Wow. What is happening at Baylor Ballpark? The Bears absolutely refused to lose this weekend in a hard fought sweep of Oklahoma State. To anyone lucky enough to have seen these games in person - I'm jealous. To anyone who didn't at least listen to the games on the web - you really missed out. The Bears pushed their record to 22-7 with their 11th victory in a row. They are 9-0 in conference, leading UT (5-1) and A&M (4-2) by large margins. Baylor is now shooting up the Top 25 Rankings, sitting at #16 on Baseball America and, get this, #8 in Collegiate Baseball.
So how exactly did the weekend go? Let's take a look.
In Friday's Game, the Bears faced Andrew Heaney, one of the best pitchers in the entire Big 12. I mentioned Heaney in the ODB Big 12 Primer: Part 2 if you need a refresher on just how good this guy is. So how did the Baylor offense make out? They treated Heaney to his work start of the season, scoring 4 Earned Runs in 5.1 Innings with 8 Hits and Walk. Heaney only struck out 4, which is quite low for him.
Many of the usual names had big games, but the best at-bats came from Jake Miller (ss). Miller went 3-3 with an RBI, and he was just getting started for the weekend. Both he and Dan Evatt had really good weekends. I know I haven't written much about them (Miller scuffled a bit earlier in the season and Evatt actually lost his starting outfield role to the Freshmen Michael Howard and Adam Toth early in the season), but both these guys are coming alive at the plate. Their re-emergence will make an already great lineup even better.
On the mound, Turley had a typically strong game, going 6 Innings with 5 Ks and 3 Earned Runs. He was followed by Brad Kuntz, who threw 3 Innings with 6 Ks and No Runs. Kuntz has been quite good out of the pen and has had a better year by advanced statistics than his ERA seems to show. I'll do a write-up on Baylor pitchers pretty soon and how good they've really been based on FIP and what that could mean for the rest of the season.
Saturday's Game was Trent Blank being Trent Blank. He gave up 2 Runs over 7 Innings while limiting OSU batters to 4 Hits. This is the kind of outing I've come to expect from Blank, who now leads the entire NCAA Baseball landscape with 7 Wins. Dillon Newman and Tyler Bremer finished up the game with a scoreless inning each.
The offense was comparatively quiet in this game, but once again, Jake Miller and Dan Evatt had the hot bats. Miller went 2-4, and Evatt blasted his 3rd homer of the season. Also chipping in was Cal Towey with his second homerun of the season.
Sunday's Game was an absolute thriller that the Bears took in the 13th Inning. Every possible sign pointed to the winning streak ending in this one. The Bears were No-Hit for into the seventh inning, but they tied it up in the seventh on a Cal Towey 3-Run Homer. Has anyone seen Tombstone? I imagine Towey going to plate like Kurt Russell right before he started killing everybody: "No. Noo!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!". In the top of the thirteenth, OSU managed to plate a run, putting Baylor on the ropes yet again, but Josh Ludy tied it in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single, and Josh Turley won the game with another RBI single. No, Turley isn't content with being an ace pitcher. He wins games with the bat too.
On the mound, Max Garner threw a solid game, giving up 3 Runs in 5.1 Innings. The bullpen was even better. Crayton Bare, Tyler Bremer, Brad Kuntz, Joey Hainsfurther, and Austin Stone combined for 7.2 Innings, only giving up 1 Run.
As I said, this was a really thrilling series that the Bears just refused to lose. They'll put their 11 game streak on the line against a very good Texas State team tomorrow afternoon.