I will be providing the recaps of the games from the BIG 12 this season along with the press releases from those Schools.
No. 15 Bears Ware Out Purdue 2-1 Landis Ware’s two-run home run provided the offense, and Kendal Volz struck out 10 as No. 15 Baylor defeated Purdue 2-1 in Friday night’s 2008 season opener at Baylor Ballpark. This was the first-ever meeting between the Bears (1-0) and the Boilermakers (0-1) in baseball. It came in the Bears’ 300th game at Baylor Ballpark.
Ware, who earned the start at second base only because 2007 Freshman All-American Raynor Campbell is out with an injury, made good use of the opportunity, going 2-for-3 on the night. He doubled down the right-field line in his first at bat to lead off the third inning, but it was his seventh-inning at bat that decided the game. Paul Miles drew a two-out walk and stole second. On the next pitch, Ware turned on an inside fastball for the game-deciding home run.
Meanwhile, Volz (1-0) produced the second double-digit strikeout performance of his career. He punched out 13 batters against Oklahoma in last year’s Big 12 Conference Championship. Volz, who did not allow a hit until the fourth, scattered four hits in 8.0 scoreless innings with two walks.
On a cold, dry night, both teams struggled to get much offense going. Purdue’s Brandon Haveman drew a one-out walk in the first but was stranded after stealing second. That was the Boilermaker’s only base runner until Ryne White’s one-out single in the fourth. Dan Black followed with another single, but both he and White were stranded. Eric Nielsen got a two-out single in the fifth and was stranded, while White singled in the sixth but was thrown out trying to steal.
Ben Booker and Aaron Miller drew first-inning walks but were stranded. Ware’s leadoff double in the third provided the Bears’ only base runner until Paul Miles’ one-out double in the fifth but neither scored. Miller collected singles in the sixth and eighth innings but was stranded both times.
Purdue got on the scoreboard in the ninth thanks to White’s heads-up running. After drawing a leadoff walk, White advanced to third base on Black’s hit-and-run ground-out to second. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Lilly followed with a sacrifice fly, but Nick Cassavechia induced a game-ending groundout off the bat of pinch-hitter Drew Madia.
It was the 20th save of Cassavechia’s career; that moves him into sole possession of second place on Baylor’s all-time list.
Baylor and Purdue continue their three-game weekend series Saturday at 3 p.m. CST. The Bears send redshirt freshman Shawn Tolleson to the mound for his first career start. The Boilermakers counter with southpaw Matt Jansen (0-4, 3.31 ERA in 2007).
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 1-0. … The Bears are 218-82 all-time at Baylor Ballpark, which celebrates its 10th season in 2008. … Baylor improves to 8-6 in season openers under head coach Steve Smith and 23-16 in such games since 1970. The Bears are 6-2 under Smith when starting the season at home. … Baylor improves to 10-4 in home openers under Smith and 37-12 in such games since 1960. … Ware is the first Baylor player to homer in his first career start since Michael Griffin did so against TCU in the third game of the 2002 season. … Volz outing was the longest of his career. … The paid attendance of 3,172 was the second-largest opening-day attendance in Baylor history.
Cowboys Open Season With 6-1 Win Over Gonzaga.
STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State opened its 2008 season with a 6-1 win over Gonzaga Friday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The win was OSU’s fourth-straight season opening triumph and also marked the fourth consecutive year the Cowboys have won their home opener.
Matt Hague, a transfer from Washington, led the Cowboys offensively as the senior third baseman was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in his OSU debut. Jordy Mercer also collected a pair of RBIs for the Pokes.
Andrew Oliver earned the win on the mound, allowing just two hits in 5.2 innings of work. The sophomore southpaw struck out six and allowed just one run.
The Cowboys’ big inning came in the fifth as they rallied for three runs on three hits. The big blow in the inning came on a two-RBI double to center field off the bat of Hague, and Mercer also plated a run with an RBI groundout that gave OSU a 5-1 advantage.
OSU got on the scoreboard in its first at bat. Michael Dabbs drew a one out walk, and after Hague singled and Rebel Ridling reached on an error to load the bases, Mercer delivered a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 1-0.
Gonzaga tied the score at 1-1 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Jason Chatwood, but the Cowboys took the lead for good in the fourth on Donnie Webb’s RBI single.
Senior Robbie Weinhardt pitched two strong innings in relief for the Cowboys, striking out five and allowing just one hit, while Mercer recorded two strikeouts with two runners on in the ninth to preserve the win.
The Cowboys will host Gonzaga in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. before closing out the series with a 1 p.m. game Sunday.
Strong Pitching Leads to 2-1 Jayhawk Victory
Sophomore Wally Marciel pitched six strong innings, while the Kansas bullpen backed him up with three innings of hitless relief as the Jayhawks scratched out a 2-1 triumph over Hawaii-Hilo Friday afternoon at Simmons Field in Kona, Hawaii.
KU improves to 4-2 in season-openers under Price with all of them in Hawaii. The Vulcans fall to 1-3 on the year.
