COLLEGE STATION, Texas (April 19, 2008) Craig Fritsch hit Darby Brown with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the winning run to score, as Baylor dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 19 Texas A&M in Friday night's Big 12 Conference series opener at Olsen Field. The Bears (23-15, 8-8) dropped to 10-6 this season in one-run games. The Aggies (31-7, 13-3) improved to 25-5 at home this season.
Blake Stouffer walked with one out in the eighth, and Dane Carter followed with a bloop single down the line in left. That was the last batter Baylor starter Kendal Volz faced. Fritsch induced a ground ball off the bat of Jose Duran that appeared to be a possible double-play ball; however, second baseman Landis Ware could not field the ball cleanly and only was able to get the out at first. Fritsch then hit Luke Anders and Brown consecutively to force home Stouffer; both batters were hit on 1-1 counts.
That made a winner of Kyle Thebeau (3-2), who entered the game in the eighth and got the Aggies out of a jam. Shaver Hansen singled with two outs, forcing starter Brooks Raley from the game. Raynor Campbell followed with a single, but Thebeau struck out Dustin Dickerson looking to end the inning. Raley allowed one run on five hits and no walks with four strikeouts over 7.2 innings, while Travis Starling retired the Bears in order in the ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Volz (3-4) was saddled with the loss; he allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 7.1 innings. All four of his losses this season have come in Big 12 road games, in which the Bears have given him a total of four runs of support.
Baylor broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth on Campbell's one-out RBI double down the left-field line. That lead was short-lived, though, as the Aggies tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Carter reached second on a Dickerson fielding error to leadoff the inning and advanced to third on Duran's single through the left side. Anders followed with a sacrifice fly to center.
Both teams finished the night with six hits. Campbell had Baylor's only two-hit game, while Carter and Duran both had two-hit games for the Aggies.
The series now shifts to Baylor Ballpark in Waco for the final two games. Baylor and Texas A&M meet Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CDT. The Bears send right-hander Shawn Tolleson (4-1, 3.44 ERA) to the mound. The Aggies counter with right-hander Barrett Loux (2-1, 5.00 ERA).