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Baseball Heads North For Nebraska Series

Max Garner

Max Garner

April 28, 2011

Baylor (22-20, 7-11 Big 12) at Nebraska (26-16, 5-9 Big 12)
Lincoln, Neb. | Haymarket Park (8,486)
FRIDAY, APRIL 29 | 6:35 P.M.
Gametracker Gametracker

Probable Starters:
BU - RHP Logan Verrett
4-4, 3.69 ERA, 63.1 IP, 65 K
 NU - LHP Logan Ehlers

1-1, 3.65 ERA, 12.1 IP, 10 K

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 | 2:05 P.M.
Gametracker Gametracker

Probable Starters:
BU - LHP Josh Turley
2-3, 4.25 ERA, 59.1 IP, 37 K
 NU - RHP Jon Keller 
2-4, 2.66 ERA, 47.1 IP, 44 K

SUNDAY, MAY 1 | 1:05 P.M.
Gametracker Gametracker

Probable Starters:
BU - RHP Brooks Pinckard
3-2, 4.03 ERA, 29.0 IP, 23 K
NU - LHP Tyler Niederklein
6-1, 3.91 ERA, 46.0 IP, 32 K

Complete Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Baylor heads to Lincoln, Neb. for the final Big 12 Conference series between the Bears and Cornhuskers. First pitch in Friday's series opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Haymarket Park. Saturday's game is slated for 2:05 p.m. and Sunday's finale is at 1:05 p.m.

Baylor had a 5-12 record in true road games a season ago, but the Bears are 7-6 on the road in 2011. However, the last time the Bears won a series at Nebraska was when the Bears swept the first Big 12 Conference meeting between the teams in 1997. The home team has won the 10 of the last 11 series since then, with Nebraska's series win in Waco in 2008 the only road series win.

All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco's 1660 ESPN Radio. Tom Barfield provides the play-by-play with Lark Smith adding color commentary. 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 CBS College Sports Network.

Overall:  Baylor leads 32-26-1
Waco:  Baylor leads 21-7-1
Lincoln:  Nebraska leads 13-7
Neutral Site:  Nebraska leads 6-4
Big 12 Era:  Baylor leads 24-22
Big 12 Series:  Baylor has won 6 of 12
Steve Smith vs. NU:  25-22



BAYLOR:  Steve Smith

   Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986

   Career Record: 610-407-1 (17th season)

   Record at Baylor: 610-407-1 (17th season)

NEBRASKA: Mike Anderson
   Career Record: 333-187-2 (9th season)

   Record at NU: 333-187-2 (9th season)



1660 ESPN RADIO (Waco)

   Tom Barfield (pxp) and Lark Smith (color) 

Baylor is 32-26-1 in the all-time series against Nebraska, including a 7-13 mark in games played in Lincoln. The Bears are 24-22 against Nebraska since the start of the Big 12 Conference, and the teams are 6-6 against each other in three-game series in Big 12 play. Baylor swept Nebraska in Lincoln in the first Big 12 series in 1997, but that would be the last time the Bears won a series in Lincoln. The teams didn't play a three-game series again until 2000, when the Bears swept Nebraska in Waco. The home team won the series from 2000 through 2007, but Nebraska won the series in Waco in 2008 and swept the Bears in Lincoln in 2009. Last season, Baylor won the bookend games to take the series.

When NCAA baseball statistics were released on March 26, Brooks Pinckard was tied for second in the nation with 30 stolen bases. That total was at least as many as 65 Division I teams, including No. 2 South Carolina, No. 13 Fresno State, No. 15 Southern Miss, No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 21 Stanford.

Pinckard stole his 30th base of the season on Saturday, making him the fifth player in program history with 30 or more steals in a season. He needs 10 more to tie Mike Robison (40 in 1991) for the single-season record at Baylor, and he needs 12 more to tie Kansas' John Nelson (42 in 2000) for the Big 12 Conference single-season record.

