March 14, 2011
No. 14 Baylor (11-5) vs. Florida International (12-5)
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Baylor's 14th-ranked baseball looks to build on a six-game winning streak when the Bears host Florida International for the fifth game of a 14-game homestand at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark. Baylor head coach Steve Smith will be looking for his 600th career win when the Bears meet the Golden Panthers.
The Bears rose three spots to No. 14 in Baseball America's Top 25 after going 5-0 last week. Baylor won at Texas State on Tuesday, then returned home to sweep a four-game series against Louisiana Tech.
Logan Verrett was named National Player of the Week and Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week after a record-breaking one-hitter on Friday night, and Chris Slater earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors after hitting .600 (12-for-20) for the week.
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco's 1660 ESPN Radio. Live streaming audio and GameTracker 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 most weekend games at Baylor Ballpark. The game against Florida International will not be streamed, but all three games of this weekend's series against Texas Tech will be streamed live.
Overall: Never Met
Waco: Never Met
Miami: Never Met
Neutral Site: Never Met
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 599-392-1 (17th season)
Record at Baylor: 599-392-1 (17th season)
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: Turtle Thomas
Career Record: 102-89 (4th season)
Record at FIU: 102-89 (4th season)
BAYLOR-IMG COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK
Online at www.BaylorBears.com
Tom Barfield (pxp) and Lark Smith (color)
BAYLOR VS. SUN BELT CONFERENCE
Baylor is 10-6 all-time against teams currently playing as members of the Sun Belt Conference. The Bears have played Arkansas State (0-1), Arkansas-Little Rock (3-0), Louisiana-Lafayette (1-1), Louisiana-Monroe (3-2), South Alabama (1-1) and Western Kentucky (2-1).
VERRETT NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF WEEK AFTER RECORD-SETTING ONE-HITTER
Baylor junior right-handed pitcher Logan Verrett was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, as announced by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper March 14.
Verrett earned the award after allowing only one hit in a complete-game shutout against Louisiana Tech on March 11 at Baylor Ballpark. He allowed an infield single leading off the game, then retired the next 20 batters in order before an error in the seventh inning.
Verrett also tied a Baylor Ballpark record with 14 strikeouts – 12 of which were swinging – including each of the last four batters of the game. He was efficient, needing just 110 pitches – 80 of which were strikes – and only going to a three-ball count twice in the game. His 14 strikeouts were the most by a Baylor pitcher since Jason Jennings struck out 14 at Kansas on April 2, 1999.
He faced just one batter over the minimum due to a two-out walk in the eighth inning. The Bulldogs only reached second base one time in the game, after a walk and stolen base in the eighth inning. Louisiana Tech managed to hit the ball out of the infield four times against Verrett and all four were flyouts.
Verrett became the sixth Baylor student-athlete to be named a National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball. Previous winners include Jon Topolski (1998), Kyle Evans (2000), Jared Theodorakos (2002), Cory VanAllen (2004) and Raynor Campbell (2010).
Theodorakos was named after tossing a complete-game one-hitter at Southern California in 2002, the last time a Baylor pitcher allowed one hit or less in a 9-inning game before Verrett did so.
SLATER & VERRETT TAKE BIG 12 WEEKLY HONORS AFTER 5-0 WEEK
For the second time in program history, Baylor baseball student-athletes earned both Big 12 Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced March 14.
Chris Slater earned his first-ever Player of the Week award, while Logan Verrett was honored as Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second time in his career. Verrett and Slater join Mark McCormick and Josh Ford as the only Baylor players to win both Big 12 Conference weekly honors in the same week.
Slater, a senior from Plano, Texas, hit .600 (12-for-20) with two doubles, one triple, one walk, seven RBI and seven runs scored to lead the Bears to a 5-0 record during the week. He entered the week with three hits in 19 at-bats on the season, but with four consecutive three-hit games, his batting average jumped from .158 to a team-leading .385.
