April 21, 2014
IRVING, Texas - Baylor baseball's Daniel Castano was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, the league announced Monday. The honor is Castano's first of his career, the third such award for the Bears this season and sixth weekly accolade from the conference this year.
The left-handed starting pitcher was phenomenal Saturday to help Baylor salvage the series finale at Kansas State in front of a sold-out crowd and national TV audience on ESPNU as he tossed a career-high eight innings while allowing an unearned run on six hits and no walks with a career-high six strikeouts in earning the win. He was only really challenged in the seventh inning after a pair of two-out singles but got a grounder to escape and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to cap his day.
The Austin native and Lake Travis High School product has yet to give up more than three runs in a start this season. In his first six collegiate starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA while allowing nine runs (four earned) on 26 hits and seven walks with 19 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. In his last three starts, he's thrown at least six innings, given up six or less hits, two or less runs, two or less walks and had four or more strikeouts.
Add Matt Menard's newcomer honor from last week, and Baylor's back-to-back newcomer awards are the first for the program since Adam Toth, Michael Howard and Nathan Orf pulled off the trifecta in 2012. BU is tied with TCU for the league lead in weekly awards this season with six. The Bears are also tied for the lead in newcomer accolades with Texas Tech (3) and pitcher accolades with TCU (3). BU's six weekly awards from the league are the most for the program since 2012 (11).
Castano joins teammates Menard and Darryn Sheppard on the list of Baylor players to earn the rookie honor as Sheppard garnered the award on Feb. 17. Josh Michalec (March 10), Dillon Newman (March 17) and Austin Stone (March 24) were all named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week to round out Baylor's weekly league award winners this season. The trio marked the first time in league history that one school earned Pitcher of the Week in three consecutive weeks.
Next up for Baylor is a home and home set with Texas State before the Bears welcome Kansas to Waco for Big 12 play this weekend. BU and TSU will play in Waco tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. CT and in San Marcos on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.