Sunday Pregame: Texas State

February 28th, 2010

Welcome to Waco and Baylor Ballpark…the Aggies will close action in the QTI Baylor Classic at 5 p.m. when they take on Texas State.

What a gutty win for A&M yesterday against the Bears. It was a win I felt that the Ags had to earn everything they got, but they kept their approach and were able to combine a few great pitching performances with a solid balanced offensive attack and come out on top.

Will be a while before we have the Bobcats’ lineup, but here’s how A&M is going this evening.

2B Andrew Collazo
RF Tyler Naquin
CF Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
3B Matt Juengel
SS Kenny Jackson
C Kevin Gonzalez
LF Brandon Wood
RHP Nick Fleece

I’ll update this later with the Texas State lineup when we get it. Again, first pitch is at 5 p.m., and the game will air on WTAW-AM 1620, aggieathletics.com and radioaggieland.com. Updates as usual on Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

A quick look at the weather…the sun has been peeking in and out but it’s for the most part cloudy. Rain is coming but we should be well settled in back in College Station before it gets here. Temps are in the mid 60s and there’s a strong wind blowing straight out this time towards center field and the Brazos River.

Saturday Pregame: Baylor

February 27th, 2010

An absolutely gorgeous day in Waco for today’s second game in the QTI Baylor Classic. Skies are crystal clear and the flag in center field is barely moving…temps should be in the low 60s.

Rough game yesterday for the Aggies, but one I think the team has already put behind them. They played hard, hit the ball hard and competed, but some defensive breakdowns in the fourth inning is what cost them dearly. I look forward to a good outing today against the Bears–and remember, this game does not count in the Big 12 standings.

Here are today’s lineups:

2B Andrew Collazo
CF Brodie Greene
3B Matt Juengel
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
RF Tyler Naquin
C Kevin Gonzalez
SS Adam Smith
RHP Ross Stripling

And for the Bears…

LF Logan Vick
2B Joey Hainsfurther
1B Max Muncy
DH Dan Evatt
RF Cal Towey
3B Raynor Campbell
C Josh Ludy
CF Chris Slater
SS Landis Ware
RHP Logan Verrett

First pitch is set for 1 p.m. The game will air locally on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone and worldwide free on the internet at aggieathletics.com and radioaggieland.com Twitter will have updates throughout the game as well at @aggie_baseball.

Friday: Pregame

February 26th, 2010

Greetings from a not-so-warm Baylor Ballpark in Waco, as the Aggies are getting ready to take on Western Kentucky in both teams’ opening games in the QTI Baylor Classic. The host Bears just downed Texas State, 3-2, in the tourney opener.

Currently it’s 46 degrees with overcast skies and a very stiff breeze blowing straight in from center field to the Aggies’ dugout (1st base). It’s listing at winds out of the north at 22, gusting to 29.

Here’s how the lineups will look today, first for A&M, the visting team…

RF Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
2B Andrew Collazo
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
RF Tyler Naquin
C Kevin Gonzalez
SS John Stilson
RHP Barret Loux

And the Hilltoppers will look like this:

LF Jared Andreoli
2B Matt Payton
CF Kes Carter
C Matt Rice
3B Jake Wells
1B Casey Dykes
DH Kory Petri
RF Matt Borgschulte
SS Logan Robbins
RHP Matt Ridings

Again, log on to aggieathletics.com or radioaggieland.com’s 1620 channel for free live audio. You can also keep up with in-game scoring updates on Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

Waco Weekend

February 26th, 2010

Well, the Aggies are off to Waco later this afternoon to participate in the QTI Baylor Classic. It was a late addition to the schedule–and kudos to Baylor coach Steve Smith for adjusting his schedule to accommodate this tourney–and a VERY good addition.

