Bears Host Third-Annual QTI Baylor Classic

Feb. 29, 2008

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Stephen F. Austin vs. Illinois-Chicago, 2:00 p.m.

BAYLOR vs. Illinois, 6:30 p.m.



Illinois vs. Stephen F. Austin, 2:00 p.m.

BAYLOR vs. Illinois-Chicago, 6:30 p.m. -- half-price admission with men's basketball ticket stub



Illinois-Chicago vs. Illinois, 11:00 a.m.

BAYLOR vs. Stephen F. Austin, 3:00 p.m. -- Family Sundays (free admission ages 12 and under)



Baylor returns to action this weekend, hosting the third-annual QTI Baylor Classic. The Bears welcome Illinois, Illinois-Chicago and Stephen F. Austin to Baylor Ballpark for the 2008 event. Baylor faces Illinois at 6:30 p.m. CST Friday, Illinois-Chicago at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Stephen F. Austin at 3 p.m. Sunday.

            The Bears (4-0) are ranked 13th nationally by Baseball America. Baylor also is ranked 24th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, 22nd in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 and 24th in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.

            Baylor's opponents this weekend all are unranked. Illinois (2-1) played last weekend at the Al Ogletree Classic in Edinburg, Texas; the Illini defeated Sam Houston State 6-4 and Lamar 1-0 but lost to Texas State 2-1. Illinois-Chicago (0-3) was swept last weekend at Tulane, falling 6-0, 4-3 and 9-2. Stephen F. Austin (3-2) also played last weekend at the Al Ogletree Classic; the Lumberjacks lost to Texas State 8-7 in 10 innings, defeated host Texas-Pan American 9-3 and lost to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 7-6. SFA won a pair of midweek home games, defeating Houston Baptist 9-8 Tuesday and 10-3 Wednesday.

            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 CSTV Network.

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





Baylor:  RHP Kendal Volz, So. (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.0 IP, 2 BB, 10 K)

Illinois:  RHP Scott Shaw, Jr. (0-0, 6.75 ERA, 5.1 IP, 1 BB, 4 K)



Baylor:  RHP Shawn Tolleson, Fr. (0-0, 19.29 ERA, 2.1 IP, 4 BB, 3 K)

Illinois-Chicago:  RHP Derrick Miramontes, Jr. (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 BB, 1 K)



Baylor:  RHP Willie Kempf, So. (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 4 BB, 4 K)

Stephen F. Austin:  RHP Erich Lehmann, Jr. (0-0, 2.70 ERA, 10.0 IP, 1 BB, 12 K)




BAYLOR:          Steve Smith

            Alma Mater:      Baylor, 1986

            Career Record:  494-311-1 [14th season]

            Record at Baylor:          494-311-1 [14th season]


ILLINOIS:          Dan Hartleb

            Alma Mater:      Southern Illinois, 1989

            Career Record:  65-57 [3rd season]

            Record at Illinois:          65-57 [3rd season]



            Alma Mater:      Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1979

            Career Record:  304-204-1 [10th season]

            Record at UIC:  304-204-1 [10th season]


STEPHEN F. AUSTIN:   Donnie Watson

            Alma Mater:      University of Dallas, 1978

            Career Record:  49-71 [3rd season]

            Record at SFA: 49-71 [3rd season]



1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)

            Tom Barfield, play-by-play

            Lark Smith, color









• Since the start of the 2003 season, Baylor is:

            - 144-56 (.720) when its starting pitcher lasts at least 5.0 innings

            - 39-9 (.813) when its pitchers record at least 10 strikeouts

            - 137-40 (.774) when scoring first

            - 158-31 (.836) when out-hitting its opponent

            - 149-39 (.793) when holding its opponent to fewer than five runs

            - 133-28 (.826) when scoring at least six runs

            - 120-19 (.863) when scoring at least seven runs


• Since the start of the 2002 season, Baylor is 187-9 (.954) when leading after eight innings, winning 48 of the last 50, 82 of the last 85 and 117 of the last 121 such games. The Bears are 30-2 when leading after eight innings since the start of the 2007 season.


• Baylor has won 28 of its last 31 games when hitting at least two home runs.


• Baylor is 25-6 in regular-season midweek games since the beginning of the 2006 season. The Bears are 12-2 in such games over the past two seasons.


