Kansas Bullpen Flawless Against Baylor

March 29, 2010

WACO, Texas –

The Kansas Jayhawks earned their first-ever series win at Baylor Sunday, outlasting the Bears 12-6 in 14 innings. KU scored six times in the top of the 14th inning as Baylor walked in a pair of runs and Jordan Dreiling and Jimmy Waters collected RBI hits.

However, none of that would have been possible without the standout performance by the Kansas bullpen.

Baylor scored six times in the bottom of the third inning, racking up seven hits on KU starting pitcher Brett Bollman. After Head Coach Ritch Price went to the bullpen in the fourth, the Bears did record a base hit over the final 11 innings. The final six innings of work were turned in by junior relief pitcher Brett Bochy, who sent Baylor down three up, three down in all six innings of work.

“He (Bochy) was absolutely special today,” Price said. “We really didn’t know if we could get more than two innings from him today, because he had gone on Friday. But that was an absolutely fabulous performance by him.”

Not only was Bochy dominant in his six innings of relief, he was also efficient. After throwing 38 pitches in a two-inning save on Friday afternoon, the Kansas junior needed just 61 pitches to retire 18 batters Sunday. Bochy recorded five outs on the first pitch of the at bat, and went to a full count just three times – collecting strikeouts in each case.

Bochy wasn’t the only Kansas reliever to silence the Baylor bats.

After BU scored six runs in the bottom third to turn a four-run deficit into a 6-4 lead, and knock starting pitcher Brett Bollman from the game, freshman Tanner Poppe took over. The 6-foot-5 right-handed set the Bears down in order in the fourth and the fifth innings, allowing his offense to tie the game with two runs in the sixth.

“We knew we were in trouble (after Baylor scored six runs in the third inning). The only way were going to get back into it was if we could get the bleeding stopped. (Tanner) set the tone for the rest of the bullpen.”

Poppe allowed a one-out walk in the seventh, giving way to junior Wally Marciel, who retired Baylor left-handed slugger Max Muncy before handing the ball to Colton Muarry with two outs in the seventh.

Overall, Kansas pitchers set the Bears down in order in 10 of the 14 innings, including each of the final six. Baylor’s only base runners after the third inning came by way of walks. In the three-game series – KU’s first win at Baylor in team history – the Jayhawk bullpen allowed four runs on six hits over 17 2/3 innings (2.04 ERA), but saved their best for the finale.

“In my 30-plus years of coaching, that might have been the best performances by one of my bullpens,” Price said.