|Baylor (8-6) vs. Illinois-Chicago (2-8)
Waco, Texas | Baylor Ballpark (5,000)
SATURDAY, MARCH 13 | 3 P.M.
Watch | Listen
BU - RHP Logan Verrett
1-2, 4.29 ERA, 21.0 IP, 4 BB, 23 K
UIC - LHP Michael Heesch
1-1, 4.11 ERA, 15.1 IP, 2 BB, 9 K
|SUNDAY, MARCH 14 | 12 P.M.
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BU - RHP Willie Kempf
2-1, 4.60 ERA, 15.2 IP, 7 BB, 15 K
UIC - LHP Chris Kovacevich
0-3, 8.82 ERA, 16.1 IP, 8 BB, 9 K
Baylor looks to continue its four-game winning streak when it takes on Illinois-Chicago for a three-game set this weekend. The Bears and Flames meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday for the series finale.
Illinois-Chicago enters the weekend with a 2-8 record. The Flames knocked off Western Kentucky in their last game, avoiding a sweep in their three-game series last weekend. UIC, which has not played a midweek game all season, was swept at Alabama the previous weekend. The Flames started the season with three consecutive losses before getting their first win against LeMoyne.
The Bears have rebounded nicely from a five-game losing skid by building a four-game winning streak. Baylor dropped the first game of a four-game set with Oral Roberts last weekend, but came back to win the final three games, including a doubleheader last Saturday. The Bears avenged their previous loss to Louisiana Tech by knocking off the Bulldogs, 12-4, on Tuesday. Baylor used eight different pitchers in that game.
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco's 1660 ESPN Radio. The Bears' games on Friday and Saturday could be shifted to 104.9 FM, depending on how the Baylor men's basketball team does at the Big 12 Championship. If men's basketball wins on Thursday, Friday's baseball game will move, and if the men's team wins on Friday, Saturday's baseball game will also be shifted. 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 is available for all three games of the series against Illinois-Chicago. For more information, follow the Baylor All-Access link at www.BaylorBears.com.
Overall: Baylor leads 1-0
Waco: Baylor leads 1-0
Chicago: Never Met
Neutral Site: Never Met
Smith vs. UIC: 1-0
First Meeting: 3/1/2008
Last Meeting: 3/1/2008
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 560-369-1 (16th season)
Record at Baylor: 560-369-1 (16th season)
ILLINOIS-CHICAGO: Mike Dee
Alma Mater: UW-La Crosse, 1979
Career Record: 341-231-1 (11th season)
Record at UIC: 341-231-1 (11th season)
BAYLOR-ISP SPORTS NETWORK
1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)
Tom Barfield (pxp) and Lark Smith (color)
BAYLOR - ILLINOIS-CHICAGO SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and Illinois-Chicago have met just one time. The Bears took on the Flames on March 1, 2008 in the second game of the third-annual QTI Baylor Classic. Baylor rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to take a 5-4 win in that game.
BAYLOR vs. THE HORIZON LEAGUE
Baylor has only played Illinois-Chicago out of the Horizon League. The Bears are 1-0 all-time against the Flames.
LAST TIME VS. UIC
BAYLOR 5, ILLINOIS-CHICAGO 4 MARCH 1, 2008 BAYLOR BALLPARK WACO, TEXAS
Ben Booker's two-out, two-run triple keyed a four-run seventh as No. 13 Baylor rallied past Illinois-Chicago for a 5-4 victory in second-day action at the third-annual QTI Baylor Classic. The win gives Baylor (6-0) its best start since the 1993 Bears opened with seven straight wins. In the day's first game, Stephen F. Austin (4-3) defeated Illinois (2-3) 8-7 in a game that ended with the potential game-tying runner thrown out at the plate.
The Bears have won four one-run games in the season's first six games. Last season (2007), Baylor was 4-5 in one-run games and did not earn its fourth win until the season's 59th game - a 7-6 victory over Oklahoma at the Big 12 Conference Championship. Baylor also has won 10 consecutive home games dating back to last season; it is the Bears' longest home winning streak since a 14-game run during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Baylor trailed 3-1 and had just one hit - a fourth-inning Landis Ware single - entering the seventh. Adam Hornung reached on an error to start the inning, and Dustin Dickerson followed with a walk. Gregg Glime's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, and Paul Miles followed with an RBI single to right. After Ware struck out, Booker laced a 3-2 pitch off the base of the centerfield wall to give Baylor a 4-3 lead. Shaver Hansen followed with an RBI single to right-center, plating Booker with what proved to be the game-deciding run.
Illinois-Chicago (1-4) made things interesting in the ninth, scoring an unearned run on two hits and a Baylor error. The Flames had runners at second and third with two outs, but Nick Cassavechia got Ty Rubio to ground out to end the game.
