By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor
While Baylor athletics took off for Easter Sunday, the rest of the weekend was filled with thrilling contests, so here’s a quick rundown of everything that happened in case you missed it.
Baylor men’s golf notched its second-best stroke-play finish of the season on Saturday with a 6-under 846 to take sixth place at the Thunderbird Collegiate in Phoenix, Ariz. Junior Johnny Keefer tied for seventh place, collecting his fifth top-10 finish of the season.
“Today’s round was good for our momentum heading into the conference championship,” head coach Mike McGraw said after their final-round score of 277. “Our best round of the spring came at a good time. It was really nice to see Johnny earn a top-10 finish in this field.”
Next, the Bears will compete in the Big 12 Championship from April 25 to 27 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity.
No. 4 Baylor men’s tennis (23-3, 4-1 Big 12) wrapped up its conference slate with a 4-3 win over No. 33 Texas Tech University (14-10, 2-3 Big 12) on Saturday night in Lubbock.
“Good to get the win today; it’s never easy to win in Lubbock with the altitude and environment. They’re so comfortable here and they play confidently here,” head coach Michael Woodson said. “It was good to come out strong and take a good doubles point. We were ready to go early and kind of got on them, and ran away with a few sets there in the singles … The score reflects a little differently than the match went. Anytime you can win here in Lubbock you take it and run. I feel really good about where we’re at going into the Big 12 Tournament.”
The Bears added a pair of midweek matchups against Midwestern State University and the University of Texas at Tyler on Tuesday and Wednesday to fine tune themselves before heading into the Big 12 Tournament on Friday. Baylor handled the first match with ease, sweeping Midwestern State 7-0.
No. 21 Baylor women’s tennis dropped a hard-fought match to No. 4 University of Texas, 4-3, on senior day at Hurd Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. Baylor became the first Big 12 school to clinch a doubles point against the Longhorns, but was unable to secure the victory in singles play.
“Credit to the Texas team, they played the big points well,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “But we’re coming. Our team’s improving immensely. We’re training the right way. Sometimes you don’t see it on the court, but as a coach I’m seeing some huge growth. The biggest thing today was that our mindset was at a whole other level. When you have that type of mindset as an athlete, anything’s possible.”
Next up, Baylor will battle the University of Kansas at 9 a.m. Friday at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth for the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament.
No. 6-seeded Baylor equestrian’s season came to an end Thursday after losing to No. 3-seeded Texas A&M 13-6 in the NCEA quarterfinals at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Fla.
The Bears (7-8) found themselves down 8-2 at the break after dropping Fences and Horsemanship to the Aggies (13-4) and were unable to recover, losing Reining 3-1 after a 3-2 victory in Flat.
“We came in here knowing that we had the potential to win, but it just wasn’t our day,” head coach Casie Maxwell said. “Our girls put their hearts out there and rode incredibly hard. They tried really hard to make up for it in the second half after losses in the first two events. I’m just really proud of them. To come here and have the confidence they did, I’m just really proud of them for that.”
Baylor softball won a pair of games against Sam Houston State on Friday and Saturday at Getterman Stadium. The Bears (23-18, 2-7 Big 12) held the Bearkats (11-33, 4-11 SLC) to just one run on the weekend, taking the two-game series with scores of 3-1 and 7-0.
“It’s nice to step out of the conference and see pitching that might allow you a little more success, build your confidence back up,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “I was afraid that we’re losing confidence a little bit after being shut down by a couple of pitchers. So maybe today hopefully that jumpstarts us back into being an offensive team.”
Moore and his squad continues to build momentum going into their three-game home series with Texas Tech University, picking up a 2-1 midweek victory at UT Arlington on Tuesday.
Baylor baseball (20-17, 4-8 Big 12) clinched its first conference series win of the season, this time over the University of Kansas (14-20, 2-7 Big 12), winning two out of three games. The Bears dropped Thursday’s series-opener 3-2 at Baylor Ballpark, but the offense erupted for a 19-2 victory on Friday and carried that momentum to a 6-5 win Saturday afternoon.
“When you have the offense come out like it did, the pitching do what it did, you can’t help but get excited. Now we have some confidence. I really do believe that we were lacking some of that confidence,” head coach Steve Rodriguez said. “Guys were showing up like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s it going to be today?’ Then we get great outings by Kobe Andrade, a great outing by Will Rigney.”
After a 5-1 win against Lamar University on Monday, the Bears continued their winning ways with a 9-5 come-from-behind victory against Sam Houston on Tuesday before heading to Austin for a three-game series against No. 10 University of Texas (26-12, 6-6 Big 12).