Baylor finished it's pre-conference slate this week by splitting two games with Sam Houston. In the first game, Crayton Bare was phenomenal out of the pen, going 5 IP, 0 R, and 8 Ks. However, his effort went for naught as the offense sputtered, only squeezing out two runs. In the second game, Sterling Wynn and Josh Michaelec combined for 8.2 IP, 1 R, and 7 Ks. The offense picked up the pace for four runs, which was more than enough.
Now, the 10-12 Bears must open Big 12 play on the road against an Oklahoma State team with the best overall record in the conference at 18-3. At a glance, the Bears' situation looks pretty dire, but I still contend that Baylor is better than their record, and Oklahoma State may not be as formidable as they first appear.
As far as Oklahoma State's sterling record goes, they have not played a single ranked opponent. Nine of their 18 wins have come against Alcorn State, Iona, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Is their record great? Yes, but they have played LITERALLY NO ONE. As far as individual performers go, Zach Fish (.378/.422/.659) and Tanner Krietemeier (.400/.462/.600) are leading the way with the bats, while Jason Hursh (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 36 IP, 5 BB, 28 K) has been the staff ace by a long shot.
Unlike Ok State, Baylor's non-conference schedule has been brutal. Ten of the Bears' twenty-two games have been against teams currently ranked in the top thirty (UCLA, UCI, Houston, Rice). Four other games were played against teams receiving top-thirty votes (Illinois, Cal). I've said this once and I'll say it again: No other team in the Big 12 can match the Bears' Strength of Schedule. Not even close. Now, our schedule needs to start paying dividends in conference play. If it doesn't, we're in for a long said year with no post-season.