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Baylor Baseball

Weekend Thread: Baylor welcomes Nebraska to open '20 baseball season

February 14, 2020
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SERIES INFO

Date: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16, 2019

Game Times: 6:30 p.m./2:00 p.m./1:00 p.m. 

Site: Waco, Texas / Baylor Ballpark (5,000)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+ 

Radio: ESPN 1660/92.3 FM (Fri/Sun); FOX Sports Central Texas 1330am/104.5fm/93.9fm  (Sat)

Live Stats: BaylorStats.com

Twitter Updates: @BaylorBaseball.com

Series History: BU leads, 35-29-1

  • Waco: BU leads, 22-9-1
  • Lincoln: Nebraska leads, 14-9
  • Neutral Site: Nebraska leads, 6-4
  • Last Meeting: March 10, 2019, BU win, 10-3
  • Streak: BU W1 

STORY LINES

• The Bears open up the 2020 campaign by hosting Nebraska for three games at Baylor Ballpark, Feb. 14-16. 

• Baylor is 75-24 all-time in home openers and has won 7 of last 8 and 12 of last 14 contests. 

• Baylor is 63-34 all-time in season openers and has won 5 of last 6. 

• Baylor has finished its home schedule with a .500 record or better (24-6 in 2019) in all 20 seasons at Baylor Ballpark (since 1999) and is 456-204 all-time at the park.

• The Bears return all members of its pitching staff from 2019 with the exception of All-American closer Kyle Hill. That includes Friday and Saturday starters Jimmy Winston and Paul Dickens. The Bears also add six talented newcomers to the pitching staff (five freshmen, one junior college transfer), highlighted by RHP Will Rigney, drafted in the 38th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2019 and LHP Evan Godwin. 

• Baylor has won 30 or more (34) games in a season for the fourth-straight year (35 in 2019), giving the program back-to-back-to-back-back 30-win seasons for the first time since 2009-12. 

• The Bears return eight of 12 All-Big 12 selections from a year ago, led by first team selections Nick Loftin and Andy Thomas. Other honorees include Jimmy Winston, Paul Dickens, Ryan Leckich, Daniel Caruso, Luke Boyd and Chase Wehsener. 

WELCOMING THE HUSKERS

• For the second-straight season, the Cornhuskers visit Baylor Ballpark. After moving last year’s series from Lincoln, Neb., to Waco due to weather in Nebraska, the Huskers make their second visit to Baylor Ballpark in as many years. The Bears dropped two-of-three last season to the Cornhuskers, falling in game one 12-4 and the Bears were one-hit in game two, falling 2-0, before bouncing back to salvage the weekend with a 10-3 win on Sunday. RHP Jimmy Winston earned his first win of the year in the 10-3 Sunday victory, tossing 3.0 shutout innings in relief of starter Anderson Needham who only went 2.0 innings. Winston scattered three hits, two walks and struck out three. Mack Mueller was 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored on the day, while Andy Thomas was also 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and Davion Downey was 2-for-5 with 1 RBI. 

RETURNING ARMS

• The Bears return 439.1 innings of work of their 480 innings from a year ago, with the biggest loss being All-American closer Kyle Hill who threw 29.1 innings, had 7 saves and a 6-0 record. The Bears return four of their five guys with the most appearances in 2019, led by Ryan Leckich with 29, Daniel Caruso with 25, Luke Boyd with 24 and Jimmy Winston with 19. The Bears also return 51 of 54 starts from a year ago, just losing Cody Bradford’s three starts. Finally, the Bears return 83 percent of their wins on the mound from a year ago (29-of-35). 

PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH IN THE BIG 12 

The Bears were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 in 2020 in vote of the conference’s coaches. The Bears sit behind Texas Tech who was picked to win the conference, Oklahoma State, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas. The Bears earned 35 points, just 3 behind Texas in fourth place and a comfortable nine points ahead of seventh place selection West Virginia. 

POSITION REVIEWS

• The Bears return four position starters from 2019. 

• Catcher: The Bears lose first round draft pick Shea Langeliers, but it is time for senior catcher Andy Thomas to shine at the position he entered the program at. One of the best receivers, his leadership skills also help him handle the staff. He is backed up by redshirt sophomore Kyle Harper and true freshmen Nicolas Balsano and Cade Currington. 

• First Base: Chase Wehsener excelled for the Bears last year as he worked his way into an everyday role at first base. He earned 2019 Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors (unanimous selection) and was an honorable mention selection for All-Big 12. True freshman Kyle Nevin could back up Wehsener at first, while Andy Thomas could also play the position when getting a rest from behind the plate. 

• Second Base: The Bears have a big hole to fill here after losing four-year starter Josh Bissonette to graduation. Sophomore Ricky Martinez is an option here or at the hot corner. Freshman Tre Richardson, who graduated early from high school in Dec. 2019 to join the Bears may jump right into a starting role. Junior college transfer Esteban Cardoza-Oqueno is also an option. 

• Shortstop: The Big 12’s Preseason Player of the Year, Nick Loftin, occupies this spot as he looks to solidify his stock as a first round draft pick in 2020. Ricky Martinez will back him up. 

• Third Base: There are a couple options for the Bears at the hot corner. Those options include Martinez, Richardson, Cardoza-Oquendo and true freshman Kyle Nevin. 

• Outfield: True freshman Jared McKenzie is pegged to be the opening day center fielder as a true freshman. 

Options at the corner spots include everyday right fielder from 2018 and 2019 Davion Downey and in left Mack Mueller, Hunter Seay and Kyle Harper will vie for time. 

• Designated Hitter: Those left out of the outfield are all options to take over the DH role, including Seay and Mueller. Ryan Bertelsman is also an option for the Bears. 

Discussion from...

Weekend Thread: Baylor welcomes Nebraska to open '20 baseball season

1,556 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by william
FWBear91
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Wow. Somebody needs to feed the beaver.
RBW 67
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I don't ever remember seeing a start this bad at any level above early little league.
Bear8084
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Just looked at the score...wow...what happened!?!!?
BellCountyBear
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MrGolfguy
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Never a good thing to give up 11 runs in the 1st inning.
txrangers
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8 runs scored before Bears get first out. Errors and bleeders cost is early. Flush the film and play better tomorrow.
BellCountyBear
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BellCountyBear said:


Maybe not?
MrGolfguy
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Won the series 2-1
william
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