April 9, 2011
WACO, Texas – The No. 8 Texas Longhorns created late-game suspense with a four-run ninth inning but fell short in a 7-6 loss to the Baylor Bears at Baylor Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.
With the Longhorns trailing 7-2 coming up for their last at-bats, Tant Shepherd started the rally by getting hit by a pitch as the leadoff batter. Jordan Etier grounded out to short, but Alex Silver rekindled the rally with a walk. Paul Montalbano singled down the leftfield line to plate Shepherd to cut the lead to 7-3.
Jonathan Walsh strolled to the plate with a four-run deficit and two runners on when he launched a 1-1 offering from Baylor closer Brooks Pinckard over the wall in right centerfield to cut the gap to 7-6.
The tying and go-ahead runs reached base on back-to-back walks by Mark Payton and Erich Weiss. Lucas Kephart came to the plate and wound up facing de facto closer Max Garner. With an 0-1 count, Kephart grounded out to second base to end the game.
The Longhorns manufactured a run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. Shepherd hit a lead-off single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Etier and third on a single by Silver. With runners at the corners, Montalbano pushed Shepherd across with a squeeze bunt to break the scoring seal.
Baylor responded with a run the home half of the second. With one out, Dan Evatt drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Landis Ware dropped a single into centerfield, tying the game at 1-1.
The Bears claimed their first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the fourth. With one-out, Josh Ludy singled to the gap in right centerfield and Evatt hit first-pitch offering from Longhorns’ starter Hoby Milner over the leftfield fence for the 3-1 edge.
Texas cut into the lead with a run in the fifth. With one out, Loy doubled down the leftfield line, moved to third on a ground out by Payton and scored on an infield single by Weiss to trim the Baylor edge to 3-2.
The Bears created separation with a four-run seventh inning. With one out, Steve DalPorto drew a walk from reliever Kendal Carrillo. Andrew McKirahan relived Carrillo and gave up double by Joey Hainsfurther. After intentionally walking Pinckard to load the bases, McKirahan yielded a two-run double to Max Muncy for the 5-2. The lead ballooned to 7-2 after Ludy singled up the middle to plate a pair.
Loy and Weiss each had a pair of hits for Texas. Loy doubled twice and has four in the last two games. Silver, who missed the beginning season while being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, made his first career start, going 1-for-3 with a walk and one run scored.
Ludy tallied two hits to lead Baylor. Muncy and Ludy each registered two RBI.
Milner (3-2) was saddled with the loss for the Longhorns. He yielded three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three over 4.2 innings.
Josh Turley (2-1) earned the win for Baylor with his longest career outing. He pitched 8.0-plus innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five. Max Garner earned his second career save, retiring the only batter he faced with a ground out.
Texas and Baylor return to action in the rubber match slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.