WACO (February 23, 2013) -- A refreshing three-man pitching effort pushed No. 23 Baylor to a 5-0 win over No. 2 UCLA in the second of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. Bears (2-4) hurlers Dillon Newman, Kolt Browder and Ryan Smith combined to hold the Bruins (3-2) to five hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
“We didn’t do anything incredibly special today; we just didn’t beat ourselves,” said Baylor Head Coach Steve Smith. “Cal [Towey] had the big two-run homerun that was inside the pole down there. We played well defensively. We turned the tables a little bit, put some pressure on them.”
Newman (1-0) earned the win and provided the front end of Baylor’s first shutout of the season, throwing a career-high-tying five innings. He faced trouble in the third and fifth innings but escaped unscathed both times. In the third, he gave up a two-out single to Brian Carroll, who also stole second. Newman then induced a groundout to first by Kevin Kramer to end the threat. In the fifth, a two-out bunt single by Carroll created a first-and-third situation as Newman hit Trent Chatterton with one out. But Newman conquered Kramer again, getting a fly out to left to end his day. His final line included four hits and a walk with two strikeouts as 60 of his 87 pitches were strikes.
Newman left with a scoreless game but it wasn’t for long. After Mitch Price led off the fifth with a walk, Cal Towey hit his first home run of the season – a ball that was barely fair as it sailed over the right field foul pole – and it proved to be all Baylor needed for its 181st win over a team ranked by Baseball America. UCLA entered the series ranked No. 12 by Baseball America, No. 2 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll and No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.
Browder got himself into a jam in the sixth as he started it off by hitting Pat Valaika and walking Cody Regis. Following a sacrifice bunt, Towey helped Browder out by diving near the Baylor dugout to catch a foul pop up by Pat Gallagher. After another walk, Ryan Smith came on with the bases loaded and took Chatterton to a full count but caught him looking to finish a pivotal inning for the Bears.
“He ran it to 3-2 and got a called third – that let us catch our breath a little bit,” said Coach Smith of his son’s stellar relief performance.
In the eighth, Baylor added to its lead with three runs. The first came on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Lawton Langford. Steve DalPorto then executed a successful squeeze bunt for an RBI. Jake Miller followed with a two-out RBI infield single.
“Late in the game we did some little things well,” Coach Smith said. “These games are tight and you have to play the game really well. When you see pitching like we’ve seen, it’s going to be tough to score a bunch of runs.”
Earning his second save, Smith allowed just two base runners over his 3.1 innings of work while striking out three.
The loss was handed to Nick Vander Tuig (1-1), who threw six innings, gave up two runs on four hits and one walk and struck out three.
The first six hitters in the BU order had at least one hit, led by Adam Toth’s 2-for-4 day with a single, double and run scored. The Bears only stranded five runners while UCLA left 11 on board.
The rubber match series finale is set for 1:05 p.m. CT tomorrow. The pitching matchup presents BU RHP Austin Stone (0-0, 0.00 ERA) against UCLA LHP Grant Watson (1-0, 0.00 ERA).