RHP Logan Verrett leads the Big 12 in wins; he ranks third in ERA and fourth in opponents' batting average.
March 10, 2009
MARCH 11 6:05 P.M. CDT UFCU DISCH-FALK FIELD AUSTIN, TEXAS
No. 5 BAYLOR (10-2) at No. 1 TEXAS (12-1)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
Baylor: LHP Aaron Miller, Jr. (1-0, 3.48 ERA, 10.1 IP, 8 BB, 8 K, .194 OBA)
Texas: RHP Austin Dicharry, Fr. (0-0, 1.74 ERA, 10.1 IP, 4 BB, 9 K, .205 OBA)
Overall: Texas leads 224-98-4
Waco: Texas leads 88-55-3
Austin: Texas leads 129-32-1
Neutral Site: Baylor leads 11-7
Smith vs. Texas: 26-28
First Meeting: Texas 13, Baylor 1 [4/4/1903]
Last Meeting: at Texas 2, Baylor 0 [5/4/2008]
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 532-339-1 [15th season]
Record at Baylor: 532-339-1 [15th season]
TEXAS: Augie Garrido
Alma Mater: Fresno State, 1961
Career Record: 1,680-778-8 [41st season]
Record at Texas: 529-254-1 [13th season]
BAYLOR-ISP SPORTS NETWORK
1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)
Tom Barfield, play-by-play
Lark Smith, color
Baylor returns to action Wednesday, traveling to Austin, Texas, for a non-conference game against Texas. First pitch between the Bears and Longhorns is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CDT at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on the UT campus. This is the second consecutive season in which Baylor and Texas have played a regular-season, non-conference midweek game.
The Bears (10-2) have won four straight and nine of their last 10 after defeating South Alabama, then-No. 5 UC Irvine and UAB in last weekend's QTI Baylor Classic. Baylor is ranked fifth nationally in this week's Baseball America Top 25 and 11th in this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. The Bears also are ranked 13th in the NCBWA Top 30 and 13th in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.
Texas (12-1) won two of three at Stanford last weekend. The Horns are ranked first nationally in this week's Baseball America Top 25 and third in this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. Texas also is ranked third in the NCBWA Top 30 and fourth in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.
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 www.BaylorBears.com, the official website of Baylor Athletics and a member of the CBS College Sports Network.
Live streaming video also is available for the Baylor-Texas game at www.TexasSports.com.
BAYLOR-TEXAS SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and Texas meet for the 327th time Wednesday; this the most-played series in Baylor baseball history. The Longhorns hold a 224-98-4 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to an 11-1 Texas victory April 4, 1903.
Texas leads the series both in games played in Waco (88-55-3) and at Austin (129-32-1). However, the Bears hold an 11-7 advantage in neutral-site meetings. Baylor is 26-28 against Texas during head coach Steve Smith's tenure.
Baylor is 21-25 against Texas since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997, but the series is tied 18-18 in regular-season Big 12 meetings during that time. The Bears are 3-6 against the Longhorns in postseason meetings and 0-1 in regular-season, non-conference meetings since 1997.
Baylor and Texas have met 17 times since the start of the 2005 season; neither team has played any other team more times in that span. The Bears won the first four of those meetings, sweeping the 2005 regular-season series and eliminating the Longhorns from the Big 12 Championship. However, Texas won the next 11 meetings; the Bears snapped that streak with a 6-1 victory at Austin the second game of last year's series.
Seven of the last 13 regular-season meetings between Baylor and Texas have been decided by two runs or less, including five one-run game.
TEXAS 2, BAYLOR 0 MAY 4, 2008 UFCU DISCH-FALK FIELD AUSTIN, TEXAS
Texas posted solo spots in the second and third innings, and two Longhorn pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as Texas edged Baylor 2-0 in last year's series finale.
Russell Moldenhauer walked to open the second and reached second when Baylor starter Craig Fritsch mishandled a bunt. Brandon Belt followed with an RBI single through the right side. Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch to lead off the third, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on Moldenhauer's two-out double past a diving Ben Booker down the left-field line.
That was all the offense on the day as both pitching staffs kept the bats at bay the rest of the way. Texas starter Kenn Kasparek tossed 8.0 scoreless innings on three hits, a walk and a hit batsman with nine strikeouts for the win. Cole Green gave up a one-out single to Adam Hornung in the ninth but escaped unscathed for the save.