Baylor has five walk-off wins in 2011 after recording only one such victory last season. Baylor's only walk-off win in 2010 came in its 50th game of the season, when Brooks Pinckard knocked a two-run single to clinch the Bears' spot in the Big 12 Championship by winning the series opener against Oklahoma State on May 21.

Baylor won seven games with runs in its final at-bat during the entire 2010 season, but the Bears have already scored the winning runs in their final at-bat in seven games in 2011.

Jake Miller - 10th inning walk-off double vs. Oral Roberts (2/20)
Max Muncy - 10th inning walk-off grand slam vs. Rice (3/6)
Chris Slater - 11th inning walk-off single vs. Florida International (3/15)
Josh Ludy - 9th inning walk-off single vs. Texas Tech (3/19)
Chris Slater - 9th inning walk-off double vs. Kansas State (3/25)
Jake Miller - 8th inning single vs. Kansas State (3/27)
Josh Ludy - 10th inning triple at UT Arlington (4/12)

Baylor is projected by numerous publications to make its 12th NCAA Regional in the last 14 seasons. Here's a breakdown of the bracketologists:

Baseball America (April 19 Stock Report) -- In as one of five Big 12 teams
SEBaseball (April 19 Projections) -- No. 2 seed in Charlottesville (Virginia) Regional
College Baseball Insider (April 20 Field of Dreamers) -- In as one of six Big 12 teams
College Baseball Daily (April 20 Projections) -- No. 3 seed in Atlanta (Georgia Tech) Regional
ESPN.com (April 20 Bracketology) - No. 3 seed in Houston (Rice) Regional
Perfect Game (April 20 Projections) -- No. 3 seed in Fullerton (Cal State Fullerton) Regional

Baylor has come from behind to win 10 games in 2011, including overcoming a five-run deficit on March 15 against Florida International to give head coach Steve Smith his 600th career victory. The Bears trailed by multiple runs in eight of the 10 comeback wins.

• vs. Oral Roberts (2/20) - trailed 4-2 in bottom 7th
• vs. Rice (3/6) - trailed 7-5 in bottom 7th
• vs. Louisiana Tech (3/12) - trailed 7-5 in bottom 4th
• vs. Florida Int'l. (3/15) - trailed 6-1 in bottom 5th
• vs. Texas Tech (3/19) - trailed 2-0 in bottom 1st
• vs. UT Arlington (3/22) - trailed 1-0 in bottom 3rd
• vs. Kansas State (3/25) - trailed 4-2 in bottom 4th
• vs. Kansas State (3/27) - trailed 2-0 in bottom 5th
• vs. Texas (4/9) - trailed 1-0 in bottom 2nd
• at UT Arlington (4/12) - trailed 3-1 in top 6th

Baylor didn't lose consecutive games until its 25th and 26th games of the season. The Bears are 14-6 following a loss in 2011, and prior to dropping a pair of midweek games against UTSA and Lamar, the Bears hadn't lost consecutive regular-season games since losing a pair of games at Texas on May 1-2, 2010.

In fact, the Bears hadn't lost two in a row with both games at Baylor Ballpark in more than a year before dropping a pair of midweek games against UTSA (3/29) and Lamar (3/30). The last time that happened was when BU had a five-game losing streak from Feb. 27 through March 5, 2010. All five of those losses came against different teams, and the Bears snapped out of the losing streak by winning eight in a row.

Starting with that eight-game winning streak, the Bears have gone 34-15 on their home field, including an 18-6 mark in non-conference games.

Despite losing each of their last four weekend series, the Bears have posted a winning record in seven of their last 12 regular-season weekends, including five of nine weekends this season.

