Baylor On A Roll Heading to Morgantown
Baylor is doing what West Virginia hoped to.
Both teams were stuck in the nether regions of the Big 12 conference just a few weeks ago, but both still had time to make up ground in the league race and get into position for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. The Bears have done just that, going 16-2 over their last 18 games to move up to fifth place in the league. More importantly, the Bears are getting votes in polls and are now 49th in the RPI and have a good shot at getting that at-large call. At 30-18 overall and 11-10 in the conference, Baylor has won its last four weekend series.
Meanwhile, West Virginia fell short in conference play, a trip that couldn’t be offset by success in mid-week games. The Mountaineers won seven consecutive mid-week games, but lost its last two Big 12 series, and was just 6-6 in its last 12 conference contests. That dropped WVU from a high 20s RPI to its current spot at 45, but its 26-23 overall record (8-13 in the Big 12) has it on the outside looking in of the at-large bid race. West Virginia is not listed in any projections for the NCAA Tournament, nor in “first four out” or “first five out” lists on multiple college baseball sites.
The Mountaineers will be looking to close the regular season on a positive note beginning Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Monongalia County Ballpark, where it has won four of its five weekend series this season. Three games separate WVU (seventh) and Baylor (fifth) in the Big 12 standings. Games are also scheduled for Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (1:00 p.m.) but weather could be a factor. Rain is predicted for all three days. Seniors BJ Myers and Shane Ennis are scheduled to be honored prior to Saturday’s finale. Myers is slated to start Thursday’s series opener.
West Virginia is 9-7 all-time against Baylor, following a road series win and a victory at the Big 12 Championship last year. WVU is 4-1 at home, 4-5 in Waco and 1-1 at neutral sites. All 16 games have come since 2013, when the Mountaineers joined the Big 12.
WVU lost the first series, in 2013 in Waco, and followed with a sweep of a two-game series in Charleston, W. Va., in 2014. Baylor then earned a 9-4 win at the 2014 Big 12 Championship. West Virginia lost a road series in 2015 before a series win at Monongalia County Ballpark in 2016.
WVU went 3-1 against BU last year, with a series win to open Big 12 play at then-No. 10 Baylor, from March 17-19, and a Big 12 Championship victory.