Baylor baseball looks to get back to .500 on the season as they take on UT-Arlington tonight at 6:35 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark.
The Bears (1-2) were able to steal a game from Washington on Saturday, but were unable to stop the Huskies’ offense on Friday and Sunday, dropping the season-opening series.
The win on Saturday was the first for Steve Rodriguez as the head coach of Baylor.
“I guess the biggest thing is that it is a long season,” Rodriguez said. “So being able to get this first win under the belt for all of us I think just minimizes some of the stress.”
The Mavericks (2-2) opened their season with wins over Oklahoma State and Stephen F. Austin, losing to each team once as well, but Wednesday’s game will be their first road game of the year.
UTA will be attempting to pick up their first win in Waco since 2005.
The Bears and Mavericks have faced off every year since 2000, with Baylor leading the all-time series 85-31.
Freshman pitcher Andrew McInvale will be making his starting pitching debut for the Bears against UTA’s Kadon Simmons.
McInvale recorded 0.1 IP in Sunday’s loss to Washington, giving up two hits and two runs during that time.
McInvale will attempt to get back on track and provide stability to a Bears pitching staff that gave up a combined 19 runs in just three games against the Huskies.
“We’re just wanting guys to compete, we talk about it all the time, having the ability to execute and control your effort,” Rodriguez said. “If you can control your effort and if you can execute the same way, then you’re going to be okay when it comes down to the end of the game.”
UTA has experienced similar pitching woes, giving up 26 runs in their first four games.
In order to capitalize on the Mavericks defensive struggles, Baylor will lean on sophomore leadoff man Levi Gilcrease to set the tone on offense, as he did last weekend against Washington.
“Levi’s effort and everything he has done in going about his business, it doesn’t surprise me one bit,” Rodriguez said.
Gilcrease has scored five of Baylor’s eight runs this season, and looks to continue that success against UTA.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, but was moved to Wednesday due to an inclement weather forecast.
After UTA, the Bears will prepare for a weekend home series against Stony Brook before hitting the road for four games.