The Jayhawks scored the winning run in the top of the sixth on a quirky play. With two outs and senior Ryne Price on first, junior Buck Afenir hit a towering pop-up into shallow center field that fell for a base hit. Hustling from the crack of the bat, Price came in to score the deciding run.
The bloop single was one of two hits on the day for Afenir. Freshman Tony Thompson also chipped in a 2-for-4 effort in his collegiate debut, while Price went 1-for-2 with an RBI double to right field in the fourth inning.
This was more than enough support for Marciel and the Jayhawk relievers. KU’s sophomore starting pitcher scattered five hits over six innings, allowing just one walk and collecting four strikeouts. After his team staked him to a one-run lead in the top of the sixth, Marciel pitched around a leadoff walk and an error to hold the lead.
Sophomore Brett Bollman struck out the side in the seventh, while senior Hiarali Garcia retired the heart of the Vulcan batting order in the eighth. After hitting the leadoff hitter in ninth and allowing him to reach third, junior Paul Smyth retired the final two hitters one a line drive to first and a ground out to second to record his first save of the season.
The Jayhawks and Vulcans will meet again in a doubleheader Saturday at Simmons Field beginning at 10 a.m. (2 p.m. CST).
K-State Drops Opener to Cal, 5-1;
California pitchers Tyson Ross and Daniel Wolford combined to give up just one run and strike out 12 Wildcat batters as the Golden Bears took Friday’s game, 5-1, at Evans Diamond.
Ross (1-0) struck out seven batters in five innings to pick up the win for California (1-0). Wolford came in for the final four innings and didn’t allow a hit to pick up his first save of the season. K-State’s Brad Hutt (0-1) took the loss as he gave up three earned runs in six innings of work.
Kansas State got off to a quick start when leadoff batter Jordan Cruz homered to right field. It was the first leadoff homer by a Wildcat in nearly four years when Terry Blunt led off a game against Oklahoma State with a homer on April, 23, 2004.
California came right back in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of runs. After a Charlie Cutler walk, Jeff Kobernus doubled to deep centerfield. Cutler was able to score from first on the play as K-State catcher Rob Vaughn dropped the ball while applying the tag. Kobernus advanced to third on the throw to home and then scored on a David Cooper ground out to second.
Cal grabbed another run in the third and the fourth. In the third, Rich Gorman doubled to right centerfield to start the inning, moved to third on a fly out to right by Cutler and then scored on a single to left by Cooper. In the fourth, Blake Smith singled through the left side right after fouling a pitch off his leg. He then moved to second on a Ryan Hanlon single and scored on Michael Brady’s single to right.
The Golden Bears scored their fifth run in the seventh with a home run by Korbernus to left off K-State reliever Lance Hoge, who threw effectively over two innings as he allowed just the one run on two hits.
Kansas State will continue play in California Saturday as the Wildcats travel south to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos in a day-night doubleheader. First pitch has been moved up one hour and will begin at 2 p.m. (CT).
No. 6 Mizzou Opens 2008 with 7-1 Victory Over UConn
No. 6 Missouri opened up the 2008 season by recording a 7-1 win over Connecticut at the Stetson Invitational in DeLand, Fla. on Friday.
Preseason All-American Aaron Crow got the opening day start for the Tigers and earned the win. The junior right-hander struck out seven in five innings pitched, including four-straight strikeouts to end the first inning and open the second. Crow allowed just one run on six hits to pick up the 11th victory of his career.
“Aaron was good for his first time out this year,” Head Coach Tim Jamieson said. “He’ll be better next time and will continue to be better.”
Senior Kurt Calvert had a career-high three hits, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, three RBI and a run scored. The three RBI also matched a career best for Calvert.
The Tigers fell behind in the third inning as the Huskies scored the game’s first run. The lead was short-lived for UConn as Missouri scored three times in the bottom of the third to pull ahead.
Sophomore Greg Folgia reached on an error and junior Kyle Mach was hit by a pitch to start Mizzou’s half of the third. Senior Lee Fischer advanced both of the runners with a sacrifice bunt and Calvert singled to drive in Folgia for MU’s first run of the game. Sophomore Aaron Senne followed with a single to drive in Mach and Calvert, putting the Tigers up 3-1.
Mizzou put together another three-run inning in the fourth to increase its lead to five. With the bases loaded, Mach and Fischer were each hit by a pitch, allowing two runs to score. Calvert then drove in his second run of the day with a sacrifice fly.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Calvert collected his third RBI on a double to the wall in centerfield to dive in Fischer.
“It’s a win and a good win to start the year,” Head Coach Tim Jamieson said. “I thought we played well and were good enough to get the win. First games are always tough. There’s some nervousness and some anxiousness as you just try to nail down all 27 outs.”
With the win, Mizzou improves to 9-4-1 in season openers under Head Coach Tim Jamieson and has won five of its last six openers.
Missouri will face Michigan State on Saturday in day two of the Stetson Invitational. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT) in DeLand. Junior Rick Zagone is slated to get his first start of the season for the Tigers.
