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Baylor Baseball

Baylor Baseball 2024 Schedule Breakdown

November 9, 2023

Baylor baseball released its complete 2024 schedule last Thursday, as announced by second-year head coach Mitch Thompson.

According to the Baylor press release, the Bears will play 33 of their 55 regular-season games at Baylor Ballpark, including conference series against Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Kansas, TCU and UCF.

The Bears will play a combined 28 games against 11 NCAA Tournament teams and face off against seven conference champions from a year ago. Seventeen 30-game winners headline Baylor’s 2023 campaign, including nine squads who won 40 or more games last season.

Non-Conference Evaluation (*All rankings are in 2023 RPI, according to D1Baseball*)

Baylor will open the season with an immediate three-game challenge at the Shriners Children’s College Showdown, which has now been moved to Globe Life Field in Arlington. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
Baylor baseball will have a much tougher schedule in the second year of the Mitch Thompson era.

The Bears will face a feisty Nebraska (No. 100) team, an Oregon (No. 24) squad that hosted a Super Regional this spring and SEC powerhouse Tennessee (No. 12). Those three contests should be an early barometer to see where Thompson’s team is at in Year Two.

Baylor will then return home for its first weekend series against Indiana (No. 31), who won over 40 games last season and fell to Kentucky in the final game of the Lexington Regional.

The Bears will then follow that up with another home series against Oral Roberts (No. 45), who notably had a Cinderella run last spring that started as a No. 4 seed in the Stillwater Regional and ended in Omaha — but make no mistake, the Golden Eagles won over 50 games last year and are a solid program.

In midweek games, Baylor will host Lamar (No. 123), Abilene Christian (No. 121), Stephen F. Austin (No. 210), UTSA (No. 73), Houston Christian (No. 257) and Tarleton (No. 185) while also playing home and home contests against Dallas Baptist (No. 14), Sam Houston (No. 75) and UT Arlington (No. 114).

Overall, this year’s non-conference is significantly more difficult. I believe that, pretty early on, people will have a good understanding of where this program is at and if they are ready to legitimately compete for a spot toward the middle of the conference.

Personally, even if the record doesn’t look the shiniest early, I’ll much prefer watching Baylor play Oregon, Tennessee, Indiana and Oral Roberts as opposed to Central Michigan, Mercer and Youngstown State.

Conference Evaluation (*All rankings are in 2023 RPI, according to D1Baseball*)

In 2024, Baylor will play 10 conference series instead of eight, and the Big 12 Tournament will feature 10 teams. In recent years, the Big 12 has been one of the better baseball conferences in the country. The Bears get a break not having to play Oklahoma State (No. 22), as the Cowboys have had their number the last couple of seasons. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
Baylor will host Big 12 series against Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Kansas, TCU and UCF. The Bears will travel to play Houston, Texas, BYU, West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Another break for Baylor is that the incoming schools – BYU (No. 190), Cincinnati (No. 159), Houston (No. 103) and UCF (No. 118) – probably aren’t ready to compete immediately, and the Bears will face all four of them over the course of the season. Long-term, Houston has the most upside, but they’ve underperformed in recent years. BYU will likely be at the bottom of the conference, and Cincinnati and UCF have first-year head coaches.

The Bears will travel to play Texas (No. 23) and Oklahoma (No. 40) for the last time as conference opponents. The Longhorns will be loaded, per usual, and that will be a great test for Baylor. Other road series include a trip to Morgantown for a clash against an always scrappy West Virginia (No. 27) team.

Baylor will host weekend series against Texas Tech (No. 38), TCU (No. 17) and Kansas (No. 112). It’s always a positive when you can play your rivals – Texas Tech and TCU – at Baylor Ballpark. Despite the talent gaps in recent years, the Bears have competed hard against the Red Raiders and Horned Frogs. I also anticipate Kansas to be a solid test. The Jayhawks impressed me last season under first-year head coach Dan Fitzgerald, and that program is definitely trending in the right direction.

Overall Evaluation

I think it’s almost impossible to predict where this team is going to finish. For those who have kept up my work throughout the offseason and fall, I’ve consistently said that I believe the offense will be much improved and that the pitching will be a question mark. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
My goal for this Baylor squad would be to make the Big 12 Tournament comfortably.

In order for Baylor to hit its ceiling as a team, the freshmen and incoming pitchers will have to be above-average contributors immediately. Personally, I don’t think that’s a safe bet to make. It’s hard to imagine that the pitching staff could be worse this year than last year, but it’s a legitimate possibility if injuries occur and the young arms aren’t ready.

On the bright side, the offense should legitimately be better, and you can make the case they have about 12 guys who could be starting – which is a good problem to have, even with the loss of Freshman All-American Kolby Branch. I’m excited about the depth, and the lineup should be more balanced with a good mix of speed, contact and power while also being better defensively.

While I do think, overall, this team will be much improved in comparison to last year, and we’ll start to get a better idea of the culture and identity Thompson is building, they could potentially still be an under .500 team when the season is finished. If that’s the case, I’d argue that’s probably more so due to a tougher schedule more than anything.

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Baylor Baseball 2024 Schedule Breakdown

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