• Baylor is 15-4 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season.


• Baylor has won four straight home games in which the opponent scores in the first inning. The Bears are 7-2 in such games since the start of last season.




            This is the third year of the QTI Baylor Classic (formerly the Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classic). Louisiana Tech won the first event in 2006, and Mississippi State was the champion last season. No team has ever gone undefeated in the event, and Baylor was 2-1 in each of the first two classics.

            In 2006, Baylor and Louisiana Tech met in the event's finale to determine the champion; the Bulldogs jumped out to an 8-0 lead with a five-run first and a three-run second and never looked back en route to a 12-4 victory. Louisiana Tech finished 2-1, while Michigan and Pacific both finished 1-2. Baylor's Drew Bias, Zach Dillon, Seth Fortenberry, Tim Jackson, Kevin Russo and Cory VanAllen earned all-tournament honors, while Louisiana Tech's Jericho Jones was named MVP.

            Last season, the champion was determined by virtue of the Saturday game between Baylor and Mississippi State. The Bears scored three runs in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead, but MSU recaptured the lead with a three-run seventh and added a run in the ninth for an 8-6 victory. Mississippi State finished 2-1, while San Francisco and Winthrop both finished 1-2. Baylor's Ben Booker, Chase Gerdes, Tim Jackson and Jeff Mandel earned all-tournament honors. Mandel was named Most Outstanding Pitcher, while Mississippi State's Edward Easley was named Most Outstanding Player.



2006                                                                 2007

Louisiana Tech 13, Michigan 7                            Winthrop 7, Mississippi State 6 (10 innings)

BAYLOR 5, Pacific 4                                         BAYLOR 5, San Francisco 1

Pacific 11, Louisiana Tech 9                               San Francisco 7, Winthrop 2

BAYLOR 16, Michigan 0                                    Mississippi State 8, BAYLOR 6

Michigan 13, Pacifi 9                                         Mississippi State 2, San Francisco 1

Louisiana Tech 12, BAYLOR 4                            BAYLOR 5, Winthrop 2 (8 innings, susp. and later called)



            Baylor and Illinois have met just once before -- an 8-7 Illinois victory in 13 innings at the 1998 NCAA South I Regional in Gainesville, Fla., that ended the Bears' season. The Illini won the game on an uneared run.


Overall: 0-1

            Waco:   0-0

            Champaign:      0-0

            Neutral Site:      0-1

Smith vs. Illinois:           0-1

First Meeting:    Illinois 9, Baylor 8 (13) [5/23/1998; NCAA]

Last Meeting:    Illinois 9, Baylor 8 (13) [5/23/1998; NCAA]



            Baylor is 15-4-1 all-time against current Big Ten Conference members. The Bears have faced Minnesota (5-2), Michigan (3-1-1), Northwestern (3-0), Purdue (3-0), Illinois (0-1) and Iowa (1-0).

            Including the loss to Illinois in 1998, much of Baylor's history against the Big Ten has been in postseason play. The Bears dropped a 4-3, 11-inning decision to Minnesota in the 1977 College World Series. Michigan blanked the Bears 4-0 in the opening game of the 1978 College World Series. Baylor got revenge on Minnesota in 1999, topping the Gophers 6-4 and 22-6 to win the NCAA Waco Regional.

            Illinois is the second of two Big Ten opponents on Baylor's 2008 schedule. The Bears swept Purdue at home last weekend.



            Baylor and Illinois-Chicago have never met in baseball competition.


Overall: 0-0

            Waco:   0-0

            Chicago:           0-0

            Neutral Site:      0-0

Smith vs. UIC:   0-0

First Meeting:    Never Met

Last Meeting:    Never Met



            Baylor has never played any of the Horizon League's seven current members -- Butler, Cleveland State, Illinois-Chicago, Milwaukee, Valparaiso, Wright State and Youngstown State -- in baseball competition.



            Baylor and Stephen F. Austin meet for the 25th time this weekend. The Bears have won each of the first 24 meetings, going 20-0 in games played in Waco. Baylor swept three-game series against the Lumberjacks at Baylor Ballpark in each of the last two seasons. The 2006 series was the teams' first meetings since SFA's program was disbanded following the 1995 season.

