No. 8 Bears Host Pacific

Feb. 18, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader



No. 8 BAYLOR (0-0) vs. PACIFIC (0-0)

FRIDAY:  6:30 p.m. CST — free schedule posters to first 500 fans

SATURDAY:  3:00 p.m. CST — free Baylor baseball T-shirts to first 500 fans

SUNDAY:  Noon CST —Kids’ Day at the Ballpark (free admission ages 12 and under)




Overall:  Tied 1-1

                Waco:     Baylor leads 1-0

                Stockton:                Pacific leads 1-0

                Neutral Site:            Never Met

Smith vs. Pacific:  1-1

First Meeting:        at Baylor 5, Pacific 4 [3/10/2006]

Last Meeting:        at Pacific 3, Baylor 1 [3/3/2007]




BAYLOR:                Steve Smith

                Alma Mater:            Baylor, 1986

                Career Record:      522-337-1 [15th season]

                Record at Baylor:  522-337-1 [15th season]

PACIFIC: Ed Sprague

                Alma Mater:            Stanford, 1988

                Career Record:      110-171 [6th season]

                Record at Pacific:  110-171 [6th season]




1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)

                Tom Barfield, play-by-play

                Lark Smith, color











Baylor:  RHP Kendal Volz, Jr. (3-6, 4.20 ERA, 70.2 IP, 28 BB, 85 K)

Pacific:  LHP Centanni Joey, Sr. (0-4, 4.97 ERA, 41.2 IP, 13 BB, 12 K)



Baylor:  RHP Shawn Tolleson, So. (6-4, 5.06 ERA, 78.1 IP, 35 BB, 63 K)

Pacific:  RHP Cole Akins, Sr. (1-5, 6.75 ERA, 49.1 IP, 14 BB, 33 K)



Baylor:  RHP Craig Fritsch, So. (3-4, 4.80 ERA, 54.1 IP, 21 BB, 49 K)

Pacific:  RHP Hunter Carnevale, Jr. (2-4, 7.91 ERA, 38.2 IP, 25 BB, 19 K)



Baylor opens its 2009 season this weekend, hosting University of the Pacific for a three-game series at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears and Tigers meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. CST, Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at noon. This is the first-ever series between the two programs. Each hosted the other for regular-season tournaments with Baylor winning at home in 2006 and Pacific returning the favor at Stockton, Calif., the following season.

                The Bears (32-26 in 2008) enter the season ranked eighth nationally by Baseball America. It is the highest preseason ranking in the program’s history. Baylor also is ranked 17th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll, 19th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 35 and 15th in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30. The Bears open the season as the highest ranked team in all four polls that did not participate in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

                Pacific (14-41 in 2008) is not ranked in any of the four preseason polls. The Tigers return 20 letterwinners, including seven position starters and 11 pitchers. Purdue finished ninth in the Big West Conference last season with a 5-19 league mark.

                All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco’s 1660 ESPN Radio. Live streaming audio and GameTracker also are available for all Baylor baseball games online at, the official website of Baylor Athletics and a member of the CBS College Sports Network.

                Live streaming video also is available for the Pacific series. For more information, follow the Baylor All-Access link at




                Baylor hosted Pacific for the 2006 Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classic along with Louisiana Tech and Michigan. The Bears and Tigers met in the Friday night game; it was a classic, which the Bears won 5-4.

                Seth Fortenberry’s home run over the batter’s eye gave the Bears a 2-0 lead in the second. After the team’s traded single spots, Pacific scored three unearned runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. That is how the score remained until the bottom of the ninth when Baylor rallied for two runs and the win. After Matt Czimskey’s pinch-hit leadoff single, Cliff Springston drew chalk with a pinch-hit, check-swing double down the leftfield line. Beamer Weems then plated Czimskey with a sacrifice fly, and Zach Dillon followed with a game-winning, RBI single.