Craig Fritsch (1-0) earned the victory in relief, allowing one walk with one strikeout in 1.0 scoreless inning. Cassavechia was touched for an unearned run on a walk and two strikeouts over the final 2.0 innings for his third save of the season. Starter Shawn Tolleson allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 6.0 innings but did not factor in the decision.
Steve McGuiggan led off the game with a home run just to the left of the batter's eye on the game's second pitch. Illinois-Chicago pushed its lead to 3-0 in the fifth on Tony Altavilla's two-out, two-run single up the middle. Baylor got on the board in the sixth without getting a hit. Shaver Hansen and Beamer Weems drew consecutive two-out walks and each advanced a base on a wild pitch. Hansen then scored when reliever Chris Kovacevich was called for a balk.
Kovacevich (0-2) took the tough-luck loss, allowing four unearned runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout over 1.1 innings. Starter Derrick Miramontes held the Baylor bats at bay for 5.2 innings; he allowed one run on one hit and three walks with two strikeouts.
This weekend's series concludes Baylor's 17-game, season-opening homestand.
The Baylor pitching staff has posted a 3.25 ERA in weekend games this season.
The Baylor bullpen has combined to post a 5-0 record with five saves and a 2.81 ERA over 51.1 innings.
Nine different Baylor pitchers have posted ERAs under 2.50 in relief roles.
Baylor's pitching staff is third in the Big 12 with five saves; Texas Tech and Oklahoma lead with six.
The Bears have won 31 consecutive games when leading after eight innings since squandering a six-run, ninth-inning lead against Texas A&M in the 2008 series finale (April 20).
Baylor's 8-6 start is its slowest since the 2005 season, when the Bears had an identical record through the first 14 games. However, the 2005 Bears went 38-18 the rest of the season, earning a trip to Omaha.
True freshman LHP Josh Turley enters the weekend 13th in the Big 12 with a 2.25 ERA. Turley is also tied for third in appearances (seven), and he ranks third on the Baylor team in innings pitched (16.0), despite not making a start.
RHP Logan Verrett has pitched 7.0 innings in all three starts this season. He turned in the Big 12's first complete game of the year against Oral Roberts (3/6). He enters the weekend tied for third in the Big 12 in innings pitched (21.0) and sixth in strikeouts (23).
IF Raynor Campbell enters the weekend on a six-game hitting streak. He has also driven in at least one run in six consecutive games. Campbell leads the Big 12 in slugging percentage (.814), ranks eighth in batting average (.452), tied for seventh in hits (19) and tied for third in total bases (35). He is also tied for second in home runs (four), RBI (20) and stolen bases (six).
Campbell earned three national player of the week awards for his performance last week. He was named National Player of the Week by CollegeBaseballInsider.com, and was named one of four "Louisville Slugger" National Players of the Week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He was also named to the College Baseball Foundation National All-Star Lineup, in addition to being named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Player of the Week.
Campbell hit .500 (12-for-24) with four homers, three doubles and 17 RBI in six games from March 1-7.
True freshman first baseman Max Muncy enters the weekend tied for 12th in the conference in hits (18) and RBI (12). He is also tied for sixth in home runs (three) and tied for 10th in total bases (29).
Sophomore OF/RHP Brooks Pinckard enters the weekend on a career-best nine-game hitting streak. He is tied for second in the conference in stolen bases (six), bases on balls (10) and saves (four). Pinckard has been successful on his last 14 stolen bases attempted.
True freshman OF Logan Vick has hit leadoff in 12 of Baylor's 14 games this season, and he has hit safely in all 12 of those contests. Vick has reached base safely at least twice in each of Baylor's last nine games. Vick is tied for seventh in the Big 12 in hits (19), tied for sixth in runs (15) and tied for third in bases on balls (12). Vick and Muncy are the only Baylor players to have started all 14 games this season.
True freshman 3B Jake Miller has started four consecutive games at third base after starting just two of the first 10 this season.
Junior RHP Shawn Tolleson struck out 10 in his start last Friday, giving him his second double-digit strikeout performance of the season. He ranks second in the Big 12 in strikeouts (27).
Baylor doesn't play any midweek games this week, as the Bears prepare for the Big 12 Conference opener at Oklahoma. The Bears and Sooners both begin their conference seasons when they square off for a three-game set in Norman, March 19-21.
BAYLOR-OKLAHOMA SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and Oklahoma have met 63 times. The Bears and Sooners first met in 1936, and the Bears hold a 32-31 advantage in the all-time series. Baylor is 21-13 against Oklahoma in Waco, but Oklahoma leads 18-7 in games played in Norman. Baylor is 22-25 against Oklahoma in the Steve Smith era, and the Bears have won all four neutral site meetings in the series. The Sooners have won three straight against the Bears after sweeping last season's series in Waco.