Fritsch took the loss, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman with four strikeouts over 5.0 innings. Mace Thurman and Willie Kempf closed out the game, each allowing one hit with three strikeouts and two strikeouts, respectively.
Baylor managed only six base runners on the game, all reaching with at least one out. Raynor Campbell and Booker had back-to-back two-out singles in the second, but Jordan Danks raced down Gregg Glime's Texas Leaguer in right-center to end the inning. The Bears did not get another hit until Shaver Hansen's two-out double in the eighth.
Texas left the bases loaded in the second and seventh innings and stranded seven runners in scoring position. Paul Miles ran down a bases-loaded, full-count liner off the bat of pinch hitter Tant Shepherd with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, saving at least two runs.
Baylor is in the middle of a 10-game stretch with eight games against Top 25 opponents.
Wednesday's game is Baylor's first against a top-ranked team since May 15, 2007. The Bears are 9-18 all-time against top-ranked opponents.
Wednesday's game is Baylor's first as a top-five team against another top-five team since four such games at the 2005 College World Series. This is the first regular-season game involving a top-five Baylor team and a top-five opponent in Baylor's history.
Baylor has four last-at-bat victories this season after only two such wins last year.
Baylor has two extra-inning victories this season after only one such win last year.
Baylor is 6-1 in one-run games.
Baylor ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference in batting (.298), fifth in pitching (3.55) and eighth in fielding (.963) through games of March 9.
Opposing batters are hitting .143 (17-for-119) against Baylor pitchers with two outs.
Baylor has thrown out 42.9 percent (9-of-21) would-be base stealers this season. That percentage ranks second in the Big 12 behind only Oklahoma (61.9, 13-of-21).
SS Joey Hainsfurther ranks third in the Big 12 in batting (.486), ninth in slugging percentage (.649) and third in on base percentage (.565). He leads all Big 12 freshmen in each of the three categories.
1B Dustin Dickerson ranks 11th in the league in batting (.396); he is tied for fifth in hits (19).
LF Adam Hornung is tied for sixth in the Big 12 in home runs (3), tied for fourth in doubles (5), tied for sixth in triples (1) and ranks fourth in slugging percentage (.800).
RF Aaron Miller is tied for sixth in the Big 12 in home runs (3); he ranks sixth in walks (12) and fourth in on base percentage (.549). ... Miller currently is riding a career-long, eight-game hitting streak; he is 10-for-23 in that time. ... Miller has reached safely in all 12 games this season. He also has walked at least once in nine of this season's 12 games.
RHP Logan Verrett leads the Big 12 in wins (4); he is third in ERA (0.71), tied for ninth in saves (1) and fourth in opponents' batting average (.146). He leads all Big 12 freshmen in wins, ERA and opponents' batting average.
RHP Kendal Volz ranks 14th in the league in ERA (1.86), tied for seventh in innings (19.1) and ninth in opponents' batting average (.164).
BAYLOR vs. RANKED OPPONENTS
Baylor is 156-233-1 against ranked opponents since the start of the Baseball America rankings in 1981. The Bears are 3-1 against ranked teams this year with wins against UCLA (ninth), TCU (13th) and UC Irvine (fifth), and a loss to Rice (10th).
The Bears are 76-121 all-time against top-10 teams and 36-64 all-time against top-five opponents. For more information on Baylor's history against nationally ranked opponents, reference page 141 in the 2009 Baylor Baseball Media Guide.
BAYLOR vs. TOP-RANKED OPPONENTS
Wednesday's game against No. 1 Texas is Baylor's first against a top-ranked opponent since a 13-0 loss May 15, 2007, at Rice. Baylor is 9-18 all-time against No. 1 teams and have lost four consecutive such games -- all against Rice. The Bears were 4-0 against No. 1 teams in 2005.
In 1993, Baylor played top-ranked Texas one weekend and top-ranked Texas A&M the following weekend. The Bears won two of three games in the Texas series and one of three games in the Texas A&M series.
