“No pressure, no diamonds. We compete, we win. We are Baylor.”
Head coach Steve Smith’s Baylor baseball team clearly took RG3′s words to heart, overcoming an opening round loss to battle back and win the NCAA Waco Regional in a winner-take-all game Monday. As a reward, the Bears will now host Arkansas in a Super Regional (baseball’s equivalent of the Sweet 16) this weekend. (Tickets are available now, and going fast.)
Baylor, the nation’s No. 4 overall seed, lost its opener Friday night to Oral Roberts, 4-2, but then won four straight games to advance to a Super Regional for the fourth time since the extra round was added in 1999. Left fielder Dan Evatt was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after hitting .474 with two triples and a home run on the weekend, including this SportsCenter-worthy catch that robbed Dallas Baptist of a home run on Sunday.
The Big 12 Champion Bears will host the Razorbacks, who finished second in the SEC West and upset Rice to win the NCAA Houston Regional. Baylor and Arkansas will play Saturday at 4 p.m. (ESPNU), Sunday at 3 p.m. (ESPNU) and, if necessary, Monday at 3 p.m. (ESPN2). Super Regionals are a best-two-out-of-three format; the winner moves on to the College World Series. Two victories would also get the Bears to 50 wins on the season, which would tie the school record set in 1999.
#YEAROFTHEBEAR UPDATE: Baylor is the only school in the country this year with a bowl victory, both basketball teams in the Elite 8 and its baseball team in a Super Regional. The Bears are now a combined 128-26 across the “Big Four” sports, continuing to add on to their NCAA record total.
Sic ’em, Baylor Baseball!