GAMES 31-33 • APRIL 10-12 • BAYLOR BALLPARK • WACO, TEXAS
No. 7 BAYLOR (21-9, 7-5) vs. MISSOURI (16-17, 5-7)
FRIDAY: 6:30 p.m. CDT — Bears in the Pros Poster Night (Jason Jennings)
SATURDAY: 6:30 p.m. CDT — Military Appreciation Night
SUNDAY: 1:30 p.m. CDT — Kid’s Day at the Ballpark; Camouflage Hat Giveaway
Baylor returns to action this weekend, hosting Missouri for a three-game Big 12 Conference series at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears and Tigers meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. This is the fifth Big 12 series for both teams. Baylor is 3-1 in Big 12 series this season, while Missouri is 1-3 in league series.
The Bears (21-9, 7-5) are 6-4 in their last 10 games. Baylor split a pair of midweek home games, winning 18-1 in seven innings Tuesday night against Northwestern State and falling 16-3 Wednesday night against Dallas Baptist. The Bears won two of three at Kansas last weekend. Baylor is 15-5 at home this season, including a 5-2 home record in Big 12 play. The Bears are ranked seventh nationally in this week’s Baseball America Top 25 and 13th in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll. The Bears also are ranked 13th both in the NCBWA Top 30 and the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.
The Tigers (16-17, 5-7) are 5-5 in their last 10 games. Missouri split a midweek set at home against Minnesota, falling 7-3 Tuesday night before a 20-5 victory Wednesday afternoon. The Tigers dropped two of three at home against Oklahoma last weekend, salvaging the series finale. Missouri is 5-11 on the road this season, including a 3-6 on opponents home fields; Mizzou is 2-4 on the road in Big 12 play. The Tigers are unranked in all four major polls.
Baylor and Missouri have played one common opponent — Texas A&M. The Bears dropped two of three against the Aggies, losing two games at College Station and winning the series finale at Baylor Ballpark. The Tigers won two of three against the Aggies at home the following weekend.
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 Missouri series. For more information, follow the Baylor All-Access link at www.BaylorBears.com.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Baylor: RHP Kendal Volz, Jr. (2-2, 3.92 ERA, 43.2 IP, 23 BB, 37 K, .252 OBA)
Missouri: RHP Kyle Gibson, Jr. (4-3, 3.00 ERA, 51.0 IP, 11 BB, 75 K, .223 OBA)
Baylor: RHP Logan Verrett, Fr. (7-1, 3.13 ERA, 37.1 IP, 9 BB, 47 K, .291 OBA)
Missouri: RHP Ian Berger, Sr. (2-3, 6.17 ERA, 35.0 IP, 13 BB, 27 K, .277 OBA)
Missouri: LHP Nick Tepesch, So. (2-2, 5.48 ERA, 44.1 IP, 10 BB, 51 K, .302 OBA)
Overall: Baylor leads 25-22
Waco: Baylor leads 11-9
Columbia: Missouri leads 10-8
Neutral Site: Baylor leads 6-3
During Big 12 era: Missouri leads 22-21
Smith vs. Missouri: 22-22
First Meeting: result unknown [5/5/1905]
Last Meeting: at Missouri 12, Baylor 2 [3/23/2008]
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 543-346-1 [15th season]
Record at Baylor: 543-346-1 [15th season]
MISSOURI: Tim Jamieson
Alma Mater: New Orleans, 1984
Career Record: 496-346-2 [15th season]
Record at Missouri: 496-346-2 [15th season]
BAYLOR-ISP SPORTS NETWORK
1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)
Tom Barfield, play-by-play
Lark Smith, color
BAYLOR-MISSOURI SERIES HISTORY
Baylor and Missouri meet for the 48th, 49th and 50th times this weekend. The Bears hold a 25-22 advantage in a series that dates back to the 1905 season. Arguably the most competitive series in Big 12 history, this was the only series in the league’s history that has never been swept prior to Missouri’s sweep at Columbia last season. Each team has won six of 12 series played as Big 12 foes.
However, Missouri has been more successful of late, winning each of the last four series and six of seven since 2002. The Tigers have won nine of the last 11 and 14 of the last 20 games. Baylor has dropped two of three against Missouri in each of the Tigers’ last three visits to Waco.
