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Baylor Baseball Suffers Walk-Off Loss at No. 8 Texas

Baylor Baseball Suffers Walk-Off Loss at No. 8 Texas

Brad Kuntz throws career-high eight innings in strong start

THE RUNDOWN

AUSTIN – Baylor baseball was one pitch away from taking the opener at No. 8 Texas but Mark Payton roped a three-run double down the left field line for a UT walk-off win on Friday night at Disch-Falk Field.  The win for the Longhorns (24-7, 4-3 Big 12) snapped the Bears’ (15-14, 4-5 Big 12) three-game winning streak in the all-time series.

With a 4-2 lead entering the ninth, Baylor closer Josh Michalec took over with his 11-for-11 career saves record but was unable to keep perfection.  Madison Carter started the inning off by reaching on an error on a routine grounder to shortstop.  An out later, Zane Gurwitz singled and Brooks Marlow walked to load the bases.  Michalec got it back together to get Ben Johnson swinging and worked a full count to Payton, but the payoff pitch resulted in a gut-wrenching, game-winning hit for UT.

Prior to getting the lead, BU trailed 2-0 due to sloppy play.  An error allowed the leadoff batter of the second inning to reach and he scored on Carter’s single.  In the third, Marlow doubled to start the inning and scored on a wild pitch.

The Bears countered in the fourth but only squeezed one run out of a bases-loaded, no outs situation.  Darryn Sheppard grounded into a double play to get the run in and Ben Carl grounded to third.

In the fifth, BU took the lead with a pair of runs.  Logan Brown led off with a walk and Lawton Langford hit an RBI double on a hit-and-run.  Two outs later, Adam Toth drove Langford in on a single.  The Bears then added a run in the eighth after Aaron Dodson led off with a triple and Sheppard singled him home.

Earning the win for Texas was reliever Travis Duke (2-0) after allowing a hit and walk in 1.1 innings.  Michalec (0-3) took the loss after surrendering three unearned runs on two hits and a walk with one strikeout in 0.2 innings.  Taking a tough-luck no-decision was BU starter Brad Kuntz, who threw a career-high eighth innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

HIGHLIGHTS

*Baylor is 2-2 against teams ranked by Baseball America this season as the other three games all came against No. 4 Cal State Fullerton. 

*Baylor has won three straight series vs. Baseball America top 10 teams, going 7-3 in that stretch that dates back to 2011.  Since 2011, BU is 21-17 against Baseball America ranked teams.  BU is 87-141 all-time against Baseball America top 10 teams.

*Baylor is 7-6 against top 25 teams this season and 7-7 vs. ranked teams.  BU has won three of its four series vs. ranked teams, including three in a row.

*Baylor is 6-4 this season in TV games with all six wins and nine of the 10 games being vs. ranked teams.  Since 2011, BU is 23-16 in TV games.  BU is 53-57 all-time in TV games.

*Baylor trails the all-time series vs. Texas 232-105-4 and 135-38-1 in Austin.  Under Steve Smith, BU narrowly trails Texas 33-39 and 28-36 in the Big 12 era.  BU has won each of the last two series vs. UT and nine of the 17 Big 12 regular season series.  The Bears swept UT last year in Waco, took two of three in Austin in 2012 and have outscored the Longhorns 36-16 the last two seasons.

*Baylor is 482-536-4 all-time against current members of the Big 12 and owns a 263-199 all-time record in the league’s regular season play.

*Baylor is 6-2 in one-run games this season.

*Brad Kuntz threw a career-high eight innings and tallied five strikeouts (four looking) while giving up just two runs (one earned).

*Matt Menard’s career-high on-base streak ended at eight games.

*Logan Brown has now reached base in a season-high five straight games.

*Aaron Dodson extended his career-long on-base streak to four games.

*Adam Toth moved into sole possession of the team lead in multi-hit games with his seventh of the season, passing Matt Menard.  His three hits tied a season high.

*Duncan Wendel had his fifth multi-hit game of the season.

*Josh Michalec’s perfect run in save chances came to an end as he was 11-for-11 in career save chances prior to the game -- all 11 saves have come in 2014.  He entered the week ranked third in the NCAA in saves.  He’s closed out 11 of Baylor’s 15 wins with six of the saves coming in multi-inning efforts.

STAT OF THE GAME

5 – Brad Kuntz was denied his fifth win as Texas scored five runs.

TWEET OF THE GAME

@TimWatkins04: Brad Kuntz with a HUGE 8 inning, 2ER performance tonight for @BaylorBaseball #SicEm

TOP QUOTE

“I was hoping we would dodge a few bullets. We made some mistakes early in the ballgame – just sloppy play – that gave them some runs. Hoping we could dodge it, even up to the last pitch. [Josh Michalec] just got the ball out over the plate.  Brad [Kuntz] pitched well. He hurt himself one inning, but he pitched really well and competed well. For him to get through eight here on a Friday night, knowing the situation we have in the bullpen, he was big time.  [Josh] has done a great job of pitching around whether it’s been his mistakes or the ones behind him.”

– BU head coach Steve Smith

WHAT’S NEXT

Baylor and Texas continue the series on the Longhorn Network at 7 p.m. CT tomorrow and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.  The scheduled pitching matchups are BU RHP Austin Stone (3-2, 1.69 ERA) vs. UT LHP Dillon Peters (3-2, 2.68 ERA) on Saturday and BU RHP Dillon Newman (3-1, 2.88 ERA) vs. UT RHP Nathan Thornhill (4-0, 0.88 ERA) on Sunday.

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