Tuesday Pregame: Texas State

March 30th, 2010

Greetings from sunny San Marcos, as the Aggies open up a tough portion of the schedule tonight against a solid Texas State squad.

This is an important week for A&M, both victory-wise and RPI-wise…both these teams (TSU and Kansas) should be solid contenders for regional berths come May. Wins over these squads on the road would enhance an already attractive resume the Aggies have this spring.

Quick turnaround for the Ags tonight…they’ll get back sometime around midnight, depending on the length of this game, and then leave at 7:30 tomorrow morning for Dallas/Ft Worth to catch a flight to Kansas City. Then on to Lawrence.

But first things first…here’s tonight’s starting lineup:

RF Brandon Wood
SS Brodie Greene
3B Caleb Shofner
1B Joe Patterson
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
2B Kenny Jackson
DH Gregg Alcazar
C Kevin Gonzalez
CF Scott Arthur
LHP Ross Hales

Very excited to see Ross Hales on the mound tonight for the Aggies…his first action since last season.

Sunday Lineups: Missouri

March 28th, 2010

Here are the starting lineups for today’s series finale against Missouri.

Texas A&M (17-5, 4-1 Big 12)

CF Scott Arthur
RF Tyler Naquin
SS Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
3B Caleb Shofner
1B Adam Smith
2B Andrew Collazo
C Gregg Alcazar
LF Brandon Wood
RHP Clayton Ehlert

Missouri (12-8, 0-2)

SS Michael Liberto
3B Jesse Santo
1B Aaron Senne
C Brett Nicholas
DH Andreas Plackis
CF Blake Brown
LF Kale Gaden
2B Andrew Thigpen
RF Dane Opel
LHP Jeff Scardino

Saturday Lineups: Missouri

March 27th, 2010

Starting lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Texas A&M (16-5, 3-1 Big 12)

SS Brodie Greene
1B Matt Juengel
DH Joe Patterson
3B Caleb Shofner
LF Brett Parsons
C Kevin Gonzalez
2B Andrew Collazo
RF Tyler Naquin
CF Scott Arthur
RHP Ross Stripling

Missouri (12-7, 0-1 Big 12)

SS Michael Liberto
2B Eric Garcia
1B Aaron Senne
DH Brett Nicholas
RF Jonah Schmidt
LF Kale Gaden
CF Blake Brown
3B Jesse Santo
C Ryan Ampleman
RHP Eric Anderson

Friday Pregame: Missouri

March 26th, 2010

Big 12 action returns to Olsen tonight as the 21st-ranked Aggies host a red-hot Missouri team in the first of a three game set. I’ve said this a lot this year thankfully but wow, what spectacular weather we have for tonight. If you’re in town and thinking about coming to the game, let this weather make the decision for you–73 and clear with a light breeze.

A new look to Texas A&M’s lineup, here it is:

SS Brodie Greene
1B Matt Juengel
DH Joe Patterson
3B Caleb Shofner
LF Brett Parsons
C Kevin Gonzalez
2B Andrew Collazo
RF Tyler Naquin
CF Scott Arthur
RHP Barret Loux

and for Missouri:

SS Michael Liberto
LF Kale Gaden
1B Aaron Senne
3B Brett Nicholas
DH Jonah Schmidt
2B Eric Garcia
RF Blake Brown
C Ryan Ampleman
CF Brannon Champagne
RHP Nick Tepesch

Tuesday Pregame: Northwestern State

March 23rd, 2010

No. 21 Texas A&M faces a tough challenge tonight as the Aggies host Northwestern State on a beautiful evening at Olsen Field. One of the benefits of being in this part of the country is being able to go up against some quality mid-week, non-conference competition, and there are few better examples than what A&M will face today. The Demons are 14-4 on the season and feature an RPI of No. 20 in the latest Boydsworld rankings (A&M is at No. 11). Should be a fun one tonight as the Aggies play the final week of their 17-game homestand.

Tonight’s lineup for Texas A&M (15-4):

RF Adam Smith (.211/0/4)
2B Andrew Collazo (.286/1/11)
SS Brodie Greene (.442/2/18)
DH Joe Patterson (.421/2/14)
3B Caleb Shofner (.405/5/24)
1B Kenny Jackson (.421/0/4)
LF Joaquin Hinojosa (.250/0/7)
C Gregg Alcazar (.556/0/4)
CF Scott Arthur (.246/0/4)
RHP Michael Wacha (3-0, 0.35)

and for NSU (14-4):

CF Oscar Garcia (.343/4/25)
SS Trent Grondin (.338/0/12)
3B Chase Lyles (.360/2/21)
RF Tyler Baisley (.367/3/15)
1B Adam Roy (.288/1/20)
2B Justin Martinez (.349/0/4)
DH Colin Bear (.244/0/10)
C Aaron Munoz (.246/0/11)
LF Eric DeBlanc (.314/2/11)
RHP Ryan Zimmerman (1-0, 6.05)

Sunday Pregame: Texas Tech

March 21st, 2010

Gritty, hard-fought win for Texas A&M last night over the Red Raiders. Both teams competed and battled in some pretty inhospitable conditions…the Aggies, who scored all five runs with two outs, got an eighth-inning triple from Brodie Greene to lock down the 5-4 win.

The Aggies look for the sweep today on a very blustery Sunday…clear blue skies but the wind is probably blowing harder this morning than it was yesterday…25-30 miles per hour, straight in. How hard is it to sweep in the Big 12? Well, in this series between A&M and Tech, it’s only happened three other times (in the 13 previous Big 12 series). Tech has done it twice (1999 and 2001 in Lubbock) and the Aggies once (here in CS in 2002). Big 12 wins are so precious, and a sweep would be a huge way to start off conference play.

