Brad Kuntz is scheduled to start on the mound for the Bears against UTSA.
UTSA (21-29) at No. 7 Baylor (39-11)
Baylor: LHP Brad Kuntz, So. (4-2, 4.46 ERA, 34.1 IP, 26 H, 20 R, 17 ER, 20 BB, 34 SO)
UTSA: RHP Justin Anderson, Fr. (3-2, 6.63 ERA, 55.2 IP, 70 H, 43 R, 41 ER, 17 BB, 31 SO) -or-
RHP Logan Onda, Fr. (0-3, 6.48 ERA, 33.1 IP, 45 H, 26 R, 24 ER, 23 BB, 32 SO)
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Baylor's No. 7-ranked baseball team returns home to host UTSA at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears will be looking to snap a season-long three-game losing streak and avenge an April 24 loss at UTSA that snapped the Bears' school and Big 12-record winning streak at 24 straight.
The Bears are 27-3 at home this season and have won a school-record 20 consecutive games at Baylor Ballpark. Baylor's 20-game home winning streak is the nation's longest active streak. BU has only two regular season home games remaining - Tuesday against UTSA and a 6:35 p.m. game on Thursday against Texas.
Both the Tuesday game against UTSA and Thursday's game against Texas will have live streaming video that can be viewed through an All-Access subscription on www.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.
All tickets for Tuesday's game are $3, including any available reserved seats. The first 4,000 fans at Thursday's game against Texas will receive Big 12 Championship t-shirts, and the Big 12 Championship trophy will be presented in a ceremony after the game. Fans will also receive Baylor baseball card sets, complete with all 35 players, and five seniors will be honored prior to the game as part of senior night. Baylor president Ken Starr will present Tyler Bremer, Josh Ludy, Joey Hainsfurther and Dan Evatt with their Baylor diplomas.
Overall: Baylor leads 28-5
Waco: Baylor leads 20-3
San Antonio: Baylor leads 8-2
Neutral Site: Never met
Steve Smith vs. UTSA: 26-3
BAYLOR: Steve Smith
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1986
Career Record: 658-426-1 (18th season)
Record at Baylor: 658-426-1 (18th season)
UTSA: Sherman Corbett
Career Record: 352-326 (12th season)
Record at UTSA: 352-326 (12th season)
BAYLOR-IMG COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK
Online at www.BaylorBears.com
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John Morris (pxp) and Lark Smith (color)
BAYLOR VS. UTSA SERIES HISTORY
Baylor is 28-5 in the all-time series against UTSA. The Bears are 20-3 against the Roadrunners in games played in Waco and 8-2 in games played in San Antonio. Baylor is 26-3 against UTSA during the Steve Smith era, including a 4-1 loss in San Antonio on April 24. That loss snapped Baylor’s school and Big 12-record 24-game winning streak.
BEARS CLINCH THIRD BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Baylor clinched the regular season Big 12 Championship outright with six games remaining in the 24-game conference schedule. When the Bears had six games remaining on their conference slate, the worst they could finish was 18-6, while the best any other team could finish was 16-8.
BAYLOR'S SECOND OUTRIGHT CONFERENCE TITLE IN LAST 89 YEARS
Baylor's 2012 regular season Big 12 Championship is its fifth all-time league title, its third outright league championship, and its third Big 12 championship. It marks the second time in the last 89 years the Bears have won an outright conference title (also in 2000).
Baylor's Conference Championships (* - shared titles)
1923 -- 13-5 in Southwest Conference
1966 -- 9-6 in Southwest Conference*
2000 -- 23-7 in Big 12 Conference
2005 -- 19-8 in Big 12 Conference*
2012 -- 18-0 in Big 12 Conference with six games remaining
CHASE FOR BIG 12 HISTORY
Baylor has a chance to have one of the greatest conference seasons by any team in the Big 12’s 16-year history. The Bears have already clinched the sixth-best regular-season winning percentage in league history, but with one win in the Texas series they would have the third-best winning percentage, while two wins would give them the second-best Big 12 winning percentage in league history.