• 2-1 in three-game series at Texas Tech (May 14-15, 2010)
• 3-0 in three-game series vs. Oklahoma State (May 21-23, 2010)
• 2-1 in three-game series vs. Oral Roberts (Feb. 18-20, 2011)
• 2-1 in three-game series at Georgia (Feb. 25-27, 2011)
• 2-1 in three games at Houston College Classic (March 4-6, 2011)
• 4-0 in four-game series vs. Louisiana Tech (March 10-13, 2011)
• 1-2 in three-game series vs. Texas Tech (March 18-20, 2011)
• 2-1 in three-game series vs. Kansas State (March 25-27, 2011)
• 1-2 in three-game series at Kansas (April 1-3, 2011)
• 1-2 in three-game split-series vs. No. 8 Texas (April 8-10, 2011)
• 1-2 in three-game split-series vs. No. 5 Texas A&M (April 15-17, 2011)
• 1-2 in three-game series vs. Missouri (April 21-23, 2011)

Baylor is 190-113 (.627) in the month of March during head coach Steve Smith's 17 seasons at the helm. The Bears have had only two losing months of March in those 17 seasons (2004 & 2007).

With a 12-7 record this March, Baylor clinched its fifth straight winning March. The Bears won their most games in the month of March since going 12-6 during the 2006 season.

Baylor's starting lineup hasn't changed much since the start of the season. The Bears have used the same player in nearly every game in six different positions, and Baylor has split the other two positions among two players. With the exception of left field, where an injury forced Logan Vick to miss 13 starts, the only position where the Bears have started more than two different players at least four times is at designated hitter.

Joey Hainsfurther (22 starts) and Josh Ludy (20 starts) have split catching duties, while Chris Slater (12 starts), Cal Towey (27 starts) and Vick (three starts) have shared time in right field.

Max Muncy has started every game at first base. In fact, Muncy has started at first base in 101 of 102 games since the start of his Baylor career.

Steve DalPorto (30 starts), Lawton Langford (11 starts) and Nate Goodwin (one start) have manned second base, while third baseman Jake Miller has started all but eight games and center fielder Brooks Pinckard has missed only five starts. Landis Ware (39 starts) and DalPorto (three starts) have manned the shortstop position. Vick started the first 80 games of his career in left field before a hamstring injury forced him to miss 13 straight starts. Slater (seven starts), Dan Evatt (nine starts) and Josh Turley (one start) join Vick (23 starts) in left field.

The Bears have used five different players in the DH spot: Ludy (17 starts), Hainsfurther (nine starts), Dan Evatt (11 starts), Josh Turley (three starts) and Slater (two starts).

Baylor is 35-17 in its last 52 games at Baylor Ballpark, including 18-6 in non-conference games.

The Bears had a 10-game winning streak in non-conference home games snapped when they lost the season opener to Oral Roberts. Before the streak was snapped, ORU was the last non-Big 12 team to beat the Bears in Waco when it took the opener of a four-game set on March 5, 2010. Baylor came back to win the remaining games in the series both times.

Five of Baylor's 17 losses in Waco since dropping the series opener to ORU in 2010 came in extra innings and/or were one-run defeats (vs. Kansas, 12-6 in 14 innings on 3/28/10, vs. No. 2 Texas, 4-2 in 10 innings on 4/30/10, vs. Kansas, 9-8 on 3/26/10, vs. Texas Tech, 6-5 on 3/18/11 and vs. Texas Tech, 10-6 in 10 innings on 3/20/11).

Despite going 1-5 in extra-inning games in 2010, Baylor is 24-15 in such games since the start of the 2003 season. Baylor was 4-1 in extra-inning games in 2009, 1-3 in 2008, 2-1 in 2007, 0-1 in 2006, 6-1 in 2005, 1-0 in 2004 and 5-1 in 2003. Baylor is 4-2 in extras so far in 2011.

The Bears won all four regular season games that went to extra innings in 2009, but fell to No. 2 national seed LSU 3-2 in 10 innings in the second game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.

Seven of the 24 wins over the past eight seasons have come on an opponent's home field (Arizona twice, Arizona State, Texas, Vanderbilt and UT Arlington twice). Four of the 24 wins were either neutral-site games or games at Baylor Ballpark in which the Bears were the visitor. Four of the 24 wins have come in postseason play, including two at the Big 12 Tournament and one at the College World Series.


