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No. 6 Baseball Looks to Make History vs. TAMU-CC

Head coach Steve Smith needs one win to become the all-time wins leader in any sport in Baylor history.

Head coach Steve Smith needs one win to become the all-time wins leader in any sport in Baylor history.

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Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (15-20) at No. 20 Baylor (30-7)
April 17-18, 2012 | Waco, Texas | Baylor Ballpark (5,000)
GAME NOTES Get Acrobat Reader
TUES. | 6:35 P.M.
All Tickets $3
  Gametracker

Probable Starters:
BU - RHP Austin Stone, Fr.
1-0, 4.26 ERA, 12.2 IP, 7 K
TAMU-CC - LHP Trevor Belicek, Fr.

0-0, 5.40 ERA, 3.1 IP, 3 K
WED. | 4:05 P.M.
$1 Hot Dogs
  Gametracker

Probable Starters:
BU - TBA

TAMU-CC - RHP Jacob Dorris, Fr.

0-1, 7.11 ERA, 6.1 IP, 8 K

No. 6-ranked Baylor baseball will look to make history when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for a pair of midweek games at Baylor Ballpark. With a win in Tuesday's 6:35 p.m. game, the Bears would tie the school record with a 20-game winning streak, while head coach Steve Smith would earn his 650th career win, making him Baylor's all-time wins leader in any sport.

With a win on Tuesday, the Bears would have a chance to set a new record for longest winning streak in school history when the teams meet again at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday. All tickets for Tuesday's game are $3, including any available reserved seats, and Wednesday's game is $1 hot dog night.

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.

Following the midweek games against the Islanders, Baylor takes on Texas A&M in the final Big 12 edition of the Battle of the Brazos. The Bears sit atop the conference standings with a perfect 15-0 record, but Texas A&M is tied for second place with Texas at 9-3 in league play. The series opener against the Aggies is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Friday in College Station, and then the series moves to Baylor Ballpark for a 6:35 p.m. game on Saturday and a 2:05 p.m. series finale on Sunday.

SERIES INFORMATION

TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI ISLANDERS
Overall:  Baylor leads 5-0
Waco:  Baylor leads 5-0
Corpus Christi:  Never Met
Neutral Site:  Never Met

Steve Smith vs. TAMU-CC:  5-0
Note:  Baylor has been ranked every time it has faced Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
   

COACHES

BAYLOR:  Steve Smith

   Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986

   Career Record: 649-422-1 (18th season)

   Record at Baylor: 649-422-1 (18th season)

TEXAS
A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI: Scott Malone

   Career Record: 114-148-2 (5th season)

   Record at TAMU-CC: 114-148-2 (5th season)

 

BAYLOR-IMG COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK

Online at www.BaylorBears.com
1660 ESPN Radio in Waco

   Tom Barfield (pxp) and Lark Smith (color)

BAYLOR VS. TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI SERIES HISTORY
Baylor is 5-0 in the all-time series against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. All five games have been played at Baylor Ballpark during the Steve Smith era. Baylor has been ranked in each of its five games against the Islanders, and the teams haven't met since March 26, 2008.

No. 5 Baylor knocked off the Islanders 7-1 in the first-ever meeting between the teams on April 26, 2000. The teams played a three-game series April 12-14, 2002, and the 17th-ranked Bears swept that series with a 6-5 win in the opener, an 11-5 win in the second game and a 13-9 victory in the finale.

The 20th-ranked Bears beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 11-8 on March 26, 2008 in the only meeting between the teams in the last nine years.

LUDY NAMED NATIONAL HITTER OF THE WEEK (COLLEGIATE BASEBALL)
Baylor senior catcher Josh Ludy became the seventh Baylor player to earn National Player of the Week from Collegiate Baseball when he was honored on April 16. The Bears have had one player honored in each of the last three seasons. Ludy joins Jon Topolski (1998), Kyle Evans (2000), Jared Theodorakos (2002), Cory VanAllen (2004), Raynor Campbell (2010) and Logan Verrett (2011) on Baylor's list of Louisville Slugger National Players of the week.

Ludy helped the Bears to a 5-0 week, including a three-game sweep at Kansas State that extended Baylor's winning streak to 19 games. He hit .647 (11-for-17) with four home runs, 12 RBI, five runs scored and three walks during the week. His 11 RBI in the series at Kansas State broke the Baylor record for most RBI in a Big 12 series.

The Portland, Ind. native hit three home runs in the series finale at K-State, marking the seventh time a Baylor player has homered three times in a game. His seven RBI in the game were the most by a Baylor player since 2004, and he also had the Bears' first five-hit game since 2009.

RECORD-SETTING STREAK
Baylor's current 19-game winning streak is the second-longest in program history and the longest of the 18-year Steve Smith era. A win in Tuesday's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi would tie the longest winning streak in school history a 20-game streak in 1985.

With last Tuesday's win against Louisiana-Monroe, the Bears passed the previous No. 2 streak of 14 straight wins (twice; 1998 and 1999).

