Entering his 19th season at Baylor, Head Coach Steve Smith has guided the Bears to three of their five all-time conference titles.
Feb. 12, 2013
IRVING, Texas - Baylor baseball was selected fourth in the Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league office announced Tuesday. This marks the third consecutive season the Bears have been chosen to finish fourth in the Big 12 and the 14th time in the last 15 seasons they've been picked to end in the conference's top half.
Defending Big 12 regular season champion Baylor received 47 points in the poll to finish behind Oklahoma (62), TCU (55) and Texas (48). After the Bears, Oklahoma State (38) was picked fifth, followed by Texas Tech (28), Kansas State (20), Kansas (18) and West Virginia (8).
Last season, Texas A&M was the coaches' choice and the Aggies ended up second behind the Bears, who posted a 49-17 (20-4 Big 12) record and broke league records with an 18-0 start to conference play and 24-game winning streak en route to their third Big 12 league title.
The Sooners, who received six first place votes, have been tabbed to win the league only one other time (2011). The preseason pick has gone on to win the league title only five times since 1999 with Texas being the last to do so in 2010. Baylor and Oklahoma are the only two teams to play in every Big 12 Conference tournament.
Baylor brings back 20 letterwinners, including five position starters, from last year's team that advanced to a Waco Super Regional appearance and finished ranked No. 9 or 10 in all four major national polls.
Ranked No. 23 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Preseason Poll, the Bears begin the season at UC Irvine on Feb. 15-17. Baylor won both games between the two teams at Baylor Ballpark last season. The Bears open their home schedule Feb. 19 against Texas State before hosting UCLA for a three-game series Feb. 22-24.
2013 BIG 12 BASEBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1. Oklahoma (6) 62
2. TCU (3) 55
3. Texas 48
4. Baylor 47
5. Oklahoma State 38
6. Texas Tech 28
7. K-State 20
8. Kansas 18
9. West Virginia 8