Texas A&M 9 Norther Colorado 5;
Dane Carter, Jose Duran and Brian Ruggiano posted three hits apiece and the Texas A&M bullpen tossed four innings of two-hit, shutout baseball to lead the 20th-ranked Aggies to a 9-5 win over Northern Colorado on Friday night in front of 5,731 fans at Olsen Field.The crowd, which included nearly 2,200 students, was the second largest on opening-day in A&M history.
“The fans were incredible,” third-year A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We had a great student crowd. That’s why we’re playing 39 home games, because of the crowd that we get. I was so impressed before the game, looking up in the stands and seeing there wasn’t a seat to be had in the upper deck.”
With the game tied at five entering the sixth inning, Childress went to the bullpen and sophomore Shane Minks, who did not allow a run in the frame and set the stage for what would become a four-run Aggie sixth.
Left fielder Ben Feltner (Leander, Texas) led off the inning with a four-pitch walk, then promptly swiped second base and took third when the throw down sailed into center field. He would be driven home on a grounder to third by center fielder Kyle Colligan (Houston, Texas), who reached safely due to an error on the play, making the score 6-5 in favor of the Aggies.
After a bunt single by Carter (Graham, Texas), a sacrifice by second baseman Blake Stouffer (San Antonio, Texas) and an intentional walk to designated hitter Darby Brown (Lubbock, Texas) loaded the bases, Duran (Fort Worth, Texas) ripped a single through the right side to plate two more runs. Two batters later, an infield grounder by Ruggiano (Austin, Texas) would plate Brown and give A&M the 9-5 lead.
Minks (West Columbia, Texas) tossed a scoreless seventh and was followed by freshman Brooks Raley (Uvalde, Texas) and sophomore Travis Starling (Yoakum, Texas), who each tossed an inning of shutout relief.
“Shane Minks, Brooks Raley and Travis Starling were outstanding tonight,” Childress said, “and those are some of the guys we are going to count on out of the bullpen this year. That’s the way it’s supposed to work right there. That’s what we need.”
Minks (1-0) picked up his first career win on the night, going the two innings and allowing just one hit while walking one and fanning four.
UNC reliever Joe Sawicki (0-1) suffered the loss, as he was tagged for four hits and four runs (two earned) in his three innings of work.
The game was tied at two entering the fourth. Aggie starter Kirkland Rivers (Henderson, Texas) struck out the first batter of the inning, but surrendered three straight hits-including a two-run double to left center by Bear second baseman Jeff Horn. UNC would extend their lead to 5-2 in the frame on a two-out single up the middle by shortstop Cory Morales.
A&M would answer quickly off Northern Colorado starter Chris Reap. Duran led off the bottom of the inning with a single up the middle. Junior first-baseman Luke Anders (College Station, Texas) followed with a fly ball into center, on which Duran (Fort Worth, Texas) tagged up and just beat the throw to second to move into scoring position. The gamble would pay off for the Aggies and Duran, as the next batter-Ruggiano-singled up the middle to drive in the junior and cut the Bear lead to two. Later in the frame, an RBI groundout by Feltner and a two-out RBI single through the left side by Colligan would tie the game at five.
“I thought Northern Colorado came out to play and swung the bats well,” Childress said. “But, even when we were down, I didn’t sense any panic out of our dugout, and that was the thing I was most pleased with.”
Rivers lasted five innings, giving up seven hits and five runs, four of which were earned. He did not walk a batter, hit two and struck out a career-high seven.
“I thought Kirkland gave us a good start and pounded the strike zone really well,” Childress said. “He struggled a bit, hitting some batters here and there, but he went back out there and had a great fifth inning for us. I thought their hitters did a nice job making an adjustment after the first inning and going the other way against him, but it was nice to see him recover and finish his outing strong.”
Reap also went five, allowing nine hits, five runs (all earned) and five walks while striking out four.
The series continues with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate or online at aggieathletics.com.
Fans in Bryan-College Station will be able to listen to the games on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone with the pregame show beginning at 12:45 p.m. Free live video will also be available on aggieathletics.com.
POSTGAME NOTES: The crowd (5,731) was the second largest on opening-day in Olsen Field history…the record is 7,669 against Washington on Feb. 25, 2005…The Aggies have now won eight straight home openers and are 27-3 all-time in those games played at Olsen…A&M pitchers fanned 14 batters, the most since a 14-strikeout effort against Houston on Feb. 10 of last season…The Aggie staff also struck out 14 in last season’s opener against Texas Southern (Feb. 6, 2007)…Kyle Colligan notched his sixth career game-winning RBI on his grounder that plated Ben Feltner in the sixth…Kirkland Rivers’ seven strikeouts was a career high, besting his previous mark of three…Dane Carter tallied a career-high three hits and the third multi-hit game of his career…Brian Ruggiano also set a new career-best with three hits in his sixth-ever multi-hit game…Colligan went 2-for-5 in the 29th multi-hit game of his career…Northern Colorado’s five runs was the most they have scored against the Aggies in four games all-time…A&M now leads the series between the schools, 4-0…The Aggies wore all-white uniforms with maroon caps…Game-time weather was 56 degrees and clear skies with the wind blowing in from center field at 10 mph.