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.
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.