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Bears Face Aggies in Battle of the Brazos

RHP Willie Kempf is 5-0 with a 2.88 ERA in 12 career appearances at Baylor Ballpark.

RHP Willie Kempf is 5-0 with a 2.88 ERA in 12 career appearances at Baylor Ballpark.

April 17, 2008

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GAMES 38-41    APRIL 18-20

 

BAYLOR (23-14, 8-7) vs. No. 19 TEXAS A&M (30-7, 12-3)

FRIDAY:  6:30 p.m. CDT, Olsen Field, College Station, Texas

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 Battle of the Brazos split series against Texas A&M. The Bears and the Aggies meet for a 6:30 p.m. CDT first pitch Friday at Olsen Field in College Station. The series then shifts to Baylor Ballpark for games Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. This is the sixth Big 12 Conference series for both teams.

            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 Kansas State last weekend and enters the Texas A&M series in a three-way tie for fourth in the Big 12 standings. The Bears are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have won six of their last seven conference games. Baylor is unranked in all four major polls but is among teams receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30. The Bears are 6-10 on the road this season, all coming on opponents' home fields, with a 3-6 mark on the road in Big 12 play. Meanwhile, Baylor is 17-4 at home, including a 5-1 mark in conference action, and 17-7 in weekend games.

            The Aggies (30-7, 12-3) enter the weekend in first place in the Big 12 standings after a sweep of Oklahoma at home last weekend. Texas A&M ended a 13-game winning streak at home Tuesday night with an 11-2 loss to Rice. The Aggies are ranked 19th in this week's Baseball America Top 25. The Aggies also are ranked eighth nationally in each of the three other major polls. Texas A&M is 24-5 at home this season, including an 8-1 mark in Big 12 play. The Aggies are 6-2 on the road, all coming on opponents' home fields; Texas A&M is 4-2 on the road in conference action.

            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 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 CSTV Network. Live streaming video also is available for the Texas A&M series at www.AggieAthletics.com for the Friday game and at www.BaylorBears.com for the Saturday and Sunday games.

 

 

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

FRIDAY

Baylor:  RHP Kendal Volz, So. (3-3, 4.78 ERA, 49.0 IP, 19 BB, 56 K)

Texas A&M:  LHP Brooks Raley, Fr. (5-0, 3.42 ERA, 47.1 IP, 10 BB, 40 K)

 

SATURDAY

Baylor:  RHP Shawn Tolleson, Fr. (4-1, 3.44 ERA, 52.1 IP, 19 BB, 43 K)

Texas A&M:  RHP Barrett Loux, Fr. (2-1, 5.00 ERA, 45.0 IP, 20 BB, 49 K)

 

SUNDAY

Baylor:  RHP Willie Kempf, So. (5-1, 3.71 ERA, 43.2 IP, 24 BB, 30 K)

Texas A&M:  RHP Clayton Ehlert, So. (5-2, 3.00 ERA, 39.0 IP, 6 BB, 27 K)

 

 

THE SERIES

Overall: Texas A&M leads 142-113-1

            Waco:   Baylor leads 72-67

            College Station:            Texas A&M leads 70-35-1

            Neutral Site:      Baylor leads 6-5

Since Start of Big 12:    Baylor leads 21-15

            Regular Season:            Baylor leads 20-13

            Postseason:     Texas A&M leads 2-1

Smith vs. Texas A&M:   24-18

First Meeting:    result unknown [4/9/1904]

Last Meeting:    Texas A&M 14, Baylor 6 [5/27/2007]

 

 

COACHES

BAYLOR:          Steve Smith

            Alma Mater:      Baylor, 1986

            Career Record:  513-325-1 [14th season]

            Record at Baylor:          513-325-1 [14th season]

TEXAS A&M:    Rob Childress

            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 (Waco)

            Tom Barfield, play-by-play

            Lark Smith, color

 

 

INTERNET FEEDS

GameTracker:    www.BaylorBears.com

Audio:  www.BaylorBears.com

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 Texas (318). The Bears have won eight of the last 13 meetings, but Texas A&M won three of four meetings last season when the Aggies won the regular-season series two games to one and defeated the Bears 14-6 in the Big 12 Conference Championship title game. Baylor and Texas A&M first met April 9, 1904.

            The Bears hold a 72-67 advantage in games played in Waco. Texas A&M holds a 70-34-1 advantage in games played at College Station; however, the Bears have won six of the last eight at Olsen Field, and Baylor is 9-4 at Texas A&M since the 2000 season. Baylor leads the series 6-5 in neutral-site games. Baylor leads the series 21-15 since the beginning of Big 12 Conference play in 1997 with a 20-13 edge in regular-season meetings. The Bears have won six of the last eight series, taking only one of three games in the 2001 and 2007 series. Baylor has the only series sweeps during the Big 12 era, doing so in 2000 and 2005.

