No. 6 Baseball tops Baylor, 16-8
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Registering season-bests for both runs and hits, No. 6 Texas earned a 16-8 victory over Baylor in front of 3,500 fans at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark during the second round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament on Thursday, May 25.
With the win over the Bears (34-24), the Longhorns (40-18) have now won their first two conference tournament games this year and notched their fifth consecutive
40-win season. Notably, every UT positional starter tallied at least one hit, one run scored and one RBI during the contest as Texas recorded the most hits (20) and runs (16) in one game since June 5, 2005, versus Arkansas (19 runs on 21 hits).
Texas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as, with runners on first and second after two walks, Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) came through with a two-out, RBI-base hit. In the second, the UT offense struck again when Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) singled with runners on first and second via a base hit and an error to score one run on before Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) connected on his team-leading 12th home run of the season to stake the Longhorns to a 5-0 advantage. Countering in the bottom of the third, Baylor received a solo home run from Beamer Weems and a three-run blast off the bat of Seth Fortenberry to make it a one-run contest at 5-4. Texas then responded in the top of the fourth by sending 12 men to the plate and having eight of those batters collect hits to score seven times and claim a 12-4 lead. Included in that frame was a two-run single from Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas), two hits from Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) and RBI-base hits from five different Longhorns as UT ran off six straight singles at one point.
Battling back in the bottom of the fourth, the Bears received a two-run home run from Weems to cut their deficit to 12-6. UT then used a leadoff single from Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) followed by a triple from Kyle Russell (Tomball, Texas) and a one-out base hit off the bat of Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) to tack on two more runs in the sixth and pull on top 14-6. Continuing to battle back, the Bears plated a run on a sac fly in the bottom of the sixth before loading the bases with two down on a single and two walks, but reliever Joseph Krebs (Bridgeport, Texas) got his next batter to fly out to center and end the threat. Kainer then connected on a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to establish a 16-7 lead for the Longhorns. After a scoreless eighth, the Bears brought home a run on a Fortenberry triple followed by a Kevin Sevigny single to make it 16-8 in the ninth, but Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) induced a double play followed by a strikeout to cap the win. While Kyle Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) picked up the win in relief of starter Riley Boening (Yoakum, Texas) by striking out four over 2.1 innings, Baylor starter Ryan LaMotta shouldered the loss.
Headlining Texas' 20-hit attack was the tandem of Stubbs and Kainer, who each matched career-bests for hits (4) and combined for four runs scored and seven RBI, and Clark, who went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI. The Bears, meanwhile, had their offense paced by Weems, who connected on a pair of home runs to drive in three runs, Fortenberry, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, and Chase Gerdes, who posted two hits in two at bats and scored twice. Of additional note for UT, Kainer extended his current hit streak to 15 games, while Stubbs and Wheeless upped their current hit strings to 10 and five games, respectively. Suttle, Wheeless and Russell also turned in two-hit efforts for Texas on the night.
Up next, the Horns continue Big 12 Tournament play with a 1 p.m. Central contest against No. 15 Nebraska at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark on Saturday, May 26. Of note, the game between UT and the Huskers will be televised by Fox Sports Net. Probable starters for both teams are: Kyle McCulloch (RHP, 8-4, 2.98 ERA) or Adrian Alaniz (RHP, 7-3, 4.00 ERA) for Texas and Tony Watson (LHP, 9-1, 3.05 ERA) for Nebraska.