(I can't see Opening Day go without an article, so here you go. Also, hi!)
"Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average." -Mark Kramer
It's back! It's finally back! This weekend, baseball returns to the nation that perfected it, ready to fill 2012 with joy, excitement, cheers, home runs, hot dogs and infielders standing around kicking dirt. Also, maybe sadness. Hopefully not sadness.
Best of all, baseball returns to Baylor Ballpark today!* Your Baylor Bears will start the season with another opening day matchup against Oral Roberts. Steve Smith, in his 18th season as Baylor's head coach, will send out Junior southpaw Josh Turley to face the Golden Eagles (more on Turley in a bit). The Golden Eagles will respond with righty Drew Bowen, who had a 1.73 ERA last year. Intimidating!
*Pending rain. Don't do this to me, rain.
Turley had some impressive moments in 2011. While he had a 4-5 record last year, he bested a #8 UT, a #19 OSU and a #13 OU. He also pitched a complete game against #9 Rice to send Baylor to the Regional Championship Round. That's where the sadness appeared. With the loss of draft picks Logan Verrett (Mets, 3rd round) and Brooks Pinckard (Reds, 10th round), Turley looks to be Baylor's best pitcher this season.
Who: Oral Roberts (SP: RHP Bowen) @ Baylor (SP: LHP Turley) [Baylor lineup]
What: A baseball game
When: Today, 2/17/2012 4:05 pm CT
Where: Baylor Ballpark, Waco, TX
Why (should I go): You get a free schedule magnet for your dorm microfridge AND a free keytag to make putting your keys in your pocket more difficult. Also, Baylor games are so fun. You need to go at least once to a Baylor baseball game if you're a student.
Fun fact: The Oral Roberts logo looks like a mix of Foghorn Leghorn and Henry Hawk to me
If you can't make it, the game will be broadcast live on 1660 ESPN Radio in Waco. If you're too far from Waco (like me), you can hear it online for free, watch it online if you pay for the CBS All-Access subscription and/or follow along on the GameTracker here: http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/021612aaa.html. iPhone users can download the Baylor Bears Sports app to listen, but that also requires another CBS subscription payment. I think the Wunderradio app works too.
Sic ‘em Bears, and welcome back baseball!