By Jeffrey Swindoll
Baylor baseball has suffered from sloppy form, after going winless last weekend against No. 8 Texas and dropping a mid-week 4-3 decision to Sam Houston State, but the Bears have a chance to turn it around this weekend with a three-game series against Dallas Baptist.
After conceding runs to Sam Houston State off of fielding errors, the Bears look to rectify their defensive lapses from Tuesday and get back to their characteristic form of prototypical efficient fielding.
“Last weekend we really didn’t do well on the road, but we’ve just got to get back to playing Baylor baseball,” senior pitcher Dillon Newman said.
The past few games have been close for the Bears, including two games that were decided by a one-run margin, but the reality is that the Bears have lost four straight games and dropped 10 straight road games. Baylor head coach Steve Smith addressed what he thinks is the real issue with the team.
“It’s kind of a combination of things. Particularly, when you’re not scoring a bunch of runs then little things are going to be emphasized and they’re going to matter,” Smith said. “We’ve made some, what turned out to be, timely errors. That’s part of the game, but the thing that’s magnifying is just our inability to score runs.”
A lack of offense has been a chronically recurring issue for the Bears this season.
Baylor has only scored more than five runs in three games this year.
The Bears do not have a player with a batting average above .300. Junior outfielder Adam Toth, holds a .276 batting average.
There are not many positives to take away from Baylor’s offensive production at this point in the season, and if scoring does not come easy then winning certainly will not come easy.
One of the main reasons the Bears have been able to pull off some wins this season is pitching. When the pitching staff hits even a minor slump like they did against Texas and Sam Houston State, the Bears have a difficult task to win.
“You have to be able to just forget about the lack of offense and get out there and get it done,” senior pitcher Austin Stone said.
The Bears carry the weight of a 1-11 road record going into this weekend. Only game one will be away from home for the Bears.
“We haven’t played very well on the road. We’ve got to find a way to win on the road [tonight].” Newman said.
Game one against Dallas Baptist starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Horner Ballpark. Dallas Baptist is 7-1 at home this season.
Games two and three will be a double-header starting at 3:05 p.m. Saturday at Baylor Ballpark. There will be a special pregame tailgate event hosted by the Heart of Texas Community at Turner Riverfront Complex.
The tailgate starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and will feature giveaways, free food Dr. Pepper, Blue Bell ice cream and carnival games.