WACO, Texas – In the series rubber match, it was Baylor who came out on top in a 5-4 decision over No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. The series win for the Bears (8-7) marked the eighth time in
program history they've beaten a Baseball America top five team in a series.
The day started off shaky as a two-out error in the first inning led to a pair of Titans (8-5) runs. However, BU starter Austin Stone settled in and the offense responded in the second and third innings.
In the second, Matt Menard doubled with two outs and was driven home on a single by Brett Doe. In the third, the Bears loaded the bases on a one-out walk by Lawton Langford, error that allowed Darryn Sheppard to reach and single by Adam Toth. Grayson Porter delivered a huge two-run double down the left field line on the next play to get the wheels turning. Then, Aaron Dodson grounded out to first to score a run and Menard followed with an RBI single to put BU in front, 5-2.
Cal State Fullerton made it interesting again in the seventh as Daniel Castano relieved Stone to start the frame. A leadoff single, HBP and sac bunt led to a two-run single by Matt Chapman. But Castano stayed tough, getting a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Josh Michalec relieved Castano to start the ninth, and walked the first batter. After a stolen base put the tying run in scoring position with one out, Michalec got Tanner Pinkston to pop out to third and froze Chapman to end the game for his sixth straight save.
Michalec's save nailed down the win for Stone (2-1), who gave up two unearned runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings. Titans starter Grahamm Wiest (1-1) took his first loss of the season after giving up five runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
*Prior to this weekend, Baylor's last series win over a Baseball America ranked opponent and last series win over a ranked opponent at home both came on April 12-14, 2013, vs. No. 9 Oklahoma (took two of three).
*Prior to this weekend, Baylor's last series win over a Baseball America top five ranked team was April 20-22, 2012, vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (swept) and its last such series win at home was May 12-14, 2006, vs. No. 5 Nebraska (swept). The Bears now have eight all-time series win over a Baseball America top five ranked team.
*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 this weekend, 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.
*Baylor is now 49-53 all-time in TV games and 2-0 this season as the game was broadcasted on FOX Sports Southwest. Since 2011, BU is 19-12 in TV games. Overall, the Bears are 14-23 on the FOX family of networks. BU has now won five of its last six TV games against Baseball America top 10 teams.
*Baylor is 4-5 all-time against Cal State Fullerton including a 3-3 record in Waco.
*Baylor is 15-21 against current members of the Big West Conference.
*Baylor improved to 7-1 at Baylor Ballpark this season.
*Baylor starting pitchers have thrown at least five innings in each of the last 11 games.
*Josh Michalec remained perfect in save chances for his career, notching his sixth straight save to start the season. All of his career saves (6) have come in 2014.
*Matt Menard tied a career high with two hits, marking the third time he's done so this season and second time in the series vs. Cal State Fullerton. He hit his first collegiate double in second inning.
*Brett Doe has reached base in four straight games. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and RBI.
*Grayson Porter is now tied for the team lead in multi-RBI games as he notched his third of the season after going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
STAT OF THE GAME
4 – The amount of runs Baylor scored on three hits in the third inning to take control of the game.
TWEET OF THE GAME
@matt_burke9: HUGE series win vs. Cal Fullerton with the Bears going into conference play! @BaylorBaseball #SicEm
"Maybe we're just getting guys in the right places where they can be comfortable, and that's my job. When you have guys playing where they aren't comfortable, then step one is to get guys in the position that they're comfortable playing. I think we learned some things on Friday, not just our staff, but our players as well. What a lesson on how not to play, and how just playing well and making routine plays can change a game. We didn't make many phenomenal plays defensively today -- we just made the routine plays. Ultimately, that's how a lot of games are won and lost." – BU head coach Steve Smith
Baylor travels to Houston for its lone midweek game on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT before hosting Texas Tech next weekend for the teams' first Big 12 series.