Baxendale came through the youth setup at Yorkshire rivals Leeds United and was a regular for the Under-18 side, however he failed to win a professional contract at Elland Road and was released at the end of the 2010–11 season. After leaving the club, he signed a one-year contract for Football League Championship side Doncaster Rovers on 1 July 2011 on a free transfer. He made his professional debut on 9 August 2011, in the League Cup win over Tranmere Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, coming on as a substitute for Ryan Mason. He made his league debut four days later against West Ham United.
On 24 November 2011, he moved on loan to Northern Premier League side Buxton. Baxendale won Buxton’s player of the month for December 2011 after a string of impressive displays. His loan spell at Buxton soon extended by 60 days, the maximum allowed under FA rules. In early March, Baxendale’s loan spell at Buxton had soon ended.
On 22 March 2012, Hereford United then signed both Baxendale and James Chambers on loan from Doncaster Rovers. On 13 April 2012, Baxendale came onto replace Chambers against Barnet at Underhill to make his debut for the ‘Bulls’. The game resulted in a 1–1 draw. In May 2012, Baxendale was released by the club after the expiry of his contract.