Fast Facts: Baylor baseball opens with Holy Cross

Fast Facts: Baylor baseball opens with Holy Cross
Posted at 11:37 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 00:37:46-05

• Bears welcome Holy Cross to Baylor Ballpark to open up play on the 115th season of Baylor Baseball. This is the first meeting in program history between Holy Cross and the Bears. 

• The Bears enter the 2019 season with the highest preseason rankings since they were ranked No. 8 to start the 2009 season. They are ranked No. 12 in the Perfect Game preseason rankings and No. 15 in the D1Baseball Rankings. 

• Projected Pitching Matchups

Fri., Feb. 15 • 6:35 p.m. CT • RHP Hayden Kettler vs. RHP Zane Hedaya

Sat., Feb 16 • 1:05 p.m. CT • LHP Tyler Thomas vs. RHP Liam Dvorak

Sat., Feb. 16 • 4:05 p.m. CT • LHP Cody Bradford vs. RHP Declan Cronin

Sun., Feb. 17 • 12:05 p.m. CT • RHP Anderson Needham vs. TBA

• Overall the Bears enter the 2019 season ranked in all the major preseason rankings. In addition to the No. 12 ranking by Perfect Game and No. 15 by D1Baseball, the Bears are No. 16 in the Baseball America poll, No. 16 in the NCBWA Poll, No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll.

• The Bears are the preseason No. 2 pick in the Big 12 and earned two first place votes, collected 58 total points, behind No. 1 Texas Tech’s 61 points. The second place finish ties the highest in program history, first time since 2004 the Bears were picked second and fifth time in program history. 

• Baylor is 74-24 all-time in home openers, has won 6 of last 7 and 11 of last 13.

• Baylor is 62-34 all-time in season openers and has won 4 of last 5.

• Baylor returns 20 letterwinners after losing eight from the 2018 squad, including Preseason All-Big 12 selections Cody Bradford, Shea Langeliers, Davis Wendzel and Nick Loftin.

• Baylor welcomes 11 newcomers to the 2019 team. Seven of those are pitchers, including true freshmen in RHP Ryan Segner, RHP Anderson Needham, RHP Blake Helton, RHP Branson Wilson, sophomore RHP William Gilbert and junior junior college transfers LHP Paul Dickens and RHP Logan Freeman. One newcomer, Brooks Helmer is a two-way guy, first baseman in the field and a RHP on the mound. The Bears then have three position player newcomers in freshman infielder Ricky Martinez, freshman catcher Jake Walsh and junior college transfer outfielder/first baseman Mack Mueller. 

• Baylor returns all nine position starters, plus the entire pitching rotation from 2018. On the mount the Bears return 95 percent of their starts (55 of 58) from 2018 and 73 percent of their wins. 

• The Bears are coming off the 2018 season where they collected 37 wins (37-21), improving upon 2017’s 34 wins, the most since 2012. The Bears finished with 13 wins in Big 12 play (13-11), the most since 2013.