April 17, 2008
GAMES 38-41 APRIL 18-20
BAYLOR (23-14, 8-7) vs. No. 19
FRIDAY: 6:30 p.m. CDT, Olsen Field,
SATURDAY: 6:30 p.m. CDT, Baylor Ballpark -- Presented by H.E.B.
SUNDAY: 2:00 p.m. CDT, Baylor Ballpark -- Presented by Capstone Mechanical; free admission 12 and under
Baylor returns to action this weekend with the annual
The Bears (23-12, 8-7) split a pair of midweek games against Dallas Baptist with the home team winning both games. Baylor took two of three at
The Aggies (30-7, 12-3) enter the weekend in first place in the Big 12 standings after a sweep of
Baylor and Texas A&M have played eight common opponents this season -- Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stephen F. Austin, UT Arlington and UTSA. The Bears are 11-6 against those eight times, while the Aggies are 15-2.
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Baylor: RHP Kendal Volz, So. (3-3, 4.78 ERA, 49.0 IP, 19 BB, 56 K)
Baylor: RHP Shawn Tolleson, Fr. (4-1, 3.44 ERA, 52.1 IP, 19 BB, 43 K)
Baylor: RHP Willie Kempf, So. (5-1, 3.71 ERA, 43.2 IP, 24 BB, 30 K)
Neutral Site: Baylor leads 6-5
Since Start of Big 12: Baylor leads 21-15
Regular Season: Baylor leads 20-13
First Meeting: result unknown [4/9/1904]
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 513-325-1 [14th season]
Record at Baylor: 513-325-1 [14th season]
Alma Mater: Northwood, 1990
Career Record: 103-56-1 [3rd season]
Record at TAMU: 103-56-1 [3rd season]
BAYLOR/ISP SPORTS NETWORK
1660 ESPN RADIO (
Tom Barfield, play-by-play
Lark Smith, color
Video (Friday): www.AggieAthletics.com
Video (Saturday-Sunday): www.BaylorBears.com
BAYLOR-TEXAS A&M SERIES
Baylor and Texas A&M meet for the 257th, 258th and 259th times this weekend. The Aggies hold a 142-113-1 advantage in the all-time series, the second-most played series in Baylor baseball history behind only
The Bears hold a 72-67 advantage in games played in
The Bears and the Aggies began using the current split-series format in 1993. Since that time, the home team is 25-20. Only three times (1999, 2002 and 2006) has the home team won all three games. In 2001, the visiting team won all three games.
Last season, Texas A&M took the series opener 12-7 at Baylor Ballpark. The Aggies won the second game of the series 5-3 at Olsen Field thanks to a four-run second. However, the Bears rallied for seven runs in the top of the ninth to take the series finale 16-12 at Olsen Field; it a Baylor record for ninth-inning runs in a Big 12 game. Ben Booker's three-run homer tied the game at 12-12; the Bears added four runs on a Beamer Weems RBI double, a Dustin Dickerson RBI single and a Tim Jackson two-run double.
STREAKS AND TIDBITS
LF Ben Booker has hit safely in four straight games and in 11 of the last 12. His lone hitless game in that span was an 0-for-3 night in the
Baylor is 17-7 this season in weekend games, sweeping series against Purdue, Mississippi State and Kansas, winning all three games at the QTI Baylor Classic (Illinois, Illinois-Chicago and Stephen F. Austin), and winning two of three against Oklahoma State and at Kansas State. In fact, dating back to last season, the Bears have won 20 of 27 regular-season weekend games. Baylor swept
After going 4-5 in one-run games last season, Baylor has reversed its fortunes in such games this year with a 10-5 mark. The Bears' 10 one-run wins and their 15 one-run games are the most by a Baylor team since the 2005 squad was 15-8, establishing a school record for one-run wins. In 2004, Baylor established school records for one-run one-run losses with a 7-16 mark.
Baylor has won two games in its final at bat -- the season-opener against Purdue and the series opener against
BAYLOR IN BIG 12 CONFERENCE STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Baylor ranks ninth in batting average (.277), seventh in ERA (4.77) and first in fielding percentage (.972) through games of April 16. In league games, the Bears rank eighth in batting average (.249), fifth in ERA (4.68) and fourth in fielding percentage (.976).