                Nick Cassavechia earned the victory in relief, allowing a walk and two hits with one strikeout over 2.2 scoreless innings. Starter Ryan LaMotta was touched for four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts over 6.1 innings. Pacific reliever Curtis Pasma took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits with one strikeout over 1.2 innings.

                The teams met again the following season at Stockton, Calif., in the Pacific State Bank Tiger Classic, which also featured San Francisco and San Diego State. In the Saturday afternoon game, Pacific clipped Baylor 3-1 behind the arm of David Rowse, who allowed one unearned run on three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts over 8.0 innings.

                Jake Wild struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect ninth for the save. Kurt Wideman’s seventh-inning solo homer snapped a 1-1 tie, and Joey Centanni’s RBI single later in the frame capped the scoring.

                Baylor starter Jeff Mandel took the loss, allowing all three runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 6.2 innings.




                Baylor is 11-18 all-time against the Big West Conference, most of which was against Long Beach State (5-10). The Bears are 3-3 against UC Irvine, which visits Waco for the QTI Baylor Classic in two weeks. Baylor is 2-4 against Cal State Fullerton and 1-1 against Pacific.




                Baylor is 8-6 in season openers under head coach Steve Smith, including last year’s 2-1 victory over Purdue. The Bears, who are 3-2 in their last five season openers after dropping four straight from 2001 to 2004, are 23-16 in such games since 1970.

                This is the ninth time in Smith’s 15-year tenure that Baylor has opened its season at home; the Bears are 6-2 in such situations.




                The Bears are 10-4 in home openers under head coach Steve Smith. Baylor has won three straight such games. Since 1960, Baylor is 37-12 in home openers. The Bears won nine consecutive home openers from 1991 to 1998.




                RHP Kendal Volz and OF/LHP Aaron Miller were named preseason All-America by Baseball America. Volz was one of four pitchers named first team, while Miller was a third-team selection as a utility player (position and pitcher). The Baseball America preseason All-America teams are determined by a vote of Major League Baseball scouting directors.

                Volz was 3-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 12 starts last season. He led the Big 12 and ranked 18th nationally with 10.83 strikeouts per nine innings, a Baylor single-season record. However, Volz made his biggest waves last summer as the USA Baseball National Team’s closer. He posted a 0.00 ERA and converted all eight save opportunities, guiding the National Team to a 24-0 record.

                Miller hit .295 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI last season. He led the Bears in home runs, doubles (18), extra-base hits (31), slugging percentage (.562), walks (34) and on base percentage (.425). He saw limited action on the mound in 2008, going 1-1 with a 14.40 ERA over 5.0 innings. However, he expected to pitch more this season.

                Volz and Miller are the sixth and seventh Baylor players to earn Baseball America preseason honors; Volz is the program’s second first-team selection. Previous Baylor players so honored were Kip Wells (1998, second team), Jeremy Dodson (1998, third team), Steven White (2002, third team), Michael Griffin (2004, third team) and Mark McCormick (2004, second team; 2005, first team). Baseball America began selecting preseason All-America teams in 1982.

                Volz and Missouri right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson were the only first-team selections from the Big 12 Conference. Other Big 12 honorees were catcher Trevor Coleman (Missouri, second team), left-handed pitcher Andrew Oliver (Oklahoma State, second team) and Miller.




                Baylor was slotted in a third-place tie in the 2009 Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Bears (32-26, 11-16 in 2008) earned 59 points along with Oklahoma State. This marks the second consecutive year in which the league’s coaches picked Baylor to finish third.

                Defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M was a unanimous choice to defend its title. The Aggies received nine of 10 first-place votes; coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams. Texas, which garnered the other first-place vote, was picked to finish second with 69 total points. Missouri was picked fifth, followed by Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Kansas.

                This marks the first time since 2001 (Nebraska) that a team other than Texas was picked to win the Big 12 by the league’s coaches. Baylor has been picked to finish fourth or better each year since 1999. This is the sixth time the Bears have been picked to finish third or better.




