WACO, TEXAS (April 21, 2008) Blake Stouffer’s two-out RBI single in the top of the 11th plated Kyle Colligan with the eventual game-winning run as No. 19 Texas A&M rallied past Baylor 13-12 in Sunday’s Big 12 Conference series finale at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears (23-17, 8-10) have lost four straight for the first time since a five-game skid in 2006. The Aggies (33-7, 15-3) have won 12 consecutive conference games.
While Stouffer’s single produced the deciding run, it was a play two pitches earlier that ultimately cost the Bears. After Colligan’s two-out single, Baylor’s Nick Cassavechia had an 0-1 count on Stouffer. Cassavechia picked to first and caught Colligan breaking for second. However, first baseman Dustin Dickerson’s throw to shortstop Beamer Weems at second was off line, and Colligan was able to slide in safely.
Baylor threatened in the bottom of the 11th but had two runners thrown out between third and home. Beamer Weems walked to lead off the inning, and Jon Ringenberg followed with a sharply hit fly ball right at Aggie left fielder Brodie Green. Gregg Glime then ripped a double to right-center, but Weems was thrown out at home.
Texas A&M then walked switch-hitting Shaver Hansen to face right-hander Raynor Campbell. On the first pitch to Campbell, Hansen broke for second. Texas A&M catcher Brian Ruggiano threw down to second, but the throw was cut off by Stouffer, who then fired home. Once Stouffer’s throw went home, Glime scrambled back to third; however, Ruggiano’s throw to third baseman Dane Carter was in time to retire Glime.
The game never would have gone to extra-innings, though, had it not been for the top of the ninth. Baylor led 12-6 with one out and a runner at first, but the next seven Texas A&M batters reached base safely as the Aggies rallied for six runs to tie the game. Dane Carter’s two-run homer started the scoring, and Russell Raley’s two-run single was the game-tying hit.
Texas A&M had chances to take the lead in the top of the 10th, but two Baylor defensive plays thwarted the Aggies’ efforts. With one out and runners at first and second, Darby Brown singled to right. Carter rounded third and was thrown out at the plate by Aaron Miller. Ruggiano then laced a ball down the third-base line, but Shaver Hansen snagged it on a diving play to his back-hand side.
Cassavechia struck out Greene and Raley to start the 11th before Colligan singled through the left side on a 1-1 count.
It was a bitter loss for Baylor, which suffered its first three-game series sweep at the hands of Texas A&M since 1996. The Bears also failed to stave off a sweep at home for only the second time in the 12-year history of the Big 12 (1998 Oklahoma State, 2007 Texas).
Travis Starling (6-0) picked up the win for Texas A&M; he allowed three runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 4.0 innings. Starter Clayton Ehlert lasted only 3.0 innings and allowed two runs on six hits and no walks with three strikeouts.
Cassavechia (0-3) was saddled with the loss, despite being the most effective of Baylor’s four relievers on the day. He allowed one run on four hits and no walks with three strikeouts over 2.2 innings. Starter Willie Kempf saw his strong start spoiled. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 6.2 innings. Kempf left the game with a 7-4 lead after surrendering a two-out, two-run homer to Colligan in the seventh.
The game was anything but typical. Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress was ejected in the top of the eighth while arguing a contact play at second base. Three pitches later, home plate umpire Doyle Sooter was hit by a pitch and was forced to exit the game; a two-man crew worked the remainder of the game.
Adam Hornung’s three-run homer capped a four-run fifth as the Bears claimed a 6-2 lead. Campbell’s sixth-inning RBI fielder’s choice pushed the Bears’ lead to 7-2 before Colligan’s seventh-inning homer. The Bears answered in the bottom of the inning on Glime’s two-out, two-run single. Texas A&M scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the eighth, but the Bears again answered in the bottom of the inning on Ben Booker’s two-run single and Weems’ RBI single.
Baylor finished the game with 22 hits, on shy of a school record for a Big 12 game. Hansen finished 4-for-6 with a home run. Campbell, Glime, Miller and Weems all produced three-hit games; Glime’s was the first of his career. Booker and Dickerson had two hits each, and all nine starters hit safely. Hornung led the Bears with three RBI; Booker, Glime and Weems each added two RBI.
Jose Duran led Texas A&M with four hits on the day. The Aggies finished with 18 hits, nine of which came after the eighth inning. Carter, Colligan, Greene, Raley, Ruggiano and Stouffer each had two RBI.
Baylor returns to action Tuesday, hosting Texas in a non-conference midweek game at Baylor Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV).
NOTES: Texas A&M leads the all-time series 145-113-1; Baylor maintains a 72-69 advantage in games played in Waco. The Bears are 21-18 against the Aggies since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, including a 20-16 edge in regular-season meetings. Baylor is 24-21 against Texas A&M during head coach Steve Smith’s tenure. … Hornung (six games) and Ringenberg (five games) both extended hitting streaks. … Hornung has hit safely in 16 consecutive home games. … Hansen led off the bottom of the first with a game-tying home run after the Aggies got an unearned run in the top of the first. It was Baylor’s second homer to lead off a game this season. This is the first time Baylor has produced more than one leadoff homer in a season since hitting five in 2003. … Baylor has five first-inning home runs this season, the most by a Baylor team since the Bears hit 17 first-inning homers in 2003.