Waco Regional Breakdown
The Baylor Bears head into the Waco Regional coming off a special regular season as they put together a 29-3 record at Baylor Ballpark, including the nation’s longest home win streak at 22 games. The Bears also slammed the door on the Big 12 Regular season title early with an 18-0 start. The Bears offensively start with Josh Ludy. He is the senior leader and national player of the year candidate with 13 homeruns and 64 RBI’s and sets the tone for the offense. Also, the speed game is critical for Baylor as they absolutely make you pay on the bases as Logan Vick, Nathan Orf, and Adam Toth have combined for 46 stolen bases. On the mound Josh Turley and Trent Blank have been lights out as they are 20-1 as a tandem. That one-two punch should provide plenty of depth during the long regional weekend.
The #2 seed in the Waco Regional is Dallas Baptist. The Patriots were one of last year’s Cinderella stories in college baseball as they went into Fort Worth and took the Regional from heavily favored TCU. This year they are back to try for an encore as they have two wins against Oklahoma this year including one in Norman. Offensively, they have a potent power game and hit for a high average. Ryan Behmanesh leads the team in batting average at .402 and the power comes from Boomer Collins, Joel Hutter, and Austin Elkins who have combined for over 30 homeruns. On the mound, Taylor Massey will lead the starting rotation with an 8-4 record and a 3.46 earned run average. In the bullpen Stuart Prudenz has been solid in shutting the door in the closer role with eight saves.
The 3 and 4 seeds are Texas-Arlington and Oral Roberts. UT-Arlington comes in as the Southland Conference Tournament Champions. The Mavericks have posted some big wins in 2012 including a home win over Baylor and also wins over Texas and Oklahoma. Preston Beck is the driving offensive force and has 13 homeruns and 70 RBIs to go along with a .335 batting average. On the mound, Lance Day is the ace with a 12-3 record and a 2.98 earned run average. The Mavericks will be taking on Dallas Baptist for the third time this season, looking for their first victory. Oral Roberts as the four seed, comes in as the Summit League Champions. They played Baylor to start the season in Waco losing two one-run games as part of a three game sweep. Offensively they are led by Jared Schlehuber and Jose Trevino. Both have 13 homeruns apiece and have been clutch in driving in runs with 55 RBI’s each. On the mound, I would suspect Drew Bowen or Alex Gonzalez to get the call against the Bears as both were very effective in their starts in February against Baylor, only giving up two earned runs combined between both guys.