March 19, 2009
For more Baylor baseball information, check out Straight from the Pen.
GAMES 17-19 • MARCH 20-22
No. 9 BAYLOR (12-4, 1-2) vs. TEXAS TECH (8-12, 2-1)
FRIDAY: 6:30 p.m. CDT — Bears in the Pros Poster Night (David Murphy)
SATURDAY : 6:30 p.m. CDT — Boy Scout Day
SUNDAY : 1:30 p.m. CDT — Kids’ Day at the Ballpark (free admission ages 12 and under)
Baylor returns to action this weekend, hosting Texas Tech for a three-game Big 12 Conference series at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears and Red Raiders meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. This is the second conference series of the season for both teams. Baylor dropped two of three against Texas A&M last weekend, while Texas Tech took two of three at home against Nebraska.
The Bears (12-4, 1-2) have won two straight after a 22-17 victory Wednesday night at Texas Tech. Baylor is 8-1 at home this season, winning seven straight after a 9-8 loss to Pacific in the season’s second game. The Bears are ranked ninth nationally in this week’s Baseball America Top 25 and 17th in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll. Baylor also is ranked 15th in the NCBWA Top 30 and 15th in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.
The Red Raiders (8-12, 2-1) dropped a pair of midweek games at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, falling 7-5 Tuesday night and 6-2 Wednesday evening. Tech won the opener and finale in last weekend’s series against Nebraska. The Red Raiders are 3-7 in their last 10 games and are 3-11 since Feb. 27. Tech is unranked in all four major polls.
Baylor and Texas Tech have played no common opponents this season.
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 Texas Tech series. For more information, follow the Baylor All-Access link at www.BaylorBears.com.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Baylor: RHP Kendal Volz, Jr. (1-1, 2.73 ERA, 26.1 IP, 12 BB, 22 K, .157 OBA)
Texas Tech: RHP Miles Morgan, Sr. (1-2, 4.98 ERA, 21.2 IP, 7 BB, 21 K, .284 OBA)
Baylor: RHP Logan Verrett, Fr. (5-0, 2.37 ERA, 19.0 IP, 4 BB, 28 K, .224 OBA)
Texas Tech: RHP AJ Ramos, Sr. (2-0, 1.53 ERA, 17.2 IP, 4 BB, 24 K, .261 OBA)
Baylor: RHP Shawn Tolleson, So. (0-0, 4.96 ERA, 16.1 IP, 12 BB, 8 K, .268 OBA)
Texas Tech: TBA
Overall: Texas Tech leads 66-70
Waco: Baylor leads 41-24
Lubbock: Texas Tech leads 44-21
Neutral Site: Baylor leads 4-2
Smith vs. Tech: 19-29
First Meeting: Baylor 14, at Tech 1 
Last Meeting: at Tech 12, Baylor 5 [5/18/2008]
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 534-341-1 [15th season]
Record at Baylor: 534-341-1 [15th season]
TEXAS TECH: Dan Spencer
Alma Mater: Portland State, 1990
Career Record: 8-12 [1st season]
Record at Tech: 8-12 [1st season]
BAYLOR-ISP SPORTS NETWORK
1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)
Tom Barfield, play-by-play
Lark Smith, color
BAYLOR-TEXAS TECH SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and Texas Tech meet for the 137th, 138th and 139th times this weekend. The Red Raiders hold a slim 70-66 advantage in the all-time series, the seventh most-played series in Baylor baseball history. The series dates back to a 14-1 Baylor victory at Lubbock in 1928.
The series is decidedly tilted toward the home team. While the Bears are 41-24 against the Raiders in Waco, Baylor is 21-44 at Lubbock. Tech is 6-3 in its last three trips to Baylor Ballpark, winning the middle game of the series each time. The Raiders’ last series victory in Waco was in 2001 when they took two of three with the Bears winning the middle game. Baylor last swept Texas Tech in 1999 at Baylor Ballpark.
Tech holds a 21-15 advantage in regular-season meetings since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997. Baylor won the series in 1998, 1999 (sweep), 2003, 2005 and 2007. Tech has won each of the other seven series. Baylor is 19-29 against Texas Tech during head coach Steve Smith’s tenure. Tech is the only Big 12 school with a record of more than two games over .500 against Baylor during Smith’s tenure.
• Baylor has five last-at-bat victories this season after only two such wins last year.
• Baylor has three extra-inning victories this season after only one such win last year.
• Baylor is 7-1 in one-run games.
• Baylor ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference in batting (.308), eighth in pitching (4.75) and eighth in fielding (.965) through games of March 18.
• Opposing batters are hitting .168 (27-for-161) against Baylor pitchers with two outs and .217 (5-for-23) with the bases loaded.
• Baylor is hitting .476 (10-for-21) with the bases loaded, including two grand slams.
• Baylor is hitting .332 (93-for-280) with runners on base and .366 (63-for-172) with runners in scoring position.
