April 19, 2007
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
GAMES 39-41 APRIL 20-22 6:30 P.M./6:30 P.M./1 P.M. CDT
BAYLOR (21-17, 6-9) vs. MISSOURI (26-11, 7-5)
BAYLOR BALLPARK WACO, TEXAS
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 475-300-1 [13th season]
Record at Baylor: 475-300-1 [13th season]
MISSOURI: Tim Jamieson
Alma Mater: New Orleans, 1984
Career Record: 425-301-2 [13th season]
Record at Missouri: 425-301-2 [13th season]
1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)
Tom Barfield, play-by-play
Lark Smith, color
Baseball America NR
USA Today/ESPN Coaches NR
Collegiate Baseball NR
Friday, April 20
BU RHP Jeff Mandel (5-5, 3.99 ERA, 65.1 IP, 63 H, 21 BB, 60 K)
MU RHP Aaron Crow (4-2, 2.55 ERA, 67.0 IP, 51 H, 23 BB, 50 K)
Saturday, April 21
BU RHP Randall Linebaugh (2-4, 4.72 ERA, 55.1 IP, 54 H, 25 BB, 36 K)
MU LHP Rick Zagone (6-0, 3.92 ERA, 66.2 IP, 17 BB, 56 K)
Sunday, April 22
BU RHP Kendal Volz (5-1, 4.93 ERA, 42.0 IP, 50 H, 10 BB, 31 K)
Baylor baseball returns to action this hosting Missouri for a three-game Big 12 Conference series at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears and the Tigers meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. This is Baylor's sixth Big 12 series this season, while it is Missouri's fifth Big 12 series.
Baylor (21-17, 6-9) has not played since taking two of three at Kansas last weekend. The Bears' midweek game at home against UT-Arlington was rained out. Baylor has won five of its last eight games, including four of its last six in Big 12 play. The Bears are 17-7 at home this season and 2-1 in Big 12 home series this season, defeating Oklahoma and Texas Tech and losing to Texas. Baylor is unranked in all four major polls.
Missouri (26-11, 7-5) posted a 3-1 victory Tuesday at Missouri State. The Tigers dropped two of three at home to Texas A&M last weekend; that was Missouri's first Big 12 series loss this season after taking two of three against Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State in its first three series. Missouri, 5-5 in its last 10 games, is 13-8 away from Columbia this season with a 9-4 mark on opponents' home fields. The Tigers are 2-0 in Big 12 road series this season, winning at Nebraska and Kansas State.
The Bears and the Tigers have played two common opponents this season: Kansas and Texas State. Baylor is 4-1 against those two teams with two wins against each and a loss at Kansas. Missouri is 3-1, taking two of three at home against Kansas and defeating Texas State in a game played at Dallas Baptist.
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 Missouri series. For more information, follow the Baylor All-Access link at www.BaylorBears.com.
Since the start of the 2003 season, Baylor is:
- 132-53 (.714) when its starting pitcher lasts at least 5.0 innings
- 35-8 (.814) when its pitching staff records at least 10 strikeouts
- 125-38 (.767) when scoring first
- 144-28 (.837) when out-hitting its opponent
- 137-37 (.797) when holding its opponent to fewer than five runs
- 120-25 (.828) when scoring at least six runs
- 107-17 (.863) when scoring at least seven runs
Since the start of the 2002 season, Baylor is 173-8 (.956) when leading after eight innings, winning 33 of the last 34, 67 of the last 69 and 102 of the last 105 such games.
Baylor has won 24 of its last 26 games when hitting at least two home runs.
Baylor is 14-4 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season.
The Bears are 49-15 (.766) at Baylor Ballpark since the start of the 2005 postseason.
Baylor is 19-3 all-time at Baylor Ballpark in finales with a chance to sweep a three-game series (does not include the Texas and Texas A&M split series).
