FORT WORTH, Texas – In a Baylor Big 12 record and TCU overall record 15 innings, the Bears (20-19, 8-5 Big 12) fell 2-1 to the Horned Frogs (18-21, 6-8 Big 12) on Saturday at Lupton Stadium to even the first-ever Big 12 series between the two squads.
The 1-1 tie was broken on an RBI double by Kyle Bacak, giving him his first extra base hit of the season. The hit was only the third given up by reliever Josh Michalec in a fantastic 6.1-inning appearance. The career-long effort was unfortunately tagged with a loss, dropping him to 4-3 on the season.
"Michalec got the loss, and it's unfortunate, and a bit unfair," said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. "He threw extremely well. His stuff was great. They just found a way to get the ball to the wall there."
Baylor starter Austin Stone was just as good in a career-long start as well. In 8.1 innings, he gave up one run on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The lone run he gave up came in the third on a sacrifice fly. He then retired 12 straight and 14 of the next 15 hitters before giving way to Michalec.
"This was a day for the pitchers and everyone that we ran out there threw the ball really well," Smith said. "[Austin] kept throwing strikes and worked up in the zone. That's what you have to have on a day like today [with the wind blowing in]."
With scoring chances in all but six of the 15 innings, the Bears only capitalized once in the sixth inning. Cal Towey led off with a single and stole second. An out later, Jake Miller brought him home with a single to tie the game.
Miller ended up advancing to second after a pick off error on TCU starter Brandon Finnegan, but the lefty buckled down to get two groundouts to end the frame. Finnegan did the same to every scoring situation Baylor had in his 6.2 innings of work, striking out seven.
Baylor's best chance in the rest of the game came in the eighth inning after Towey reached after being hit by a pitch and Gray son Porter singled to start the inning. After Miller's sacrifice bunt attempt was too hard for a force at third, Steve DalPorto singled through the right side but the TCU outfield was too shallow and the ball was hit too hard to score a run.
With Duncan Wendel up, the Bears just missed on a run. He roped a liner to first base that was dropped, but the runners had to freeze. The hiccup allowed enough time to get a force at home. Adam Toth then struck out swinging to leave the bases loaded.
Yesterday's losing pitcher Alex Young (5-4) picked up the win in relief, throwing 2.2 innings while allowing one hit with five strikeouts.
The teams finish the series tomorrow with a 1 p.m. CT rubber match as BU RHP Ryan Smith (1-2, 4.05 ERA) matches up with TCU RHP Andrew Mitchell (0-1, 3.16 ERA).
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