            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 Kansas State series opener. Booker is hitting .410 (16-for-39) over the last 12 games with three doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI and eight runs scored. ... CF Raynor Campbell has hit safely in 10 consecutive Big 12 games. He is hitting .529 (18-for-34) in Big 12 play since starting the year 0-for-15 in league play. Campbell has hit safely in 13 games this season with eight multiple-hit games. ... RHP Nick Cassavechia has posted a 0.00 ERA with five saves in seven appearances and 10.0 innings in games Baylor has won. ... 1B Dustin Dickerson is riding a four-game hitting streak in which he has collected eight hits, scored five times and driven in seven runs. He has hit safely in 12 of the last 14 games with six multiple-hit games in that time. Dickerson is hitting .404 (21-for-52) over the last 14 games and has reached safely in every game. ... RHP Craig Fritsch has posted a 1.99 ERA over 22.1 innings of relief work this season. ... C Gregg Glime is hitting .241 (7-for-29) since snapping an 0-for-22 slump April 1 at TCU. Glime has reached safely in eight of 10 games in that time. ... 3B Shaver Hansen has hit safely in 14 of the last 17 games. He endured a 1-for-14 weekend at Kansas State last weekend; outside of that stretch, he is hitting .358 (19-for-53) since March 25. ... 1B/DH Adam Hornung leads the team with 44 hits this season. He would be the first player to lead Baylor in hits in his first season with the program since Charley Carter paced the Bears with 99 hits in 1998. Hornung has hit safely in 14 consecutive home games. He leads the Bears with a .429 average (33-for-77) in 21 games at Baylor Ballpark; in fact, his home average is 69 points higher than any other player. ... RHP Willie Kempf's strikeout and walk totals have been the same or one apart from each other in seven of eight starts this season. Kempf is 5-0 with a 2.88 ERA and a .212 opponents' batting average in 12 career appearances, including four starts, at Baylor Ballpark. ... RHP Randall Linebaugh has tallied 11 strikeouts in 8.2 innings over his last four appearances. Of the 12 runs he has allowed this season, nine reached base by virtue of a walk. ... RHP Wade Mackey has allowed at least one earned run in six of his last seven appearances. The lone scoreless outing was a 4.0-inning relief stint March 21 at Missouri, his only Big 12 action this season. ... RHP Tim Matthews has one earned run in 11.0 innings (0.82 ERA) over eight relief appearances this season; opponents are hitting .184 off Matthews as a reliever this season with nine strikeouts and no walks. Matthews has a team-best 27-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season. ... RF Aaron Miller has hit safely in 21 games this season with 12 multiple-hit games. Of his 27 RBI, 17 came in four games. His nine home runs are the most by a Bear in the regular season since Josh Ford had 13 in 2004. Miller leads the team in home runs and would be the first Baylor sophomore to accomplish that feat since Chris Durbin paced the Bears with 14 round-trippers in 2001. ... DH Jon Ringenberg has hit safely, scored, or produced an RBI in nine of the 11 games in which he has played. ... RHP Mace Thurman is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA and a .224 opponents batting average in 19.2 innings over eight appearances at Baylor Ballpark. ... Since allowing five earned runs over 2.1 innings in his first career start, RHP Shawn Tolleson is 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA, two complete-game shutouts and 40 strikeouts against 15 walks in 50.0 innings. Opponents are hitting .217 against the redshirt freshman in those seven games. Tolleson has worked into the sixth inning in each of his last five starts, completing the seventh four times and into the ninth three times. ... RHP Kendal Volz has been given seven runs of support over his last four starts (1.75 per game). Baylor has scored more than five runs in only one of his eight starts this season, a 20-run performance Feb. 29 against Illinois. Volz has tallied at least 10 strikeouts in three of eight starts. He has struck out at least one batter per inning completed in every start. ... 2B Landis Ware is mired in an 0-for-20 slump since going 3-for-4 in the Kansas series finale. Prior to this stretch, Ware had gone hitless in consecutive games only once and had not gone more than seven at bats without a hit. ... SS Beamer Weems is hitting .317 (20-for-63) over the last 17 games and .385 (10-for-26) over the last seven games. He has produced seven multiple-hit games this season, five of which have been three-hit games. Weems is the only Bear with more walks (23) than strikeouts (20) and would be the first to accomplish that feat since Zach Dillon (53-21) and Kevin Russo (33-30) both did so in 2006.

 

WEEKEND WARRIORS

            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 Kansas State in the final Big 12 series last year.

 

CARDIAC KIDS

            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 Kansas. However, the Bears have lost five games in their opponents' final at bat.

 

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 Campbell for sixth in triples (1), while 2B Landis Ware is tied for 10th in doubles (4). Tolleson is first in the league in ERA (2.08), tied for fourth in wins (3), second in innings (39.0), fifth in strikeouts (33), tied for first in shutouts (2), tied for second in complete games (2) and first in opponents' batting average (.195). Volz is second in strikeouts (35) and tied for 10th in innings (28.0). Kempf is with Tolleson for fourth in wins (3). RHP Tim Matthews is tied for third in saves (3), while RHP Craig Fritsch is tied for ninth (1).