Individually in all games: RF Aaron Miller is tied for third in home runs (9), tied for ninth in doubles (11) and 10th in total bases (79). 1B Dustin Dickerson is tied for sixth in doubles (12). 3B Shaver Hansen is third in triples (5), while LF Ben Booker is tied for fourth (3). RHP Shawn Tolleson is 17th in ERA (3.44), second in shutouts (2), tied for third in complete games (2) and seventh in innings (52.1). RHP Willie Kempf is 19th in ERA (2.71) and tied for sixth in wins (5). RHP Kendal Volz is third in strikeouts (56), while RHP Nick Cassavechia is tied for fifth in saves (5).
Individually in league games: CF Raynor Campbell is eighth in batting average (.367), tied for ninth in hits (18), tied for 10th in doubles (4), tied for sixth in triples (1) and eighth in slugging percentage (.612). Dickerson and Miller are tied for ninth in home runs (3), while Dickerson is tied for fifth in walks (11). Booker and Hansen are tied with
NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Through games of April 13, Baylor ranked eighth in double plays turned (39) and 14th in double plays turned per game (1.11). The Bears' fielding percentage (.972) ranked 25th nationally. Baylor also ranked 27th in walks drawn (168), 49th in sacrifice bunts (27), 30th in triples (13) and 56th in home runs (34).
Individually, 3B Shaver Hansen was 26th in triples (4), while RF Aaron Miller was 64th in home runs (9). RHP Kendal Volz was 34th in strikeouts (56), RHP Willie Kempf was 68th in victories (5), and RHP Nick Cassavechia was 48th in saves (5).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
As the numbers go, so go the Bears. In its 23 wins this season, Baylor has hit .316 and averaged 8.1 runs per game with a 3.66 ERA. Conversely, the Bears have hit .209 and averaged 3.1 runs per game with a 6.75 ERA in their 14 losses.
Part of Baylor's offensive woes in losses can be attributed to two areas: leadoff on base percentage and average with runners in scoring position. Baylor's leadoff batter has reached safely in 43.2 percent of the innings (83-of-192), and the Bears are hitting .341 (93-for-273) with runners in scoring position in games won this season. Meanwhile, in losses, Baylor's leadoff batter has reached safely in 33.6 percent of the innings (42-of-125) and the Bears are hitting .175 (21-for-120) with runners in scoring position.
A large indicator for Baylor's success has been its ability to score without getting the leadoff batter on base. The Bears have failed to get the leadoff batter on base 162 times in 23 wins; Baylor has still scored in 30 of those innings (18.5 percent). At the same time, the Bears have failed to get the leadoff batter on base 83 times in 14 losses; however, Baylor has scored in only four of those innings (4.8 percent).
TOLLESON, VOLZ LOOKING FOR SUPPORT
In 10 combined Big 12 Conference starts, RHPs Shawn Tolleson and Kendal Volz have garnered a total of 32 runs of support (3.2 per game) with 37.5 percent of those runs (12) coming in one game (April 5 vs. Kansas).
The Bears are 1-4 in Volz' three Big 12 starts, scoring 12 runs in those five games (five vs. Oklahoma State, none at Missouri, two at Oklahoma, four vs. Kansas and one at Kansas State). The Bears are 3-2 in Tolleson's three Big 12 starts, scoring 20 runs in those five games (three vs.
Baylor has given Tolleson 12-plus runs in two of his eight starts this season -- 16 at
Volz earned 51.3 percent of his run support this season in one game -- 20 of 39 in a 20-6 victory over
BAYLOR IS EXTRA SPECIAL
Baylor is 15-5 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season, including a 1-1 mark in such games this season. Baylor was 2-1 in extra-inning games last season, 0-1 in 2006, 6-1 in 2005, 1-0 in 2004 and 5-1 in 2003.
Five of the 15 wins over the past six seasons have come on an opponent's home field (
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 during mid-May.
FIVE BAYLOR GAMES SLATED FOR TELEVISION
Five Baylor games are scheduled for television broadcast this season, including two home games. The Bears will be on CSTV twice: April 1 at TCU (7 p.m. CT) and April 22 vs.
Since 1988, Baylor has played on television 57 times, including a program-best 12 games in 2005. Over the past 20 years, the Bears are 28-29 in televised games.
BAYLOR AMONG NATIONAL APR LEADERS
Baylor received a public recognition award from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program in 2007 for having an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score that ranks among the top 10 percent within their sport. The Bears' most-recent APR score was 983 with an adjusted squad size mark of 992. Baylor was one of 30 Division I programs honored by the NCAA. Head coach Steve Smith's squad was the only of Baylor's 19 varsity teams so honored.