            The Bears and the Jacks first met March 15, 1948, in Waco; Baylor won that game 17-12 and then defeated SFA 21-1 the following day. The next season, the Bears opened the season with two wins at Nacogdoches, followed by a pair of wins against SFA at home. The teams did not meet again until the Bears swept a three-game series in Waco to open the 1991 season.


Overall: 24-0

            Waco:   20-0

            Nacogdoches:  4-0

            Neutral Site:      0-0

Smith vs. SFA:  8-0

First Meeting:    at Baylor 17, SFA 12 [3/15/1948]

Last Meeting:    at Baylor 10, SFA 2 [2/18/2007]



            Baylor is 285-125-1 all-time against teams current Southland Conference members. The Bears have played more games against Southland schools than any conference other than the Big 12.

            Of the 12 current Southland members, Baylor has faced UT Arlington the most, going 71-28 against the Mavericks. The Bears also have played Lamar (43-28-1), McNeese State (8-7), Nicholls State (7-2), Northwestern State (9-7), Sam Houston State (55-37), Stephen F. Austin (24-0), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-0), Texas State (39-14) and UTSA (25-2). Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana are tne only Southland members Baylor has never played.

            Including Stephen F. Austin, Baylor's 2008 schedule features six Southland schools. The Bears also face Sam Houston State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas State (two games), UT Arlington (two games) and UTSA.



            RHP Kendal Volz was named Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Volz was honored after earning the victory in the Bears' 2-1 victory over Purdue in Friday night's season opener. He held Purdue scoreless on four hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts over 8.0 innings. His strikeout total was the best by a Baylor pitcher in a season opener since 1989.

            A sophomore from Bulverde, Texas, Volz is the 12th Baylor pitcher to earn the weekly honor in the league's 12-year history. He joins Kris Lambert, Jason Jennings (four times), Chad Hawkins, Kyle Evans (twice), Steven White (twice), Jared Theodorakos, Cory VanAllen (three times), Mark McCormick (four times), Abe Woody, Ryan LaMotta and Wade Mackey.

            Volz also was named Midwest Region Top Performer by The site honors five pitchers nationally each week; the weekly award is determined by a vote of 30 Division I coaches. Others honored in the season's first week were Andrew Liebel of Long Beach State (West Region), Frank Turocy of Akron (Great Lakes Region), Lance Lynn of Mississippi (Southeast Region) and Casey Gaynor of Rutgers (Northeast Region).



            Baylor has won eight consecutive home games, dating back to last season. This is Baylor's longest home winning streak since a 14-game stretch over the 2006 and 2007 campaigns. The Bears are 221-82 (.729) all-time at Baylor Ballpark, which celebrates its 10th season this year. Baylor is 54-17 (.761) at home since the start of the 2006 season.



            Baylor was projected as one of eight teams to reach the 2008 College World Series, according to Baseball America and, division of Sports Illustrated. Baseball America listed the Bears in its "Eight for '08" feature at the end of the 2007 season. Sports Illustrated named Baylor to its "Eight in Omaha" list in its 2008 season preview.



            Baylor's 2008 season opener was the Bears' 300th game at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears are 221-82 (.729) at home since the stadium opened in 1999. Baylor Ballpark, which celebrates its 10th season in 2008, has drawn over 800,000 fans in its existence. Baylor is one of only eight Division I schools to average at least 2,700 fans per game each season since 2000. The facility was voted the nation's third-best college baseball stadium in a 2003 Baseball America survey.

            While the season opener was the Bears' 300th game at Baylor Ballpark, the facility already had celebrated its 300th college game. Including the 1999, 2000 and 2005 NCAA Regionals and the 2006 and 2007 Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classics, a total of 16 Division I games that did not involve the Bears have been played at Baylor Ballpark.



            RHP Nick Cassavechia entered the 2008 season with 19 career saves, a total that was tied for second in Baylor history and led all active Big 12 Conference pitchers. Furthermore, Cassavechia ranked sixth nationally in career saves among active players behind only Kelly Heyne (24, Ball State), Joshua Fields (23, Georgia), Joseph Edesn (22, Samford), Daniel Kennedy (21, Georgetown) and Chris Manning (21, Belmont).