• Baylor has 33 two-out RBI this season, while holding its opponents to 16 two-out RBI.
• SS Joey Hainsfurther leads the Big 12 in batting (.455) and ranks third in on base percentage (.530). He leads all Big 12 freshmen in both categories. ... Hainsfurther and 3B Shaver Hansen are tied for 10th in the league with six doubles each.
• 1B Dustin Dickerson ranks 10th in the league in batting (.385) and 10th in on base percentage (.467).
• LF Adam Hornung is tied for third in the Big 12 in home runs (6) and ranks second in slugging percentage (.820). ... Each of Hornung’s last three home runs has come on the first pitch of the at bat. He has four such home runs in his career.
• RF Aaron Miller ranks for 19th in the Big 12 in batting (.347); he also is tied for 10th in walks (14) and tied for fifth in on base percentage (.515). ... Miller currently is riding a career-long, 12-game hitting streak, the longest by a Baylor player since Matt Czimskey’s 19-game run in 2007. Miller is 15-for-37 (.405) in that time. ... Miller has reached safely in all 16 games this season. He also has walked at least once in 11 of this season’s 16 games.
• RHP Logan Verrett is tied for the the Big 12 lead in wins (5); he ranks 10th in strikeouts (28), third in strikeouts per nine innings (13.3) and 13th in ERA (2.37). He leads all Big 12 freshmen in wins, strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings, and he is fourth among league freshmen in ERA. Verrett also
• RHP Kendal Volz is 16th in the league in ERA (2.73), tied for eighth in innings (26.1) and fourth in opponents’ batting average (.157).
VOLZ LOOKING FOR SUPPORT
In his last 10 starts (dating back to last season), RHP Kendal Volz has posted a 3.00 ERA (21 earned runs over 63.0 innings). He worked into at least the sixth inning in all but one of those starts; the lone exception was against Texas last year when he left after 3.0 innings with seven strikeouts and a strained oblique muscle.
However, Volz is 1-5 in those 10 starts, and Baylor is 4-6. The Bears have averaged 2.6 runs per game in those games, scoring two or fewer runs six times. Baylor has not scored more than five runs in a Volz start since Feb. 29, 2008, when Baylor defeated Illinois 20-6.
Baylor’s freshman class has made quite an impact this season with 11 true and redshirt freshmen seeing the field at some point this year. While all 11 have played roles throughout the year, three freshmen have made the biggest impact: SS Joey Hainsfurther, CF/RHP Brooks Pinckard and RHP Logan Verrett.
Hainsfurther leads the Big 12 Conference in batting average (.455), 101 points better than the next-closest freshman. He also ranks third in the league in on base percentage (.530), also tops among Big 12 freshmen. Hainsfurther is tied for Baylor’s team lead with 25 hits and six walks, and he ranks second on the team with a .655 slugging percentage.
Pinckard has excelled at the plate and on the mound. He is hitting .311 on the season and leads the team with 14 runs scored and three stolen bases. Meanwhile, Pinckard is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA; he has held opponents to a .226 batting average in 9.1 innings over four appearances.
Verrett, who is scheduled to make his first career start Saturday, has been electric out of the bullpen. He is tied for the Big 12 lead with five wins; he also ranks 13th in the league in ERA (2.37), 10th in strikeouts (28) and third in strikeouts per nine innings (13.3). Baylor is 6-0 in games in which Verrett has pitched as he also has one save.
BAYLOR PITCHERS STINGY WITH TWO OUTS
Baylor pitchers held opposing batters to a .167 average (27-for-161) with two outs this season. Six Baylor pitchers have faced at least 10 two-out at bats each this year, and only two of the six have allowed more than two hits. The two who have allowed more than two hits — RHP Logan Verrett and RHP Kendal Volz — have held opponents to .167 (4-for-24) and .143 (4-for-28) marks, respectively.
HIT PARADE IN SAN MARCOS
Baylor and Texas State combined for 44 hits in the Bears’ 22-17 victory Wednesday night at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos. That hit total tied for the second-highest combined total in a Baylor game since 1994. Baylor and Missouri combined for 45 hits in the Tigers’ 23-18 victory at Baylor Ballpark in 2003. Wednesday night’s game marked only the seventh time since 1994 that both teams combined for at least 40 hits in a Baylor game; coincidentally, two of the six games were at Texas State.
Furthermore, Wednesday night’s game marked the first time on record (since 1980) that Baylor allowed 10 or more runs in an inning and still won the game as Texas State scored 11 runs in the fourth inning. It also marked the first time that Baylor has allowed an inning of eight runs or more on the road and still won the game.