  CAREER  #  
  BIG 12 CAREER  #
1. Mike Robison, 1991 40

1. Mike Robison, 1988-91 115

1. Eric Nelson, 1997-99 26
2. Mike Robison, 1990 33

2. Matt Trozzo, 1991-94 87

2. Anthony Hensley, 1999-00 24

Matt Trozzo, 1994 33

3. Jon Topolski, 1996-99 74

3. B. Pinckard, 2009-pres 23
4. Anthony Hensley, 2000 32

4. Mike Bohny, 1991-94 61

Jamie Bubela, 1999-00 19
5. B. Pinckard, 2011 30

Anthony Hensley, 1999-00 61

Chase Gerdes, 2004-07 19
6. Anthony Hensley, 1999 29

6. Eric Nelson, 1996-99 60

James Blair, 1997-98  17
Jaime Bubela, 2000 28

7. B. Pinckard, 2009-pres. 59

Ben Booker, 2006-09 16
Matt Trozzo, 1993 28

8. Tony Huey, 1984-87 54

7. Jon Topolski, 1997-99 13
9. Jack Stubbs, 1992 26

James Blair, 1996-98 54

8. Seth Fortenberry, 2003-06 13
10. Trent Weaver, 1989 25

10. Chase Gerdes, 2004-07 53

Raynor Campbell, 2007-10 13

James Blair, 1998 25


• SERIES: Baylor is 32-26-1 in the all-time series against Nebraka, but the Bears are just 7-13 in Lincoln.
• The last time Baylor won a series in Lincoln was when the Bears swept the first Big 12 Conference series against the Cornhuskers in 1997; the home team has won at least two in 10 of 11 series since then.
• Baylor hasn't grounded into any double plays in 16 games away from Baylor Ballpark this season.
• Baylor is 69-for-82 stealing bases this season and the Bears' 84.1% success rate leads the Big 12.
• Baylor has turned 39 double plays this season and the Bears have only been doubled up 18 times.
• The Bears have hit 17 home runs in their last 14 games after hitting only 7 in the first 28 games of the season.
• Baylor has hit 16 home runs in Big 12 play, five more than any other team in the conference.
• Baylor is 22-3 this season when scoring four or more runs in a game and 0-17 when scoring three or fewer.
• Baylor has a 188-133 (.586) record in the month of April during the Steve Smith era.
• The Bears are 14-6 following a loss during the 2011 season.
• Baylor has come from behind to win 10 games this season, and the Bears have seven last at-bat wins.
• Baylor has five walk-off wins this year after recording only one walk-off win during the 2010 season.
• Baylor had won six straight regular season weekend sets before dropping the series finale against Texas Tech in 10 innings. Baylor has had a winning record in seven of its last 12 regular season weekends.
• Baylor is 24-15 in extra-inning games since the start of the 2003 season, including 4-2 this season.
• Baylor is in the middle of a stretch with eight of nine games on the road. The Bears are 7-6 on the road this season after going 5-12 in road games in 2010.
• Baylor currently has a .974 fielding percentage, which would break the program record (.973 in 2006).
• Eight players on Baylor's roster have been selected in previous MLB Drafts, tied for third-most in the Big 12.
• Baylor head coach Steve Smith recorded his 600th career victory when Baylor beat FIU on March 15.

• LHP Crayton Bare has pitched in 16 games out of the bullpen in 2011 after pitching in just four games in 2010.
• Bare has allowed only six runs in 19 career relief outings.

• Baylor is 7-3 on the season in games started by RHP Trent Blank.
• Blank earned the win by allowing one run over 5.1 innings at No. 5 Texas A&M (4/16).
• Blank allowed one run in 5.0 innings at No. 8 Texas (4/10), but he did not factor in the decision.

• RHP Kolt Browder has allowed eight hits and struck out 13 in 10.1 innings over 12 relief appearances (.216 OBA).