Slater started the week going 3-for-3 with a run scored and a sacrifice bunt in Baylor's win at Texas State on Tuesday. He went 3-for-4 with a double, walk, two runs and three RBI in the Bears' first game against Louisiana Tech on Thursday. Slater followed that up by going 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored on Friday and 3-for-5 with a double, two runs and three RBI on Saturday.
A junior from Corpus Christi, Texas, Verrett allowed only one hit in a complete-game shutout against Louisiana Tech on Friday night at Baylor Ballpark. He gave up an infield single leading off the game, then held the next 27 batters hitless and faced just one batter over the minimum while recording a Baylor Ballpark-record-tying 14 strikeouts.
Verrett only allowed four balls out of the infield, all of which were flyouts. He faced only two three-ball counts and only threw two balls to six of 28 batters faced.
Slater's award came a week after teammate Landis Ware was honored as Big 12 Conference Player of the Week. It marks the third time in program history the Bears have won Player of the Week two times in a row. Chris Durbin and Ross Bennett were honored on consecutive weeks in 2003, and Paul Witt and Josh Ford were chosen in back-to-back weeks in 2004.
BEARS TOUGH TO BEAT IN WACO
Baylor is 28-7 in its last 35 games at Baylor Ballpark, including 16-3 in non-conference games.
The Bears had a 10-game winning streak in non-conference home games snapped when they lost the season opener to Oral Roberts. Before the streak was snapped, ORU was the last non-Big 12 team to beat the Bears in Waco when it took the opener of a four-game set on March 5, 2010. Baylor came back to win the remaining games in the series both times.
Three of Baylor’s seven losses in Waco since dropping the series opener to ORU in 2010 came in extra innings and/or were one-run defeats (vs. Kansas, 12-6 in 14 innings on 3/28/10), (vs. No. 2 Texas, 4-2 in 10 innings on 4/30/10) and (vs. Kansas, 9-8 on 3/26/10). The Bears’ other losses were to Nebraska (6-2 on 4/24/10), Oral Roberts (2/18/11), No. 4 TCU (2/22/11) and Texas State (3/1/11). Since losing the series finale vs. Kansas, Baylor has gone 15-5 at Baylor Ballpark.
Despite going 1-5 in extra-inning games in 2010, Baylor is 22-13 in such games since the start of the 2003 season. Baylor was 4-1 in extra-inning games in 2009, 1-3 in 2008, 2-1 in 2007, 0-1 in 2006, 6-1 in 2005, 1-0 in 2004 and 5-1 in 2003. Baylor is 2-0 in extras so far in 2011.
The Bears won all four regular season games that went to extra innings in 2009, but fell to No. 2 national seed LSU 3-2 in 10 innings in the second game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
Six of the 22 wins over the past eight seasons have come on an opponent’s home field (Arizona twice, Arizona State, Texas, Vanderbilt and UT Arlington). Four of the 22 wins were either neutral-site games or games at Baylor Ballpark in which the Bears were the visitor. Four of the 22 wins have come in postseason play, including two at the Big 12 Tournament and one at the College World Series.
• SERIES: Baylor and Florida International have never met on the baseball diamond.
• Baylor is 10-6 all-time against teams currently playing as members of the Sun Belt Conference.
• Baylor climbed three spots to No. 14 in Baseball America’s March 14 poll. The Bears jumped No. 16 Clemson, No. 18 North Carolina and No. 24 UCLA. It’s the Bears highest ranking since April 2009.
• Baylor has not lost consecutive games this season; the Bears are 5-0 following a loss.
• Baylor head coach Steve Smith is one win away from his 600th career victory — all at Baylor.
• For the second time in program history, Baylor players won both Big 12 Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week. Logan Verrett (Pitcher) & Chris Slater (Player) took the honors on March 14.
• Verrett was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week (3/14) by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
• Slater followed Landis Ware (3/7) to give Baylor consecutive Big 12 Player of the Week awards for the third time in program history.
• Baylor is 185-108 (.631) in the month of March during the Smith era. The Bears have had a losing record in the month of March only twice in Smith’s 16 seasons (2004 & 2007).
