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No. 6 Baseball Takes on A&M in Battle of Brazos

Cal Towey has reached base safely in 27 consecutive games entering the series.


Cal Towey has reached base safely in 27 consecutive games entering the series.

    vs.  
No. 6 Baylor (32-7, 15-0) vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (28-9, 9-3)
April 20-22 | College Station/Waco | Blue Bell Park/Baylor Ballpark
GAME NOTES Get Acrobat Reader
FRI. | 6:35 P.M.
  Gametracker

Probable Starters:
BU - LHP Josh Turley
5-0, 2.02 ERA, 58.0 IP 47 K
TAMU - RHP Michael Wacha

5-0, 2.42 ERA, 63.1 IP, 66 K
SAT. | 6:35 P.M.
    Gametracker MYTX-TV

Probable Starters:
BU - RHP Trent Blank
8-0, 2.48 ERA, 58.0 IP, 32 K
TAMU - RHP Ross Stripling

6-1, 2.82 ERA, 70.1 IP, 68 K
SUN. | 2:05 P.M.
    Gametracker MYTX-TV

Probable Starters:
BU - TBA

TAMU - RHP Rafael Pineda

5-1, 2.32 ERA, 54.1 IP, 29 K

The No. 6-ranked Baylor baseball team puts its school record 21-game winning streak on the line when it takes on No. 2 Texas A&M for a three-game series in the final Big 12 edition of the Battle of the Brazos.

Baylor carries the nation's longest active overall (21), home (15) and road (8) winning streaks into the series against the Aggies. The Bears' 15-0 start in Big 12 play is the best by any team in the conference's 16-year history, and the Bears are two wins away from tying the Big 12 Conference's longest-ever winning streak in league games. The Bears are also tied for the longest winning streak ever by a Big 12 Conference team.

The series begins with Friday night's opener in College Station, and then the teams head up Highway 6 for the final two games of the series at Baylor Ballpark, both of which will be televised locally on MYTX. Saturday's game is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and will be followed by the Capstone Mechanical postgame fireworks show. Additionally, head coach Steve Smith will be honored before the game for breaking Baylor's all-time wins record with his 650th career victory on Tuesday. Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Fans not in the Central Texas area can still watch both games of the series at Baylor Ballpark through an All-Access subscription on BaylorBears.com.

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 series against Texas A&M, the Bears take on a pair of Southland Conference teams in midweek action. Baylor hits the road for a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday at UTSA, and then the Bears return home for a 6:35 p.m. game against UT Arlington on Wednesday.

SERIES INFORMATION

TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Overall:  Texas A&M leads 180-126-4
Waco:  Texas A&M leads 70-68
College Station:  Texas A&M leads 78-36-2
Neutral Site:  Series tied 6-6

Steve Smith vs. TAMU:  27-29
Big 12 series:  Baylor has won 8 of 15 all-time series
   

COACHES

BAYLOR:  Steve Smith

   Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986

   Career Record: 651-422-1 (18th season)

   Record at Baylor: 651-422-1 (18th season)

TEXAS A&M: Rob Childress

   Career Record: 246-135-2 (7th season)

   Record at TAMU: 246-135-2 (7th 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 SERIES HISTORY
Baylor is 126-180-4 in the all-time series against Texas A&M that dates back to April 9, 1904. The series is the second-most played in school history, trailing only the 334 games played against Texas. The Bears are 68-70 against Texas A&M in games played in Waco, 36-78-2 against the Aggies in College Station, 6-6 in neutral-site meetings and 27-29 during the Steve Smith era.

The Bears have won eight of the 15 all-time Big 12 series against Texas A&M, but the Aggies have won four of the last five series. Since Baylor Ballpark opened in 1999, Baylor is 12-8 on its home field against Texas A&M.

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

RECORD-SETTING STREAK
Baylor's current 21-game winning streak is the longest in school history and tied for the longest by any Big 12 Conference team since the league began playing baseball in 1997. Texas also won 21 straight games in 2010, and the previous school record was a 20-game winning streak in 1985.

The Bears' streak is even more impressive considering 15 of the 21 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 BREAKS ALL-TIME WINS RECORD
With Tuesday's win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, head coach Steve Smith broke Baylor's all-time wins record for any sport with his 650th career victory. Smith is 651-422-1 in 18 seasons leading the Bears. He passed 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 651 wins through 1,074 games. Smith will be honored with a presentation prior to Saturday's game.