All-Time Best Big 12 Regular Season Records
1. 24-3 (.889) -- Texas, 2010
2. 23-6 (.793) -- Texas A&M, 1999
3. 21-6 (.778) -- Texas, 2007
t4. 23-7 (.767) -- Baylor, 2000
t4. 23-7 (.767) -- Texas Tech, 1997
18-3 (.857) -- BAYLOR, 2012 (three games remaining)
BEARS ACHIEVE PROGRAM'S FIRST-EVER No. 1 NATIONAL RANKING
Baylor’s No. 1 ranking in the April 23 and April 30 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls marked the first times Baylor has ever been ranked as the nation’s top team. The Bears shared the top spot with Kentucky in the April 23 CBN poll, took over sole possession of the top spot on April 30, and dropped to No. 2 despite not playing any games the week of May 6.
RECORD-SETTING START TO BIG 12 PLAY
Baylor’s 18-0 start to Big 12 play was 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 are the only Big 12 team ever to sweep six consecutive Big 12 series, and Baylor had never swept three straight Big 12 series prior to this season. The Bears broke Texas’ record for longest winning streak in conference play by winning the series finale vs. then-No. 2 Texas A&M on April 22.
- 18 games -- Baylor 2012
- 17 games -- Texas 2000
- 16 games -- Texas A&M 2008
- 14 games -- Nebraska 2000
- 10 games -- Oklahoma 2006
Baylor's 24-game winning streak lasted from March 16-April 22 and ended as the longest in school history and the longest by any Big 12 Conference team since the league began playing baseball in 1997. The Bears passed Texas' 21 straight wins in 2010 for the conference record, and the previous school record was a 20-game winning streak in 1985.
The Bears' streak was even more impressive considering 18 of the 24 games were 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 six consecutive series sweeps (vs. Texas Tech, vs. Kansas, vs. Oklahoma State, at Missouri, at Kansas State and vs. Texas A&M).
SMITH BREAKS ALL-TIME WINS RECORD
With a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on April 17, head coach Steve Smith broke Baylor's all-time wins record for any sport with his 650th career victory. Smith is 658-426-1 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 recorded 657 wins through the same number of games.
Baylor senior RHP Trent Blank ranks seventh nationally with nine wins (9-1) and won 11 straight decisions before suffering a loss despite allowing only one earned run in a complete-game at Oklahoma on May 12.
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 11-1 with a 2.71 ERA over 93.0 innings pitched. 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.
Blank won his 11th straight decision when the Bears defeated then-No. 2 Texas A&M, 1-0, on April 21. Here’s a before and after comparison of his numbers:
Feb. 9, 2009 -
April 30, 2011
May 10, 2011 -
BRACKETOLOGISTS LIKE BEARS
Baylor is projected by numerous outlets to be a top-8 national seed in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Championship. Earning a top-8 national seed means the Bears would host a regional, and if they won the Waco Regional, they would host a Super Regional. The Bears wouldn’t have to leave the friendly confines of Baylor Ballpark (where they have a 27-3 record this season) until a trip to Omaha for the College World Series. Here are the latest projections:
ESPN Bracketology (5/7): No. 3 national seed, Waco Regional —paired with Houston (Rice) Regional
(Waco Regional - No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Dallas Baptist, No. 3 Sam Houston State, No. 4 Oral Roberts)
Baseball America Stock Report (5/8): 1 of 4 “secure teams” for top-8 national seeds
SEBaseball.com (5/8): No. 2 national seed, Waco Regional — paired with Houston (Rice) Regional
(Waco Regional - No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 TCU, No. 3 Sam Houston State, No. 4 Oakland)
Perfect Game (5/8): No. 2 national seed, Waco Regional — paired with Houston (Rice) Regional
(Waco Regional - No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 TCU, No. 3 Dallas Baptist, No. 4 Wright State)
ChasingOmaha.com (5/8): No. 2 national seed, Waco Regional — paired with Stanford Regional
(Waco Regional - No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Dallas Baptist, No. 3 Sam Houston State, No. 4 Kent State)
CollegeBaseballDaily.com (5/2): No. 3 national seed, Waco Regional — paired with Houston (Rice) Regional
(Waco Regional - No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 3 Dallas Baptist, No. 4 Texas State)
BAYLOR'S BIG FOUR
Baylor athletics has a chance at history with its "big four" sports during the 2011-12 academic year. Football (10), men's basketball (30) and women's basketball (40) combined for 80 wins, and with baseball's 39 wins to this point, the Bears are only four wins shy of tying the national record for the most combined wins in one year by the big four sports.