Baylor Ballpark

Baylor Ballpark

A&M will get a crack at three NCAA Tournament teams in one weekend, a rarity in this day and age of college baseball. The action starts tonight at 6 p.m., so let’s take a quick look at the other three teams in the field…

WESTERN KENTUCKY (2-1) is a team that pushed Ole Miss to the brink last June at the regional in Oxford, as the Hilltoppers fell in the “if necessary” game, 4-1. They bring back 15 letterwinners, five starters and two starting pitchers, and picked up where they left off last weekend by taking a series at home from Kent State, another ’09 NCAA squad. WKU is hitting .333 on the young season and feature a 4.67 team ERA. A&M will see senior RHP Matt Ridings (0-0, 13.50), who was 8-2 with a 4.84 ERA in ’09 and is the school’s all-time strikeout leader. He was picked in the 25th round last June by the Washington Nationals.

Host BAYLOR (3-1) was impressive in opening the year at its own home tournament. The Bears took two games from Duke and split a pair with then No. 22-Georgia, and enter this weekend with a .308 batting average and a strong 2.50 team ERA. Sophomore Logan Verrett (0-1, 7.71) will face A&M on Saturday. Verrett was 7-1 with a 5.13 ERA in 2009, and he got the win over the Aggies in the series finale last March at Baylor Ballpark (an 8-7, 10-inning Baylor win). He threw the final 6 1/3 innings of that one, striking out 10–A&M got to him late with four runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras but was unable to push the go-ahead run across.

TEXAS STATE (3-0) won the Southland Conference last year and was the 2-seed in the Austin Regional (remember that one? the one with the 25-inning game last year?). The Bobcats had a great start to 2010, sweeping the University of Houston on the road last weekend (6-0, 6-3, 9-7). They hit just .248 in the series but posted a paltry 2.67 ERA. The Aggies’ mound opponent? junior Brian Borski (1-0, 3.60), who got the win over UH in the series finale. He was 7-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 2009 and has never faced Texas A&M.

Of note, the Aggies were the only team in the field to get a game in this week–WKU’s game at Belmont, Texas State’s at Rice and Baylor’s against TCU were all postponed or cancelled.

Hope everyone making the trip travels safely, and for those of you who can not make it, you can tune in to Friday’s and Sunday’s games on WTAW-AM 1620, aggieathletics.com or radioaggieland.com. Saturday’s game will be on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone and also available on both internet sites. And as always we’ll have updates through gametracker and in-game scoring updates on Twitter via @aggie_baseball.

Check back this afternoon from Waco, we’ll have the starting lineups right here.

Host BAYLOR (3-1) was impressive in opening the year at its own home tournament. The Bears took two games from Duke and split a pair with then No. 22-Georgia, and enter this weekend with a .308 batting average and a strong 2.50 team ERA. Sophomore Logan Verrett (0-1, 7.71) will face A&M on Saturday. Verrett was 7-1 with a 5.13 ERA in 2009, and he got the win over the Aggies in the series finale last March at Baylor Ballpark (an 8-7, 10-inning Baylor win). He threw the final 6 1/3 innings of that one, striking out 10–A&M got to him late with four runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras but was unable to push the go-ahead run across.

Wednesday Pre-Game: SFA

February 24th, 2010

Welcome to Olsen Field…snow? What snow? Outside of a layer atop the visiting dugout, the snow melted well before lunch today. In fact the last few remnants of yesterday’s snow man have just melted into the left center field alley. Current temperature (at 1 p.m.) is 46 degrees with a pretty good wind blowing straight in under a crystal-clear blue sky.

Here’s how the Aggies are going to go today:

3B Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
2B Andrew Collazo
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
RF Tyler Naquin
C Gregg Alcazar
SS John Stilson
RHP Clayton Ehlert

SFA will look like this:

CF Garrett Smith
SS Tanner Hines
1B Darren Crabtree
DH Jarid Scarafiotti
RF Bo Coffman
3B Bobby Loveless
LF Ryan Priest
C Riley Huble
2B Michael Haynes
RHP Brett Rogers

Remember we’ll have free video and stats here on aggieathletics.com and inning-by-inning updates on Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

A Winter Wonderland…and Gearing up for SFA

February 23rd, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

The team's snowman at Olsen Field (photo courtesy Shane Minks)

