LAWRENCE, Kan. – In yet a third one-run game, Baylor came up on the short side of a 5-4 decision at Kansas as the Jayhawks walked off with a 10-inning win on Sunday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark. The loss for the Bears marked the first time they've been swept by Kansas in 17 all-time Big 12 series.
Trailing 3-2 entering the eighth, Baylor (25-23, 11-9 Big 12) rallied to take a lead with two clutch hits from seniors Steve DalPorto and Cal Towey. Towey drew a one-out walk and advanced to second in the eighth before DalPorto delivered a two-out single to tie the game.
After Brett Doe singled to start the ninth and pinch-runner Logan Brown stole second, Towey came through with a two-out single to give the Bears a 4-3 lead.
However, the Jayhawks (30-18, 12-9 Big 12) had a second late-inning rally left in them in the series. Back-to-Back doubles off reliever Ryan Smith tied the game in the ninth, and set up a great chance to for KU to end the game in regulation. But Josh Michalec entered the contest and wiggled his way out after a sacrifice bunt, pop up to third and liner to center.
"We competed well at the plate, especially late in the game, which makes us so tough," said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. "We had a lead, had a chance to close it out and didn't. Then we did a good job of keeping the game going. Josh did a great job of getting it done."
Michalec wasn't as fortunate in the 10th, though. He walked Michael Suiter with one out and gave up a stolen base on a pitchout. He got a foul out down the right field line for the second out, but wasn't able to get the third as Jordan Dreiling's game-winning hit to right field was just out of reach of Nathan Orf on a dive.
Prior to trailing, the Bears opened the game with a huge opportunity. Lawton Langford reached on an error to leadoff the game, Orf was hit by a pitch and Towey was walked to load the bases with no outs. However, BU only got two runs out of it on productive outs by Jake Miller and Adam Toth.
"The first inning was the biggest inning of the game on our side offensively," Smith said. "They gave us the first three batters of the game. We scored with two outs. If we get a hit there, it could have been bigger."
Making his first start since April 12, Dillon Newman returned to ace form. He gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out three in six innings on 67 pitches. With no walks allowed in the no-decision, he extended his streak without a walk to 37.2 innings and 154 batters.
"They were hotly-contested games [in this series], both sides pitched it pretty well," said Smith. "I don't know if we could've asked anymore out of our starting pitchers. Dillon was really sharp today. We let him go as far as I felt we should. We were competitive, played hard but just couldn't make the pitch or get the hit when we needed to."
With a week off for final exams, Baylor returns home for its final home game of the regular season on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:35 p.m. CT against UT San Antonio.
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