• 2B Steve DalPorto has started 30 of Baylor's 41 games at second base and three times at shortstop in 2011.
• DalPorto had his career-long hitting streak snapped at eight games in the middle game of the Texas Tech series (3/19).

• Freshman RHP Trae Davis picked up a pair of wins pitching out of the bullpen in the season's opening weekend.
• Davis is second on the team with three wins and all three of his wins have come in relief.

• RHP Max Garner missed all of last season due to a medical issue that forced him to withdraw from school, but he has made 18 relief appearances in 2011. He leads the team with 19 appearances and 33.0 innings pitched in relief.
• Garner recorded his first career save by pitching 3.2 innings of one-hit, shutout relief with 4 Ks vs. Louisiana Tech (3/10).
• Garner picked up his first career win by working scoreless 8th and 9th innings in the series opener vs. Kansas State (3/25).
• Garner earned his second save by stranding the tying and go-ahead runs in a win over No. 8 Texas (4/9).
• Garner picked up his third save by working 3.2 innings of one-hit shutout relief with four strikeouts at No. 5 Texas A&M (4/16).
• Garner notched his fourth save (third in Big 12 play) vs. Missouri (4/22), just one day after pitching 2.2 innings of relief.
• Garner has allowed only five runs over his last 16 relief appearances totaling 26.2 innings (1.69 ERA).

• C Joey Hainsfurther moved from third base to catcher for the 2011 season. He had never caught a collegiate game before, but has started behind the plate in 22 of Baylor's first 42 games this season. The Bears are 13-9 when he starts behind the plate.
• Hainsfurther reached base safely eight times in the Kansas series, drawing four walks with three hits and a hit-by-pitch.
• Hainsfurther tied the Bears' game vs. Rice (3/6) in the Houston College Classic with a two-run triple in the 7th.

• C Josh Ludy has started behind the plate 20 times and as DH in 17 games.
• Ludy had the Bears' first four-hit game of the season and hit game-winning RBI triple in 10th inning at UT Arlington (4/12).

• OF Wes Mercurio hit the first pitch he saw in 2011 for a three-run pinch hit homer in the series finale at Georgia.

• 3B Jake Miller had a 10th-inning walk-off double in the series finale vs. Oral Roberts (2/20).
• Miller has started 34 of 42 games at third base this season.
• Miller hit what would prove to be a game-winning RBI single in the 8th inning of the series finale vs. Kansas State (3/27).
• Miller had his career-long hitting streak snapped at seven games in the series opener vs. Texas Tech (3/18).

• 1B Max Muncy has started all 42 games at first base and hit either second, third or cleanup in every game.
• Muncy Big 12 overall ranks: t-8th hits (51), t-9th RBI (31), t-4th walks (27).
• Muncy Big 12 ranks (conference games only): 9th batting average (.348), 7th hits (24), t-6th home runs (3), 2nd total bases (40), 2nd walks (13), 5th on-base percentage (.458), 6th slugging percentage (.580).
• Muncy reached base safely in 19 straight games overall and 21 straight Big 12 games before going 0-for-4 vs. Missouri (4/23).
• Muncy's 10-game hitting streak in Big 12 games was the seventh-longest by a Baylor player over two Big 12 seasons.
• Muncy had a run-scoring hit to tie the game in the bottom of the first in all three games of the Texas Tech series.
• Muncy had multi-hit games and had at least one RBI in all three games of the series at Georgia.
• Muncy's 10th-inning walk-off grand slam vs. Rice was BU's first walk-off HR since Raynor Campbell on Feb. 27, 2007.
• Muncy's six RBI vs. Rice were the most by a BU player since Aaron Miller had six vs. Illinois on Feb. 29, 2008.

• RHP Dillon Newman has pitched 23.0 innings over 10 relief appearances, averaging 2.30 innings per game in relief.
• Newman has allowed five runs over his last 21.2 innings of work (2.08 ERA). He made his first career start vs. Lamar (3/30).