The team's snowman at Olsen Field (photo courtesy Shane Minks)

Pretty good snow falling right now at Olsen Field and in the entire Bryan/College Station area. I’ve been in this town a good 15 years now, and I can say I’ve seen it snow like this here once, maybe twice at the most. Coach Childress took some good-natured ribbing from some of us when the weather “cooperated” and gave us 75 and sunny on Sunday afternoon (of course right after he’d pushed the Seton Hall finale up). But he sure got this one right. Tomorrow’s going to be a cool but sunny day at Olsen and I’m looking forward to the team getting back on the diamond.

Speaking of that, I am hoping to get up to Olsen early tomorrow and snap a few pics of how the grounds crew will deal with this blanket of white that will be covering the playing surface. It’s no doubt a problem that guru Leo Goertz has rarely had to deal with in his years maintaining the nation’s best playing surface…he gave me some ideas as to what they’ll have to do to clear the field for batting practice, which they will, but a lot of it depends on what the snow has done overnight. Regardless it should make for some cool photography and I’ll post it here.

Leo reports this is the first time in the 32-year history of Olsen that a game has been snowed out.

Wednesday Matchup: Stephen F. Austin

SFA is 3-0 on the season after a sweep of Grambling this past weekend in Nacogdoches. These weren’t just three wins for the Lumberjacks, they were impressive ones, as they outscored the Tigers 25-7, hit .344 and posted a 2.33 ERA. The most impressive stat to me, however, is a perfect fielding percentage…114 chances, all executed successfully. That is hard to do. The ‘Jacks also were patient at the plate, drawing 21 walks and striking out just eight times. Stephen F. is off to its best start since 1989, so you know they’ll come in to Olsen Field flying high.

The Aggies have never lost to SFA in a series that dates back quite a ways. The teams met once in 1949 and then not again until 1988, when the ‘Jacks were a frequent opponent on the schedule. Following the 1995 season, however, baseball was disbanded at Stephen F. Austin and only recently resurrected. A&M has played SFA in each of the last three seasons and, while picking up wins each time, they have not usually been easy…two one-run affairs, one in 2008 and another last year.

For those of you unable to make it, we’ll have free live video and statistics as usual on aggieathletics.com. For those near a radio, the game will air locally on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone, as 1620 AM has a political forum scheduled in the early evening followed by the men’s basketball game at Baylor. Speaking of that, I’m not sure I mentioned it yet here on The Full Count, but you need to check out radioaggieland.com…you can not only listen to football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball games through there on your computer, but you can also tune in worldwide on PDAs, BlackBerrys and iPhones. And best of all it’s free, thanks to the good folks at Bryan Broadcasting.

And don’t forget, if you don’t have quick access to a computer, we’ll provide inning-by-inning scoring updates on Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

What About those Walk-Ups?

February 22nd, 2010

A special treat for you on a Monday…here’s the official list of the Aggie Baseball 2010 walk-up songs. Now with the Stephen F. Austin game moving to Wednesday afternoon, you’ve got some extra time to get these loaded on your iPod.