            Cassavechia's career total is even more impressive considering he has been Baylor's closer for not even two full seasons. He moved into the closer role during the first week of April in 2006 and has amassed all his saves since that point. He tallied 11 saves as a junior in 2007, tying for fourth in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally. It also tied for the third-best season total in Baylor history. Cassavechia, who had eight saves as a sophomore in 2006, joins Zane Carlson (2000, 2001) as the only Baylor pitchers to record at least eight saves in consecutive seasons.



            Baylor batters tallied 58 triples over the past two seasons. Only Arizona (62) and Charlotte (59) hit more three-baggers in that time. The Bears tied for seventh nationally last season with 26 triples. In 2006, the Bears tied for second nationally with 32 triples.

            Furthermore, Baylor joins Arizona and Texas as the nation's only programs to collect at least 20 triples in each of the past six seasons.

            Baylor's Jon Topolski led the nation with 11 triples in 1998. Seth Fortenberry tied for third nationally with 10 triples in 2006, and Ben Booker tied for 15th nationally last season with seven. Michael Griffin was 25th nationally with 0.12 triples per game in 2003, one year after Mike Huggins was 25th nationally with 0.11 triples per contest.



            Five Baylor games are scheduled for television broadcast this season, including two home games. The Bears will be on CSTV twice:  April 1 at TCU (7 p.m. CT) and April 22 vs. Texas (7 p.m.). Two games will be aired on Fox College Sports:  April 26 vs. Nebraska (6:30 p.m.), May 4 at Texas (1 p.m.). The Bears' May 3 game at Texas will be televised on FSN (2:30 p.m.).

            Since 1988, Baylor has played on television 57 times, including a program-best 12 games in 2005. Over the past 20 years, the Bears are 28-29 in televised games.



            RHP Kendal Volz became the ninth freshman in Baylor history to record at least six victories last season. Furthermore, he is only the third to accomplish the feat during head coach Steve Smith's tenure. Here is a look at how the nine pitchers 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                    1-0                    7-2



            Baylor was picked third in the 2008 Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Bears garnered one first-place vote and 65 total points, six behind second-place Missouri and five ahead of fourth-place Texas A&M.

            This is Baylor's highest preseason pick by the league's coaches since 2004 when the Bears were tabbed second. The Bears have been picked fourth in the preseason poll each of the past three seasons.

            Texas was the coaches' preseason favorite, picking up eight first-place votes and 80 total points; Missouri earned the final first-place vote. Oklahoma State was picked fifth, while Nebraska was slotted sixth. Kansas State and Oklahoma tied for the seventh-place spot; Kansas and Texas Tech rounded out the poll.

            In the 11-year history of the Big 12, only five schools have claimed regular-season titles: Baylor (2000, 2005); Nebraska (2001, 2003, 2005); Texas (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007); Texas A&M (1998, 1999) and Texas Tech (1997).



            Baylor is 15-4 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season, including a 1-0 mark in such games this season. Baylor was 2-1 in extra-inning games last season, 0-1 in 2006, 6-1 in 2005, 1-0 in 2004 and 5-1 in 2003.

            Five of the 15 wins over the past six 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 (two at the Big 12 Tournament, one in the NCAA Regional round 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 during mid-May.



            Five Baylor players garnered preseason accolades from various publications and outlets this year, including two preseason All-America honors.

            RHP Nick Cassavechia was a preseason All-America pick by Ping! Baseball (first team) and by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (third team).

            SS Beamer Weems was a second-team preseason All-America selection by and by Ping! Baseball. He was one of four players honored by Baseball America as "Best Defensive Players," and Weems also was listed as the nation's third-best shortstop by Baseball America also named Weems preseason All-Big 12 and listed him as the league's best defensive shortstop.

            RHP Shawn Tolleson was ranked second nationally on the 2008 Impact Freshmen List. He sat out the 2007 season as a medical redshirt.

            2B Raynor Campbell was named preseason All-Big 12 by Baseball America. The publication also listed him as the league's best defensive third baseman in a survey of the league's coaches (conducted last fall).

            RHP Kendal Volz was named the third-best pro prospect in the Big 12 Conference for the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.



            RHP Nick Cassavechia was named to the 2008 Stopper of the Year Watch List, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced. Cassavechia is one of 40 pitchers -- and one of only four from the Big 12 Conference -- on the initial list for the fourth-annual award given to the nation's top college closer. This is the second consecutive year he has been named to the award's preseason watch list. Other Big 12 pitchers on the watch list are Daniel Edwards (Kansas State), Kyle Gibson (Missouri) and Kyle Thebeau (Texas A&M).



