OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Faced with an uphill climb in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, Baylor needed a solid, innings-eating start from Tyler Bremer. So, what did Bears coach Steve Smith think?
"I thought he was lights out," Smith said of his starter. "He maintained his stuff pretty well. You couldn't have asked for a better game regardless of the circumstances. I would have opted to let him finish it if it would have been closer."
Bremer pitched a career-high eight innings and he got plenty of support as Baylor beat Kansas State, 11-2, in an elimination game Friday. The Wildcats (27-31) were eliminated with both losses coming to the top seed. The Bears (44-13) will face No. 4 seed Oklahoma at 9 a.m. Saturday. To reach Sunday's championship game, Baylor needs to beat OU twice.
Bremer (6-1) allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out three without issuing a walk. He faced the minimum through 4.2 innings and needed only 58 pitches to get through six innings. Trae Davis worked a perfect ninth inning for the Bears.
"I knew we had a loaded bullpen today," Bremer said. "It was a must-win game. I was one pitch at a time, and I was going to go as hard as I could for as long as I could."
Baylor's Max Muncy went 3-for-4. His two-run triple in the first inning got Baylor off to a fast start. Nathan Orf scored three runs and stole three bases. He became the first player in Big 12 Conference history to be hit by a pitch 30 times in a season.
Big 12 player of the year Josh Ludy reached base in four of five at bats. He hit his 12th homer in the eighth inning, his third in the Big 12 Championship. Seven of his homers have come against Kansas State.
Baylor's Logan Vick was forced to leave the game after fouling a ball off his right leg in the eighth inning. He is day-to-day with a bruised knee.
Baylor broke the NCAA record for combined wins across football, men's and women's basketball and baseball in a single season. The Bears are 124-24 this season, breaking Texas' combined record of 123-31 in 2003-04.