March 17, 2014
Houston Baptist (9-7) at Baylor (10-9)
March 18, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. CST
Waco, Texas | Baylor Ballpark (5,000)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
BU: LHP Daniel Castano (1-0, 3.24 ERA)
HBU: RHP Ross Kennell (0-2, 8.15 ERA)
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WACO, Texas- After a third straight three-game series win, Baylor baseball continues its season-long, seven-game home stand on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT against Houston Baptist. The Bears (10-9) and Huskies (9-7) will meet for just the fourth time ever.
Off to a 9-2 start at Baylor Ballpark, the Bears enter the contest after taking two of three games vs. No. 23 Texas Tech to begin Big 12 play. HBU comes into the game following a 2-1 series loss to Nicholls State to begin Southland Conference play. The Bears own a 2-1 edge in the all-time series against the Huskies and have won the last two meetings as all three games have been played in Waco.
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco's 1660 ESPN Radio. Tom Barfield provides the play-by-play with Lark Smith adding color commentary. 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.
Date(s): March 18, 2014
Time(s): 6:30 P.M. CT
Location: Waco, Texas
Stadium: Baylor Ballpark (5,000)
Radio: ESPN/KRZI 1660 AM (Waco)
Talent: Tom Barfield (pxp), Lark Smith (color)
Overall: BU leads 2-1
Waco: BU leads 2-1
Houston: Never met
Neutral Site: Never met
Smith vs: BU leads 2-0
First Meeting: April 12, 1994
Last Meeting: Feb. 25, 2009
Streak: BU has won two
Live Stats: BaylorBears.com
Twitter Updates: @BaylorBaseball
2014 Record: 10-9
2014 Big 12 Record: 2-1
Head Coach: Steve Smith
Career: 705-469-1 (20th season)
BU: 705-469-1 (20th season)
AVG: Lawton Langford (.300)
2B: Dodson, Price, Sheppard (4)
HR: Porter, Sheppard (2)
RBI: Mitch Price (12)
SB: Adam Toth (6)
HOUSTON BAPTIST HUSKIES
2014 Record: 9-7
2014 Southland Record: 1-2
Head Coach: Jared Moon
Career: 239-235-2 (9th season)
HBU: 239-235-2 (9th season)
AVG: Josh Martinez (.344)
2B: Brown, Martinez, McCoy, Nehrir (4)
HR: Bradley Brown (2)
RBI: Zach Nehrir (10)
SB: Thomas Clay (6)
BAYLOR VS. HOUSTON BAPTIST AND THE SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
Baylor is 2-1 all-time against Houston Baptist with all three games being played in Waco. The first meeting resulted in a 10-6 Baylor loss on April 12, 1994. The Bears have won the last two meetings with a 12-4 decision on March 25, 2008, and 15-4 victory on Feb. 25, 2009. Against current members of the Southland Conference, BU is 202-111-1 after topping Lamar (3-2) on March 5 in Waco earlier this season.
BAYLOR KEEPS DOING WELL IN BIG 12 OPENERS
Since the Big 12's inaugural season in 1997, Baylor has done well in the league's first game, home game, series and home series. The trend continued with a 2-1 series win over No. 23 Texas Tech over the weekend. In Big 12 opening games, the Bears are 10-8. In Big 12 home opening games, BU is 11-7. In Big 12 opening three-game series, Baylor is 13-5 and has won its last three. In Big 12 home opening three-game series, the Bears are 15-3 and have won three straight.
BAYLOR AGAINST THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
As one of the league's founding members in 1997, Baylor owns a 480-532-4 record against the current members of the Big 12 Conference. The Bears own a 261-195 all-time record in regular season play. BU's all-time record against current league foes is as follows: Kansas (45-13), Kansas State (41-19), Oklahoma (37-40), Oklahoma State (35-38), TCU (138-112), Texas (105-231-4), Texas Tech (77-78) and West Virginia (2-1).
BAYLOR PLAYERS AMONG BIG 12 STAT LEADERS
Baylor has several players ranking amongst the top 10 in several stat categories. On the mound, Austin Stone (1.29) and Brad Kuntz (1.73) rank first and ninth in ERA, respectively. Kuntz ranks in a tie for third in wins with three. Dillon Newman ranks tied for sixth with 27 strikeouts. Stone (.180) and Kuntz (.181) also rank second and third in opponent batting average, respectively. Josh Michalec leads the league with eight saves. At the plate, Darryn Sheppard and Grayson Porter are tied for seventh in the league with two home runs apiece. Adam Toth ranks tied for fourth with two triples and tied for sixth with six steals. Lawton Langford is tied for the league lead with 17 walks and ranks fifth in on-base percentage (.476).
