No. 6 Baseball earns second straight Big 12 series sweep with 5-4 win over No. 19 Baylor
AUSTIN, Texas -- Run-scoring singles by Jordan Danks and Chance Wheeless in the bottom of the fifth inning snapped a 3-3 tie and three UT relievers limited the Bears to one run on five hits over the final four innings to help No. 6 Texas earn a 5-4 victory over No. 19 Baylor in front of a crowd of 6,333 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Saturday, April 15.
With the Longhorns' (27-12, 12-2 Big 12) win over the Bears (22-15, 7-8 Big 12) on Saturday, UT not only earned its second straight conference series sweep to extend its league win streak to six games, but also picked up its 12th victory in the last 14 contests. Additionally, with a 12-2 record in Big 12 action, Texas is off to its best start in league play since 2000 (14-2).
Danks (Round Rock, Texas) opened the bottom of the first with a walk, moved to third on a throwing error when he stole second, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) to lift Texas to an early 1-0 lead. Following a scoreless second for both sides, Baylor used an infield single from Beamer Weems, a sacrifice and a RBI-base hit off the bat of Zach Dillon to tie the score at 1-1. A two-out error then brought in another run to establish a 2-1 Bears' advantage. Answering right back in the bottom of the frame, Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) singled, reached third on a failed pick-off and scored on a sac fly from Danks to knot the game at 2-2. With UT still alive in the frame, Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) walked and eventually scored following a balk, a flyout and a wild pitch to make it a 3-2 game in favor of Texas. Responding in the fourth, the Bears put together back-to-back singles with a double-play groundout to deadlock the game at 3-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, Fuller led off with a double and scored on a RBI-single from Danks to reclaim the lead for UT at 4-3. Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) then followed two batters later with a two-out RBI-single to right that upped the Longhorns' advantage to 5-3. While the Baylor offense would threaten in each of the next two innings by placing two runners on in each frame, UT relievers Kenn Kasparek (Weimar, Texas) and Kyle Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) worked out the jams, respectively, to keep Texas in front. With a runner on second and two down in the top of the eighth, the Bears then received a RBI-triple from Seth Fortenberry to cut the lead to 5-4. Having the tying run now 90 feet away from scoring, Walker got his next batter to ground back to him and end the inning. After the Horns were retired in the eighth, Baylor then came up in the ninth down to its final three outs and trailing by one. Even though they would bring the tying run to the plate three times in the final inning, the Bears were unable to rally as Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) emerged from the Texas bullpen and tossed his fifth full shutout inning of work during the series to notch his fourth save and preserve the 5-4 victory. While UT starter Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas), who allowed only two earned runs on eight hits and struck out six over five innings of work, recorded his fifth win of the season, Baylor starter Tim Matthews incurred the loss.
Leading the way offensively on the afternoon for Texas were Danks, who went 1-for-1 with two runs scored, a stolen base and a pair of RBI, Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas), who tallied a pair of hits, and Fuller, who went 2-for-3 while scoring twice. Meanwhile, the Bears' attack, which out-hit the Horns by a 13-7 margin, was paced by Dillon, who went 3-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI, Kevin Sevigny, who posted three hits, and the tandem of Weems and Ben Booker, who each registered two hits on the day. Of additional note for Texas, Stubbs extended his current hit streak to five games with a 1-for-3 outing and Danks, who left the game in the seventh inning with a right ankle injury, will be evaluated prior to next week's action.
Up next, the Horns travel to Wolff Stadium in San Antonio, Texas, for a 6 p.m. Central game against UT-San Antonio on April 18.