WACO (April 26, 2013) -- Baylor opened up its series against Texas with a 6-2 win on Friday night at Baylor Ballpark. Giving the Bears (22-20, 9-6 Big 12) their ninth win in the last 11 home games were strong performances by starting pitcher Max Garner and second baseman Lawton Langford.
Garner put together his fourth straight quality start as he worked 7.1 innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. In improving to 3-4 on the season, he tied a career high for single season wins.
“I thought the pace Max used in the game was noticeably different,” said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. “It was very methodical, very much within himself, and I haven’t notice him change speeds on his breaking ball as much as he did tonight. But he was very senior like, very composed, very methodical.”
After allowing a one-out double in the first inning, Garner retired eight of the next nine Texas (22-18, 6-11 Big 12) hitters. The lone earned run he allowed came in the fourth inning after three straight one-out singles loaded the bases. A soft liner to Langford had him on an in-between bounce as he looked for a double play but bobbled the ball. He was only able to get the force at second as the run scored.
Garner then locked in by retiring the next 11 hitters before allowing a double with one out in the eighth.
Offensively, Langford gave Garner plenty of support with a two-run single in the second inning and RBI single in the fourth as part of his three-hit night. His three RBI performance tied a season and career high as he extended his career-long on-base streak to 33 games.
“[Langford] was the one guy who looked like he was locked in pretty well,” Smith said. “They moved the ball around on him and he hit the ball a couple times to left, then squared up a ball to right field.”
After leaving the bases loaded in the first, third and fifth innings, the Bears tacked onto the lead with a three-run sixth by taking advantage of four Longhorn miscues. Errors at short stop and second base allowed Nathan Orf and Cal Towey to reach to start the frame. A wild pitch moved both runners up before Jake Miller scored Orf on a sacrifice fly. Then a weak grounder by Duncan Wendel was fielded by reliever Chad Hollingsworth but his throw home to get Towey was too hard to handle. Grayson Porter capped the inning on the next pitch with a ringing double to left-center, scoring Wendel.
UT starter Parker French (3-4) was tagged with the loss, giving up three runs (one earned) on nine hits and three walks with three strikeouts in five innings.
The teams resume the series tomorrow at 8 p.m. CT and Sunday at 2 p.m. The remaining pitching probables are BU RHP Austin Stone (2-2, 3.28 ERA) vs. UT LHP Dillon Peters (4-2, 1.80 ERA) on Saturday and BU RHP Ryan Smith (1-3, 4.64 ERA) vs. UT RHP Nathan Thornhill (2-4, 2.51 ERA) on Sunday.
Notes: Baylor is 103-231-4 overall against Texas, 57-91-3 in Waco and 31-38 under Steve Smith … Baylor is 24-34 against Texas during the Big 12 era and has won eight series over Texas in 16 Big 12 seasons … Baylor is 44-49 all-time in TV games , 6-3 this season and 15-8 since 2011 … Baylor is 348-144 at Baylor Ballpark and 14-10 this season and has won nine of its last 11 games … Baylor is 3-6 in series openers and 6-5 on Fridays this season … Lawton Langford has reached base safely in a career-high 33 straight games, the longest streak for a Baylor player this season … Nathan Orf has a five-game hitting streak … Adam Toth has a four-game hitting streak … Cal Towey and Toth have reached base safely in seven straight games … Orf and Jake Miller have reached base safely in five straight games … With one walk, Towey moved into 10th place all-time at Baylor in career walks (111) … With the win, Max Garner tied a single season career high in wins (3) … Garner has four straight starts with at least six innings pitched and two or less runs allowed, covering 26.2 innings, and has allowed three runs or less in 10 of his 11 starts this season.