Baylor Shuts Out Minnesota, 5-0; To Face LSU

Baylor starter Willie Kempf earned the win.
Baylor starter Willie Kempf earned the win. (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- Baylor shortshop Shaver Hansen's two-run homer in the top of the first inning was more than enough for starter Willie Kempf, as the third-seeded Bears topped second-seed Minnesota, 5-0, in the NCAA Baseball Regional Friday night.

Baylor (30-24) advanced to face top-seeded LSU the winner's bracket final at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Head coach Steve Smith indicated that sophomore righthander Shawn Tolleson (1-2, 4.50 ERA, 50.0 IP, 27 BB, 39 K) will start against the Tigers.

Minnesota (38-18) fell into the loser's bracket and will take on Southern at 1 p.m. Gophers head coach John Anderson said sophomore Seth Rosin (7-1, 4.08 ERA, 70.2 IP, 14 BB, 58 K) will take the mound against Southern.

Kempf (5-5) had six strikeouts, scattering three hits and two walks to earn the win. Baylor's bullpen tossed three scoreless innings of relief to complete the shutout.

Minnesota starter Tom Buske (9-4) took the loss after giving up five runs on five hits in 7.1 innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Batting from the No. 3 spot, Hansen homered to right field in the top of the first inning to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Both teams went scoreless until Baylor added a run in the top of the seventh when Gregg Glime and Raynor Campbell hit consecutive doubles.

In the top of the eighth, Baylor's Kenton Gedwed hit a two-RBI double to left-center for his Big 12 conference-leading ninth pinch hit of the season. The Bears led 5-0.

In the bottom of the frame, Minnesota put a runner on second base for the first time with a one-out single and a fielding error on a double-play ground ball to second. With runners on second and third with two outs, Gophers second baseman Derek McCallum popped out to the catcher to end the threat.


Postgame Quotes


Opening statement...
“Obviously we’re disappointed, but I think you have to give credit where credit’s due. I think their pitching staff did an outstanding job all three pitchers. I thought they had explosive stuff. Good fastballs and hard breaking balls. They had good command which made it difficult for our guys to win. I think it was difficult for both teams with shadows and picking up balls. I thought Baylor played excellently. They got two or three big hits that we weren’t able to get, and we weren’t able to string enough hits together. I have to give credit where credit’s due. I think their pitching was that good tonight.”

On expectations of Baylor’s pitchers...
“They lived up to the hype I heard about. I saw some pretty good arms out there today. Pretty good pitchers.  I thought they did an excellent job. They had great mound presence. Good tempo. They filled the strike zone up. They didn’t make a lot of mistakes. They pitched to both sides of the plate and kept it out of the middle. That’s what makes hitting tough... I thought they lived up to their hype tonight. No question about it.”

On Tom Buske’s performance...
“It was a good outing for Tom. It was a typical outing for Tom. He always keeps us in the game. He competes and doesn’t let things bother him. He settles in well in the middle of innings and does a nice job. I don’t think we could have asked for anything more out of Tom Buske. He did a nice job. He made the plays for the most part on defense... I was impressed with Baylor’s young team and how well they handled the game. I liked their place in the game. I thought we were relaxed. I thought we played relaxed, and I thought we competed. We got beat by a better team tonight.”

On game against Southern tomorrow...
“They’re here because they have a good team. It’s going to be a battle for us. We have to have a better first inning and start swinging some bats and generate some offense if we’re going to keep this thing going. I think the first inning will be critical tomorrow. We need to get some momentum going tomorrow and see what we can do with that."


P Tom Buske

On his performance...
“I think in the first inning I gave up three hits on three change-ups. I went back to trusting my stuff after the home run in the first. The middle of their lineup had a lot of guys with balanced approaches. I needed to do a better job of locating my off-speed pitches. That home run was a change-up I left a little high, but after that I kind of settled in and trusted the defense behind me to make plays and they did the majority of the game.”

