June 6, 2010

FORT WORTH, Texas - Willie Kempf turned in the longest outing of his career to lead Baylor to a 4-2 win over third-seeded Arizona in Sunday afternoon's elimination game in the Fort Worth Regional at Lupton Stadium.

With the win, Baylor (36-23) advances to the championship round against regional-host TCU. The Bears and Horned Frogs meet at 7 p.m. Sunday night, and if Baylor wins, there will be a 7 p.m. rematch on Monday to determine the regional champion.

Kempf (9-2) picked up the win after allowing just two runs on seven hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in 8.0 innings. He was lifted in favor of Brooks Pinckard after a leadoff single in the ninth, and Pinckard retired the next three batters to record his 12th save of the season.

Freshmen Logan Vick and Max Muncy had two hits apiece, accounting for four of Baylor's six hits in the game. Raynor Campbell and Cal Towey both singled in the ninth to give the Bears their only other base knocks.

Arizona (34-24) was eliminated, despite getting an impressive outing from Tyler Hale in his first career start. Hale, who had never worked more than 3.0 innings in a game, allowed just two runs on three hits with five walks and seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings, but he did not factor in the decision.

Stephen Mantei (2-2) took the loss after allowing a pair of unearned runs without surrendering a hit in 0.2 innings.

Kempf allowed four hits in the first two innings, the last of which was a two-run double by Alex Mejia to stake the Wildcats to a 2-0 lead. However, the senior right-hander retired 18 of the next 20 batters he faced, with the only two baserunners in that span reaching on a single and an error.

Baylor quickly cut into the lead with a manufactured run in the third. Muncy led off with a bloop single, stole second base, moved to third on Josh Turley's fly to right, and scored on Landis Ware's sacrifice fly.

Hale worked his way out of trouble in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Bears finally got to him in the seventh. With one out, Vick drew his second walk of the game, stole second base and moved to third on Pinckard's groundout. Raynor Campbell struck out for what would've been the third out of the inning, but the ball bounced in the dirt and rolled into the Baylor dugout, allowing Campbell to reach first base safely and Vick to score the game-tying run.

Kempf went right back to work and used just 12 pitches to strike out the side in order in the bottom of the seventh, and Baylor took its first lead of the day in the next half inning.

Gregg Glime was hit by a pitch, and after pinch runner Chris Slater moved up on a sacrifice bunt, Muncy was intentionally walked. Turley followed with a grounder that was misplayed on the backhand side by Mejia at shortstop, and Ware followed with his second sacrifice fly of the game to put the Bears on top. Vick added a two-out RBI single to give the Bears a 4-2 lead.

Josh Garcia ended Kempf's day with a leadoff single in the ninth, but Pinckard moved from center field to the mound and got a strikeout, groundout and a flyout to end the game.

The Bears take on TCU at 7 p.m. Sunday in what will be an elimination game for Baylor. If the Bears win, the teams will meet again for a winner-take-all regional championship game at 7 p.m. Monday. Craig Fritsch is expected to take the ball for Baylor on Sunday night against TCU's Steven Maxwell.