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Daily Bears Report 3/11/2017 - Baylor Football Class of 2017 Ranked at No. 32

Bears Compete in NCAA Track & Field Indoor Championships, Baseball’s Three Game Series vs. Houston

NCAA Basketball: Savannah State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

In Memory of

Mitchell Hunter McDonald

Today’s Events


The Baylor junior shortstop had his third consecutive game-winning RBI and was involved in three of the defense's four double plays as the No. 15 Bears defeated 23rd-ranked Houston, 2-1, Friday night in the first of a three-game series at Baylor Ballpark. Story by Baylor Bear Foundation’s Jerry Hill from Baylor Bears dot com.

"Oh my gosh, it keeps finding me," said Cascadden, who had a walk-off grand slam to beat Texas A&M Sunday night and then had a bases-loaded walk to score the winning run in Tuesday's 6-5 road victory at Sam Houston State. "I swear we're not rigging the game like that. It just happens, and I'm just thankful to do my job. I'm feeling really confident at the plate, even with an arm like that. That's the best arm we've seen all year."

Facing Seth Romero (2-2), a projected first-round draft pick who Baylor coach Steve Rodriguez says is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the country, the Bears (13-1) struck out 11 times in the first six innings.

But, they scratched across a run in the second when Kameron Esthay reached on an error, moved up to second on a passed ball and eventually scored on freshman Davis Wendzel'sgroundout to short.

"It was huge," Rodriguez said, "knowing that he was one of the top pitchers in the country and has been for the past couple years. . . . We knew it was going to be a low-scoring affair, so we knew that whoever could score first might have an opportunity to win."

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Track & Field

Baylor track and field sprinter Maxwell Willis was the highlight for the Bears on the opening day of the NCAA Indoor Championships Friday at Gilliam Indoor Stadium. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Running in the second heat of the 200-meter semifinal, Willis used a good start to power him through the curve and then held on to finish in 20.83, which was just the third-best time in his heat. However to advance to Saturday's finals, the Upper Marlboro, Md., product need to be among the top eight times across all 16 competitors in the event.

With two more heats to race after he crossed the line, Willis was sitting with the fourth-fastest mark, but two runners finished faster than him in the third heat, bumping him to sixth with one heat to go. In that heat the first two runners finished ahead of the BU sprinter's time, while the third runner, Oregon's Marcus Chambers, tied him at 20.83. When the 20.83 time of each runner was expanded to thousandths of a second, Willis advanced as the eighth and final qualifier 20.825 to 20.827.

The freshman Bear was BU's final participant on the opening day, but was the lone competitor out of four track entries to advance to Saturday's event finals.

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No. 10 Baylor women's tennis rebounded from two losses this week in a big way, sweeping No. 47 Oklahoma, 4-0, to record its first Big 12 Conference win of the season. From Baylor Bears dot com.

With the win, Baylor moves to 11-4 on the season and 1-1 in conference play, while the Sooners drop to 8-3 overall and 0-1. The Lady Bears are 3-3 on the season against ranked opponents.

"I'm proud of the way the team responded from two difficult losses. We definitely got back to competing the right way and embracing who we are. This week in Oklahoma has helped us grow and become a better team." -- Head coach Joey Scrivano.

Baylor is back in action at USC on March 17 for the Oracle Cup in Indian Wells, Calif. First serve is set for 9 p.m. (CT).


When Matt Rhule was named Baylor’s 27th head coach in early December, defensive back Jalen Pitre (Stafford, Texas) was the program’s lone commitment for the upcoming signing class. Story by Larry Little from Baylor Bears dot com.

Rhule and his staff had less than two months to put together his first class—virtually from scratch.

“We had to be direct and intense with our conversations,” Rhule said. “There were a lot of hard-nosed questions we had to answer, which was a good thing.”

The result was a 27-member class that included three ESPN 300 signees. Baylor’s class, which was projected in the mid-100s nationally upon Rhule’s arrival, was ranked in the top 40 by virtually every ranking service, slotting as high as No. 32 nationally, according to

When a recruit comes for his official visit, as nearly all of this year’s class did in January, he is shown firsthand what Baylor has to offer. Rhule said the school is an easy sell.

“The facilities and the campus speak for themselves,” Rhule said. “At the same time, recruits get a chance to meet all the people that are here. When you come here and meet the people that are going to be a part of your life, that speaks to young people.”

Rhule believes Baylor offers three things that set it apart from most universities—elite education, elite athletics and a Christian community. He and his staff want players who are interested in all three areas.

“I want to show them what Baylor can do for them, the impact it can have in their lives,” Rhule said. “It’s a place that cares about who you are and not just what you do.”

Lady Bears Basketball

The No. 2/5 ranked Baylor Lady Bears and the Tip Off Club, combine to host a watch party for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show on Monday, March 13, inside the Stone Room at the Ferrell Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. (CT) and the event is open to the public.

Those in attendance can watch the 64-teams revealed with the team and staff. The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship bracket will be announced live on ESPN beginning at 6 p.m.

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