The Bears have out-scored their opponents 60-20 in the first two innings and 42-16 in the eighth inning this season. However, opponents have out-scored Baylor 36-8 in the third inning.
Baylor is 16-7 this season when scoring first (5-10 when the opponent scores first).
The Bears are 0-5 this season in Big 12 Conference series middle games.
Baylor is 3-7 on Saturday this season, going 18-10 elsewhere in the week.
Eleven of Baylor's 16 losses were to opponents ranked at some point this season.
The Bears have won only one game this season (April 6 vs. Oklahoma) in which neither SS Beamer Weems nor IF Raynor Campbell hit safely.
The Missouri series concludes a 26-game stretch with 22 games against 2006 NCAA Tournament participants.
LF Ben Booker has reached safely and/or produced a run in 13 consecutive games.
IF Raynor Campbell has reached safely and/or produced a run in 15 consecutive games.
RHP Nick Cassavechia has recorded multiple strikeouts in nine consecutive outings. He has averaged 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings in that time (26 strikeouts over 16.0 innings).
Cassavechia has a 31-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last 12 outings.
CF Chase Gerdes is riding a six-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 11 of the last 12. Gerdes has reached safely and/or produced a run in 17 consecutive games.
After starting his Baylor career 6-for-7 with the bases loaded, 1B Tim Jackson is hitless in his last six at bats with the bases full.
Baylor was 14-2 in RHP Randall Linebaugh's first 16 career regular-season starts; however, the Bears are 0-5 in his last five starts.
RHP Jeff Mandel has been given just 14 runs of support in his five losses this season (2.8 per game).
Mandel is 10-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 37 career appearances at Baylor Ballpark, including a 4-1 mark this season with a 1.47 ERA. He has held opponents to a .183 batting average (23 hits in 36.2 innings) at home this season with 36 strikeouts against only 10 walks.
Opposing batters are 1-for-20 in first at bats against RHP Tim Matthews as a reliever during his career, including a 1-for-12 mark this season.
RF Aaron Miller has not gone hitless in consecutive games. He has reached safely in 12 consecutive games and in 35 of 38 games this season.
Miller has hit safely and/or produced an RBI in 29 of the last 30 games.
SS Beamer Weems is 21-for-50 (.420) over his last 13 games with five doubles, three triples, three home runs, 11 RBI and 11 runs scored.
Weems has gone hitless in consecutive games only four times in his 96-game career.
Weems has hit safely in 21 of the last 23 games at Baylor Ballpark.
THE MISSOURI SERIES
Baylor and Missouri meet for the 41st, 42nd and 43rd times this weekend. The Bears hold a 23-17 advantage in a series that dates back to the 1905 season. Baylor holds a 19-17 lead in the series since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997, including a 16-14 advantage in regular-season Big 12 meetings. However, the Tigers have won nine of the last 14 meetings.
The Bears are 10-7 against Missouri at home; however, the Tigers have won the series two games to one in each of their last two trips to Waco. Baylor's last series win against Missouri was in 2004 at Columbia; the Bears' last series win over Missouri in Waco was in 2001 (both two games to one). The Baylor-Missouri series has the distinction of being the only series in Big 12 history to have never featured a sweep.
Missouri won two of three at Baylor Ballpark last season. Baylor won Friday night's opener 7-5 behind Mark McCormick's 12-strikeout performance to clinch a share of the Big 12 title. However, Missouri spoiled Baylor's out-right title hopes with 7-3 and 10-4 victories in the final two games.
Overall Record: Baylor leads 23-17
Waco: Baylor leads 10-7
Columbia: Baylor leads 8-7
Neutral Site: Baylor leads 5-3
Since Start of Big 12: Baylor leads 19-17
Regular-Season Big 12: Baylor leads 16-14
Smith vs. Missouri: 21-17
First Meeting: 5/5/1905
Last Meeting: at Missouri 5, Baylor 1 [4/30/2006]
HOME SWEET HOME
Baylor is 49-15 at home since the beginning of the 2005 postseason, including a 17-7 mark this season. The Bears are 211-79 all-time at Baylor Ballpark. On the flip side, Baylor is just 2-9 away from Baylor Ballpark this season. The Bears have posted a .301 batting average and a 3.18 ERA at home; however, Baylor has a .220 batting average and a 6.58 ERA on the road.
