WACO — The Baylor baseball team doesn’t have any more opportunities to add to their resume after being eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
The Bears entered Bricktown as a team on the bubble, deemed as “the last team in” by D1Baseball.com at the start of the week. According to D1 Baseball they had played their way to the wrong side of the bubble at the start of the day on Thursday.
Head Coach Steve Rodriguez and freshman outfielder Jared McKenzie said they hope the selection committee takes into account the injury issues that plauged this team down the stretch.
“We go five weekends where we’re playing really good baseball and then all of a sudden, everything just changed the dynamic of our team,” Rodriguez said. “I would like to be able to say that we’ve done enough but we’ll see that’s going to be on their plate on Monday and I really do think that once we get everybody back, it changes the dynamic of this program.”
If they are indeed left out the Bears will be able to point to a few things that ultimately did them in.
- Inconsistency: The Bears had moments of brilliance throughout the season like beating Texas Tech handily in Lubbock in late April, part of four straight series wins, but book ended their conference schedule losing 5 of 6 to TCU and Texas to open Big 12 play and six of their final eight to close the season after getting hit by COVID-19.
- Weak Strength of Schedule: The Bears non-conference strength of schedule is 197th, the second worst in the Big 12. Again, that was not all their fault after a a few series’ had to be changed because of COVID-19, but with Auburn and Texas A&M being down this year the Bears non-conference slate was brutal, and other than the series win at Texas Tech there wasn’t a whole lot to write home about.
- Bad Luck: I’ve touched on them throughout this article but from the ice storm to COVID outbreaks and tough injuries, the Bears did not get many of the good bounces in 2021.