In this wonderful time that Mark has called the "Year of the Bear", it seems that whenever one magical season ends, another is there to take its place. Baylor Men's Basketball had a fantastic run, and I know I'm sad to see it end, but the Baylor Baseball team is ready to take up the cause and continue the greatest year in Baylor sports history.
Baseball's winning streak is now at 7 for the second time this season. For the first time since the creation of the Big 12, Baylor has started conference play 6-0 and now sits at 18-7. The Bears sit alone at the top of the conference and trail only A&M in overall record. With this current run, the Bears will no doubt reappear in the Top 25 polls.
Great teams need to take care of business when they play the weaker teams in the league, so when Kansas came to town, Baylor unceremoniously beat them like the blue and red headed step-children that they are on the diamond. Why? Because Baylor Baseball is awesome.
Friday's Game was a 10-2 drubbing. Josh Turley put together another impressive start, allowing 0 Runs and 6 Hits in 5.2 Innings. Brad Kuntz threw 1.1 Innings, striking out 3, and Austin Stone pitched the final 2 Innings, giving up 2 Runs.
Josh Ludy swung the big bat in this game, going 3-4 with 3 RBI, and once again, our hitter's patience paid huge dividends. Lawton Langford, Logan Vick, and Cal Towey collected 7 Walks between them, keeping men on base virtually the entire game. It was a strong showing.
Player(s) of the Game: Josh Ludy.
Saturday's game was even more lopsided as the Bears won 9-0. I know that I've said this before, but it deserves to be said again: Trent Blank is a revelation this season. I don't think anyone could have predicted how good he has been. He threw 6 Innings with 8 Ks in this game - just another day at the office for a guy sporting a 6-0 record and a 1.76 ERA. Ryan Smith came in for the final three innings and didn't allow a run. Smith has quietly been having a monster year on the mound. His 0.90 ERA in 10 relief Innings is incredibly good. I suppose I should expect that from a Freshman with great baseball bloodlines. Smith's father is, of course, Baylor Head Coach Steve Smith.
On the offensive side, Max Muncy felt like it was a good day to make me sound like an idiot for questioning his power numbers. Muncy went 2-4 with 2 Runs and 5 RBI. Muncy's two hits? They were both homeruns. Cal Towey chipped in a long ball as well to continue the Bears' weird streak of going ages without a bomb, then hitting three in one game. Who else had a good day at the plate? A few names you've never heard before: Logan Vick, Lawton Langford, and Nathan Orf. Joey Hainsfurther, fresh off his dominant pitching performance against Sam Houston, DH'ed in this one and went 2-4.
Player(s) of the Game: Trent Blank and Max Muncy.
Sunday's game was the opposite of a pitcher's duel. Max Garner started for the Bears and was strong through 4 Innings, but he struggled in the 5th, ultimately giving up 3 Runs.
In the batter's box, Muncy went off yet again (4-5, 2 Runs, 2 RBI, Double). He now sits at .340/.443/.564 only four game after I lamented his .474 slugging percentage. What's the lesson here? Sample size. Muncy, as well as his teammates, is still under 100 at-bats for the season. That means things can still change quickly. When a player has Muncy's talent, he will eventually, as his sample size grows, get back to his true production level.
Another stat that jumped out at me after this game: Lawton Langford's .506 on-base percentage. He is getting on base in more than half his at-bats. That's incredible.
Player(s) of the Game: "Mad" Max Muncy.