WACO (April 27, 2012) -- Josh Turley had his bid for a no-hitter broken up with a one-out single in the eighth inning, but he combined with two relievers on a shutout, as No. 3 Baylor knocked off No. 25 New Mexico State, 5-0, on Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.
Turley (7-0) tossed 7.1 shutout innings and allowed one hit with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 75 of his 106 pitches for strikes and allowed only three runners past first base. Crayton Bare and Joey Hainsfurther took care of the rest, combining on 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
“I'm not going to pull him out of a no-hitter,” head coach Steve Smith said. “His pitch count wasn't that high, but he was pushing it. When I went out, I wasn't 100 percent sure I was taking him out. I asked him, and he qualified how he felt, so I felt like it was time to go.”
Baylor (37-8) won its school-record 19th straight home game to earn its best 45-game record in program history, one win better than the 36-9 start in 1999.
New Mexico State (30-12) managed only three singles in the game, but starting pitcher Ryan Beck held the Baylor offense in check through the first five innings, and the game was scoreless headed to the sixth.
After Turley retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the top half of the sixth, the Baylor offense broke through for three runs in the bottom half. Max Muncy drew a one-out walk, and Josh Ludy, Logan Vick and Dan Evatt followed with consecutive singles to give Baylor a 1-0 lead. Cal Towey added a two-run double before Beck escaped the inning.
“We weren’t getting a lot of things done but it was still a tight ball game, and we finally do get a couple guys on and Towey gets what I thought was probably the significant hit,” Smith said. “It’s what we talk about working the cut, it’s a boxing term, and that’s what this game felt like to me. We’re chipping away early, throwing punches, not knocking anybody out. Eventually you do pretty well, you keep doing that and something good can happen, and that’s what happened tonight.”
Beck (4-3) took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Five NMSU relievers combined to allow two runs over the final 3.0 innings.
Ludy’s sacrifice fly in the seventh extended Baylor’s lead, and Jake Miller’s RBI single in the eighth capped the scoring at 5-0. Miller finished 2-for-4, while Towey had two RBI and Nathan Orf and Muncy had one hit and two walks apiece.
After an error with one out in the eighth, Tanner Waite dropped a single inside the left-field line to end Turley’s no-hit bid and his day on the mound. Bare came out of the bullpen to get the next two batters to keep the shutout intact, and Hainsfurther worked around two singles in the ninth.
Baylor improved to 11-0 this season in games started by Turley, all of which were the first game of a weekend series or tournament, and Turley lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.74. Friday was the eighth time in 11 starts this season that Turley held opponents to no more than one earned run.
The two-game series concludes when the teams meet again at 12:05 p.m. Saturday in the Bears’ final game before a 10-day break for final exams. Saturday’s game will be one of three remaining regular-season games at Baylor Ballpark, where the Bears are 26-3 this season.