Gregg Alcazar – Pony (Ginuwine)
Scott Arthur – Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine)
Corey Brooks – Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions)
Denny Clement – Blow Me Away (Breaking Benjamin)
Andrew Collazo – Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys)
Tyler Dyer – Bulls on Parade (Rage Against the Machine)
Clayton Ehlert – Welcome Home (Coheed and Cambria)
Jake Feckley – Rawkfist (ThousandFootKrutch)
Nick Fleece – Dead and Bloated (Stone Temple Pilots)
Kevin Gonzalez – Tops Drop (Fat Pat)
Brodie Greene – I’m Still Fly-remix (Drake)
Ross Hales – Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)
Joaquin Hinojosa – Watch Dis (Plies)
Kenny Jackson – Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix)
Matt Juengel – Can’t Tell Me Nothing (Kanye West)
Kyle Martin – Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)
Barret Loux – Lose Yourself (Eminem)
Dylan Mendoza – Right Here, Right Now (Fatboy Slim)
Shane Minks – God’s Gonna Cut You Down (Johnny Cash)
Tyler Naquin – On Fire (Lil’ Wayne)
Brett Parsons – No Diggity (Blackstreet)
Joe Patterson – Comatose (Skillet)
Rafael Pineda – Mi Alma Se Muere (Fueg0 feat. Pitbull and Omega)
Parker Ray – Break ‘Em Off (Paul Wall feat. Lil Keke)
Caleb Shofner – The Blood of Cuchulainn (Mychael & Jeff Danna)
Adam Smith – Hurricane (Bob Dylan)
John Stilson – hitting: Down and Out (Tantric) and pitching: Fireman (Lil’ Wayne)
Ross Stripling – Thirteen (Danzig)
Estevan Uriegas – Conteo (Don Omar)
Michael Wacha – Bullet and a Target (Citizen Cope)
Brandon Wood – S.C.O.M. (Fort Minor feat. Ryu, Juelz Santana, Celph Titled)

It’s always a kick to see which walk-up songs become fan favorites as the season goes on. I have mine, and I’m sure you’ve got yours as well. Enjoy!

Monday Musings

February 22nd, 2010

Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, but you have to like what you saw out of this Texas A&M baseball team in the weekend sweep of Seton Hall.

The Aggies hit well, pitched well and for the most part were solid defensively in earning the three victories. Let’s start with the offense.

A&M hit .361 on the weekend, averaged 10 runs per game and stole eight bases. What stands out most to me though, and to those at Olsen this weekend, was the two-out hitting. Of A&M’s 35 hits, 19 were with two outs. Of its 25 RBIs, 13 came with two down. What a clutch job by the Aggies to get the hits when they needed them–and it wasn’t just the hits, it was finding a way, any way, to get on base. A&M was aggressive all weekend, taking the extra base, trying to steal any bag they could…that’s the Aggie baseball way, hard-nosed and pressure-packed. And it was fun to watch.

The lineup was on fire as well, especially at the top–the top four spots (Scott Arthur, Brodie Greene, Andrew Collazo, Joe Patterson) were a combined .465 (20-for-43) with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 19 runs scored and six stolen bases. Pretty eye-popping numbers I’d have to say.

While the entire offense had a great series, any discussion has to start with senior Brodie Greene. He passed up the chance to sign professionally in August for the opportunity to do something special with this tight-knit group, and he exploded out of the gate in 2010. Brodie went to the plate 14 times, and got on base 10 of those. He hit a whopping .727 on the weekend with two triples, six RBIs and seven runs scored–oh, and throw in a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts while you’re at it. Not only that, he was very good patrolling center field, including a highlight-reel diving catch on Saturday afternoon that saved a pair of runs and an outfield assist that helped cut down the game’s go ahead run in the series finale. Hats off to Brodie, who should merit very strong consideration for both league and national honors this week.

Brodie Greene

Brodie Greene

He wasn’t the only one who had a great weekend at the plate though…another senior, Joe Patterson, picked up where he left off in 2009. Joe went 7-for-11 at the plate (that’s .636) with a double, home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. Junior Caleb Shofner, who played first base all weekend, was a .417 hitter and led the team with two home runs and six RBIs.

It was a tremendous opening weekend for the Texas A&M pitching staff as well. The Aggies stifled the Seton Hall bats, holding them to a .217 average and recording a very impressive 2.00 ERA. What a Rob Childress staff will not do is walk people, and that was very evident. The squad issued just five free passes in 27 innings of work with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.0.

Hats off to the starting rotation…all went five innings (they were all on pitch counts this first weekend), with Barret Loux and Ross Stripling picking up victories. Those two, combined with Nick Fleece in the second game Saturday, walked just two batters in 15 innings and punched out 13. A very good start for the rotation I’d say.

