The second game of the Houston College Classic was an old school Southwest Conference rematch. The Baylor Bears and Houston Cougars took the field at Minute Maid Park Friday afternoon in what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel. Baylor got the best of Houston in the end, but it was mistakes and missed opportunities that cost the Cougars in this one.
Houston started the scoring in the top of the fourth when Zak Presley took a Shawn Tolleson pitch into the first row of the Crawford Boxes. Baylor would answer in the bottom of the fourth, starting with a Dustin Dickerson single to left center. Dickerson then stole second and came across to score on a RBI-single from Aaron Miller. That left the score knotted at one after four complete.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the sixth. Baylor leadoff batter Shaver Hansen beat out an infield single to the short stop, and a sacrifice bunt by Joey Hainsfurther moved Hansen to second with one out. A wild pitch by Houston starter Wes Musick moved the runner to third. Dickerson picked up his third hit of the day by knocking Hansen in with a single to left field. He would finish the day 3-4 at the plate with a run scored and a RBI.
Houston came back in the top of the seventh to tie the game after back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning by Chris Wallace and Caleb Ramsey. Ramsey went to third on a bunt single by Taylor White, giving the Cougars runners on the corners with no outs. Ramsey was then thrown out at home on a failed suicide squeeze attempt by William Kankel. All was not lost for Houston, as they still had runners on first and second with only one out. That quickly changed, as White was picked off trying to steal third and John Cannon struck out to end the inning.
The bad execution on the squeeze play and costly base running error hurt the Cougars dearly. Baylor stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning and scratched a run across with a double by Adam Hornung followed by a RBI-double from Gregg Glime.
It was lights out for the Cougars from there because Logan Verrett, who came on in relief of Baylor starter Tolleson with two outs in the seventh, was absolutely lights out. Over the final two and one-third innings, Verrett struck out three, and the only Cougar to reach base was off a walk.
When asked about Logan Verrett’s performance after the game, Baylor head coach Steve Smith had this to say about the freshman: “I think Logan has really done a nice job. It doesn’t seem to faze him. He came into a first-third, and he was pretty sharp right off the bat. He has been really big given that other guys haven’t been. I don’t know if Logan’s future will be out in that role; but right now is right now, and he is doing a good job in it right now. He is a four-pitch guy. I think he is the best four-pitch guy we have had as a freshman. We have had some guys that have developed four pitches, but he showed up with them. Today he threw some changeups that weren’t very good. Matter of fact I didn’t like them when Gregg (Glime) was calling them. He locates his fastball both sides of the plate and has a pretty good slider.”
Tolleson picked up a no decision for the Bears while tossing six and two-thirds innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits, and three walks, while striking out five. Verrett got the win, allowing no hits, no runs, and one walk while striking out three in two and a third innings. Suffering the loss for the Cougars was Musick, who worked seven innings allowing eight hits, one walk, three earned runs, while striking out six.
Houston will face off against UC Irvine tomorrow at noon, while Baylor will play UCLA at 3:30 P.M.