No. 5 Baylor baseball eliminated No. 4 Oklahoma in a 10-3 decision on Saturday morning at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark to advance to the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title game. The Bears (35-19) scored often and received a valiant relief effort on the mound by Alex Phillips to defeat the Sooners (36-23).
BU struck first in the second inning. Davion Downey walked, advanced to second on a balk and scored on a T.J. Raguse two-out single with a throwing error.
OU matched the run in the third but Downey launched a two-run home run in the fourth.
The Sooners again had an answer with a two-out, two-run triple in the fourth, but from there the Bears took over. In the sixth, they scored on a Raguse bases-loaded walk and Levi Gilcrease two-out, two-run single. In the eighth, Nick Loftin had a two-out, two-run single. In the ninth, Shea Langeliers had an RBI single and Josh Bissonette had a sacrifice fly.
Phillips (7-1) earned the win, giving up a hit and walk with seven strikeouts in 5.1 relief innings. OU starter Devon Perez (5-5) took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
*Baylor has advanced to the Big 12 Championship title game for the first time since 2010 (No. 6 Baylor lost to No. 4 Texas A&M 5-3 in 10 innings). BU is 0-6 all-time in Big 12 Championship title games and made it to the title game as a No. 5 seed in 2003 (lost to No. 3 Texas 10-8 in 10 innings). BU is the first No. 5 seed to make it to the title game since Texas in 2015 (won).
*Baylor has won 21 of its last 24 games and five straight.
*Baylor is 47-47 all-time at conference championships, 35-37 in the Big 12. BU owns a 31-31 mark in Oklahoma City. The Bears are 18-12 in opening games (13-8 in Big 12), 3-6 in title games (0-6 in Big 12), 8-16 in elimination games (8-12 in Big 12) and 37-39 in tournament format.
*Baylor has won three games in the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2010. BU also won its first three games and advanced to the title game in 2010.
*Baylor and Oklahoma are the only two teams to qualify for all 22 Big 12 Championships.
*Baylor is 8-13 as a No. 5 seed in the Big 12 Championship and made it to the title game in 2003 as a No. 5 seed. Overall, No. 5 seeds are 31-38 in the event and have won it all in 1999 (Nebraska), 2007 (Texas A&M), 2008 (Texas) and 2015 (Texas).
*Baylor is 5-3 vs. Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship.
*Baylor has won 34 or more (35) games in a season for the second straight year (34 in 2017), giving the program back-to-back 34-win seasons for the first time since 2006 (37) and 2007 (35).
*Baylor has scored 145 runs in its last 118 innings.
*Baylor has hit 135 home runs in 164 games under Rodriguez. BU hit 51 in 2017 for its most homers since 2010 (57) and has 51 in 2018. The Bears have hit 50 or more homers in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2009 (73) and 2010 (57).
*Baylor has three pitchers with seven or more wins (Hayden Kettler, eight; Cody Bradford, seven; Alex Phillips, seven) for the first time since 2012 (Trent Blank, 11; Josh Turley, nine; Tyler Bremer, seven).
*Alex Phillips increased his career-high win total to seven by tossing a career-high 5.1 innings and striking out a career-best seven.
*Richard Cunningham has an 11-game on-base streak and six-game hitting streak.
*Shea Langeliers has a nine-game on-base streak and three-game hitting streak as he had his 12th multi-hit game (2).
*Freshman Davion Downey has a five-game on-base streak and four-game hitting streak. He hit his third home run of the season for his 10th multi-RBI game (2).
*Andy Thomas has a four-game on-base streak.
*Freshman Nick Loftin hit his sixth home run while posting his 19th multi-hit game (3) and eighth multi-RBI game (2). He has a two-game on-base streak.
*Josh Bissonette notched his eighth multi-RBI game (2) and has a three-game on-base streak.
*Davis Wendzel has a three-game on-base streak.
*Levi Gilcrease has a three-game on-base streak and posted his first multi-RBI game (2) of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME
5.1 – The amount of scoreless relief innings by Alex Phillips to end the game.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“For a guy who has gone through arm injury, for a guy who had a setback, [Alex Phillips] is getting stronger as this season has gone on. He came in during the seventh or eighth inning and said, ‘I want to take this the rest of the way, save the bullpen.’ You could just tell he felt great and he could do it. There’s nobody I am happier for than this young man for just coming through everything he has gone through to be able to get us to this point.” – Baylor Head Coach Steve Rodriguez
The Bears face either No. 6 TCU or No. 7 West Virginia in the Big 12 Championship title game at 1 p.m. CT Sunday on FOX Sports Network. For updates on the program follow @baylorbaseball on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.