Bitter rivalry ends with Baylor sweep
Battle of the Brazos goes Bears’ way in final year of Big 12 play
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
During the thick of the 2012 baseball season, the No. 2 Texas A&M baseball team has hit a rough patch, losing its fifth consecutive game Sunday and dropping its first conference series of the season in a 0-3 sweep to No. 6 Baylor.
“It really was a good game between two good teams,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “Baylor is playing really good right now and they got big hits when it mattered ... We’ve got to play better. It doesn’t matter who’s in that other dugout, we’ve still got to play better, eliminate mistakes and take advantage of our opportunities better.”
The Aggies fell to the Bears 7–5 Sunday in Waco for the series sweep, extending Baylor’s school-best winning streak to 24 consecutive victories. The Aggies, meanwhile, would fall to a 28-12 overall record, and a 9-6 mark in Big 12 play.
With Game 1 of the series at Blue Bell Park Friday night, not even the lore of “Olsen Magic” could tilt the final score. The red-hot Bears escaped Aggieland with a 5–3 victory, knocking junior All-American right-hander Michael Wacha out of the game in the fifth inning.
“Tonight was two great pitchers going at it and in a game like that the person who cracks first is usually going to be the one that loses,” Childress said. “They strung it together in the fifth inning and were able to get a sac fly out of it. We had our shot there in the sixth but couldn’t get that big hit. It’s obviously a disappointing loss.”
The series wrapped up after a short trek north on Highway 6 Saturday and Sunday at Baylor Ballpark in Waco, but the Aggies’ woes continued, dropping their fourth- and fifth-consecutive games.
Sophomore Rafael Piñeda got the start for the Aggies Sunday in the series finale. The Bears worked him from the get-go, forcing the righty to throw 41 pitches in the first inning. After fouling off 10 consecutive pitches, Baylor catcher Josh Ludy sent one of the 41 pitches out of the park.
Piñeda was able to bounce back, though, giving the Aggies six solid innings of work before being relieved by fellow sophomore Parker Ray. In one stretch, Piñeda retired 11 batters in a row.
Junior Tyler Naquin gave the Aggies hope with his fourth hit of the game, tying the game at 4–4 with a single through the right side, which set up the Aggies’ 5–4 lead change shortly thereafter on a Baylor wild pitch.
But the Aggies were not able to rally as Baylor quickly answered. The Bears took the lead after two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to clinch the series sweep with a 7-5 win.
The Aggies return to action Tuesday when they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU — which has won its last nine games.