BAYLOR AGAINST RANKED TEAMS IN 2014
Baylor is 5-5 against ranked teams this season and has won two of its three series vs. ranked teams. BU has claimed series over No. 23 Texas Tech and No. 3 Cal State Fullerton - both in 2-1 decisions. The lone series loss came in a 2-1 decision at No. 19 Arizona State. Against top 25 teams, Baylor is 5-4. Baylor picked up its second shutout of a ranked opponent this season with its 1-0 win over No. 23 Texas Tech last Friday. The Bears beat No. 3 Cal State Fullerton 1-0 on March 8 in Waco for the first.
BAYLOR IN TV GAMES
Baylor is 4-1 this season in TV games with all four wins and all five games being vs. ranked teams. The Bears opened the season with their debut on the Pac-12 Network and earned a comeback win over No. 19 Arizona State on Feb. 14. BU earned a 5-4 win on March 9 in the series rubber match vs. No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on FOX Sports Southwest. The Bears then took two of three games from No. 23 Texas Tech last weekend with games airing on FOX College Sports, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Southwest, respectively. Since 2011, BU is 21-13 in TV games. The Bears are 51-54 all-time in TV games.
BAYLOR BALLPARK'S HOME SWEET HOME ADVANTAGE
In Baylor's first 11 home games of the 2014 season, it has outscored its opponents 50-31 with a 9-2 record. BU's pitchers have racked up 74 strikeouts in 97.0 innings, allowing just 61 hits and 41 walks with a 1.30 ERA. Since the park opened in 1999, Baylor owns a 358-146 record at Baylor Ballpark and has never had a losing season in the stadium. The closest BU came to a losing season was in 2011, when the Bears were 16-14 at Baylor Ballpark. The last time Baylor started its home season with five or more straight wins was in 2012 (6-0) as the Bears won their first five home games this season. BU is off to its best start at home (9-2) since 2009 (10-1).
Dillon Newman NAMED BIG 12 PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Starting pitcher Dillon Newman was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week, the league announced Monday. The senior right-hander earned the honor for the first time in his career and is the third BU player to garner a weekly league honor this season.
The Belton, Texas, native returned to ace form in a 1-0 win last Friday vs. No. 23 Texas Tech. Newman's outstanding effort on the mound was a huge factor in Baylor snapping TTU's seven-game winning streak in which the Red Raiders had scored at least five runs in each of their last six games. In earning the win, Newman (2-1) gave up six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in a season-high seven innings pitched. Along the way he retired 13 consecutive TTU hitters in his second quality start of the season. On the year, Newman is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA as he's given up nine earned runs on 28 hits and eight walks with 27 strikeouts.
Newman joins teammates closer Josh Michalec and outfielder Darryn Sheppard on the list of BU players to earn a weekly award from the league office this season. Michalec was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week last week to give the Bears back-to-back pitchers of the week for the first time since 2005, when Abe Woody (May 16, 2005) and Mark McCormick (May 23, 2005) did so. Michalec and Woody are the only two BU relievers to ever win the honor. Sheppard was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 17 after his first collegiate weekend of play.
Josh Michalec THRIVING IN FIRST CHANCE AT CLOSER ROLE
Closer and last week's Big 12 Pitcher of the Week Josh Michalec ranks in the top 3 in the country in saves (8) and has closed out eight of Baylor's 10 wins on the season - the other two wins were 15-1 and 12-1 over Austin Peay. Michalec is now a perfect 8-for-8 in career save chances as all of his career saves have come in 2014. Prior to his one-inning save on Saturday vs. No. 23 Texas Tech, each of his last four saves had been multi-inning efforts.
Brad Kuntz REBOUNDING INTO FORM AFTER SITTING OUT LAST SEASON
Since a rough first start of the season at No. 19 Arizona State in his first start in over a year due to injury, Brad Kuntz has rebounded extremely well. In that no-decision at ASU, he gave up four runs in 3.1 innings. Since then, he's thrown at least five innings in each of his five starts while giving up one run or less. Over that stretch he's thrown 22.2 innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on 12 hits and 12 walks with 20 strikeouts, earning three wins in the process. Two of those wins have come against ranked foes in No. 3 Cal State Fullerton and No. 23 Texas Tech. Against Fullerton, he earned a win as he threw six shutout innings while allowing two hits and five walks with two strikeouts. Against Tech, he earned a win as he threw five innings while giving up one run on three hits and five walks with five strikeouts.
Lawton Langford GETTING ON BASE AT HIGH RATE
Senior middle infielder Lawton Langford had reached base in 19 straight games dating back to last season before the streak ended in the series opener vs. No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on March 7. Langford leads the team with a .476 on-base percentage and 17 walks. As of March 10, his walk total ranks 13th in the NCAA and his 1.0 walks per game rank 17th in the country.