No. 29 Baylor stifles No. 14 TCU
Three Bears combine to hold Frogs hitless through 7.2 innings
WACO, Texas -- Three Baylor pitchers combined to hold No. 14 TCU hitless until a two-out single in the eighth inning, and the No. 29 Bears rolled to a 7-1 win to extend their season-opening winning streak to four games.
Baylor (4-0) starting pitcher Trent Blank worked 4.0 hitless innings and reliever Kolt Browder tossed 3.0 innings of hitless relief. TCU sent 28 batters to the plate before Josh Gonzales put the Horned Frogs first hit on the board on an 0-2 pitch from Joey Hainsfurther in the eighth inning.
Blank (2-0) earned his 10th career win in a pre-determined short start, and Hainsfurther notched his first save of the season by holding TCU to one run over the final 2.0 innings.
"Trent [Blank] got us off to a good start," head coach Steve Smith said. "He threw a lot of strikes in that first inning, they didn't barrel up on much of anything and he was getting a lot of routine plays. He struggled a little bit with some delivery things, but at the end of the day, they didn't score and didn't get any hits off of him, so you've got to give him credit for that."
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 1 Florida 8, Bethune Cookman 6|
|No. 4 Texas A&M 4, Stephen F. Austin 3|
|No. 5 Arkansas 8, Northwestern State 7|
|No. 7 Rice 7, New Mexico State 5|
|No. 8 Florida State 16, Jacksonville 9|
|UT Arlington 7, No. 9 Texas 5|
|No. 29 Baylor 7, No. 14 TCU 1|
|No. 27 UCLA 19, Cal State Northridge 7|
|No. 28 Mississippi 8, Arkansas State 1|
Baylor got on the board quickly as Nathan Orf led off the first inning with an infield single and eventually scored on Logan Vick's sacrifice fly. The Bears added another run in the second when Jake Miller singled and scored on a passed ball, and Cal Towey made it 3-0 with a two-out RBI single in the fourth.
TCU put three runners on base with two walks and a hit batter in the second inning, but Blank induced a double-play grounder to keep the Horned Frogs off the board.
Baylor broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth with four runs on three hits against reliever Chris Murphy. Lawton Langford led off with a single for his career-high third hit of the night and Adam Toth followed with a bunt single. Toth scored on a passed ball and Josh Ludy drove in two runs with a single. Michael Howard capped the scoring when he drew a bases-loaded walk for the third time in four games.
"I like what we're doing at the plate," Smith said. "Our guys are doing a good job of staying within themselves and approaching each at-bat with a very focused mentality. They are going through a pretty good routine most of the time."
Hainsfurther issued a leadoff walk to Josh Elander in the ninth, and after a single and a wild pitch, Elander scored on Zac Jordan's sacrifice fly before Hainsfurther got the next two batters to end the game.
The Baylor bullpen hadn't allowed a run in 18.0 consecutive innings to start the season before the ninth-inning run.
Langford finished 3-for-3 with a run scored off the bench, while Ludy drove in two runs and Orf went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Baylor had at least one hit from all nine spots in the batting order.
TCU starter Brandon Finnegan (0-1) took the loss after allowing two runs in 2.0 innings.