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

April 10, 2023
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Softball makes some splashes, LJ Cryer makes a decision, WBB makes a couple of roster moves, and football continues rolling through spring. 

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


THE GOOD 

Softball Statement — The No. 21 Bears had a great week, starting their Knoxville trip with a 5-2 win over Mercer on Thursday. All fine and dandy, but later that day, they earned a 1-0 win over No. 4 Tennessee and beat the Vols again on Friday, 8-5. A massive pair of Top 5 wins out in SEC country. Up next, they’ll host Lafayette on Tuesday. Then it’s at ACU on Friday and a weekend series at Texas Tech. 

Secondary Shakeups — Last week’s glimpse into spring ball featured the cornerbacks and safeties meeting with the media. For the corners room, that meant coach Kevin Curtis, Tevin Williams III, and newcomer Isaiah Dunson. For the safeties, it was DC Matt Powledge and a pair of converts to the STAR position in ex-LB Bryson Jackson and ex-CB AJ McCarty. 

There’s a lot of inexperience and new blood throughout the back of the defense, which overall could be concerning. But, change was inevitable after offseason shakeups and the turnover from numerous veteran players over the past couple of years. There is plenty of room for improvement compared to last season, but it may require patience. 

Kevin Curtis spoke a lot about working on press man coverage, while Powledge stated that man coverage must be an improved tool in their bag, but to what extent remains uncertain. One thing is for sure; it’s a young and inexperienced group overall. Having guys like Jackson joining the fold helps the seasoning, but that’s also a new position for him. Powledge’s positive influence is evident, and while things seem a little more upbeat, it’s no less focused. Powledge has already received a lot of praise since his return, but he also had plenty to deliver this past week. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
Baylor Baseball beat OU 5-3 on Sunday to take their 2nd Big 12 series of the year

Baseball Beats OU — The Bears took games one and three to earn a series win over the Sooners. They rallied from a 4-0 deficit on Friday thanks to a steady hand from starter Blake Helton and a trio of late homers. 

Transfer Pickups — Nicki Collen and WBB spent little time hitting the transfer portal, picking up guards Jada Walker (Kentucky) and Yaya Felder (Ohio). 

First Time Ever — The matchups for next season’s Big East-Big 12 Battle were released, and Baylor MBB will play host to Seton Hall in the first contest between the programs ever. So, if you like firsts, it gets no fresher. 

Dominance — No. 1 AT&T closed out an undefeated regular season, defeating the Hawaii Pacific Sharks in Honolulu. They’ll have 2 1/2 weeks before kicking off the NCATA National Championships. 

12-0 — Men’s Tennis didn’t leave home empty-handed last week, squeezing in a pair of Friday 6-0 wins against Alcorn State between Big 12 contests. 

A Couple of Golds — Senior Hasani Barr took first in the 400 and 200-meter dashes at the North Texas Classic in Denton. This week, the team will compete at the UF Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Florida. 

Women’s Tennis — The Bears made it three straight victories after a pair of 7-0 wins over UTSA and New Mexico State at Hurd Tennis Center over the weekend. They host SMU on Monday before closing the regular season Saturday at top-ten-ish Texas. 

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

THE BAD 

Cryer to UH — This is college sports in the 2020s. You’ll see all too familiar faces each year and sometimes within the conference. Scott Drew and the Bears have significantly benefitted from the transfer portal. Still, it goes both ways and now they’ll face LJ Cryer at least once next year after he chose Kelvin Sampson and the hometown Cougars as his next destination. That adds more spice to what should already be a fun matchup(s) in the new Big 12 landscape. Not all attrition is equal, but the Bears also saw Dale Bonner and Zach Loveday enter the portal. 

Five To Go — Only five spring practices remain before the Green & Gold game. Luckily, there will be plenty of themes and info to chew on for the next few months. And there will certainly be further changes or wrinkles to note post-spring ball.

Women’s Golf — The No. 12 Bears fell to Kansas in the semis and TCU in their consolation game to close the Big 12 Match Play Tournament with a fourth-place finish. On the bright side, Sera Hawegawa finished the week 6-1, while freshman Silja Ohma went 6-2. The Bears won t


THE UGLY 

Elite Tennis Tests — Given their number of ranked opponents, how could the Bears possibly see an increase in their strength of schedule? How about facing both No. 1 and No. 2 in the same week? Unfortunately, they weren’t up to upsetting the elite, shut out by the No. 2 Frogs 4-0 in Fort Worth and toppled 4-0 by No. 1 Texas on Senior Day. They enter the final week of the regular season on the road at Oklahoma on Friday and Oklahoma State on Sunday. 

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

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