Baylor Baseball Ready for Weekend Series at No. 8 Texas
Bears have won the last two series vs. the Longhorns
WACO, Texas – Baylor baseball plays its fourth Big 12 series of the season and second on the road this weekend at No. 8 Texas. The Bears (15-13, 4-4 Big 12) and Longhorns (23-7, 3-3 Big 12) are scheduled to play all three games on the Longhorn Network at 7 p.m. CT Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Baylor enters the weekend after beating Incarnate Word twice at home to end a four-game losing streak. Texas heads into the series after a 5-2 win over Rice on Tuesday and has won seven of its last eight games. UT owns a 231-105-1 edge in the all-time series but BU is 33-38 under Steve Smith, 28-35 in the Big 12 era vs. the Longhorns and has won each of the last two series.
All Baylor baseball games are broadcast live on Waco's 1660 ESPN Radio. Tom Barfield provides the play-by-play with Lark Smith adding color commentary. Live streaming audio and GameTracker also are available for all Baylor baseball games online at www.BaylorBears.com, the official website of Baylor Athletics and a member of the CBS College Sports Network.
Baylor trails the all-time series vs. Texas 105-231-4, and 38-134-1 in Austin, but is 33-38 under Steve Smith and 28-35 in the Big 12 era. BU has won each of the last two series and has won nine series vs. UT in 17 seasons of Big 12 play. Baylor won the first six series from 1997 through 2002 and took a series sweep in 2005. Texas won the series in 2003 and 2004 and had taken each of the last six series before the Bears won 2012’s series 2-1 (16-5 in Waco, 4-0 in Austin, 1-2 in Austin). The Bears swept Texas last season in Waco on April 26-28 for their third sweep of UT in Big 12 play (1998, 2005, 2013). BU won the opener 6-2, middle game 1-0 and finale 5-2 to outscore UT 12-4 and 32-11 over the last two years.
BAYLOR AGAINST BASEBALL AMERICA RANKED TEAMS
Baylor is 186-268-1 all-time against Baseball America ranked teams, including a 43-75 mark against top five teams. Since 2012 BU is 13-7 against ranked teams and has won 11 of its last 16 such games. At home against ranked foes, BU is 104-100-1. Baylor has eight wins in its last 10 games against top 10 teams. Prior to the Cal State Fullerton series, the last time BU faced a top five team was April 20-22, 2012, against No. 2 Texas A&M and BU won all three games. BU has won three straight series vs. top 10 teams, going 7-2 in that stretch that dates back to 2011. Since 2011, BU is 21-16 against Baseball America ranked reams. BU is 87-140 all-time against Baseball America top 10 teams.
BAYLOR AGAINST RANKED TEAMS IN 2014
Baylor is 7-6 against ranked teams this season and has won three of its four series vs. ranked teams, including three series wins in a row vs. ranked teams. BU has claimed series over No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, No. 23 Texas Tech and No. 20 Oklahoma State – all in 2-1 decisions. The lone series loss came in a 2-1 decision at No. 19 Arizona State. The last time Baylor took three straight series from ranked opponents was Feb. 18-March 20, 2005 (Oral Roberts, at Vanderbilt, vs. Texas) - only other time in school history. Against top 25 teams, Baylor is 7-5. Baylor picked up its second shutout of a ranked opponent this season with its 1-0 win over No. 23 Texas Tech March 14. The Bears beat No. 3 Cal State Fullerton 1-0 on March 8 in Waco for the first. Baylor’s seven wins vs. top 25 teams are tied for the most in the Big 12 as BU has played 13 of its 28 games against ranked foes.
BAYLOR IN TV GAMES
Baylor is 6-3 this season in TV games with all six wins and eight of the nine games being vs. ranked teams -- BU is 6-2 vs. ranked teams. The Bears opened the season with their debut on the Pac-12 Network and earned a comeback win over No. 19 Arizona State on Feb. 14. BU earned a 5-4 win on March 9 in the series rubber match vs. No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on FOX Sports Southwest. The Bears took two of three games from No. 23 Texas Tech March 14-16 with games airing on FOX College Sports, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Southwest, respectively. BU then took two of three from No. 20 Oklahoma State on March 21-23 with games airing on FOX College Sports (first two) and FOX Sports Plus (finale). Last weekend, the West Virginia finale aired on FOX Sports 2. Since 2011, BU is 23-15 in TV games. The Bears are 53-56 all-time in TV games.
BAYLOR AGAINST THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE
As one of the league’s founding members in 1997, Baylor owns a 482-535-4 record against the current members of the Big 12 Conference. The Bears own a 263-198 all-time record in regular season play. BU’s all-time record against current league foes is as follows: Kansas (45-13), Kansas State (41-19), Oklahoma (37-40), Oklahoma State (37-39), TCU (138-112), Texas (105-231-4), Texas Tech (77-78) and West Virginia (2-3).
JOSH MICHALEC THRIVING IN FIRST CHANCE AT CLOSER ROLE
Closer and March 10th Big 12 Pitcher of the Week Josh Michalec ranks third in the country in saves as of March 31 and has closed out 11 of Baylor’s 15 wins on the season. Michalec is now a perfect 11-for-11 in career save chances as all of his career saves have come in 2014 with six coming in multi-inning efforts.
LAWTON LANGFORD WALKING AT HIGH RATE
Lawton Langford has displayed great patience at the plate all year long as he ranks eighth in the nation as of March 31 in both walks (26) and walks per game (0.93). He’s had multiple walks in eight games with the max being three on Feb. 23 against Austin Peay. Only 11 times in 28 games has he failed to draw a walk.
BRAD KUNTZ’S WINNING STREAK ENDS
Brad Kuntz’s three-game winning streak came to a close as prior to the loss last Friday at West Virginia he had beaten No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, No. 23 Texas Tech and No. 20 Oklahoma State. His streak of games with one-run or less came to a close as well at six starts. During that stretch he was 4-0 while allowing four runs (three earned) on 20 hits and 13 walks with 28 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.
DANIEL CASTANO MAKING MARK AS STARTER
Daniel Castano has yet to give up more than three runs in a start this season. In his first four collegiate starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA while allowing six runs (three earned) on 14 hits and five walks with nine strikeouts in 20.2 innings and has held hitters to a .189 batting average. In a win on Wednesday vs. Incarnate Word, Castano set new career highs of seven innings pitched and five strikeouts as he allowed an unearned run on just two hits and two walks.
DOUG ASHBY OFF TO GREAT START IN THE BULLPEN
Doug Ashby has a career-high scoreless appearance streak of 12 and has yet to give up an earned run all season. During the stretch he’s thrown 12.1 innings while allowing 11 hits and five walks with seven strikeouts. Of his 17 appearances on the season, eight have spanned multiple innings and only two have resulted in runs given up -- he allowed two unearned runs in both (California on March 1 and at Arizona State on Feb. 14). Overall, Ashby has inherited 19 runners and allowed seven to score. In his last four outings, he’s stranded all seven of his inherited runners.