Texas holds the record with 123 wins during the 2003-04 academic year. UT football (10-3), men's basketball (25-8), women's basketball (30-5) and baseball (58-15) combined for a 123-31 overall record. Entering the UTSA game, Baylor has combined for a 119-22 in the big four sports: football (10-3), men's basketball (30-8), women's basketball (40-0) and baseball (39-11).
HISTORIC YEAR IN BAYLOR ATHLETICS
Baylor has had an unprecedented amount of success during the 2011-12 academic year. Every Baylor team has qualified for the postseason, and if that trend continues through the spring, it will be the first time in Baylor history. Here's a list of some of the major accomplishments:
• Second 10-win football season in program history
• First bowl victory since 1992 Sun Bowl (2012 Alamo Bowl)
• First Heisman Trophy winner in Baylor history (Robert Griffin III)
• Second Elite Eight appearance in last three seasons in men's basketball
• National Championship and first-ever 40-win season in women's basketball
• National Player of the Year in women's basketball (Brittney Griner)
• First national No. 1 ranking in Baylor baseball history, third Big 12 Conference Championship
• Big 12-records 24-game overall baseball winning streak and 18-game conference winning streak
PILING UP BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS ...
Baylor has had the Big 12 Conference's Player of the Week six times this season, passing Texas Tech (5 in 2004) for the most by any team in a single season in conference history. Logan Vick (Feb. 27 & March 19), Max Muncy (March 26), Jake Miller (April 2) and Josh Ludy (April 16 & April 23) have all been honored. Vick, Muncy and Miller combined to give the Bears Big 12 Players of the Week in three consecutive weeks, and with Ludy's awards the Bears won in five out of six weeks.
... AND BIG 12 PITCHER AND NEWCOMER WEEKLY AWARDS
Baylor has also had two players earn Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors and three more players 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 -- Michael Howard was named Newcomer of the Week on April 16, and Nathan Orf gave Baylor three straight Newcomer of the Week winners when he was honored on April 23.
Baylor's 11 Big 12 weekly honors this season are the most in a single-season in program history, and the eight combined Pitcher and Player of the Week awards are the most Big 12 weekly honors in program history without the addition of the two-year-old Newcomer award. Baylor's previous high was six weekly honors in both 2004 and 2005.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Six Baylor players have started at least 47 of the team’s 50 games this season, including four who have played the same position in every game: Max Muncy (all 50 at 1B), Cal Towey (all 50 at 3B), Logan Vick (49 of 50 in CF) and Jake Miller (48 of 50 at SS). Lawton Langford (2B) has started 42 of the last 46 games since starting only one of the first four to begin the season.
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 46 of 50 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 (13 games) and Michael Howard (11 games) split time in right field when Toth wasn’t in the lineup. Toth has started in the outfield in 19 of 22 games since returning in the Oklahoma State series finale on April 1.
• Baylor clinched the regular season Big 12 Championship on May 5, the earliest by any team in league history.
• Baylor’s Big 12 title is its third overall (2000, 2005, 2012). The Bears also won the league outright in 2000.
• Baylor’s outright Big 12 title is its second outright conference championship in the last 89 years.
• Baylor is ranked in the top 7 nationally in all four national college baseball polls for the 4th straight week.
• The Bears were No. 1 for two weeks in the Collegiate Baseball poll — Baylor’s first-ever No. 1 ranking.
• Baylor wasn’t ranked in the top 25 of any national poll on March 19, but six weeks later the Bears were No. 1 or No. 2 in every poll (April 30), and eight weeks later they are in the top 7 of every poll.
• Baylor’s school-record 24-game winning streak (3/16—4/22) is the 2nd-longest streak in Division I this season.