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 2.36 ERA over 68.2 innings pitched. If one bad outing in the 2011 Houston Regional against California is removed from the record, he's gone 10-0 with a 1.72 ERA over 68.0 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 2.36
IP 98.0 68.2
H 124 52
R/ER 73/67 19/18
WHIP 1.643 1.034

PILING UP BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS ...
Baylor shortstop Jake Miller was named Big 12 Conference co-Player of the Week on April 2, giving Baylor four Player of the Week honors this season. Max Muncy earned the award on March 26 and Logan Vick was honored on Feb. 27 and March 19.

With four Player of the Week awards this season, Baylor is one shy of tying Texas Tech (2004) for the most in a single-season in conference history. Eight teams have earned four Player of the Week honors in one season, and Baylor is responsible for three of those (2004, 2011, 2012).

Miller had nine hits during the week, including a three-hit game in a win at Houston and a three-hit game in the series opener against Oklahoma State. Miller had two hits in the second game of the OSU series and had a 12th-inning single in the series finale as the Bears rallied to complete the sweep.

... AND BIG 12 PITCHER AND NEWCOMER WEEKLY AWARDS
Baylor has also had two players earn Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors and one player 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.

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

CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Six Baylor players have started at least 37 of the team's 39 games this season, including four who have played the same position in every game: Max Muncy (all 39 at 1B), Cal Towey (all 39 at 3B), Logan Vick (38 of 39 in CF) and Jake Miller (38 of 39 at SS). Lawton Langford (2B) has started 29 of the last 31 games, giving the Bears the same infield starters in 29 of 31 games since Feb. 21.

Nathan Orf (LF/DH) has been out of the starting lineup only one time this season, and Josh Ludy has been the Bears starting catcher in 36 of 39 games and started once as DH.

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 in the outfield in 9 of 11 games since returning in the Oklahoma State series finale on April 1.

QUICK HITS
• 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 school-record 21-game winning streak is the nation's longest active streak. The streak is the 2nd-longest nationally this season, one game behind Kentucky's 22-0 start to the season.
• Baylor's 15-game Big 12 winning streak is the 3rd-longest by any team in the league's 16-year history, trailing only Texas (17 games in 2010) and Texas A&M (16 games in 2008).
• Baylor holds the nation's longest active home winning streak (15) and is tied for the longest road streak (8).
• The Bears' 8-game road winning streak is one shy of the program record of 9 straight road wins in 1986.
• Baylor's 15-game home winning streak is tied for the school record set in 2000.
• Baylor has won 8 consecutive Big 12 series dating back to last season. The Bears are 21-3 in those series.
• Baylor's bullpen is 10-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 77.0 innings during the 21-game winning streak.
• Baylor has outscored opponents 179-85, hit .345 as a team and posted a 3.19 ERA during the 21-game 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 broke Baylor's all-time wins record with his 650th career victory on Tuesday. He passed his predecessor Mickey Sullivan for the most wins by any coach in Baylor Athletics history.
• Seven Baylor starters have on-base percentages above .400, eight Baylor regulars have batting averages above .300, and six different Bears have at least 6 stolen bases.
• Senior RHP Trent Blank leads the nation with 8 wins and has won 10 straight decisions dating back to 2011.
• Baylor has homered in 11 of the last 16 games after going without a home run in 28 of its previous 29 games.
• 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 won five Big 12 Player of the Week awards (Josh Ludy, Jake Miller, Max Muncy, Logan Vick [twice]).
• Baylor's five Big 12 Players of the Week this season ties Texas Tech (2004) for the conference record.
• Baylor has 5 of the 19 double-digit hitting streaks by Big 12 players this season -- Lawton Langford (12), Jake Miller (10), Max Muncy (10 & 10) and Dan Evatt (10).
• Six Baylor players have started at least 37 of the team's 39 games this season.
• 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.
• Junior 1B Max Muncy has started 121 consecutive games at 1B for Baylor. He has missed one start in 158 team games since joining the Baylor program before the 2010 season.
• 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 22-3 at home in 2012, and BU is 60-21 in its last 81 home games (30-12 in Big 12 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 20 times this season.

UP NEXT
Baylor takes on a pair of Southland Conference teams in midweek action before hosting New Mexico State for a two-game weekend series. The Bears play at UTSA at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, then return home to host UT Arlington at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday. Baylor will be looking to avenge a March 13 loss at UTA in which it blew a two-run lead in the ninth -- that game was Baylor's last loss prior to its current 21-game winning streak.

The Bears host New Mexico State at 6:35 p.m. Friday and again at 12:05 p.m. Saturday before taking 10 days off from games for final exams.


 

 

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