• Baylor is 2-0 in extra-inning games this season. The Bears got a walk-off double from Jake Miller in the 10th inning vs. Oral Roberts (2/20) and a walk-off grand slam from Max Muncy in the 10th vs. Rice (3/6).
• Baylor has won six straight regular season weekend sets. The Bears closed out the 2010 season with series wins at Texas Tech and vs. Oklahoma State before opening 2011 by winning two of three vs. Oral Roberts, at Georgia and at the Houston College Classic, and sweeping four games from Louisiana Tech
• The Bears are riding a six-game winning streak, the longest since winning eight straight May 16-29, 2010.
• Baylor has ranked in the nation’s top 25 in attendance in all 12 years since Baylor Ballpark opened in 1999.
• The Bears were picked fourth in the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll, behind Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
• Baseball America projects Baylor to finish third in the Big 12 and ranked BU No. 16 nationally in the preseason.
• Baylor’s nine-run third inning in the series finale at Georgia was the most the Bears have scored in an inning since scoring 10 in the third against Northwestern State on April 7, 2009.
• The Bears went 7-for-7 stealing bases in the series opener at Georgia, the first time Baylor stole seven or more bases in a game since stealing eight against Dallas Baptist on May 16, 2006.
• Baylor is 28-7 in its last 35 games at Baylor Ballpark, including a 16-3 mark in non-conference games.
• Trae Davis is scheduled to make his first start in a Baylor uniform vs. Florida International.
• Since the start of the 2003 season, Baylor is 22-13 in extra-inning games, including 2-0 this season.
• Eight players on Baylor’s roster have been selected in previous MLB Drafts, tied for third-most in the Big 12.
INDIVIDUAL QUICK HITS
• CF/RHP Brooks Pinckard has been named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award preseason watch list.
• Pinckard ranks fifth on Baylor’s all-time saves list with 16 career saves.
• Pinckard hit a game-winning homer in the seventh inning of the second game vs. Oral Roberts (2/19).
• Pinckard leads the Big 12 Conference and is tied for third nationally with 14 stolen bases.
• Pinckard leads the team and is tied for second in the Big 12 with 26 hits.
• Pinckard has never grounded into a double play in 358 career at-bats.
• Pinckard has attempted more steals (16) than Baylor’s opponents combined (15).
• Pinckard is 43-for-49 stealing bases in his career and needs six stolen bases to crack Baylor’s top 10 list.
• Pinckard has started all 16 games in center field and hit leadoff (14 games) or second in the order (twice).
• College Baseball Daily ranked RHP Logan Verrett as the No. 51 player in college baseball in its preseason Top 100.
• Verrett was ranked No. 4 on Perfect Game Cross Checker’s Top Big 12 Prospects for 2011 MLB Draft.
• Verrett was named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, one of six Big 12 players on the list.
• Verrett tied a Baylor Ballpark record by striking out 14 in a complete-game one-hitter vs. Louisiana Tech (3/11).
• Verrett was named Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week and National Player of the Week (3/14).
• Verrett earned Houston College Classic All-Tournament honors after his win vs. Houston; 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 K.
• Verrett faced just three batters over the minimum through his first six innings in series opener at Georgia.
• Verrett has 191 career strikeouts and needs 37 to crack the top 10 in program history.
• Verrett currently holds the Baylor record for strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.98).
• Verrett is third on Baylor’s career strikeouts per nine innings list (10.13).
• Verrett ranks sixth in program history for fewest walks allowed per nine innings (2.55).
• Verrett ranks third in the Big 12 with 30 strikeouts. He trails Texas’ Cole Green (33) and Taylor Jungmann (31).
• Perfect Game named 1B Max Muncy No. 3 on its Top Big 12 Prospects for the 2012 MLB Draft.
• Muncy was ranked No. 33 on Perfect Game’s 2011 list of the Top College Baseball Sophomores.
• Muncy has started all 16 games at first base and hit either third or cleanup in every game.
• Muncy is tied for sixth in the Big 12 Conference with 15 RBI.
• Muncy had multi-hit games and had at least one RBI in all three games of the series at Georgia.