CASSAVECHIA AMONG NATIONAL CAREER SAVES LEADERS
RHP Nick Cassavechia entered the 2008 season with 19 career saves, a total that was tied for second in Baylor history and led all active Big 12 Conference pitchers. Furthermore, Cassavechia ranked sixth nationally in career saves among active players behind only Kelly Heyne (24,
Cassavechia's career total is even more impressive considering he has been Baylor's closer for not even two full seasons. He moved into the closer role during the first week of April in 2006 and has amassed all his saves since that point. He tallied 11 saves as a junior in 2007, tying for fourth in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally. It also tied for the third-best season total in Baylor history. Cassavechia, who had eight saves as a sophomore in 2006, joins Zane Carlson (2000, 2001) as the only Baylor pitchers to record at least eight saves in consecutive seasons.
BAYLOR BALLPARK CELEBRATES MILESTONE GAME
Baylor's 2008 season opener was the Bears' 300th game at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears are 225-83 (.731) at home since the stadium opened in 1999. Baylor Ballpark, which celebrates its 10th season in 2008, has drawn over 800,000 fans in its existence. Baylor is one of only eight Division I schools to average at least 2,700 fans per game each season since 2000. The facility was voted the nation's third-best college baseball stadium in a 2003 Baseball
While the season opener was the Bears' 300th game at Baylor Ballpark, the facility already had celebrated its 300th college game. Including the 1999, 2000 and 2005 NCAA Regionals and the 2006 and 2007 Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classics, a total of 16 Division I games that did not involve the Bears have been played at Baylor Ballpark.
TRIPLE YOUR PLEASURE
Baylor batters tallied 58 triples over the past two seasons. Only
Furthermore, Baylor joins
Baylor's Jon Topolski led the nation with 11 triples in 1998. Seth Fortenberry tied for third nationally with 10 triples in 2006, and Ben Booker tied for 15th nationally last season with seven. Michael Griffin was 25th nationally with 0.12 triples per game in 2003, one year after Mike Huggins was 25th nationally with 0.11 triples per contest.
BIG 12 COACHES PICK BAYLOR THIRD
Baylor was picked third in the 2008 Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Bears garnered one first-place vote and 65 total points, six behind second-place
This is Baylor's highest preseason pick by the league's coaches since 2004 when the Bears were tabbed second. The Bears have been picked fourth in the preseason poll each of the past three seasons.
In the 11-year history of the Big 12, only five schools have claimed regular-season titles: Baylor (2000, 2005);
FIVE BEARS EARN PRESEASON HONORS
Five Baylor players garnered preseason accolades from various publications and outlets this year, including two preseason All-America honors.
RHP Nick Cassavechia was a preseason All-America pick by
SS Beamer Weems was a second-team preseason All-America selection by Rivals.com and by
RHP Shawn Tolleson was ranked second nationally on the Rivals.com 2008 Impact Freshmen List. He sat out the 2007 season as a medical redshirt.
RHP Kendal Volz was named the third-best pro prospect in the Big 12 Conference for the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.
SIX BEARS ON BASEBALL
RHP Shawn Tolleson was rated as the 15th-best prospect among freshmen; Tolleson, who missed the 2007 season with a medical redshirt, will be draft eligible in 2009 after his sophomore seasons.
Four Bears appearend on the sophomore list: RF Aaron Miller (11th), RHP Kendal Volz (14th), 1B Dustin Dickerson (32nd) and 2B Raynor Campbell (50th). Of that group, only
RHP Randall Linebaugh was rated as the 14th-best prospect among seniors. Linebaugh, one of only two three-year lettermen on Baylor's 2008 roster, has never been drafted.
BEARS ON SHORT LIST FOR RECENT NCAA SUCCESS
Baylor is one of 15 NCAA Division I programs and one of only two from the Big 12 Conference with at least nine NCAA Tournament appearances in the past 10 years. The Bears have made nine tournament appearances in that time (missing only the 2004 event) with three Super Regional appearances and one College World Series appearance.
Others on the elite list are:
Baylor plays two midweek games for the fifth consecutive week. The Bears host
This will be the 323rd meeting between Baylor and
Baylor and UT Arlington meet for the 101st time Wednesday. This is the eight most-played series in Baylor baseball history; Baylor has played more games against UTA than against any other program that was not a Southwest Conference member. In fact, the Bears have played more games against UTA since the series began Feb. 26, 1973, than against any other program.
The Bears hold a 72-28 advantage in the all-time series, including a 28-16 edge in games played at