After inclement weather forced the Bears and Demons cancel yesterday's game, I woke up expecting the same to happen today. But true to form, Texas weather completely flipped. This evening was great baseball weather, and the Bears were ready to play.
Theron Kay and Troy Montemayor were outstanding on the mound, combining for 6 scoreless innings. At that point, the Bears led 8-0 behind a 3 for 4 night for Cameron Miller (3 RBI and 3 doubles) and a 4-5 night by Logan Brown. Baylor jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, added another in the 4th, 3 in the 5th, and 3 in the 6th. This was a very good offensive night by the Bears. At the end of the day, however, Northwestern State was simply overmatched.
Now, our focus shifts to 3-5 Cal State Fullerton. The Titans have been one of the great college baseball programs for a long time, but they have gotten off to a slow start. However, 3 of their losses were against Stanford and USC. With that record, we can be sure that they will be looking to get their season back on track.
The Titans finished their 2014 campaign losing 6-4 in the Stillwater regional. After having 7 players selected in last year's MLB Amateur draft, the Titans are in a similar position as Cal Poly. They had a lot to replace, but pitchers Justin Garza and Thomas Eshelman both returning as preseason All Americans, they are better positioned for a competitive weekend run. The Titans started 2015 ranked as high as 17th but have fallen out of the rankings after their slow start.
One thing of interest to all Bears fans is how this series will affect the RPI. Because home teams win so much in college baseball, (almost 70% of all games), RPI rankings are adjusted to reward road wins. In fact, it is skewed so heavily that one win against Fullerton will almost be as beneficial as our 2 wins against Kent State last weekend. To be sure, taking one win will be very positive for the Bears. A series win would be a huge boost to our post season resume. Yes, it is early in the year to be talking about that stuff, but with the meat grinder Big XII schedule, every game matters as much as ever.
Once again the schedule will affected by inclement weather. The Bears and Titans will square of for a double header Friday afternoon. Game 1 will start at 3pm Friday, and game 2 will follow immediately after. Saturday's series finale will begin Saturday 1pm. Despite the records, I look for Cal State Fullerton to pitch really well and provide a different kind of test than the Bears have faced this year so far. It will be interesting to see how the Bears respond to a tough road challenge.