And what a job by the bullpen…Coach Childress went to the pen seven times, and they responded incredibly. With a 0.75 ERA and a .159 average against, Shane Minks, Estevan Uriegas, Jake Feckley, Michael Wacha, Denny Clement and John Stilson really stepped up in some critical situations.

We cannot ignore the outing by Stilson though, a sophomore transfer who was making his first-ever mound appearance in Saturday’s final game. He entered a 3-3 game to start the sixth inning and was lights-out, retiring all 12 batters he faced in order and doing so with an amazing amount of efficiency (averaging just a hair over four pitches per at-bat). John allowed just two balls to leave the infield–both lazy fly balls to right. He punched out five and picked up the victory when the Aggies pushed home three runs in the eighth inning. I would also not be surprised to see him earn some weekly accolades from the league and/or national media.

Enough on this past weekend, we’ll take a look ahead at Stephen F. Austin and a power-packed QTI Baylor Classic tomorrow. Please keep an eye on this website for a possible change in the SFA game with snow in the forecast at Olsen most of the day on Tuesday.

Let’s Play Two!

February 20th, 2010

Should be a very pleasant afternoon at Olsen Field for a doubleheader against Seton Hall. We’re about 2 1/2 hours out from first pitch and temps are already up into the mid 60s…we’ve got a light breeze blowing from the right field foul pole to the left field foul pole. Hope you can come out and catch some baseball.

Very nice win last night for the Aggies…it wasn’t the “perfect” start to the year but it was pretty darn close to that. First and foremost it started with the pitching staff…Barret Loux looked very good in his first career opening-day start, fanning eight over five innings of work. All the pitchers are on a pitch count this opening weekend so that’s why he only went five. The bullpen was outstanding, as Shane Minks, Estevan Uriegas and Jake Feckley combined to allow no runs and just three hits over four innings.

Of course, you can’t win if you can’t score, and the Aggies did a wonderful job of that. Very clutch two-out hitting throughout the night…A&M scored nine of its 11 runs with two outs, and eight of the Aggies’ 11 hits came with two down. Great look to the top of the lineup–Scott Arthur, Brodie Greene and Andrew Collazo were big-time catalysts last night.

Anyways,  the team is stretching out on the field and will take BP starting around noon. The top of the lineup is the same today in game one but we’ll get a look at some more new faces. Here’s how Coach Childress and the staff are scheduled to go in the first game:

RF Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
2B Andrew Collazo
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
3B Kenny Jackson
C Kevin Gonzalez
SS John Stilson
RHP Ross Stripling

Seton Hall will look like this:
RF Will Walsh
CF Michael Rogers
SS A.J. Rusbarsky
LF Bobby Migliazza
1B Chris Spagnuolo
C Frank Esposito
DH Chase Gray
2B Chris Fontenelli
3B Giuseppe Papaccio
RHP Frank Morris

Tune in to aggieathletics.com for free live video of both games…Sports Radio 1150 The Zone will air both games immediately following the conclusion of the women’s game against Texas across the street at Reed Arena (that will tip at 12 p.m.). Radioaggieland.com will provide free live audio on the 1150 channel. Good luck to both the Aggie women and the men, who are in Ames this afternoon to face Iowa State.

And remember we’ll be tweeting live updates of the games this afternoon and all season long at @aggie_baseball.

-matt

Schedule Change

February 19th, 2010

Threatening weather on Sunday has forced a change in this weekend’s series. Here’s the details…

Tonight’s opener will be played as scheduled at 6:35 p.m. The squads will now play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2:05 p.m. One ticket will be good for both games and there will be 30 minutes between contests (both nine inning games). There will be no game on Sunday.

Those holding tickets for Sunday’s game will be able to redeem that ticket for admission to any regular-season game except the Baylor and Texas contests. Contact the Athletic Ticket Office or visit the Olsen Field box office on game days for more information.

Once again, the new schedule for the weekend is as follows:

Friday, February 19 – 6:35 p.m.

Saturday, February 20 – 2:05 p.m. (DH)

Sunday, February 21 – no game