Baylor rallies from slow start to win 16 out of its last 18

The Baylor Bears didn’t crack the latest installment of the Baseball America Top 25.

But after winning 16 of their last 18 games, they definitely have emerged as a team to watch leading into the final week of the regular season.

Steve Rodriguez-coached Baylor (30-18, 11-10) travels to play at West Virginia (26-23, 8-13) this week, with the two squads opening a three-game series Thursday in Morgantown.

At one point this year, the Bears were floundering at 14-16 under the Bears’ third-year coach.

But they have since caught fire, winning 13 in a row at one point.

Last week, they won two of three in Waco against Big 12-leading Oklahoma State.

As noted, the Bears didn’t move into the Top 25 when the new rankings came out Monday, but they did drop the Cowboys from 20th to 25th.

This week, they’ll take a shot at the Moutaineers in hopes of finishing with their first winning record within the conference since 2013.

Next week, the Bears will try to complete a little more unfinished business at the Big 12 tournament.

In each of the previous two seasons, Baylor has bowed out with an 0-2 record in Oklahoma City.

Last season, the Bears won 34 games and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012.

But in the Houston regional, they dropped their first two, falling to Texas A&M and Houston.

Here’s a look at the Bears’ record under Rodriguez, who came to Waco after working 12 seasons as head coach at Pepperdine.

Baylor’s Steve Rodriguez
Year by year record
2016 — 24-29, 10-14, sixth
2017 — 34-23, 12-12, fourth, NCAA regional
x-2018 — 30-18, 11-10, fifth

x-season in progress

National rankings
Baseball America

1. Florida 41-12 SEC
2. Oregon State 38-8-1 Pac-12
3. Stanford 39-8 Pac-12
4. Mississippi 39-13 SEC
5. Arkansas 36-15 SEC
6. North Carolina 34-16 ACC
7. North Carolina State 39-12 ACC
8. Duke 38-12 ACC
9. Clemson 39-13 ACC
10. Texas Tech 35-15 Big 12
11. Minnesota 34-13 Big Ten
12. Georgia 35-16 SEC
13. East Carolina 37-13 American
14. Florida State 37-16 ACC
15. Texas 33-18 Big 12
16. Coastal Carolina 36-16 Sun Belt
17. UCLA 31-16 Pac-12
18. Southern Miss 36-14 Conference USA
19. Kentucky 33-18 SEC
20. Houston 31-20 American
21. Stetson 40-11 Atlantic Sun
22. Tennessee Tech 44-6 Ohio Valley
23. South Carolina 30-21 SEC
24. Auburn 35-17 SEC
25. Oklahoma State 29-19-1 Big 12