BEARS ANNOUNCE SCHEDULE CHANGES
Baylor has announced three schedule changes with one rescheduled game, one game addition and one game being moved. The schedule changes are due to a pair of rainouts earlier this season.
Baylor’s originally scheduled March 11 non-conference game at Texas that was postponed due to inclement weather will not be rescheduled. Instead, the Bears will host UTSA for a doubleheader Tuesday, April 28; the Bears and Roadrunners will play a nine-inning game at 4 p.m. CDT with a seven-inning game as the nightcap.
The Bears’ originally scheduled March 24 game at Sam Houston State has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. Baylor’s originally scheduled April 21 home game against Texas State has been moved to Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m.
• Baylor has six last-at-bat victories this season, the most by a Baylor team since the 2005 squad had 12.
• Baylor has three extra-inning victories this season after only one such win last year.
• Baylor is 10-1 in one-run games, winning nine straight such contests.
• Baylor ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference in batting (.308), seventh in pitching (4.92) and eighth in fielding (.965) through games of April 8.
• Baylor’s 21 runs last Sunday at Kansas were its most runs in a Big 12 game since a 22-6 victory at home Feb. 26, 1999, against Kansas State. It ranks as the third-best run total in any Big 12 game for Baylor and its best ever in a Big 12 road game. It was the fourth time Baylor has eclipsed the 20-run plateau in a Big 12 game; the other three games were in 1999: 23-8 vs. Iowa State, 22-6 vs. Kansas State and 20-4 vs. Texas.
• Baylor is hitting .429 (12-for-28) with the bases loaded, including two grand slams.
• Baylor is hitting .354 (114-for-322) with runners in scoring position.
• Baylor has 73 two-out RBI this season, while holding its opponents to 37 two-out RBI. The Bears have produced 20 two-out RBI to its opponents’ eight two-out RBI over the last five games.
• Baylor has averaged 2.9 two-out RBI per game over the last 10 games.
• Baylor is hitting .364 (24-for-66) with two outs and .455 (25-for-55) with runners in scoring position over the last five games.
• Baylor pinch hitters have a collective .267 average (16-for-60) with three home runs.
• Baylor is hitting .413 (59-for-143) in the third inning and .346 (28-for-81) in the ninth inning.
• Baylor batters are 7-for-8 in extra innings.
• Baylor pitchers have a 1.616 groundout-to-flyout ratio (307 groundouts, 190 flyouts).
• Three Bears rank in the league’s top 20 in batting average: 1B Dustin Dickerson (17th, .353), SS Shaver Hansen (18th, .350) and 2B Joey Hainsfurther (20th, .349). Hainsfurther ranks second among league freshmen.
• Two Bears rank in the league’s top 20 in ERA: RHP Logan Verrett (12th, 3.13) and RHP Kendal Volz (20th (3.92). Verrett ranks fifth among league freshmen.
• Hansen is tied for the Big 12 lead with 11 home runs, 16th nationally. He also is tied for 10th in doubles (9), tied for 10th in RBI (31), fifth in total bases (83) and fourth in slugging percentage (.709).
• Hansen leads the Big 12 with six home runs in league play. He has hit at least one home run in each of the Bears’ four conference series; interestingly, he hit all six home runs in Sunday games (middle game of Texas A&M series). ... Hansen ranks second in the league with five doubles in Big 12 play.
• CF/RHP Brooks Pinckard has four stolen bases in Big 12 games, tied for third in the league.
• RF/LHP Aaron Miller ranks seventh in the Big 12 in on base percentage (.476).
• After drawing 16 walks in the season’s first 18 games, Miller has just two walks in the last 12 games.
• Miller’s sixth-inning solo home run Wednesday night against Dallas Baptist was his first since a game-tying grand slam in the seventh inning of the March 8 game against UAB, ending an 18-game, 58-at-bat drought.
• LF Adam Hornung ranks seventh in the league in slugging percentage (.652).
• Verrett ranks second in the Big 12 and tied for second nationally with seven wins, the most by a Baylor freshman since Ryan LaMotta finished the 2003 season 7-3. Verrett also ranks 10th in the league in strikeouts (47).
• Verrett is one of four pitchers tied for the league lead with three wins in Big 12 play. He ranks fourth in the league with 29 strikeouts in conference games.