 

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. Oklahoma State, none at Missouri, two at Oklahoma, 12 vs. Kansas and three at Kansas State).

            Baylor has given Tolleson 12-plus runs in two of his eight starts this season -- 16 at Mississippi State and 12 against Kansas. In Tolleson's other six starts, the Bears have produced 24 runs (4.0 per game); Tolleson has posted a 2.59 ERA in those six games with only a 2-1 record.

            Volz earned 51.3 percent of his run support this season in one game -- 20 of 39 in a 20-6 victory over Illinois. He has been given 2.7 runs of support per game in his other seven starts.

 

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 (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 (two at the Big 12 Tournament, one in the NCAA Regional round 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 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. Texas (7 p.m.). Two games will be aired on Fox College Sports:  April 26 vs. Nebraska (6:30 p.m.), May 4 at Texas (1 p.m.). The Bears' May 3 game at Texas will be televised on FSN (2:30 p.m.).

            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, Ball State), Joshua Fields (23, Georgia), Joseph Edesn (22, Samford), Daniel Kennedy (21, Georgetown) and Chris Manning (21, Belmont).

            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 America survey.

            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 Arizona (62) and Charlotte (59) hit more three-baggers in that time. The Bears tied for seventh nationally last season with 26 triples. In 2006, the Bears tied for second nationally with 32 triples.

            Furthermore, Baylor joins Arizona and Texas as the nation's only programs to collect at least 20 triples in each of the past six seasons.

            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 Missouri and five ahead of fourth-place Texas A&M.

            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.

            Texas was the coaches' preseason favorite, picking up eight first-place votes and 80 total points; Missouri earned the final first-place vote. Oklahoma State was picked fifth, while Nebraska was slotted sixth. Kansas State and Oklahoma tied for the seventh-place spot; Kansas and Texas Tech rounded out the poll.

            In the 11-year history of the Big 12, only five schools have claimed regular-season titles: Baylor (2000, 2005); Nebraska (2001, 2003, 2005); Texas (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007); Texas A&M (1998, 1999) and Texas Tech (1997).

 

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 Ping! Baseball (first team) and by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (third team). Cassavechia also was named to the preseason watch lists for the Wallace Award, the Clemens Award and the NCBWA National Stopper of the Year.

            SS Beamer Weems was a second-team preseason All-America selection by Rivals.com and by Ping! Baseball. He was one of four players honored by Baseball America as "Best Defensive Players," and Weems also was listed as the nation's third-best shortstop by CSTV.com. Baseball America also named Weems preseason All-Big 12 and listed him as the league's best defensive shortstop. In addition, Weems was named to preseason watch lists for the Golden Spikes Award and the Wallace Award.

            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.

            2B Raynor Campbell was named preseason All-Big 12 by Baseball America. The publication also listed him as the league's best defensive third baseman in a survey of the league's coaches (conducted last fall).

            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 AMERICA'S PRESEASON DRAFT LISTS

            Baseball America, with assistance from Major League Baseball scouting directors, has compiled a list of the top 50 draft prospects in each class. Six Baylor players are on those lists, including five players from the Bears' heralded 2006 signing class.

            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 Campbell is draft eligible this season as he turns 21 within 45 days of the draft. Miller was an 11th-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2006. Dickerson (15th round, Washington Nationals) and Volz (50th round, Arizona Diamondbacks) also were drafted that year.

            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: Arizona State (9), Cal State Fullerton (10), Clemson (10), Florida State (10), Miami, Fla. (10), Mississippi State (9), North Carolina (9), Oral Roberts (10), Rice (10), South Carolina (9), Stanford (9), Texas (9), Tulane (9) and Wichita State (9). Of that list, only Tulane did not participate in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

 

MIDWEEK PREVIEW

            Baylor plays two midweek games for the fifth consecutive week. The Bears host Texas in a non-conference game Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV). The following night, Baylor travels to Arlington, Texas, for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch against UT Arlington at Clay Gould Ballpark.

            This will be the 323rd meeting between Baylor and Texas; it will be the first non-conference meeting since the Bears' final game of the 2005 season at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. This is the first time Baylor and Texas have met in a regular-season game that did not count toward conference standings since 1914, the year prior to the inception of the Southwest Conference.

            Texas leads the all-time series 221-97-4, including an 86-55-3 advantage in games played in Waco. The Bears are 25-25 against the Longhorns during head coach Steve Smith's tenure; however, Texas has won nine consecutive meetings since Baylor swept the 2005 regular-season series.

            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 Arlington. Baylor has won each of the last seven meetings, including a 6-5 decision earlier this month at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears are 26-8 against the Mavericks during head coach Steve Smith's tenure.


 

 

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