• Baylor’s 39 wins are tied for the 3rd-most by any Division I team this season (Kentucky 41, UCF 40).
• Baylor’s 18-game winning streak in Big 12 Conference play ended as the longest by any team in the league’s 16-year history. The Bears’ broke Texas’ record of 17 straight conference wins set in 2010.
• Baylor has won 20 consecutive games at Baylor Ballpark, giving it the nation’s longest active home winning streak.
• Baylor’s 20-game home winning streak broke the previous school record of 15 straight home wins in 2000.
• Baylor won 9 consecutive Big 12 series prior to being swept at Oklahoma; BU is 24-6 in its last 10 Big 12 series.
• Baylor’s 18-0 start in Big 12 play was the best by any team in the conference’s 16-year history — 11 games better than the previous longest winning streak to start a Big 12 season (Texas started 7-0 in 1999).
• Head coach Steve Smith broke Baylor’s all-time wins record with his 650th career victory on April 17. He passed his predecessor Mickey Sullivan for the most wins by any coach in Baylor Athletics history.
• Seven Baylor starters have on-base percentages at .425 or better, nine Baylor regulars are hitting at least .294.
• Baylor is 27-2 this year in games started by Josh Turley (11-1), Trent Blank (11-1) or Joey Hainsfurther (5-0).
• Baylor’s offense leads the Big 12 in batting (.309), on-base percentage (.402), slugging percentage (.435), runs per game (6.38), home runs (31) and RBI (290).
• Baylor can finish with the 2nd-best regular season winning percentage in Big 12 history with two wins in next weekend’s series against Texas.
• Baylor is 18-5 in 1 or 2-run games and 24-4 when its starting pitcher lasts at least 5.0 innings this season.
• Baylor’s pitching staff leads the Big 12 in saves (17) and fewest home runs allowed (9). The Bears have allowed half as many home runs as the next closest Big 12 team.
• Baylor has homered in 15 of the last 27 games after going without a home run in 28 of its previous 29 games.
• In Big 12 games, Baylor leads the league in batting (.316), OBP (.393), SLG (.475), runs (134), hits (230), home runs (21) and RBI (123). Baylor ranks 2nd in the Big 12 with a 2.96 ERA in league play.
• Baylor’s team slugging percentage in Big 12 games (.475) is 80 points higher than the next closest team, and the Bears’ 21 home runs in league play are 9 more than any other team.
• Baylor swept six 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 set a conference record with six Big 12 Player of the Week awards this season. Josh Ludy and Logan Vick have each been honored twice, and Jake Miller and Max Muncy have each picked up one award.
• Six Baylor players have started at least 47 of the team’s 50 games this season.
• Baylor’s 17 wins in the month of April (17-1) tied the most in a single month of the 18-year Steve Smith era. The Bears also won 17 games in April of 2000 (17-3).
• Baylor has 7 of the 27 double-digit hitting streaks by Big 12 players this season — Nathan Orf (12), Lawton Langford (12), Jake Miller (10), Max Muncy (10 & 10), Dan Evatt (10) and Josh Ludy (10).
• Senior RHP Trent Blank ranks 7th nationally with 9 wins and won 11 straight decisions prior to a loss at OU.
• Baylor has swept 7 series in a season for the first time in program history. The Bears have 3-game sweeps vs. Oral Roberts, vs. Texas Tech, vs. Kansas, vs. Oklahoma State, at Missouri, at Kansas State and vs. Texas A&M.
• Blank and junior LHP Josh Turley have each won Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards this season.
• Junior 1B Max Muncy has started 132 consecutive games at 1B for Baylor. He has missed 1 start in 166 team games in his career, and he holds Baylor’s all-time putouts record with 1,505.
• Baylor is 27-3 at home in 2012, and BU is 65-21 in its last 86 home games (33-9 in non-conference games).
• Baylor is 7-6 this season when scoring three or fewer runs. The Bears were 3-22 in such games last season.
• Junior C/OF Nathan Orf ranks 5th nationally after being hit by a pitch a school-record 25 times this season.