On if the home run he gave up affected him in the game ...
“I’ve had enough home runs hit off me in my career for it to play too much of an impact. It is what it is. He (Hansen) put a good swing on a change-up middle-down. I just moved on right away and pumped a couple of strikes to the next guy right away.”

On the adjustments he made after the home run ...
“I was mixing more early in the count and really pounding the outside fastball. They took a lot of outside pitches and that’s why I think my pitch count was so high for seven innings.”

2B Derek McCallum

On his performance ...
“Like coach alluded to, the shadows played us pretty tough through the beginning of the game. It’s tough when those guys are throwing that hard and they don’t need another reason to be good. So, it was tough to get used to, but I never really thought we got comfortable in the box against those guys. Things didn’t really work out our way, but we’re looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”

On Baylor starter Willie Kempf ...
“I think his best asset tonight was that he got ahead right away. He came with that first-pitch strike and he’s hard to it when you’re behind in the count. He was locating his fastball and his curveball was devastating late in the count.”


Opening statement...
“Well I thought that it was an extremely well-pitched game on both sides. I think we got some timely hits. I thought it was well played but I think the thing that stands out the most for me is the quality of pitching. I thought (Tom) Buske was outstanding. Even Shaver’s (Hansen) two-run home run in the first, that is obviously a big hit and lets the air out of you a little bit and lets you relax some, but it was not like it was a bad pitch. That to me was what was impressive about him is he just really pitched. I thought the pinch-hit double (Kenton Gedwed) was obviously big. It was about a couple of really timely hits and our guys pitching extremely well.”

On the pinch-hit double by Kenton Gedwed...
“Well I anticipated that a little bit, and the roll of the dice was letting (Ben) Booker hit. I probably would not have done that had the runners not been second and third and the infield in. Ben has been doing a pretty good job left on left. Honestly when the at bat started I thought to myself that I liked that matchup because it was not a real hard thrower with a hard breaking ball, but the guy wound making a pitch and getting a strikeout. We put a right hander up there and it was the time to burn a player. Kenton (Gedwed) has done a great job for us all year long getting some pretty timely pinch hits, and none more timely than that one.”


SS Shaver Hansen
On hitting against Minnesota ...
“We saw what Dustin Dickerson found. He was a leadoff hitter and was consistent the whole day. We knew their pitcher wasn’t a flamethrower, but he could definitely hit his spots. I was looking more off speed there.”
On gaining the momentum after the first inning ...
“It always does for the first team to throw the first punch. We knew Willie (Kempf) was going to go out and do his best. To have the pitching there in the top of the first was great. I didn’t think we would go scoreless for the next few innings. We definitely didn’t think two runs were going to be enough. I thought it was huge getting that one extra run later in the game and then when Kenton (Gedwed) got the double it made us feel more comfortable, but it was definitely close the whole game.”
On what advantage there is to winning the first game at the regional ...
“It’s huge. It cuts down on the wins we have to have to maybe win the regional. Minnesota is a good team. It is going to be a good game overall. To win the first one and see LSU tomorrow is very exciting. This is what we wanted to have happen and we wanted to play in the next game. We are going to come in and be ready to play tomorrow.”
P Willie Kempf
On pitching against Minnesota ...
“It was fun out there. I had four pitches working for me today that I was able to throw for a strike. The middle infielders were making some outstanding plays behind me. We jumped on them early and took a little wind out of their sails. Then, I just threw strikes and competed out there”
On the Baylor pitching staff ...
“We struggled, but at the same time, we felt that everyone on the staff has some pretty good stuff. If we face a team that has never seen us before and hitters that have never seen us before with no scouting report and no idea on our rhythm and what we like to do, we feel like we have a pretty good shot at getting  a lot of outs. Everyone that came in today filled up the strike zone and that’s what you have to do against a team that hasn’t seen your stuff before. We were able to make some quality pitches in some big situations and that helped hold (Minnesota) off.



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