Kuntz Sharp on Mound in Baylor Baseball’s 15-1 Win vs. Austin Peay
Kuntz sets career-highs of six innings pitched and seven strikeouts
WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball claimed its first series win of the season with a 15-1 win over Austin Peay on Saturday evening at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears’ (4-2) third straight win has them in position for a series sweep over the Governors (1-5) tomorrow.
After missing all of the 2013 season to injury, BU starter Brad Kuntz was back in the groove in his second start of the year. Not only did the junior set career-highs of six innings pitched and seven strikeouts, he retired APSU in order in every inning but the third. The one unearned run he gave up in the third proved to be insignificant as the Bears were already up 4-0 at the time. In getting his first win since April 18, 2012, vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Kuntz (1-0) gave up just two hits and a walk.
Offensively, the Bears shined as well with eight players having multi-hit games. BU spotted Kuntz with an early 4-0 lead after scoring three in the first and one in the second. Grayson Porter had an RBI single and Mitch Price had a two-run double in the first, while Lawton Langford had an RBI single in the second.
Following Adam Toth’s RBI fielder’s choice in the fifth, and Langford’s RBI double and Sheppard’s RBI triple in the sixth, the Bears broke the game wide open with eight runs on five hits in the seventh.
The scoring started with a run off an error that allowed Aaron Dodson to reach base. Then Matt Menard had an RBI single, Logan Brown an RBI HBP, Langford a sac fly, Sheppard an RBI double, Joe Sabatini a sac fly, Toth an RBI single and Ben Carl an RBI single.
In total, the Bears scored 15 runs on 20 hits and four walks to give BU head coach Steve Smith his 699th career win – all at Baylor.
*Baylor head coach Steve Smith earned his 699th career win and is now one shy of joining the 700-win club. He’d be the 36th active coach in NCAA Division I baseball with 700 or more wins.
*Brad Kuntz set career highs with seven strike outs and six innings pitched. His previous strikeout high was six (did so three times), and the last time he had six strikeouts was vs. UTSA on May 15, 2012. His previous innings pitched high was five (did so three times), and the last time he pitched five innings was vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi on April 18, 2012. It’s the third time in Kuntz’s career he’s had a five-plus-inning start while giving up two or fewer hits.
*Two Baylor players had career firsts as Joe Sabatini notched his first collegiate RBI and Ben Carl tallied his first collegiate run, RBI and hit.
*Lawton Langford has reached base in 13 straight games dating back to last season. He went 2-for-3 with a career-high-tying three RBI, along with two runs, a double and walk.
*Grayson Porter has reached base in eight straight games dating back to last season. He went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
*After starting the season 1-for-16, Logan Brown is 4-for-9 in his last two games. He went 2-for-5 with a career-high-tying three runs scored, an RBI and double.
*Darryn Sheppard went 2-for-5 with two RBI, a run scored, walk, double and triple. The three-bagger was the first of his collegiate career.
*Mitch Price went 3-for-4 at the plate in a career day. His three hits set a new career high while his two RBI and two runs scored tied career highs.
*Adam Toth went 2-for-4 with a career-high two RBI, adding a walk and run.
*Matt Menard and West Tunnell each set career highs with two hits. Menard was 2-for-4 with a run and RBI. Tunnell was 2-for-4 with two runs, a walk and steal.
*In the teams’ first-ever series, Baylor took a 2-0 lead in the all-time series against Austin Peay.
*Baylor improved to 4-0 all-time against teams currently part of the Ohio Valley Conference.
STAT OF THE GAME
10 – The amount strikeouts Baylor pitchers recorded, marking the second straight game with 10 or more strikeouts after notching 13 in Friday’s win.
TWEET OF THE GAME
@AckAttackk: 75° and sunny. It's a perfect day for some baseball #SicEm @BaylorBaseball
“There were two things that I was interested to see from [Brad Kuntz] tonight. I was interested to see how he’d respond to last weekend, because he struggled some the first time out, and I thought he responded to that very well. Then in the context of the game, I thought he responded well to the bases-loaded situation [in the third inning] where he got out of it, and kept getting better as the game went on.” – BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor and Austin Peay play the series finale tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT. The scheduled pitching matchup is BU RHP Austin Stone (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. APSU RHP Ryan Quick (0-0, 3.60 ERA).