• Orf needs 2 more HBP to tie the Big 12 Conference single-season record set by KSU’s Daniel Dellasega in 2010.
• Baylor ranks 20th nationally in total home attendance (85,353) and 22nd in average home attendance (2,943).
INDIVIDUAL BIG 12 RANKINGS (ALL GAMES)
1st — Wins (9)
7th — ERA (2.30)
8th — Opponents’ Batting Average (.223)
7th — Home Runs (7)
1st — Saves (10)
6th — On-Base Percentage (.449)
8th — Batting Average (.340)
10th — Walks (28)
1st — RBI (52)
4th — Slugging Percentage (.554)
5th — Batting Average (.349)
5th — Total Bases (97)
5th — Home Runs (8)
10th — On-Base Percentage (.427)
10th — Doubles (12)
10th — Hits (61)
4th — Walks (33)
6th — RBI (45)
7th — Runs (43)
10th — Home Runs (5)
10th — Doubles (12)
11th — Saves (2)
1st — HBP (25)
4th — Runs (46)
7th — On-Base Percentage (.445)
6th — Triples (4)
10th — RBI (39)
14th — Walks (27)
17th — Home Runs (4)
2nd — ERA (1.59)
6th — Wins (7)
9th — Innings Pitched (79.1)
1st — Doubles (20)
8th — Walks (30)
9th — Batting Average (.339)
9th — On-Base Percentage (.431)
INDIVIDUAL BIG 12 RANKINGS (CONFERENCE GAMES)
3rd — Wins (4)
7th — ERA (2.40)
9th — Innings Pitched (45.0)
10th — Opponents’ Batting Average (.221)
7th — Home Runs (3)
1st — Saves (7)
4th — Opponents’ Batting Average (.211)
7th — Appearances (11)
15th — ERA (3.24)
14th — Wins (2)
1st — Walks (15)
2nd — On-Base Percentage (.473)
3rd — Batting Average (.372)
6th — Hits (29)
1st — Home Runs (7)
1st — RBI (27)
2nd — Slugging Percentage (.679)
2nd — Total Bases (57)
4th — Hits (30)
5th — Batting Average (.357)
7th — On-Base Percentage (.432)
7th — Doubles (6)
12th — Walks (10)
3rd — Triples (2)
15th — Hits (25)
1st — Runs (20)
7th — Doubles (6)
7th — Home Runs (3)
8th — RBI (14)
8th — Total Bases (42)
11th — Slugging Percentage (.477)
12th — Walks (10)
15th — Hits (25)
14th — Wins (2)
5th — Runs (19)
8th — On-Base Percentage (.430)
10th — Hits (26)
11th — Home Runs (2)
14th — Batting Average (.325)
15th — Stolen Bases (4)
3rd — Home Runs (4)
3rd — Slugging Percentage (.587)
3rd — Triples (2)
5th — Total Bases (44)
6th — RBI (15)
10th — On-Base Percentage (.427)
11th — Batting Average (.333)
12th — Runs (15)
15th — Hits (25)
1st — Wins (5)
3rd — ERA (1.82)
6th — Innings Pitched (49.1)
1st — Doubles (10)
6th — Runs (18)
8th — Walks (11)
9th — Batting Average (.346)
12th — Total Bases (38)
Baylor takes on Texas for a three-game series to close out the 2012 regular season. The Bears host Texas at 6:35 p.m. Thursday at Baylor Ballpark, then travel to Austin for a 6:30 p.m. game on Friday and a 2 p.m. series finale on Saturday. The first 4,000 fans at Thursday’s game will receive Big 12 Champions t-shirts, and fans will also receive a complete set of Baylor baseball trading cards featuring all 35 players.
Prior to Thursday’s game, Baylor president Ken Starr will present Tyler Bremer, Dan Evatt, Joey Hainsfurther and Josh Ludy with their Baylor diplomas. The four seniors missed graduation ceremonies while playing at Oklahoma last weekend. All five of Baylor’s seniors will also be honored as part of senior night prior to the game. Additionally, the Bears will be presented with the 2012 Big 12 Conference Regular Season Championship trophy in a postgame ceremony.