Of Baylor's 27 all-time games against No. 1 teams, 15 were against Texas (all conference series games). The Bears were 7-8 in those games. However, Baylor has won the last three and four of the last five such games. The Bears first faced a top-ranked Texas team in 1983, losing all three games of the series. Here is a look at past Baylor games against top-ranked Texas teams:
1983 Texas 9, at Baylor 2
Texas 8, at Baylor 0
Texas 7, at Baylor 2
1987 at Baylor 15, Texas 3
Texas 4, at Baylor 3
Texas 5, at Baylor 3
1993 at Texas 2, Baylor 1
at Baylor 7, Texas 4
at Baylor 8, Texas 6
2004 Texas 7, at Baylor
Baylor 5, at Texas 4 (10 innings)
at Texas 11, Baylor 1
2005 Baylor 3, at Texas 2
at Baylor 9, Texas 1
at Baylor 4, Texas 3
BAYLOR CRACKS BASEBALL AMERICA TOP FIVE
Baylor moved up one spot to No. 5 in this week's Baseball America Top 25. This is Baylor's first regular-season top-five ranking since being ranked third during the final week of the 2000 regular season. Three Big 12 teams are ranked in this week's top five, and the Bears face each of the other two this week. Texas moved into the No. 1 spot, while Texas A&M also climbed one spot to No. 3.
MILLER NAMED BIG 12 CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
RF/LHP Aaron Miller was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Miller was so honored for the first time in his career. He is the first Bear to earn the league's player of the week honor since Ben Booker did so the first week of April last season. Oklahoma's Ryan Duke was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
Miller, a junior from Channelview, Texas, excelled both on the mound and at the plate last week, guiding the Bears to a 4-0 record that included victories over 13th-ranked TCU and fifth-ranked UC Irvine. The southpaw earned the victory with 5.0 shutout innings in the Bears' 2-1 victory Wednesday at TCU.
At the plate, Miller was 5-for-12 with two homers, eight RBI, six runs scored and four walks. He hit safely in all four games during the week, extending his hitting streak to a career-long eight games.
Miller was named Most Outstanding Player honors at the QTI Baylor Classic for the second consecutive year, going 4-for-8 in the three-game event. He was 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored Friday against South Alabama. Miller capped the weekend by going 1-for-2 with three walks Sunday against UAB; his one hit was the first grand slam of his career and tied the game at 8-8 in the seventh, keying the Bears' biggest comeback since 2005.
This marks the fourth consecutive year in which at least one Bear has earned player of the week honors. Miller is the 15th Baylor player so honored in the league's 13-year history, joining Mike Huggins (three times), Jon Topolski (twice), Charley Carter (twice), Chris Durbin (twice), Josh Ford (twice), Jaime Bubela, Matt Williams, Ross Bennett, Tim Hartshorn, Michael Griffin, Paul Witt, Chase Gerdes, Beamer Weems and Booker.
BAYLOR PITCHERS STINGY WITH TWO OUTS
Baylor pitchers held opposing batters to a .120 average (10-for-83) with two outs this season. Five Baylor pitchers have faced at least 10 two-out at bats each this year, and none of the five has allowed more than two hits. RHP Logan Verrett has been the stingiest, holding opponents to an 0-for-11 clip with two outs.
Baylor is 17-7 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season. After limping to a 1-3 record last season, the Bears already are 2-0 in extra frames this year. The Bears' 10-inning, 2-1 victory over Pacific in the 2009 season opener snapped a three-game losing streak in such games.
Five of the 17 wins over the past six-plus 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.
VOLZ, MILLER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA
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.
BIG 12 COACHES PICK BAYLOR THIRD
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.
VOLZ NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST
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 www.goldenspikesaward.com.
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 SCHEDULE USUALLY AMONG NATION'S BEST
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 BoydsWorld.com, 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).
TOLLESON LOOKS TO BUILD ON FRESHMAN SUCCESS
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.
THREE BAYLOR GAMES SLATED FOR TELEVISION
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.
FIVE BEARS ON BASEBALL AMERICA'S PRESEASON DRAFT LISTS
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).
MILLER, VOLZ NAMED TO WALLACE WATCH LIST
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 returns to action this weekend with the annual split-series against Texas A&M. The series opens Friday at Baylor Ballpark with a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch. The series then shifts to Olsen Field in College Station for games Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. This is the first Big 12 series for both teams.