            Baseball America, with assistance from Major League Baseball scouting directors, has compiled a list of the top 50 draft prospects in each class. Six Baylor players are on those lists, including five players from the Bears' heralded 2006 signing class.

            RHP Shawn Tolleson was rated as the 15th-best prospect among freshmen; Tolleson, who missed the 2007 season with a medical redshirt, will be draft eligible in 2009 after his sophomore seasons.

            Four Bears appearend on the sophomore list: RF Aaron Miller (11th), RHP Kendal Volz (14th), 1B Dustin Dickerson (32nd) and 2B Raynor Campbell (50th). Of that group, only Campbell is draft eligible this season as he turns 21 within 45 days of the draft. Miller was an 11th-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2006. Dickerson (15th round, Washington Nationals) and Volz (50th round, Arizona Diamondbacks) also were drafted that year.

            RHP Randall Linebaugh was rated as the 14th-best prospect among seniors. Linebaugh, one of only two three-year lettermen on Baylor's 2008 roster, has never been drafted.



            SS Beamer Weems was named to the 2008 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. He is one of 75 players on the list, which is the first of its kind for the Golden Spikes Award. The list is rolling, which means other players may be added throughout the season.

            The Golden Spikes Award is sponsored by Major League Baseball and administered by USA Baseball. This is the 31st year of the award. Past winners include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994) and Baylor's Jason Jennings (1999). David Price of Vanderbilt was the 2007 Golden Spikes Award winner.



            RHP Nick Cassavechia and SS Beamer Weems were named to the 2008 Brooks Wallace Award Preseason Watch List. Weems also was on the award's preseason watch list last year, while Cassavechia makes his first appearance.

            Dedicated to the memory of late Texas Tech shortstop and assistant coach Brooks Wallace, the award is in its fifth year and is given annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player. Past winners are Kurt Suzuki (catcher, Cal State Fullerton, 2004), Alex Gordon (third baseman, Nebraska, 2005), Brad Lincoln (pitcher/designated hitter, Houston, 2006) and David Price (pitcher, Vanderbilt, 2007).



            Baylor is one of 15 NCAA Division I programs and one of only two from the Big 12 Conference with at least nine NCAA Tournament appearances in the past 10 years. The Bears have made nine tournament appearances in that time (missing only the 2004 event) with three Super Regional appearances and one College World Series appearance.

            Others on the elite list are: Arizona State (9), Cal State Fullerton (10), Clemson (10), Florida State (10), Miami, Fla. (10), Mississippi State (9), North Carolina (9), Oral Roberts (10), Rice (10), South Carolina (9), Stanford (9), Texas (9), Tulane (9) and Wichita State (9). Of that list, only Tulane did not participate in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.



            Baylor received a public recognition award from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program in 2007 for having an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score that ranks among the top 10 percent within their sport. The Bears' most-recent APR score was 983 with an adjusted squad size mark of 992. Baylor was one of 30 Division I programs honored by the NCAA. Head coach Steve Smith's squad was the only of Baylor's 19 varsity teams so honored.



            Baylor hosts Louisiana Tech for a midweek set at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears and the Bulldogs meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CST and Wednesday at 4 p.m.

            Despite being separated by less than 300 miles, the programs have met just three times before with Baylor winning twice. However, Louisiana Tech was victorious in the last meeting, topping the Bears 12-4 in the final game of the 2006 Baylor Classic. The other two meetings were on neutral soil. Baylor defeated Louisiana Tech 7-3 at the 1983 Jody Ramsey Tournament in Edinburg, Texas. Five years earlier, the Bears edged the Bulldogs 3-2 at the Dixie Classic in Shreveport, La.

            The Bears are 25-6 in regular-season midweek contests since the start of the 2006 season, including a 12-2 mark over the past two seasons. In Baylor's 2005 College World Series campaign, the Bears were just 7-8 in regular-season midweek games.

            RHP Wade Mackey is scheduled to start Tuesday's game against Louisiana Tech, while Wednesday's starter has not yet been announced. Mackey earned the win last Tuesday in Baylor's 10-1 victory over Texas Southern; he scattered three hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 5.2 scoreless innings. This will be Mackey's first-ever appearances against Louisiana Tech.



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