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BU batters swing victories

Feb. 20, 2001

Bears score 27 runs against Colonels in weekend series

By AMETHYST HENSLEY

Sports writer

The No. 22-ranked Baylor baseball team (8-3) swept its home series against Nicholls State University (5-6) over the weekend, winning the games 4-0, 16-1, and 7-2.

The wins marked the last non-conference weekend for the Bears, with the first Big 12 game coming up this Friday against Texas A&M University.

'I think this weekend was a good sign for us,' catcher Kelly Shoppach said. 'We put it all together. We pitched well, hit well and played good defense. Those are the kind of things you need to carry you in conference games.'

Rain spoiled the Friday night game, pushing the first game to Saturday and the doubleheader to Sunday afternoon.

Josh Scott (1-1) pitched the entire first game, giving up only two hits and one walk to help Baylor close down NSU 4-0.

Ronald Gilchrist (1-1) got the loss.

Third baseman Matt Williams collected the first RBI of the weekend in the second inning with a single to center field that drove in Mike Huggins, who was named the Phillips 66/Big 12 Player of the Week. Baylor scored again after rightfielder David Murphy doubled to score Williams.

The Bears added the other two runs in the third and fifth innings and maintained their defense for the win. Scott had seven strike-outs in nine innings.

'Pitching won the game for us,' Shoppach said.

Baylor came out swinging Sunday and the 10-run rule retired the Colonels in the seventh inning of the opener to end the game 16-1.

The Bears scored in every inning with the biggest offensive explosion in the sixth.

'The wind was blowing out so you kinda wanted to hit a home run,' first baseman Ron Zboril said. 'But we needed to stick with the line drives we worked on in practice, and try not to pop up as much.'

Second baseman Trevor Mote hit a two-run double off of pitcher Zach Murray, and Shoppach blistered a pitch off reliever Pete Casagne for a three-run homer.

Pitcher Steven White (3-0) collected the win, and struck out a career-high 10 batters in six innings. White gave up his first run of the season in the second inning when Colonel Kevin Larpenter singled in Eron Morrow.

Jay Lockett closed the game in the seventh inning with only one hit.

The Bears slowed down in the second game of the doubleheader, but seven doubles and five singles propelled them to a 7-2 victory.

'It was a little closer game,' Shoppach said. 'We had to do a better job at getting their starter [Ben Thompson (1-2)] out of the game. He threw the hardest of the ones we saw all weekend.'

However, Baylor kept the bats hot with 12 hits. Eric Walker took over in the middle of the fifth and Alex Velazquez ended the game for the Colonels.

Mote ended his hitting streak at 10 games, going 0-for-3 in the last game. He was pulled from the game in the sixth inning with a sore right thumb that he had broken in the first tournament of the season against Rice University.

'He doesn't ever know when it'll hurt, and when we have the lead that we did, it wasn't worth it to keep him in,' head Coach Steve Smith said.

A last-minute decision to start usual relief pitcher Kyle Edens came as a surprise.

'I was getting some water and Coach Smith said 'You're starting the game,'' Edens said. 'There wasn't much time to be nervous. Nobody had any idea who would start. We were all shocked. I love starting, but I'll take any role for the team.'

Edens pitched five innings with two hits, one run and seven strike-outs.

'Kyle Edens pitched extremely well,' Smith said. 'That's a lot of pitches for him, and it was an exceptional pickup for us to get him to do that for us.'

Paul Thorp took the sixth and seventh innings with five strike-outs, followed by a hitless eighth inning by Justin Taylor and a smooth closing by Zane Carlson.

Baylor takes to the road for a game tonight against the University of Texas at San Antonio (4-6).

Lefty Jared Theodorakos (1-0) will get another start for the Bears while Sal Alvarado (0-1) will take the mound for the Roadrunners.