• Miller’s 1.88 ERA in Big 12 games ranks fourth in the league. He is averaging 13.81 strikeouts per nine innings in Big 12 play, second in the league behind only Missouri’s Kyle Gibson (13.97). Miller’s .184 opponents’ batting average in conference games is tied for fourth in the league.
MISSOURI 12, BAYLOR 2 (7 INNINGS) • MARCH 23, 2008 • TAYLOR STADIUM • COLUMBIA, MO.
Two big innings proved costly as the Bears dropped a 12-2, seven-inning decision at Missouri in the series finale at Taylor Stadium. Missouri swept the three-game series with the win.
After getting an unearned run in the third, Missouri exploded for five runs on five hits and a Baylor error in the third to take a commanding 6-0 lead. The key play in the inning came with two runs already in, the bases loaded and two outs. Ryan Lollis hit a chopper to Baylor third basemen Shaver Hansen, who misplayed the ball allowing a run to score and the inning to continue.
Baylor snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak with two runs in the top of the seventh. Raynor Campbell plated the first run with an RBI double, and Beamer Weems scored Campbell with a two-out single up the middle. However, the Bears stranded runners on the corners in what proved to be their last at bat of the game.
Missouri scored six runs on only three hits in the bottom of the seventh, pushing its lead to 10 runs and evoking the conference’s mercy rule used in series finales. Three Baylor pitchers walked four batters, and Jacob Priday was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to end the game.
Tigers’ starter Kyle Gibson tossed a complete game for the win; he allowed two unearned runs on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.
Bears’ starter Willie Kempf was saddled with the loss. He allowed six runs — only two of which were earned — on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts over 4.0 innings.
HANSEN NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SS Shaver Hansen was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Hansen is the second Baylor player so honored this season; RF/LHP Aaron Miller earned the conference’s weekly honor last month. Kansas right-hander T.J. Walz was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
A junior from Grand Junction, Colo., Hansen was 7-for-20 in five games last week with five home runs, seven RBI, eight runs, a double, 23 total bases and a 1.150 slugging percentage. He tied a Baylor single-game record with three home runs in Sunday’s series finale at Kansas, becoming the fifth player in Baylor history to accomplish the feat. Hansen was the third Bear to homer three times in a Big 12 game and the first to do so since 1999.
Hansen’s third home run Sunday was Baylor’s eighth of the game, tying a single-game school record and establishing a single-game school record for a conference game. Hansen has eight home runs in his last 12 games, going deep in six of those 12 games.
Hansen is the 16th 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, Ben Booker and Miller.
BAYLOR-MISSOURI SERIES FEATURES USA BASEBALL REUNION
This weekend’s Baylor-Missouri series is a reunion of sorts for USA Baseball alumni. Friday night starters Kendal Volz and Kyle Gibson both were members of the 2008 USA Baseball National Team that posted a 24-0 record and won gold medals at Haarlem Baseball Week in The Netherlands and the FISU World Championships in the Czech Republic. In fact, Volz and Gibson were roommates during the tour.
Baylor head coach Steve Smith served as National Team head coach during the team’s 2005 tour; Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson was an assistant coach on that staff. Smith also served as an assistant on Ron Polk’s 1998 National Team staff. Furthermore, Baylor SS Shaver Hansen and Missouri RF Aaron Senne both participated in the 2008 National Team Trials.
DICKERSON CONTINUES STREAK
1B Dustin Dickerson was 2-for-4 with a double Wednesday night against Dallas Baptist, pushing his career-long hitting streak to 16 games. That is the second-longest streak in the Big 12 this season behind only teammate Aaron Miller’s 17-game run. Dickerson’s streak is the longest active streak in the league; he is hitting .343 (23-for-67) during the streak.
Here is a look at the longest hitting streaks in the Big 12 this season (through games of April 8):
17 — Aaron Miller, Baylor
16 — Dustin Dickerson, Baylor *
15 — Chris Richburg, Texas Tech
14 — Tony Thompson, Kansas **
13 — Adam Bailey, Nebraska
13 — Garrett Buechele, Oklahoma *
13 — Bryant Hernandez, Oklahoma
13 — Neil Medchill, Oklahoma State
12 — Michael Dabbs, Oklahoma State *
12 — David Narodowski, Kansas
* - active; ** - Thompson also hit safely in the final nine games of the 2008 season.