Individually, C Matt Sodolak is the only Bear hitting .300 or better at home and on the road. Sodolak is 18-for-59 (.305) at home and 9-for-29 (.310) away from Baylor Ballpark. Only LF Ben Booker who has a better batting average on the road (11-for-34, .324) than at home (21-for-81, .259).
CAMPBELL, MILLER AMONG TOP BIG 12 FRESHMEN
IF Raynor Campbell and RF Aaron Miller are among the top freshmen in the Big 12 Conference, statistically speaking. Through games of April 18, Campbell ranks first in the league in batting average among freshmen at .337; he ranks 19th in the league overall. Miller, meanwhile, leads all freshmen in home runs (four), triples (four) and RBI (35); he also is tied for second in hits (40).
VOLZ ALSO AMONG TOP BIG 12 FRESHMEN
RHP Kendal Volz is tied for the Big 12 Conference for wins by a freshman with five. He is the first Baylor freshman to earn five victories in a season since Ryan LaMotta (seven) and Abe Woody (six) in 2003. In fact, Volz is only the 14th Baylor freshman since 1968 to earn five or more wins.
Here is a look at the five Baylor freshmen who have earned at least five wins during head coach Steve Smith's tenure:
YEAR PITCHER ERA W-L G/GS Sv IP H R ER BB K
1995 Matthew Marcom 3.28 5-2 27/0 4 49.1 53 21 18 23 25
1996 Kip Wells 6.27 5-6 15/11 1 80.2 98 69 56 35 44
2003 Ryan LaMotta 3.48 7-3 30/3 3 75.0 63 39 29 32 62
2003 Abe Woody 4.22 6-0 27/2 3 59.2 45 35 28 18 41
2007 Kendal Volz 4.93 5-1 11/8 0 42.0 50 24 23 10 31
CASS-SAVE-CHIA NAMED TO STOPPER MIDSEASON WATCH LIST
RHP Nick Cassavechia was one of 40 pitchers named to the midseason watch list for the 2007 National Stopper of the Year, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced Thursday. Cassavechia is one of five Big 12 pitchers on the list; the Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences with five selections.
A product of St. Mark's High School in Dallas, Cassavechia is 3-1 with seven saves and a 1.95 ERA. In 27.2 innings this season, he has held opponents to six runs on 20 hits and a .202 batting average. Cassavechia has 40 strikeouts against only four walks for a strikeouts-per-nine-innings average of 13.01 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10.00. He has recorded multiple strikeouts in nine consecutive outings.
Cassavechia, who earlier this season had a streak of 22 consecutive inherited runners stranded, leads all Big 12 pitchers in team win participation; he has participated in 10 of Baylor's 21 wins this season (47.6 percent). He is fourth in the league and 26th nationally in saves. In Big 12 games, Cassavechia ranks second in ERA (2.35) and tied for first in saves (three). In 15.1 innings over eight Big 12 appearances, he has recorded 22 strikeouts against no walks.
Though he has been Baylor's primary closer for only slightly more than one calendar month, Cassavechia already ranks among the program's top closers. He ranks fourth in career saves (15) and is tied with Abe Woody for second in Big 12 saves (eight). With one more save this season, Cassavechia would join Zane Carlson as the only pitchers in Baylor history to record at least eight saves in multiple seasons.
MANDEL STRONGER THAN NUMBERS IMPLY
Often times, raw statistics do not tell the entire story. That is the case with RHP Jeff Mandel, who has pitched much more remarkably than his 5-5 record and his 3.99 ERA may indicate.
