courtesy of Texassports.com
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Longhorns were unable to capitalize on a strong pitching performance by Corey Knebel in his first career Big 12 Conference start and dropped a 4-0 decision to the No. 7 Baylor Bears at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Friday evening.
Knebel (4-4), who was named the nation’s top closer in 2011 and earning nine saves this season, was thrust into the starting role after Texas lost a pair of starters last week. The northpaw was saddled with the loss, giving up three runs on three hits and four walks while striking out four over 6.2 innings.
Hoby Milner finished the game for Texas, allowing one run on two hits while striking out two over 2.1 innings.
Trent Blank (10-1) and Crayton Bare combined on the shutout for Baylor. Blank scattered five hits and one walk while striking out five over 7.0 innings. Bare earned his first save of the season, allowing two hits while striking out one over 2.0 innings.
Mark Payton and Alex Silver each had two hits for Texas, but the Horns were unable to cobble together runs with their seven hits and one walk.
Dan Evatt went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Josh Ludy provided the only extra-base hit of the game, a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning that gave the Bears a 4-0 lead.
After six scoreless frames, Baylor (42-11, 20-3 Big 12) broke the scoring seal in the top of the seventh. Logan Vick drew a four-pitch walk to leadoff the inning. After Ludy popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt for the first out of the inning, Max Muncy laced a single into the right centerfield gap to put runners on the corners. Evatt fell behind, 1-2, but fouled off two pitches before bouncing a single through the left side of the infield to plate Vick with the game’s first run. Cal Towey worked the count full before drawing a walk to load the bases.
Knebel fanned Jake Miller for the second out of the inning before yielding to Milner from the bullpen. Adam Toth provided the Bears with breathing when he dribbled a single that second baseman Brooks Marlow pounced on, but not before Muncy and Evatt scored for the 3-0 lead.
Texas (29-20, 13-10) was doomed by seven stranded runners, including four runners in scoring position in the first four innings.
The Longhorns and Bears return to UFCU Disch-Falk Field for a 2 pm game on Saturday to wrap up the regular-season.