1st time and was named 2012 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year for the 5th time.
- Baylor is one of only 14 schools in the nation with at least 13 regional appearances since 1998.
- Baylor had four 2012 players named All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball, the most ever by a Big 12 team. Josh Turley was named to the 2nd team, while Trent Blank, Josh Ludy and Logan Vick earned third-team honors.
- BU (128) broke Texas' (123 in 2003-04) national record for most wins among "Big Four" sports in 2011-12.
- Baylor had 6 players selected in the 2012 MLB Draft, including all 3 weekend starting pitchers in 2012.
- Three players on Baylor's roster have been selected in previous MLB Drafts.
- Baylor's 2013 schedule is rated the 34th-toughest nationally (No. 1 in Big 12) by Boyd's World.
- BU's 2013 non-conference schedule is rated the 13th-toughest nationally (No. 1 in Big 12) by Boyd's World.
- Baylor plays 17 games against NCAA Tournament teams from 2012 this season.
- Baylor is 16-19 all-time against teams currently playing as members of the Big West Conference.
- BU clinched the regular season Big 12 Championship on May 5, 2012, earliest by any team in league history.
- BU finished with 2nd-best Big 12 Conference winning percentage by any team in league history (.833) in 2012.
- Baylor's Big 12 title was its third overall (2000, 2005, 2012). The Bears also won the league outright in 2000.
- Baylor's outright Big 12 title was its second outright conference championship in the last 89 years.
- Baylor won 7 of 8 Big 12 series last season, including its first series win vs. Texas since 2005.
- Baylor finished the 2012 season ranked No. 9 or 10 in all four national college baseball polls, marking the 3rd time in program history that BU has finished in the top 10.
- The 2012 Bears were No. 1 for two weeks in the Collegiate Baseball poll -- Baylor's first-ever No. 1 ranking.
- Baylor's school-record 24-game winning streak (3/16--4/22) was the 2nd-longest streak in Division I last season.
- Baylor's 49 wins are the 2nd-most in school history and one shy of the school record (50 in 1999).
- Head coach Steve Smith broke Baylor's all-time wins record with his 650th career victory on April 17, 2012.
- Senior RHP Max Garner was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (2012 STATISTICS)
Baylor: RHP Ryan Smith, So. (3-1, 3.14 ERA)
UC Irvine: RHP Andrew Thurman, Jr. (8-3, 2.66 ERA)
Baylor: RHP Max Garner, Sr. (3-3, 4.89 ERA)
UC Irvine: LHP Matt Whitehouse, Jr. (0-2, 4.15 ERA)
Baylor: RHP Dillon Newman, Jr. (4-4, 2.40 ERA)
UC Irvine: RHP Evan Brock, Jr. (2-1, 2.12 ERA)
BAYLOR VS. UC IRVINE SERIES HISTORY
Baylor is 6-3 all-time against UC Irvine, and the Bears are 3-0 in games played in Irvine. Baylor took both games last year at Baylor Ballpark to even the series in Waco to 3-3 after UC Irvine swept a three-game series against the Bears in 2004 at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears knocked off fifth-ranked UCI, 4-3, in the second game of the 2009 QTI Baylor Classic. Baylor swept a three-game series in Irvine as part of an 11-game winning streak in 2003.
BAYLOR VS. BIG WEST CONFERENCE
Baylor is 16-19 all-time against teams currently playing as members of the Big West Conference. The Bears have played against UC Irvine (6-3), Cal State Fullerton (2-4), Long Beach State (5-10) and Pacific (3-2).
BAYLOR RANKED IN TOP 30 IN TWO PRESEASON POLLS
Baylor enters the season ranked 23rd in USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches' Poll and 27th in NCBWA Preseason Poll. Four Big 12 teams are ranked in at least one of the four national preseason polls. League newcomer TCU is ranked as high as No. 12 (USA Today Coaches' Poll) while Oklahoma's highest spot is No. 14 (Collegiate Baseball). Baylor is also ranked with a No. 23 spot on the USA Today list while Texas is ranked No. 21 by Collegiate Baseball. The USA Today Coaches' Poll has five league teams ranked or receiving votes - TCU (No. 12), Oklahoma (No. 16), Baylor (No. 23), and Oklahoma State and Texas receiving votes.
BAYLOR'S SCHEDULE RANKS AMONG TOUGHEST
Baylor's 2013 schedule is rated the 34th-toughest nationally (No. 1 in Big 12) by Boyd's World. The Bears' non-conference schedule is rated the 13th-toughest nationally (No. 1 in Big 12), and overall, BU plays 17 games against NCAA Tournament teams from 2012 this season.
BEARS IN SEASON OPENERS
Baylor is 11-7 in season openers under head coach Steve Smith, including wins in four of the last five seasons (Purdue in 2008, Pacific in 2009, Duke in 2010 and Oral Roberts in 2012). The Bears are 6-3 in their last nine season openers after dropping four straight from 2001 to 2004. Baylor is 3-4 when opening the season away from Baylor Ballpark in Smith's 18-year tenure.
GARNER NAMED TO NCBWA STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Baylor senior RHP Max Garner was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List on Feb. 7. Garner is one of 75 players on the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Garner earned 2012 first-team All-Big 12 honors from league's coaches as relief pitcher after leading the Big 12 with 10 saves, despite not recording first save until team's 30th game of season. His 10 saves tied for seventh-most saves in a single season in Baylor history. Garner is the fifth pitcher in program history to lead team in saves outright in two consecutive seasons and the first Baylor pitcher to ever lead a conference in saves outright.