After sweeping Texas A&M the previous weekend, the Bears took a break from conference play this week to take on No. 25 New Mexico State for a two game set.
Exiting Big 12 play did nothing to deter the Bears’ hot streak, as they easily handled the Lobos by a combined 20-5 over the two games. The pair of wins brings Baylor’s current home win streak to 20 games, and brought them the No. 1 ranking in the country, according to Collegiate Baseball rankings.
The Bears now have a 10-day break for finals to rest and focus on their classes before they finish up their regular season with six of their last eight games on the road. If they can finish out their schedule undefeated, they would accomplish an unprecedented feat of having an unblemished record in Big 12 play.
“These guys have 10 very important days in front of them, and when they get past that, they’ll get a second wind,” said Baylor head coach Steve Smith. “Everybody has to go through it.”
Aggies take series against Longhorns
Despite losing the final game in the pair’s historic rivalry, Texas A&M has to be satisfied with taking the series against Texas, which put them only a game back of Texas for second place in the conference.
That position is incredibly important, because more than likely only two teams from the Big 12 will be able to host a regional come playoff time, and normally the selection committee awards that spot the No. 1 and 2 teams in the conference.
Baylor already has one of those regional spots locked up, and it will most likely come down to Texas and A&M for the final regional site. So, while the Aggies ninth inning loss will sting, they can still take solace in the fact that they inched closer to securing a home cooked meal during regionals — and more importantly a much easier road to Omaha.
Missouri will be tough test for Texas
The Longhorns will face a challenge when they travel to Columbia this weekend to play Missouri, despite the Tigers subpar 7-11 conference record.
The Tigers are a tough test at home, at 17-8 on their home diamond for the year, and feature a scrappy lineup and a talented front end to their weekend rotation.
Most notably, recent Big 12 pitcher of the week award winner Rob Zastryzny, who got the nod for his complete game shutout of Texas Tech last Friday. Zastryzny has a 3.58 ERA on the season and sports a .247 opponents’ batting average against. He will be a tough test for Nathan Thornhill and the rest of the Longhorns when they start out their series on Friday night.
Printed on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 as: Baylor dominated non conference foe, earns No.1 spot in rankings