NOW VERRETT IS LOOKING FOR SUPPORT
RHP Kendal Volz has been plagued by poor run support since the beginning of last year’s conference season. In fact, Volz had the lowest average run support of any Big 12 pitcher with at least seven league starts last season. However, Volz has been given eight runs of support twice in his last three starts.
Now, RHP Logan Verrett is looking for support as the Bears have averaged 2.67 runs in his three starts. The Bears scored five runs in his first career start, a win over Texas Tech three weeks ago. Verrett earned the victory in Baylor’s 3-2 win over Kansas State the following week. However, the Bears were shutout in Verrett’s last start, a 6-0 loss at Kansas last weekend.
HANSEN HOMERUN TALLY AMONG BAYLOR BESTS
With 11 home runs on the season, SS Shaver Hansen is tied for the Big 12 lead in round-trippers; he also leads the conference with six homers in league games. Hansen ranks 16th nationally in home runs through games of April 5; his 0.39 per-game average ranks 19th nationally.
Hansen is the first Baylor infielder with 10-plus home runs in a season since Michael Griffin had 10 in 2004. Hansen’s 11 homers are the most by a Baylor infielder since 1999 when Matt Williams had 19 and Eric Nelson had 17. Seven of Hansen’s homers have come while playing shortstop, two shy of Beamer Weems’ 2007 single-season school record.
A product of Grand Junction, Colo., Hansen has eight home runs in the last 12 games, homering in six of those 12 games. He is hitting .422 (19-for-45) in that time with 20 RBI, three doubles, 16 runs, 46 total bases and a 1.022 slugging percentage.
BOOKER CONTINUES WARMING TREND
In what has been a trend throughout his career, LF Ben Booker has pulled out of his early season slump over the past three weeks. Booker has a career batting average of .229 (43-for-188) prior to March 17 and a .326 career batting average (150-for-460) after March 17.
This has happened each season of his career. As a freshman in 2006, he hit .212 (7-for-33) through March 16 and .282 (37-for-131) the rest of the season. In 2007, he hit .254 (17-for-67) through March 16 and .327 (54-for-165) the rest of the season. Last year, he hit .239 (16-for-67) through March 16 and .309 (43-for-139) the rest of the season.
The 2009 season has been no different. Booker limped to a 3-for-21 start, but he is hitting .640 (16-for-25) in 11 games since March 17. In that time, he has one home run, 10 RBI, 15 runs, three doubles, 22 total bases and an .880 slugging percentage. Furthermore, Booker has struck out only once since March 17 and is 3-for-3 in stolen bases.
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.
THREE UPCOMING BAYLOR GAMES TELEVISED
Baylor’s May 1 series opener at Texas has been selected for national broadcast by ESPNU. First pitch for the game will be 8:05 p.m. CDT at Disch-Falk Field in Austin.
This is one of four Baylor games selected for broadcast this season. Other TV games for the Bears this season are April 18 at Oklahoma State (FSN), April 25 vs. Oklahoma (FSN) and May 16 at Nebraska (NET-TV; Nebraska regional broadcast).
Baylor is 29-33 all-time in televised games, including a 6-5 mark on ESPN networks.
VERRETT AMONG ELITE CLUB
RHP Logan Verrett is the 11th Baylor freshman to post at least six wins. Furthermore, he is only the fifth to accomplish the feat during head coach Steve Smith’s tenure, joining Ryan LaMotta (2003), Abe Woody (2003), Kendal Volz (2007) and Shawn Tolleson (2008). Aaron Lineweaver established Baylor’s record for wins by a freshman with nine in 1993.
Verrett, who is tied for second nationally in wins, is the fifth Baylor freshman to win at least seven games and the first to win accomplish the feat since LaMotta was 7-3 in 2003. Verrett’s 7-0 start tied the school record for consecutive wins to start a career by a freshman; Ted Richardson finished the 1985 season at 7-0.
Baylor plays five games next week, continuing a stretch of 26 games in 34 days from March 26 through April 28. The Bears play a home-and-home midweek set against UT Arlington. The Bears and Mavericks meet Tuesday at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington and Wednesday at Baylor Ballpark; first pitch for both games is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CDT.
The Bears hit the road next weekend, traveling to Stillwater, Okla., for a three-game Big 12 Conference series at Oklahoma State. Games are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on the Oklahoma State campus. The Saturday game will be televised nationally on FSN.