Setbacks Only Fueling Baylor’s Continued SuccessWeekend Spotlight
Sometimes teams will surprise you with the way they overcome adversity.
Baylor is part of that distinguished group.
The Bears entered the 2019 campaign with high hopes. Outside of Texas Tech, they were the highest-ranked team from the Big 12 Conference. In essence, anything but a trip to the super regional round would be considered a failure.
The first two weeks of the season were a breeze for the Bears. Yes, they lost All-American catcher Shea Langeliers after the first week with a broken hamate bone. But the schedule was easy, and the Bears racked up dominant wins.
But everything changed in weeks three and four, or so we thought.
Baylor had its first tough test at the Shriners College Classic. It lost to Texas A&M to open the tournament before losing to Rice. It was on the verge of losing the third game to Texas State before staging a late rally and eventually overcoming the Bobcats. BU finished the weekend with a 1-2 record.
The worst news imaginable hit just a couple of days later. Not only were the Bears still without Langeliers, All-American lefthanded pitcher Cody Bradford was going to miss the rest of the season because of Thoracic Outlet surgery. Talking to Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez that week, you could just hear the disappointment in his voice.
To make matters worse, the Bears dropped the first two games to Nebraska the next weekend in Waco. They were blown out in the series opener, 12-4, before getting outdueled 2-0 in the second game. That’s when Langeliers had enough.
Though he was only three weeks into his rehabilitation, Langeliers made the veteran decision to at least hit for the Bears in the series finale. And BU returned to normal. They dominated Nebraska 10-3, and Langeliers? He had two hits in his return, bum hand and all.
Baylor has won 12 of its last 15 games since that point, essentially turning its season around when everyone thought they were headed the wrong direction. That’s called overcoming adversity.