• Muncy hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning to beat Rice. It was the first walk-off HR by a Baylor player since Feb. 27, 2007 (Raynor Campbell vs. UTA).
• Muncy’s walk-off grand slam was BU’s first walk-off HR since Raynor Campbell hit one on Feb. 27, 2007.
• Muncy’s six RBI vs. Rice were the most by a BU player since Aaron Miller had six vs. Illinois (Feb. 29, 2008).
• SS Landis Ware is Baylor’s most experienced player with 147 games played and 129 career starts.
• Ware has started at shortstop in 15 of Baylor’s 16 games in 2011.
• Ware earned Big 12 Conference Player of the Week honors after going 7-for-10 in the Houston College Classic.
• Ware was named to the 2011 Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team.
• Ware led off the bottom of the 10th with a double and scored the winning run vs. Rice (3/6).
• Ware was named Big 12 Player of the Week after going 7-for-10 in the Houston College Classic.
• Ware was selected to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team.
• 3B Jake Miller’s 10th-inning walk-off double in the series finale vs. Oral Roberts was the first extra-inning, walk-off hit by a Baylor player since Dustin Dickerson’s 11th-inning walk-off single vs. Missouri on April 11, 2009.
• Miller had the first three-hit game of his career in a 3-for-4 effort vs. Houston (3/4).
• Miller has started 15 of Baylor’s 16 games at third base this season.
• Freshman RHP Trae Davis picked up a pair of wins pitching out of the bullpen in the season’s opening weekend.
• Davis has allowed three hits in 11.0 innings of seven appearances this season (.088 opponents’ batting average).
• Davis is tied for third in the Big 12 Conference with three wins. No other freshman has more than three.
• OF Chris Slater is one of 30 semifinalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award (one of three from Big 12).
• Slater was named Big 12 Player of the Week (3/14) after having four consecutive three-hit games.
• LF Logan Vick has started all 76 games in left field since the start of the 2010 season.
• Vick reached base safely in all 40 career games at Baylor Ballpark before going 0-for-3 vs. Texas State (3/1).
• Vick went 3-for-4 and drove in runs in all three plate appearances in which he made an out in Sunday’s game.
• Vick has drawn 67 walks in 76 career games; he’s taken multiple walks in a game in 20 contests.
• When leading off an inning, Vick has a .500 on-base percentage for his career (64-for-128).
• 2B Steve DalPorto has started 13 of Baylor’s 16 games at second base and once at shortstop in 2011.
• DalPorto is currently riding a career-best six-game hitting streak.
• C Joey Hainsfurther moved from third base to catcher for the 2011 season. He had never caught a collegiate game before, but has started behind the plate in nine of Baylor’s first 16 games this season.
• Hainsfurther tied the Bears’ game vs. Rice (3/6) in the Houston College Classic with a two-run triple in the 7th.
• RF Cal Towey drew a total seven walks in a three-game span (3/1-3/5).
• Towey is tied for 14th in the Big 12 Conference with 10 walks on the season.
• OF Wes Mercurio hit the first pitch he saw in 2011 for a three-run pinch hit homer in the series finale at Georgia.
• LHP Crayton Bare has pitched in seven games out of the bullpen in 2011 after pitching in four games in 2010.
• RHP Jon Ringenberg (8-0 career record) has never taken a loss in 26 career appearances, including 14 starts.
• RHP Kolt Browder has allowed five hits in 8.0 innings over seven appearances (.185 opponents’ batting average).
• LHP/DH Josh Turley has taken only one loss in 31 career appearances.
• Turley hit a pinch-hit double in his first plate appearance of the season in the series opener at Georgia.
• Turley allowed only six singles in 7.1 innings to get the win vs. Louisiana Tech (3/13). The outing was 3.0 innings longer than any previous appearance in his career.
• C Josh Ludy is on a career-best five-game hitting streak. He hit a three-run homer in Sunday’s game vs. Louisiana Tech.
Baylor continues its 14-game homestand and opens Big 12 Conference play against Texas Tech. The Bears host the Red Raiders at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday before the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday. Baylor took two of three from Texas Tech in Lubbock last season.