                RHP Kendal Volz was among 50 players named to the initial watch list for the 2009 Golden Spikes Award announced Wednesday by USA Baseball. The Golden Spikes Award, in its 32nd year, is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player.

                Volz was one of five Big 12 Conference players on the list, joining fellow 2008 National Team pitching staff mates Tyler Lyons and Andrew Oliver of Oklahoma State and Kyle Gibson of Missouri. Texas A&M first baseman Luke Anders also was on the list. Additional players may be added to the list throughout the year at USA Baseball’s discretion.

                USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list to 30 names May 26. That list will be sent to a voting panel consisting of professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball press officers and current USA Baseball staff. For the second consecutive year, fan voting will count toward the final total; that will be available May 26 at

                Five finalists will be announced June 2 with voting for the winner beginning that day. The 2009 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented July 15 during an award show in conjunction with the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star weekend festivities in St. Louis.

                Volz is the first Baylor pitcher to appear on the award’s initial watch list since Chad Hawkins in 2000. Other Baylor players named to the award’s initial watch list in past seasons include Beamer Weems (2008), Jason Jennings (1999) and Marty Crawford (1996).




                Baylor’s strength of schedule has ranked among the nation’s best routinely over the past decade, including top-10 rankings at season’s end each year from 2002 to 2005. The Bears’ strength of schedule ranked in the nation’s top 30 each year from 1997 to 2007 before dipping to 36th last year.

                According to, Baylor’s 2009 intended strength of schedule ranks 28th nationally. That ranks second in the Big 12 Conference behind only Oklahoma (25th) and just ahead of Texas A&M (31st).

                Recruiting Closer recently researched teams from the Big 12, the ACC, the SEC and the Pac-10 to see which programs play the most non-conference games against teams from one of the other three conferences. Over the past four seasons, Baylor has played 22 non-conference games against teams from the other three conferences (includes postseason play). That ranks 11th nationally and second in the Big 12 behind only Texas (31, seventh).

                Furthermore, Baylor’s .682 winning percentage in those games (15-7) ranks third nationally among teams with at least 10 such games in that time. Southern California (.818, 9-2) ranked first, followed by Texas A&M (.778, 14-4).




                RHP Shawn Tolleson became the 10th freshman in Baylor history to record at least six victories last season, going 6-4. Furthermore, he was only the fourth to accomplish the feat during head coach Steve Smith’s tenure, joining Ryan LaMotta (2003), Abe Woody (2003) and Kendal Volz (2007). Tolleson hopes to avoid the sophomore jinx that snagged Volz last season. Only one of the previous nine Baylor pitchers who won at least six games as a freshman — Ted Richardson — won at least that many as sophomores. Here is a look at how the others fared as sophomores and in their careers:


                PLAYER                                 YEARS                    FRESHMAN           SOPHOMORE        CAREER

                Ricky Fox                               1971-1974               6-4                           3-5                           19-17

                Mike Roberts                          1976-1979               6-2                           3-1                           20-6

                Andy Beene                           1976-1979               8-1                           0-0                           15-5

                Ted Richardson                    1985-1988               7-0                           9-6                           21-8

                Bruce Aguilar                         1986-1989               6-3                           2-1                           21-13

                Aaron Lineweaver                 1993-1995               9-5                           4-6                           16-18

                Ryan LaMotta                         2003-2006               7-3                           2-5                           21-16

                Abe Woody                            2003-2005               6-0                           5-1                           21-4

                Kendal Volz                            2007-present          6-2                           3-6                           9-8




                Two Baylor baseball games have been selected for national broadcast on FSN. Baylor’s Saturday, April 18, game at Oklahoma State and the Bears’ Saturday, April 25, game at home against Oklahoma both will be broadcast live on FSN.

