Jan. 15, 2007
WACO, Texas -- Despite temperatures in the upper 20s and the remains of an overnight ice storm still on the ground, Baylor baseball began preseason drills Monday in preparation for the 2007 season. Baylor returns 18 lettermen, including five starters and eight pitchers, from a squad that went 37-26 and reached the NCAA Houston Regional championship game last season.
"Our pitchers got in their pitches and our hitters got in their swings," head coach Steve Smith said. " There's not a lot you can do team-wise on a day like this, but you can get a lot done individually."
Due to the inclement weather in the Central Texas area, the Bears were forced to practice in the pavilion and not on the field.
"It's tolerable to an extent, but it is cold," Smith said. "But the guys understood what we needed to do - get in here, get our work done and get out of here. Fortunately we have the facilities to get some work done on a day like this. Twelve years ago, we wouldn't have been able to get much done."
Baylor welcomes the nation's top-ranked incoming class this season. That class includes three student-athletes who were selected in last June's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
"The thing that has impressed us most, and really the team as a whole, is how hard they've worked both on the field and in the classroom," Smith said. "This may be the most academically talented team we've had, and they're pretty talented on the field, as well."
Baylor returns 18 lettermen, including five starters and eight pitchers, from a squad that went 37-26 and reached the NCAA Houston Regional championship game last season. The Bears open the 2007 season Feb. 9-11 at the Astros Minute Maid Park College Classic in Houston, facing Houston, Rice and Vanderbilt.