MOST SINGLE-GAME HITS, BOTH TEAMS (BAYLOR GAMES, SINCE 1994)
45 — Baylor (23) vs. Missouri (22) March 19, 2003 L, 23-18
44 — Baylor (25) vs. Oklahoma (19) March 11, 1996 L, 23-18 (12 innings)
44 — Baylor (29) vs. Minnesota (15) May 30, 1999 W, 22-6 NCAA Regional
44 — Baylor (26) at Texas State (18) March 18, 2003 W, 22-17
42 — Baylor (24) at Texas State (13) April 23, 2008 W, 25-13
40 — Baylor (25) vs. UTSA (15) April 20, 1999 W, 24-11
40 — Baylor (22) vs. Texas A&M (18) April 20, 2009 L, 13-12 (11 innings)
Baylor is 18-7 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season. After limping to a 1-3 record last season, the Bears already are 3-0 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 18 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.
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 plays two midweek non-conference games next week. This begins a span of four consecutive two-game midweeks for the Bears, who are 4-0 in non-conference midweek games so far this season. The Bears travel to Sam Houston State for a 6:30 p.m. CDT game Tuesday night. Baylor hosts TCU for a 6:30 p.m. game Wednesday night.
BAYLOR-SAM HOUSTON STATE SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and Sam Houston State meet for the 94th time Wednesday, making this the ninth most-played series in Baylor baseball history. The Bears hold a 56-37 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to March 7, 1952 (result unknown). Baylor is 9-2 against Sam Houston State under head coach Steve Smith.
BAYLOR 14, SAM HOUSTON STATE 4 • BAYLOR BALLPARK • WACO, TEXAS • APRIL 30, 2008
Sam Houston State opened the game with four consecutive extra-base hits, chasing Baylor starter Wade Mackey from the game after only 10 pitches. However, Craig Fritsch spelled Mackey and was dominant the rest of the way, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts. The strikeout total was a career high and a Baylor record for strikeouts in relief.
Baylor was quick to answer Sam Houston State’s two-run first as the Bears scored three runs on three doubles and a Bearkat error in the bottom of the inning. Hansen doubled to open the frame, moved to second on Weems’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Dustin Dickerson’s groundout. Adam Hornung then reached on an error, and Aaron Miller and Campbell followed with consecutive doubles to give the Bears a 3-2 lead.
After Sam Houston State got an unearned run in the top of the second, Campbell blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the third to put the Bears back in the lead at 6-3. Baylor never trailed again.
Fritsch retired the final 10 batters he faced before giving way to Erik Forestiere, who pitched a perfect eighth.
BAYLOR vs. THE SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
Baylor is 294-126-1 all-time against programs currently playing as Southland Conference members, including a 1-0 mark this season. The Bears were 8-1 against the SLC last season, falling only to regular-season league champion UTSA. Baylor has played more games against current Southland members than any conference other than the Big 12.
BAYLOR-TCU SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and TCU meet for the 240th time Wednesday. The Bears hold a 134-105 advantage in the all-time series; however, the Horned Frogs have won each of the four of the last five meetings, and the Bears are 15-18 against TCU since 1995.
Baylor holds a 68-41 advantage in games played in Waco; however, TCU has won each of the past two meetings in Waco, winning 6-3 in 2007 and 4-3 last year. Prior to that, the Bears had won five straight against the Horned Frogs in Waco.
The Baylor-TCU series is the third-most played rivalry in Baylor baseball history behind Texas (329 meetings) and Texas A&M (265).
BAYLOR 2, TCU 1 • LUPTON STADIUM • FORT WORTH, TEXAS • MARCH 4, 2009
Logan Verrett got a strikeout and a fly out to end the ninth, stranding the potential tying run at second base, as Baylor edged TCU 2-1 at Lupton Stadium. Baylor snapped a four-game skid against TCU that dated back to the 2007 regular season.
Verrett hit Taylor Featherston on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth, and Matt Vern followed with a sacrifice bunt to push pinch runner Brance Rivera to second. However, Verrett struck out Bryan Holaday on an 0-2 slider and then induced a fly ball to left off the bat of pinch hitter Hunt Woodruff to end the game. Verrett logged his first career save, allowing one run on one hit and no walks with three strikeouts over 2.0 innings.
Baylor took a 2-0 lead with single spots in the first and second innings. Brooks Pinckard lay down a bunt single on the game’s first pitch, stolen second and later scored on Adam Hornung’s triple down the right-field line. Shaver Hansen walked to lead off the second and later scored on Featherston’s two-out throwing error from shortstop.
That score held until the bottom of the eighth. Matt Carpenter led off the frame with a double, moved to third on a ground out and scored when Verrett was called for a balk.
Baylor starter Aaron Miller (1-0) earned the win, tossing 5.0 scoreless innings on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts. Trent Blank bridged the gap from Miller to Verrett, allowing one hit with a strikeout in 2.0 scoreless innings.
TCU starter Steven Maxwell was saddled with the loss after yielding two runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 4.1 innings.
BAYLOR vs. THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Baylor is 142-107 all-time against programs currently in the Mountain West Conference. The vast majority of that was against TCU (134-105). Baylor also has played Air Force (2-0), BYU (1-0) and San Diego State (5-2).