Mandel has logged at least 6.0 innings in eight of his 10 starts and has held the opponent to three or fewer runs in all eight of those starts. In fact, he has held the opponent to two runs or less six times. In those eight starts, Mandel is 5-3 with a 2.06 ERA.
However, Mandel's numbers could be even better. Baylor is averaging 6.1 runs per game this season but the Bears have given Mandel only 4.4 runs of support per start -- the lowest of the five pitchers who have started a game for Baylor this season. Had Baylor scored at least four runs in each of Mandel's 10 starts this season, he would 7-2 with one no-decision.
BAYLOR IN THE MIDST OF TOUGH STRETCH
Baylor's series against Missouri concludes a 26-game span in which the Bears play 22 games against 2006 regional participants. The only games between March 9 and April 22 against teams that did not reach the NCAA Tournament last season were the March 20 victory over Texas Southern and the March 23-25 Texas Tech series. The Missouri series also concludes a stretch of 16 consecutive games against 2006 NCAA Tournament participants.
Things will get no easier for the Bears in upcoming weeks. Tuesday, the Bears travel to Texas State, a team that has gone 15-6 since a March 6 loss at Baylor. Next weekend, the Bears face 16th-ranked Texas A&M, followed by a midweek game at 2006 NCAA Tournament participant TCU.
SCHEDULE AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
Baylor's 2007 schedule is rated as the nation's 18th-toughest, according listings at www.BoydsWorld.com. The Bears' schedule ranks fourth among Big 12 Conference schools behind only Texas (11th), Nebraska (14th) and Oklahoma (16th). The Big 12 is the nation's only conference with five schools in the top 20 as Kansas is 19th. In fact, only two teams in the top 20 -- No. 7 Rice (Conference USA) and No. 8 Oral Roberts (Mid-Continent Conference) -- hail from conferences other than the Big 12, the Pac-10, the Big West or the West Coast Conference.
Not surprisingly, 11 of the top 20 teams nationally in strength of schedule are from California. Also not surprisingly, Baylor has faced or will face six of the top 20 teams -- the other four Big 12 teams, Rice and Oral Roberts. Thus far, Baylor is 6-7 against those teams.
BAYLOR STILL STRONG IN LATEST PSEUDO-RPI
Baylor ranks 50th in the latest pseudo-RPI, according to listings at www.BoydsWorld.com. The Bears are seventh among Big 12 Conference teams, trailing Texas A&M (sixth), Texas (eighth), Oklahoma (18th), Nebraska (29th), Kansas State (32nd) and Missouri (33rd). Texas Tech is 57th, Oklahoma State is 60th and Kansas is 106th. Currently, the Big 12 ranks second nationally in conference RPI behind only the Southeastern Conference.
RPI is one of the key components used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, along with overall record, conference finish, conference RPI, strength of schedule, record against RPI top 50, record against RPI top 100 and percentage of games against RPI top 100.
Through games of April 18, Baylor has played 68.4 percent of its games (26 of 38) against RPI top 100 teams, going 11-15 in those games. The Bears' only loss to a non-top-100 team was a 3-1 loss at Pacific in early March. Baylor is 4-8 against RPI top 50 teams with six of those losses coming against teams ranked eighth or better -- 0-1 against Vanderbilt (third), 0-1 against Rice (second), 0-1 against Mississippi State (fourth) and 0-3 against Texas (eighth).
GERDES, CAS-SAVE-CHIA CLIMBING CAREER CHARTS
CF Chase Gerdes enters the Missouri series ranked eighth in Baylor history with 86 career Big 12 games played. Next on the list is Josh Ford (90, 2002-05). Should Gerdes play in each of the Bears' 12 remaining conference games, he would finish sixth all-time at Baylor in career Big 12 games. Gerdes' total would rank as the third-best in school history since the league schedule was cut to 27 games in 2002, trailing only Michael Griffin (105 games, 2002-05) and Paul Witt (99 games, 2002-05). Griffin is the only Bear to have played in every Big 12 game during his career.
