Like the football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams before them, the Baylor baseball team is winning — and winning at a record pace.
The Bears swept Texas A&M this past weekend to stay perfect in Big 12 play and extend their winning streak to a Big 12-record 24 games and run. The Aggies, previously ranked No. 2 in the country, have lost their last five contests heading into their next game against TCU Tuesday and a three-game series against No. 20 Texas, starting Friday in College Station.
Baylor, 15-0 against Big 12 opponents going into Friday’s series opener against Texas A&M, nearly saw its winning streak snapped as the Aggies took a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning of their only home game of the series. But sophomore second baseman Lawton Langford’s RBI single and junior center fielder Logan Vick’s two-run, bases-loaded single in the pivotal eighth frame pushed the Bears to a 5-3 comeback victory.
Senior Trent Blank out-dueled Aggies hurler Ross Stripling, improving to 9-0 by tossing eight scoreless innings Saturday against Texas A&M in a 1-0 Baylor win. Stripling gave up an RBI sac fly in the fifth inning, suffering just his second defeat of the year while Blank lowered his ERA to 2.18 on the year. Senior catcher Josh Ludy’s two-run home run that capped a 14-pitch at-bat highlighted a first inning that saw the Bears score four runs in a 7-5 Baylor victory.
The Bears will face UT-Arlington, the last team to beat them, Wednesday after a game against UT-San Antonio Tuesday. Baylor finishes its regular season with a three-game series against Texas May 17-19.
Rivals Oklahoma, Oklahoma State both playing well entering midweek Bedlam contest
Oklahoma was swept by Texas in its first Big 12 series of the season but have since rebounded nicely, winning each of its last eight games. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has put together a decent win streak of its own, triumphing in its last four contests and winning eight of its last 11 games.
One of those streaks will end when the bitter in-state rivals square off in Stillwater Tuesday evening. The Sooners (26-14, 7-8) swept Missouri and Alabama State in its past two series, adding midweek victories over Arkansas and Oral Roberts in the process. Oklahoma has outscored opponents 43-17 during its eight-game win streak, registering shutouts in two of its last three games.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys (22-17, 8-7) swept Texas Tech, who now finds itself in a tie with Kansas State for the worst record in Big 12 play at 3-12.
Kansas’ Duncan named pitcher of week after dominant outing against Texas.
For the second straight week, the Longhorns lost their series opener after an opposing starter delivered an excellent outing.
Two weeks ago, Oklahoma State’s Andrew Heaney allowed just six hits and one run in nine innings as the Cowboys took down Texas 3-1 in 11 innings. The following Friday, sophomore Frank Duncan tossed a complete-game three-hitter in a 7-2 series-opening victory over the Longhorns and was named Big 12 Player of the Week Monday.
But while Heaney is a potential first-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft, Duncan came into his gem last week with a 3-5 record this season and had not won a game at the college level before this year.
That didn’t stop Duncan from retiring 20 consecutive Texas hitters after freshman center fielder Taylor Stell’s one-out single in the first inning. The Longhorns touched Duncan for a pair of hits and two runs in the eighth inning but it was too little, too late, as the Jayhawks had built up an insurmountable lead. Duncan, facing the 3-4-5 portion of the Longhorns’ lineup, retired the side in the ninth inning to end the game.
Printed on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 as: Baylor sweeps A&M, wins Big 12 record 24th straight game