Baylor baseball will take on Oklahoma State this weekend in a three-game series at Baylor Ballpark.
Due to inclement weather forecast for Sunday, the three-game series will be played with one game on Friday and two games on Saturday.
The Bears (17-16, 4-5) are in a three way tie with the Cowboys (19-13, 4-5) as well as Oklahoma for fifth place in the Big 12 Conference. A series win over the weekend could potentially vault Baylor to as high as second in the conference.
“I think a lot of people are in that position. I’ve looked at the records once and I see a lot of people with the same record,” Bears head coach Steve Rodriguez said. “The truth is we have to go and play well. I can only control what we’re going to do. We just need to go out there and play baseball.”
Baylor is coming off a midweek home win against Lamar, who owned a nation-leading 15 game winning streak before coming to Waco.
“I was very happy the way they played defensively and forced contact later in the game,” Rodriguez said. “We got some really good hits when we needed it. It was nice to see some of those balls fall and see our guys have the success they were having last night.”
The Cowboys, meanwhile, are in somewhat of a slump recently, dropping a season high four games in a row while losing five of their last six Big 12 games.
“You just never know,” Rodriguez said of OSU’s losing streak, “you never know what’s going on with their team, I just try to manage my team as best as possible.”
OSU is coming off a 38-20 season in which they made their third consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and was ranked in the top 10 of many polls preseason. Currently the Cowboys pitching staff leads the conference with a combined 3.03 ERA.
“Talented group, they can really pitch, we’re going to have our hands full,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to have to make sure that we are fundamentally sound offensively and defensively and make sure we try to force contact in regards to their offense. Hopefully we can continue to play good defense like we have been.”
The Cowboys are led by upperclassmen Donnie Walton, Ryan Sluder and Corey Hassel, all of whom were All-Big 12 performers last season.
Meanwhile, the Bears will continue to look the way of junior outfielder Darryn Sheppard, who is leading the team in most offensive categories statistically.
Baylor will send the usual starters to the mound this weekend with junior Daniel Castano starting on Friday with junior Drew Tolson and freshman Kyle Hill starting for the Saturday games.
OSU leads the all time series against the Bears 39-38, but the Cowboys haven’t won a series in Waco since 1998.
After the series against OSU, Baylor takes on Sam Houston State in a midweek game at Baylor Ballpark next Tuesday before facing Kansas State in a three game road series.