The Bears' streak is even more impressive considering 15 of the 19 games have been against Big 12 Conference opponents. Baylor's longest previous Big 12 winning streak was nine games in 1999, and Baylor had never swept more than two consecutive Big 12 series prior to this season. The Bears opened the 2012 season of Big 12 play with five consecutive series sweeps (vs. Texas Tech, vs. Kansas, vs. Oklahoma State, at Missouri and at Kansas State).

SMITH ONE WIN AWAY FROM ALL-TIME WINS RECORD
With Sunday's win at Kansas State, head coach Steve Smith tied Baylor's all-time wins record for any sport with his 649th career victory. Smith is 649-422-1 in 18 seasons leading the Bears, and with his next win he'll pass his predecessor, the late Mickey Sullivan (649-428-4) for the Baylor coaching wins record. Sullivan recorded his 649 wins in 1,081 games, while Smith sits on 649 wins through 1,072 games.

PILING UP BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS ...
Baylor has had the Big 12 Conference's Player of the Week five times this season, tying Texas Tech (2004) for the most by any team in a single season in conference history. Logan Vick (Feb. 27 & March 19), Max Muncy (March 26), Jake Miller (April 2) and Josh Ludy (April 16) have all been honored. Vick, Muncy and Miller combined to give the Bears Big 12 Players of the Week in three consecutive weeks, and with Ludy's award the Bears won in four of five weeks.

... AND BIG 12 PITCHER AND NEWCOMER WEEKLY AWARDS
Baylor has also had two players earn Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors and two more players earn the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week award. Josh Turley was honored as Pitcher of the Week on April 9, while Trent Blank earned the same award on Feb. 27. Freshman Adam Toth picked up the Bears' first-ever Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honor on April 9 -- the award was created in 2011 -- and Michael Howard was named Newcomer of the Week on April 16.

Baylor's nine Big 12 weekly honors this season are the most in a single-season in program history, and the seven combined Pitcher and Player of the Week awards are the most Big 12 weekly honors in program history without the addition of the two-year-old Newcomer award. Baylor's previous high was six weekly honors in both 2004 and 2005.

RECORD-SETTING START TO BIG 12 PLAY
Baylor's 15-0 start to Big 12 play is the best by any team in the league's 16-year history. Texas held the previous record with a 7-0 start in 1999. The Bears have swept five consecutive Big 12 series for the first time in program history (Baylor had never swept three straight Big 12 series prior to this season). The Bears' 15-game Big 12 winning streak this season is the third-longest by any team in Big 12 Conference history:

  • 17 games -- Texas 2000
  • 16 games -- Texas A&M 2008
  • 15 games -- Baylor 2012
  • 14 games -- Nebraska 2000
  • 10 games -- Oklahoma 2006

BLANK-ING OPPONENTS
Baylor senior RHP Trent Blank leads the nation with eight wins (8-0) and has won 10 straight decisions dating back to his last two decisions in 2011.

Blank's success can be attributed to a drop in his arm slot, which was done during a bullpen session at the recommendation of pitching coach Trevor Mote. Blank's first outing with the lower arm slot was May 10, 2011 at TCU, when he went 3.1 scoreless innings.

With the lower arm slot, Blank has combined to go 10-0 with a 2.97 ERA over 72.2 innings pitched. If one bad relief outing in the 2011 Houston Regional against California is removed from the record, he's gone 10-0 with a 2.38 ERA over 72.0 innings of work. Prior to changing his arm slot, Blank had gone 6-4 with a 6.15 ERA over 98.0 innings in his first two-and-a-half seasons at Baylor. Here's a before and after comparison of his numbers:

BEFORE
Feb. 9, 2009 -
April 30, 2011
AFTER
May 10, 2011 -
present
W-L 6-4 10-0
ERA 6.15 2.97
IP 98.0 72.2
H 124 60
R/ER 73/67 25/24
WHIP 1.643 1.142

CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Four Baylor players have started every game at the same position in 2012: Max Muncy (1B), Cal Towey (3B), Logan Vick (CF) and Jake Miller (SS). Lawton Langford (2B) has started 28 of the last 30 games, giving the Bears the same infield starters in 28 of 30 games since Feb. 21.

Nathan Orf (LF/DH) and Josh Ludy (C/DH) have each been out of the starting lineup only one time this season. The consistency carries over to the batting order, as Orf (leadoff/2nd/3rd), Muncy (2nd/3rd), Ludy (cleanup/6th) and Vick (cleanup/5th) have hit in three or fewer spots in the lineup in every game.

Adam Toth started 7 of the first 8 games in right field before breaking his wrist, and Logan Brown (12 games) and Michael Howard (9 games) split time when he was out. Toth has started all 6 games since returning in the Oklahoma State series finale on April 1.