Gerdes also is climbing several other Baylor all-time career charts. Entering the Missouri series, he is tied for fifth in triples (15) and tied for sixth in Big 12 triples (four). He is just outside the top 10 in hit by pitch, sacrifices and stolen bases. Gerdes, one of only four players in Baylor history to record 10-plus stolen bases in four different seasons, is one stolen base shy of 10th place on Baylor's career stolen bases chart and needs three steals to become only the ninth player in school history to reach 50 career swipes.
RHP Nick Cassavechia has quickly etched his name among Baylor's all-time best closers. Despite having spent slightly over one calendar year as the Bears' closer, he already ranks fourth in school history with 15 career saves behind only Zane Carlson (37 saves, 2000-04), Abe Woody (19, 2003-05) and Kyle Edens (18, 1999-02). Cassavechia is tied with Woody for second in career Big 12 saves with eight; Carlson owns the school record with 17.
Cassavechia's next relief appearance will be the 52nd of his career, tying Mark Outlaw (1998-99) for eighth all-time at Baylor. Cassavechia has made 20 relief appearances in Big 12 play, eighth in Baylor history.
CAS-SAVE-CHIA AMONG MOST VALUABLE PITCHERS IN BIG 12
RHP Nick Cassavechia has recorded a decision in 47.6 percent of Baylor's 21 victories this season, logging seven saves and three wins. That is the best percentage in the Big 12 Conference, ranking slightly ahead of Kansas State's Daniel Edwards (45.8 percent). In fact, Cassavechia, Edwards, Missouri's Kyle Gibson (42.3 percent) and Oklahoma's Garrett Richards (40.0 percent) are the only Big 12 pitchers to have recorded a decision in at least 40 percent of their respective teams' victories this season.
TRIPLE YOUR PLEASURE
Through games of April 18, Baylor leads the Big 12 Conference with 21 triples this season. The Bears rank sixth nationally with 0.55 triples per game. Baylor joins Jackson State (29), Arizona (25), Charlotte (23), Brigham Young (21), Utah (20) and Texas (20) as the nation's only three teams with at least 20 triples this season.
LF Ben Booker is tied for the league lead with five triples, while RF Aaron Miller is tied for fifth with four. SS Beamer Weems and CF Chase Gerdes are tied for eighth with three triples each. 1B/DH Dustin Dickerson has two triples, and IF Raynor Campbell, 3B Seth Hammock, 2B Shaver Hansen and 1B/DH Tim Jackson have one triple each. Booker is 32nd nationally with 0.14 three-baggers per game, while Miller is 61st (0.11).
Baylor tied a single-game school record earlier this season with three triples earlier this season against Texas Southern. It marked the fifth time in school history and the second time this season the Bears have tallied three triples in one game. Weems had two triples against Texas Southern, also tying Baylor's single-game record. He became the first Bear to collected two triples in one game since April 6, 2002, when Chris Durbin had two triples against Oklahoma State.
Last season, Baylor tied for second nationally with 32 triples, which also tied for the fourth-best season total in school history.
BEARS ARE EXTRA SPECIAL
Baylor is 14-4 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season, including a 2-1 mark in such games this season. Last year, the Bears lost their only extra-inning game -- a 13-inning, 7-6 loss at home to Texas. Baylor was 6-1 in extra-inning games in 2005, 1-0 in 2004 and 5-1 in 2003.
Five of the 14 wins over the past five seasons have come on an opponent's home field (Arizona twice, Arizona State, Texas and Vanderbilt). Three of the 14 wins were either neutral-site games or games at Baylor Ballpark in which the Bears were the visitor. Four of the 14 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.