                Start times for both games have been affected due to the broadcast. First pitch for both games will be at 1 p.m. CT.

                Since 1988, Baylor has played 62 televised games, including five games last season. Baylor has played 31 televised games since 2005 when the Bears played a program-best 12 games on television.




                Baylor is 15-7 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season, despite a 1-3 mark in such games last season. The Bears open the 2009 season having lost three straight extra-inning games. Baylor was 0-1 in extra-inning games in 2006, 6-1 in 2005, 1-0 in 2004 and 5-1 in 2003.

                Five of the 15 wins over the past five seasons have come on an opponent’s home field (Arizona twice, Arizona State, Texas and Vanderbilt). Three of the 15 wins were either neutral-site games or games at Baylor Ballpark in which the Bears were the visitor. Four of the 15 wins have come in postseason play, including two at the Big 12 Tournament and one at the College World Series.

                Baylor’s luck was not as good in 2002 when the Bears were 1-5 in extra-inning games, including a span of three consecutive games lost in extra innings in mid-May.




                Five Baylor baseball student-athletes were listed on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects ranking for the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The list is specific to college players and focuses only on players who will be eligible to be drafted next June. Baylor had more players on the list than any other school.

                RHP Kendal Volz was ranked as the nation’s sixth-best prospect, while RHP Shawn Tolleson and RHP Craig Fritsch were 22nd and 37th, respectively. OF/LHP Aaron Miller was the 62nd-rated prospect, and 1B Dustin Dickerson was 71st.

                Only two schools — Baylor (5) and Georgia (4) — had more than three players on the list. Ten schools had three players listed, including Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M from the Big 12 Conference.

                In all, 16 players from Baylor’s roster will be eligible in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The program record for most players drafted in one year is nine (2005).




                OF/LHP Aaron Miller and RHP Kendal Volz were named to the initial watch list for the 2009 Brooks Wallace Award, presented annually to the top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. This is the award’s sixth year.

                The Wallace Award is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace, who died of cancer at age 27 in 1985. Wallace played at Tech from 1977 to 1980 and spent two years in the Texas Rangers’ organization.

                Past winners of the Wallace Award are Kurt Suzuki (catcher, Call State Fullerton, 2004), Alex Gordon (third baseman, Nebraska, 2005), Brad Lincoln (pitcher/designated hitter, Houston, 2006), David Price (pitcher, Vanderbilt, 2007) and Buster Posey (catcher, Florida State, 2008).




                Baylor plays two midweek games next week, including a rare Monday game. The Bears host BYU at 6:30 p.m. CST Monday and Houston Baptist at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. This is one of five two-game midweeks for the Bears this season. Baylor also plays two midweek games each week for four consecutive weeks from mid-March through early April.



                Baylor and BYU have never met.



                Baylor is 140-107 all-time against programs currently in the Mountain West Conference. The vast majority of that was against TCU (133-105). Baylor also has played Air Force (2-0) and San Diego State (5-2).



                Baylor and Houston Baptist have met two times with each team winning once; both games were played in Waco. HBU defeated the Bears 10-6 in 1994. It was the final loss of a nine-game losing streak for the Bears. Baylor has not suffered a skid of that length since. In fact, the Bears have endured only three losing streaks of six or more games in that time, losing six straight twice in 1995 and seven straight in 2002.

                Baylor evened the series with a 12-4 victory last season. Aaron Miller was 3-for-5 with a pair of two-run homers, including one that capped a four-run first inning. Craig Fritsch made his first career start in the game, but Tim Matthews earned the victory in relief with 3.2 scoreless innings.



                Baylor is 40-21 all-time against current NCAA Division I Independents. In addition to their two games against Houston Baptist, the Bears are 39-20 all-time against Dallas Baptist.



                Baylor is 40-21 all-time against current NCAA Division I Independents. In addition to their two games against Houston Baptist, the Bears are 39-20 all-time against Dallas Baptist.




Online Store