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Baylor Baseball

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

March 13, 2023

It’s win-or-go-home time as March Madness beckons for both basketball programs after less-than-stellar Big 12 Tourney showings. Elsewhere, AT&T remains the gold standard, Track & Field finishes indoor season on a high, and weather changes plans out west. 

Here’s a look at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from the past week in Baylor Athletics. 

The Good

March Madness — 3-seed MBB and 7-Seed WBB will again participate in college sports’ best postseason spectacle. That sure beats one or none making the dance, right? Of course, I’m not trying to lower the standard. Both earning NCAA bids should be the expectation but also never taken for granted, in my opinion. The men’s team has the higher upside and more accessible path to make it out of the opening weekend and into the Sweet Sixteen. But that’s also much easier said than done, and there’s a reason Sweet 16 banners mark such an accomplishment. March Madness means nothing is guaranteed, so let’s sit back and hopefully enjoy what remains of basketball season and both of these unique Baylor rosters. For the men, that starts with 14-seed UC Santa Barbara on Friday in Denver. The women face 10-seed Alabama on Saturday in Storrs, CT. 

T&F’s Indoor Farewell — The Men’s T&F program finished 17th place at the NCAA DI Indoor National Championships in New Mexico. The Top 20 final ranking is the program’s best indoor finish since 2011, and now their highest mark under head coach Michael Ford. Matthew Moorer won bronze, setting a program record and personal best with a 45.08 in the 400-meters, while sophomore Nathaniel Ezekiel finished in sixth place. The men’s 4x400 relay team, including Ezekiel, finished fifth and earned All-American honors. In the 200m, Demar Francis, on the men’s side, and Mariah Ayers, on the women’s side, were each named second-team All-Americans. This week, the program gets a break before the outdoor calendar kicks off with the Clyde Hart Classic. 

A&T Dominance — Boom. Felecia Mulkey’s No. 1 A&T squad went to her old stomping grounds of Eugene, Oregon, and again took down the No. 5 Ducks. 

Men’s Golf — At the Cabo Collegiate, Johnny Keefer finished top 10 after notching five birdies on the back nine, and as a team, the Bears finished strong on the final day to earn a sixth-place finish. They’ll now break for nearly a month, returning on April 11 for the Aggie Invitational. 

Women’s Golf Honors — Junior Rosie Belsham was named February’s Big 12 Women’s Golfer of the Month. 

Ready, Set — This is the final week before the start of spring football practices and our first look at the 2023 Bears in preparation for next season. Roster and staff-wise, a lot has occurred since we last saw and heard from Dave Aranda. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

The Bad 

Early Conference Exits — Both basketball squads were one-and-done in Kansas City and didn’t inspire an abundance of confidence in their remaining roads ahead. WBB isn’t among the elite units this season. MBB can be elite at their best, but some consistent and glaring flaws leave them more vulnerable than other top contenders. A very forgettable showing in KC for the hoops squads overall. 

Tennis Rainouts & Ranked Opponents — Men’s Tennis returned from Los Angeles empty-handed after rainy weather forced the cancellation of their contests vs. Nevada and at No. 9 USC. They’ll return this week for a vital double-dip at home, hosting Top 25-caliber Illinois on Friday and Top 15 Wake Forest on Sunday as an insanely tough schedule continues. 

Softball Rainouts, Too — Elsewhere in SoCal, the Top 20 Bears kicked off the Long Beach/Cal State Fullerton Invitational with a 5-2 win over joint-host CSF before dropping both games of their Thursday doubleheader against Boston and host Long Beach State, respectively. Weather knocked out their scheduled Friday contests against Columbia and Loyola Marymount. They’ll return on Wednesday for a home doubleheader against South Dakota State. 

Baylor Athletics

The Ugly 

Cyclone Woes — MBB suffered the rare 0-3 sweep this year against Iowa State, and the convincing nature in which ISU accomplished that feat was ugly from a Baylor perspective. That’s a good basketball program, and some teams have your number, which was clearly the case this season, but the Cyclones bullied the Bears. Meanwhile, WBB went 1-2 against Ashley Joens and company. Nevertheless, those ‘Clones went on to win the WBB Big 12 tourney title with an upset of Texas in the final.

Women’s Tennis — The Bears started Big 12 play with two losses at home, falling 4-3 vs. Oklahoma State on Friday and 6-1 against No. 20 OU on Sunday. After hosting the Oklahoma schools, the Bears now head to the Sunflower State to face both Kansas schools. 

Baseball Weekend — The team started the week right with Kolby Branch’s walk-off base knock earning an 8-7 win over DBU in 12 innings. However, the weekend series against Mercer wasn’t nearly as much fun, as the Georgia-based program won the battle of the Bears with a 3-game weekend sweep. Mitch Thompson’s team dug a hole in each game and was outscored 24-9 overall. They’ll host Rice on Tuesday before kicking off Big 12 play at home vs. Kansas State. At this rate, the preseason coaches’ vote of Baylor finishing in last place is spot on. 

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

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