BAYLOR SUFFERS RARE MIDWEEK LOSS
Baylor is 20-5 in non-conference midweek games since the start of the 2006 season, including an 18-4 mark on Tuesdays. Last Tuesday's loss to TCU snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Bears in Tuesday games; Baylor also had won 19 straight Tuesday home games against non-ranked opponents. The Bears were 7-8 in non-conference midweek games during the 2005 season, including a 6-6 mark on Tuesdays.
BAYLOR RANKED NATION'S 17TH-BEST PROGRAM
Baylor was listed as the nation's 17th-best collegiate baseball program since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999, according to a recent study by Baseball America. The publication's study focused on 11 categories, including winning percentage, NCAA Tournament appearances, tradition, All-Americans and players drafted in the top 10 rounds.
With 150 total points, Baylor was the third highest-rated Big 12 Conference program behind only top-rated Texas and 11th-rated Nebraska. Miami, Fla., Stanford, Cal State Fullerton, Rice, Louisiana State, Florida State, Clemson, South Carolina and Southern California rounded out the top 10 of the 64-team list. Other Big 12 programs on the list were Texas A&M (24th), Oklahoma State (29th), Oklahoma (35th), Texas Tech (40th) and Missouri (59th).
Baseball America last did such a study in 1997 and focused only on the 1990s. Baylor ranked 80th in that study; the Bears' 63-spot jump was the second-largest behind only Tulane, which climbed from 83rd in 1997 to one spot ahead of Baylor at No. 16 in this study. With that, Baylor ranked second in the publication's list of top five "rising" programs; Rice and Wake Forest, both up 59 spots, tied for third on the list, followed by Nebraska (up 51 spots).
Programs were awarded one point for every .010 above a .500 winning percentage, five points for each regional appearance, seven points for each super regional appearance, 10 points for each College World Series appearance, 20 points for each national title, one point for each CWS appearance prior to 1999, five points for each first-team All-American, three points for each second-team All-American, two points for each third-team All-American, two points for each player drafted in the top 10 rounds and two points for each former player to play in the Major Leagues during the period of study.
With 19 players drafted in the top 10 rounds since 1999, Baylor tied Louisiana State, Nebraska, North Carolina and Texas A&M for 11th in that category. The Bears tied for 15th in total All-Americans since 1999. Baylor also is one of only 20 programs to make at least seven NCAA Tournament appearances in the last eight years.
HEAD COACH Steve Smith
Steve Smith is in his 13th season as head coach of Baylor's baseball program in 2007. In his first 12 years, Smith guided the program to unprecedented heights, including the most successful nine-year run in the program's 102-season history and a College World Series appearance in 2005.
Smith has compiled a 475-300-1 career record, all at Baylor. He ranks second among the program's 18 head coaches in career victories. Smith has led Baylor to eight NCAA Regional appearances, three NCAA Super Regional appearances, one College World Series appearance and two Big 12 Conference titles. He also has coached 12 All-America selections and seven USA Baseball National Team members while at Baylor.
The 2005 USA Baseball National Team head coach, Smith came to Baylor from Mississippi State, where he was an assistant under Ron Polk for five seasons. Prior to that, he served as a graduate assistant for Mark Johnson at Texas A&M from 1987 to 1989.
A former standout pitcher at Baylor in 1982-1983, Smith led the Southwest Conference with a 1.72 ERA as a junior. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1983 Major League draft by the San Francisco Giants and played four years of pro ball before moving into the coaching ranks.
Smith has tutored seven pitchers in the last 13 years who were selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. He also has coached at least one all-conference pitcher in each of the last 13 years.
UP NEXT ...
Baylor has a full week ahead, starting with a Tuesday game in San Marcos, Texas, against Texas State at 6:30 p.m. CDT. The Bears host Prairie View A&M for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch Wednesday; this is a schedule addition to replace the March 13 game against Winthrop that was rained out. Next weekend, the Bears face Texas A&M in the annual split series; Baylor hosts the Aggies at 6:30 p.m. Friday before the series shifts to College Station for the Saturday and Sunday games.