Waco, Texas – Raynor Campbell’s two-run sixth inning homer broke a one-all tie, lifting Baylor to a 4-1 victory over Nebraska in the rubber game of the three-game series Sunday afternoon at the Baylor Ballpark.
Campbell performed with his bat and glove for the Bears (24-16, 7-9 Big 12), going 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs, while also making a key defensive stop of DJ Belfonte’s infield single in the fifth to preserve a 1-1 game at the time.
While Campbell carried the Baylor offense, the Bears also received strong pitching performance from junior Shawn Tolleson, who allowed one run over 7.1 innings in his longest outing since 2008 to get the better of the Huskers (19-21, 6-12 Big 12). The right-hander struck out three and scattered seven hits in holding the Huskers to its lowest run total of the season.
Tolleson (2-5) outdueled Husker freshman Tom Lemke, who allowed one run until Campbell’s two-run homer got into the wind and barely cleared the fence in right, just over the glove of right fielder Adam Bailey. Lemke (4-5) took the loss as he allowed four runs over 5.2 innings.
“I thought Tom pitched well, and we had a good pitching performance, but they pitched better today,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “They put it together for nine solid innings, and we had that blip in the sixth. The home run was wind aided, but I didn’t think it was that bad of a pitch by Lemke. Unfortunately, it got out of the ballpark and that is sometimes how it works and that got the best of us today.”
Baylor got on the scoreboard first, getting a two-out RBI single from Max Muncy in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Tyler Collins singled with one out and moved into scoring position on a grounder by Joey Hainsfurther before Muncy lined a 2-0 pitch just past the outstretched glove of Chad Christensen at short. After a walk, Campbell singled to center, but DJ Belfonte caught Cal Towey napping on the play and fired to Bryan Peters covering second for the third out before Muncy could score on the hit.
Tolleson, who was BU’s Friday night starter until this weekend, set down the first seven Huskers before running into some trouble in the third, as Nebraska pulled even at one. Peters started the rally with a one-out double past third before DJ Belfonte’s walk two batters later gave NU its first scoring threat of the day. Kale Kiser then tied the score with a single to center to score Peters.
Nebraska had chances in the middle innings against Tolleson, leaving runners on the corners in both the fifth and sixth innings, but could not take the lead. In the fifth, Patric Tolentino doubled with two outs before Belfonte’s single up the middle was stopped by Campbell behind the bag. That play proved beneficial moments later, as Tolleson got Kiser to pop out to end the frame.
One inning later, Cody Asche doubled to left with two outs before moving to third on a passed ball by Gregg Glime. Pinch hitter Kyle Bubak coaxed a walk to keep the rally alive before Cade Thompson came up to bat. Thompson, who was hitting .429 as a pinch hitter this season, could not extend the inning, as Tolleson struck him out to end the threat.
“We had a few opportunities against him,” Anderson said. “Kale came through with a base hit in the third but we couldn’t push those runs across in the middle innings. Some of it was our discipline, but he made a lot of quality pitches today. I think getting him pulled out of the rotation gave him a purpose and motive out there. He pitched with a purpose out there today and it showed. He was effectively wild, but was able to locate well when he needed to.”
After the first Lemke pitched well, getting the Huskers out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and had retired five straight until the Bears struck in the sixth. Towey, who reached in all three of his plate appearances against Lemke, coaxed a one-out walk before Campbell took advantage of a gust of wind to right for a two-run shot that made it 3-1. Two batters later, Don Lambert ended Lemke’s day with a double to left before Landis Ware greeted reliever Casey Hauptman with an RBI single to center, giving the Bears a three-run lead.
The Huskers got a runner on in each of the last three frames, but were unable to sustain any momentum, as Tolleson and reliever Kolt Browder, who went the final 1.2 innings for his first save, combined on the seven-hitter.
The Huskers wrap up the five-game road trip Tuesday evening, as they travel to Iowa City, Iowa, for a matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes. First pitch is at 6 p.m. and the game will be carried by the Husker Sports Network and on the Internet at Huskers.com.