Baylor play-by-play to cover baseball

Baylor Lariat Radio began on Feb. 13 2016 and has since expanded to include Baylor Football, Baylor Men's and Women's Basketball, the first ever live podcast at Baylor University, and now for the first time ever Baylor Bears Baseball coverage. Photo credit: Joshua Kim

By Megan Rule | Staff Writer

Baylor Lariat Radio listeners looking to hear about Baylor baseball are now in luck, as the radio station just added baseball to its lineup, making it the fourth sport the radio covers.

“I think in broadcasting, it’s just doing broadcast and getting that experience and learning from your mistakes,” said John Morris, assistant athletic director for broadcasting and “Voice of the Baylor Bears.” “In broadcasting, it’s doing a lot of games and doing a lot of broadcasts that help you learn from your mistakes and get better from it, so I think this is a great learning laboratory for broadcasters.”

Morris said radio coverage of sports is a constant that will always be there. Even as the media world evolves and develops, radio is always there, Morris said.

“I think this is a great attribute to what the university is doing in regards to the notoriety and the publicity that they’re giving all of their sports,” said Steve Rodriguez, head coach of the Baylor baseball team. “For me, it’s an honor for them to take initiative and allow this team to be part of everything they’ve been doing at the university.”

Baylor Lariat Radio was the first to bring student play-by-play of men’s basketball, women’s basketball and Baylor football.

“Nothing beats experience,” said David Smoak, program director and talk show host on ESPN Central Texas. “You still have to have the talent and the knowledge and the ability to do what you do well. By origin, this and having the experience of doing games, when the time comes to graduate, students are going to have already done experience. It’s live, and I cannot stress that part enough.”

Smoak said that to see college stations like Baylor’s growing is incredible. Smoak said when he was in college, he had a chance to work at an on-campus radio station in addition to getting a degree, and it gave him the chance to walk in the door. Smoak said he used to go to college games with microphone in front of him and a tape recorder to practice giving himself the live experience of play-by-play. For students to have the opportunity to do live play-by-play is a completely different experience that shows the reality of the what the job is like, Smoak said.

“I think this is great. When I was in school, KWBU, the campus radio station, was student run and that was before it was NPR,” Morris said. “When I was in school, we did women’s basketball, we did volleyball, and we did baseball on the radio because they weren’t on any commercial station, and it was great experience, so I think it’s great. I love opportunities for students to get practical experience. In broadcast practical experience is big.”

Play-by-play coverage will begin with the first home game at 6:05 p.m. on Friday with a 30-minute pregame show, said Jordan Smith, Lariat sports editor and Baylor Lariat Radio play-by-play commentator. The Bears will be playing the Niagara University Purple Eagles at 6:35 p.m. Friday at Baylor Ballpark.