• CF/RHP Brooks Pinckard has been named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award preseason watch list.
• Pinckard is t-2nd in the nation with 30 steals. He's on pace to break the BU single-season record (40; Mike Robison, 1991).
• Pinckard made his first career start on the mound and got win at UTSA (4/26): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
• Pinckard ranks fifth on Baylor's all-time saves list with 16 career saves.
• Pinckard hit a game-winning homer in the seventh inning of the second game vs. Oral Roberts (2/19).
• Pinckard has never grounded into a double play in 441 career at-bats.
• Pinckard is 59-for-65 stealing bases in his career and his 59 steals are seventh-most in program history.
• Pinckard has started all but five games in center field and hit leadoff in 29 of 37 starts.

• RHP Jon Ringenberg (9-1 career record) has taken only one loss in 35 career appearances, including 17 starts.
• Ringenberg is the program's current career winning percentage leader [.900; 9-1] (min. 10 decisions).

• OF Chris Slater is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award (one of two from Big 12).
• Slater was named Big 12 Player of the Week (3/14) after having four consecutive three-hit games.
• Slater's walk-off double in the series opener vs. K-State (3/25) was his second walk-off hit this season.
• Slater also hit a walk-off single to beat Florida International in 11 innings on March 15.
• Slater accounted for half of Baylor's 10 extra-base hits during the week of March 21-27 (four doubles, one triple).
• Slater hit an inside-the-park home run vs. Texas Tech (3/19), the first by a BU player since Seth Fortenberry on April 9, 2006.

• RF Cal Towey Big 12 ranks overall: t-7th walks (26), 9th on-base percentage (.438).
• Towey Big 12 ranks in league play: t-2nd home runs (4), 7th on-base percentage (.444), 2nd slugging percentage (.620).

• LHP/DH Josh Turley has taken only three losses in 37 career appearances.
• Turley has pitched into the seventh inning in four of his last five starts after doing so only once in first 32 career outings.
• Turley became the first Baylor pitcher to beat Texas in Waco since 2005 when he allowed three runs in 8.0 innings on April 9.
• Turley hit a pinch-hit double in his first plate appearance of the season in the series opener at Georgia.

• RHP Logan Verrett was named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, one of six Big 12 players on the list.
• Verrett tied a Baylor Ballpark record by striking out 14 in a complete-game one-hitter vs. Louisiana Tech (3/11).
• Verrett took a tough-luck loss after allowing only two unearned runs in a complete game at No. 5 Texas A&M (4/17).
• Verrett was named Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week and National Player of the Week (3/14).
• Verrett earned Houston College Classic All-Tournament honors after his win vs. Houston; 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 K.
• Verrett has 226 career strikeouts and needs two more to crack the top 10 in program history.
• Verrett currently holds the Baylor record for strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.90).
• Verrett is third on Baylor's career strikeouts per nine innings list (9.76).
• Verrett is eighth in the Big 12 with 63.1 innings pitched and sixth with 65 strikeouts.

• LF Logan Vick missed 13 starts with a hamstring injury, snapping his streak of 80 consecutive games started in LF, but he returned to start at UT Arlington (4/12) and hit a home run in his second at-bat of the game.
• Vick reached base safely in his first 40 career games at Baylor Ballpark.
• Vick has drawn 77 walks in 90 career games; he's taken multiple walks in a game in 22 contests.
• When leading off an inning, Vick has a .455 on-base percentage for his career (66-for-145).

• SS Landis Ware is Baylor's most experienced player with 172 games played and 153 career starts.
• Ware has started at shortstop in 39 of Baylor's 42 games in 2011.
• Ware earned Big 12 Conference Player of the Week honors after going 7-for-10 in the Houston College Classic.
• Ware led off the bottom of the 10th with a double and scored the winning run vs. Rice (3/6).
• Ware was selected to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team.

Baylor returns home for an eight-day break between games for final exams. The Bears' next game is March 10 when Baylor travels to Fort Worth, Texas for a 6:30 p.m. game against TCU.



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