Back in the NCAA tournament last season for the first time in five years, the Baylor baseball team hopes it restocked the cupboard for another run.
Baylor signed seven players on Wednesday who will be eligible to play beginning in 2019. The class features six right-handed players – including one who doubles as a first baseman – and an infielder.
The signees are Robinson pitcher Braxton Ashcraft, McLennan Community College pitcher Logan Freeman, who hails from Buffalo, Texas, Rockwall pitcher/first baseman Brooks Helmer, infielder Ricky Martinez of Morgan Hills, Calif., pitcher Anderson Needham of Rockwall Heath, pitcher Ryan Segner of Fredericksburg and pitcher Branson Wilson of Southwest Christian in Fort Worth.
“We went heavy on pitching to bolster the amount of quality frontline arms that will make an immediate impact to our pitching staff,” Baylor coach Steve Rodriguez said.
Ashcraft, the reigning Super Centex Player of the Year, said he appreciates the no-nonsense attitude of Baylor’s coaching staff.
“That environment, that atmosphere, I like that a lot. I like the accountability, I like the toughness,” Ashcraft said. “I like everything that goes into how they coach. Whenever I was looking for a school to go to, I had options, but that was what I was looking for in Baylor, and it made it a very easy decision.”
Baylor softball signs eight
After making its fourth Women’s College World Series appearance last year, the Baylor softball program signed a large, versatile class of eight players on Wednesday who will try to help the Lady Bears continue their success in 2019.
The class includes a pair of pitchers: Temple College right-hander Sidney Holman and Kingwood High School left-hander Maddie Lindsey. Holman, a Belton High School graduate, was the ace of Abilene Christian University’s staff last year as she went 21-7 with a 1.85 ERA and 165 strikeouts.
Reicher’s Ana Watson is among three new outfielders as she joins Kansas City Staley High School’s Lou Gilbert and Josie Bower, a slugger from Northland Christian School in Spring, Texas.
Two catchers signed with the Bears, including Casey Shell from Olathe (Kan.) South High School and Tyler Trott from Little Axe High School in Norman, Okla. Kendall Cross, a first baseman from Friendswood High School, rounds out the class.
“This is a very diverse class and certainly one of the largest we’ve ever signed,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “We have every area covered with left- and right-handed pitching, catching, infield and outfield. This is a tremendous group of students, first, and great athletes.”
Baylor golf adds 18th-ranked Texas junior
The sixth-ranked Baylor men’s golf team added Austin native Brandon Hoff as a signee on Wednesday.
Hoff has lettered the last three years at Vandergrift High School, and was a teammate of current Baylor player Cooper Dossey for two years in high school, helping the Vipers win a pair of state titles.
Hoff is ranked No. 18 in the state of Texas by Junior Golf Scoreboard. He shot 71 to win the 2014 AJGA David Toms Qualifier, finished in second place by shooting 69-71 at the 2014 TJGT Texas Junior Masters, and won the 2016 Jimmy Demaret with rounds of 70 and 73.
Baylor track adds long-distance champs
Live Oak’s record-setting Celia Holmes is one of three state cross country champions joining the Baylor track and field/cross country programs.
Holmes, who won her fourth cross country state title in four tries last week at the TAPPS state meet, joins Kayla Windemuller from Hamilton, Mich., and Mazie Larsen from Gretna, Neb., as state cross country champions to join the Bears on Wednesday, the first day of the fall signing period.
Baylor also picked up high jumper/multi-event performer Alyssa Miller of McKinney Boyd and high jumper Moorea Long of Paola, Kan. On the men’s side, the Bears added Turkey Valley middle distance runner Jake Merrell, the first runner to win three Class 1A titles at a single state track meet.