QUICK HITS
• SERIES: Baylor leads the all-time series 5-0, with every game played in Waco during the Steve Smith era.
• Baylor is ranked in all five college baseball polls this week. The Bears' highest ranking is in the Collegiate Baseball poll (No. 3), and they're ranked No. 6 in the Baseball America Top 25.
• Baylor's current 19-game winning streak is the nation's longest active streak. The streak is the 2nd-longest in program history and is 1 win shy of the school record of 20 straight wins in 1985.
• Baylor's 15-game Big 12 winning streak is the 3rd-longest by any team in the league's 16-year history, behind only Texas (17 games in 2010) and Texas A&M (16 games in 2008).
• Baylor's 19-game winning streak is the 2nd-longest nationally this season (Kentucky started 22-0).
• Baylor's 13-game home winning streak is the nation's 2nd-longest active home winning streak (Jackson State, 14). The Bears are 20-3 at Baylor Ballpark this season.
• Baylor has outscored opponents 153-82, hit .338 as a team and posted a 3.34 ERA during the 19-game streak.
• Baylor's bullpen is 10-0 with a 3.08 ERA in 73.0 innings during the 19-game winning streak.
• Baylor has won 8 consecutive road games, which is tied for the nation's longest active road winning streak.
• Baylor's 15-0 start in Big 12 play is the best by any team in the conference's 16-year history -- 8 games better than the previous longest winning streak to start a Big 12 season (Texas started 7-0 in 1999).
• Baylor is 18-0 this season in games started by Josh Turley (9-0) or Trent Blank (9-0).
• Head coach Steve Smith is tied for the all-time wins record at Baylor with 649 career victories in 18 seasons.
• Smith is 649-422-1 and with his next win, he will pass his predecessor Mickey Sullivan (649-428-4) for the most wins by any coach in Baylor Athletics history.
• Baylor has homered in 10 of the last 14 games after hitting home runs in 1 of its previous 29 games.
• Six Baylor starters have on-base percentages above .400, eight Baylor regulars have batting averages at .297 or higher, and five different Bears have at least 6 stolen bases.
• Baylor has swept five straight Big 12 series for the first time in program history. The Bears had never swept three straight Big 12 series prior to this season.
• Baylor has had 5 Big 12 Players of the Week this season, tying Texas Tech (2004) for the conference record.
• Four Baylor players have started every game this season at the same position.
• Baylor has swept 6 series this season (Oral Roberts, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma State, at Missouri, at Kansas State) after sweeping 1 series in 2011. The last time Baylor swept 6 series in a season was 2000.
• Senior RHP Trent Blank leads the nation with 8 wins and has won 10 straight decisions dating back to 2011.
• Blank and junior LHP Josh Turley have each won Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards this season.
• Baylor has won five Big 12 Player of the Week awards (Josh Ludy, Jake Miller, Max Muncy, Logan Vick [twice]).
• Senior C Josh Ludy was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week on April 16. Ludy had the 7th 3-home run game in program history and had 11 RBI in the series sweep at Kansas State.
• Junior 1B Max Muncy was named NCBWA National Hitter of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week on March 26.
• Muncy has started 119 consecutive games at 1B for Baylor. He has missed one start in 153 team games since joining the Baylor program before the 2010 season.
• Vick has won Big 12 Player of the Week twice this season (Feb. 27 & March 19). He's the fifth player in program history to win multiple Big 12 Player of the Week awards in the same year.
• Freshman OF Adam Toth was named Baylor's first-ever Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on April 9, and fellow freshman OF Michael Howard was named co-Big 12 Newcomer of the Week the following week.
• Baylor is 15-2 in its last 17 Big 12 series finales when playing for a series sweep. The Bears have swept 5 Big 12 series in a season for the first time since the 2000.
• Baylor is 20-3 at home in 2012, and BU is 58-21 in its last 79 home games (30-9 in non-conference games).
• Baylor is 5-3 this season when scoring three or fewer runs. The Bears were 3-22 in such games last season.
• Junior C/OF Nathan Orf ranks 6th nationally after being hit by a pitch 19 times this season.
• Honoring a legend: Mickey Sullivan passed away on March 22 in Waco after a long battle with cancer. The Bears' all-time winningest head coach was 80 years of age. He coached Baylor from 1974-1994.
• Baylor is currently 22nd nationally in total home attendance (60,060) and 23rd in average (2,730).
• Baylor has ranked in the nation's top 25 in attendance in all 13 years since Baylor Ballpark opened in 1999.
• Since the start of the 2003 season, Baylor is 27-16 in extra-inning games.
• Baylor hit a season-high 5 home runs in the series finale at K-State (April 15), including 3 from Josh Ludy.
• Baylor rallied from 10-4 down to win the second game of the series at Kansas State on April 14 -- it was the first time the Bears overcame a 6-run deficit to win since March 8, 2009 against UAB.
• Josh Turley tossed Baylor's only complete game this year in the opener at KSU (April 13). It was his 2nd career CG.
• Baylor's 13-inning win vs. Oklahoma State on April 1 was its longest game won since a 14-inning loss at Texas on May 1, 2010. It was the longest Baylor win since a 13-inning victory at Vanderbilt on March 11, 2005.
• Baylor's 9-0 win vs. Kansas on March 24 was its first shutout since May 1, 2011 at Nebraska.

UP NEXT
Baylor takes on Texas A&M in the final Big 12 edition of the Battle of the Brazos this weekend. The series opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Friday in College Station, and then the series shifts to Waco for the final two games. The April 21 game is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark, and the series finale on April 22 is set for 2:05 p.m.


 

 

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