Starting lineups for today, first for the Aggies (15-3, 2-0):

2B Andrew Collazo
CF Scott Arthur
SS Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
3B Caleb Shofner
1B Kenny Jackson
C Kevin Gonzalez
RF Joaquin Hinojosa
LF Adam Smith
RHP Clayton Ehlert

And for Texas Tech (8-12, 0-2)…

2B Jamodrick McGruder
SS Joey Kenworthy
RF Michael Reed
1B Barrett Barnes
LF Scott LeJeune
CF Taylor Ashby
DH Kevin Whitehead
C Jeremy Mayo
3B Bo Altobelli
RHP Chad Bettis

Saturday Pregame: Texas Tech

March 20th, 2010

Nice win yesterday for the Aggies in the Big 12 opener. League wins are so precious, you have to get them whenever you can, and for A&M to defend its home turf in game one of the series was big.

You’ve heard Coach Childress talk about it all season, mistakes are magnified when you get to conference play. Teams will make you pay for them, and that was the key for Texas A&M last night, pushing home four unearned runs en route to the 6-3 win.

“Cold” would be putting it lightly describing tonight’s weather…right now (about 5 p.m.) it’s 43 degrees with a very strong north wind blowing straight in from center. Wind chill is at around 35 and it’ll fall tonight.

Here’s your starting lineups for game two, first for the Aggies (14-3, 1-0)…

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

and for Texas Tech (8-11, 0-1)…

2B Jamodrick McGruder
SS Joey Kenworthy
LF Michael Reed
RF Barrett Barnes
DH Scott LeJeune
1B Jeremy Mayo
CF Taylor Ashby
C Kevin Whitehead
3B Justin Berry
RHP Bobby Doran

Friday Pregame: Texas Tech

March 19th, 2010

First off, congrats to the Aggie men for a big first-round NCAA win over Utah State. Now, it’s time for Big 12 baseball.

Great weather at Olsen…temps in the mid-70s, light clouds in the sky and a wind blowing out to center that could become a factor (10-15 MPH).

Here’s the starting lineups for tonight’s game against Texas Tech. You’ll note some pretty significant defensive changes for Texas A&M…

2B Andrew Collazo
CF Scott Arthur
SS Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
3B Caleb Shofner
1B Kenny Jackson
C Kevin Gonzalez
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
RF Brandon Wood
RHP Barret Loux

And the lineup for the Red Raiders…

RF Jamodrick McGruder
SS Joey Kenworthy
LF Michael Reed
1B Barrett Barnes
DH Scott LeJeune
C Jeremy Mayo
CF Taylor Ashby
3B Justin Berry
2B Garrett Totten
RHP John Neely

Bring on the Big 12

March 18th, 2010

There’s just something special about Big 12 play getting underway.

Maybe it’s the XII on the umpires’ hats, or the recognizable uniforms in the opposing dugout, or the familiar faces covering the games or doing play-by-play on the radio. Whatever it is, it’s a great time for baseball fans–especially those of us blessed enough to call the Big 12 home.

Sure, the wins count the same as any on Tuesday towards that magical “40″ or “45″ you’re looking for come NCAA selection time. But there’s just more at stake here now–starting with that big crystal bowl trophy they hand out in May. And, it’s the first of several opportunities during the year to crown yourself “champion” and write your name in the record book forever.

On Friday, the 2010 Big 12 baseball season gets underway as the Aggies bring in Texas Tech to Olsen Field. There will be two other conference series as well–Baylor is at Oklahoma and Nebraska heads to Texas–but A&M fans will set their focus on West Campus and 6:35 on Friday night. Should be spectacular weather and, with a great tip time for the men’s hoops team in Spokane (3:45 p.m.), it makes for a perfect sports Friday for those of you in the area. Hope to see you out there.

Now, let’s take a look at the Red Raiders. Texas Tech enters Big 12 play with an 8-10 record. After beginning the year 7-2, the Red Raiders have dropped eight of their last nine, including a loss to Texas State on Tuesday in Lubbock. Their skid truly began a few weeks ago at the Houston College Classic with losses to No. 7 TCU, No. 9 Rice and a suddenly-hot Houston squad. Tech’s loss to the Owls in the Saturday game was a frustrating one and was just by one run. Last weekend, the Red Raiders went to Fort Worth to face 7th-ranked TCU, this time in a series. After dropping a one-run heartbreaker on Friday night, they fell on Saturday and then lost 8-5 on Sunday as a late rally fell short. But don’t let the results fool you, this squad can hit (.303, 18 HR), can play defense (about a .970 percentage) and with second-year coach Dan Spencer at the helm–one of the best pitching coaches around–you know they can pitch, although the ERA is up there at this point in the year (6.82). Maybe A&M is catching Tech at the right time, maybe not–we’ll have to see how things play out over the weekend.

That being said, you have to for the most part like what you’ve seen so far out of the Aggies. There’s no doubt this team can pitch (2.20 ERA, 2nd in the league) and hit (.330 average, fourth in Big 12). The defense has struggled at times but is improving–through the first 10 games, A&M fielded at a .949 clip…since, it’s .965. Here’s some notes and notables on Texas A&M:

•    While struggling at times last season with two-out hitting (.270 average), the Aggies have started 2010 with a bang in that category … A&M is hitting .387 this year with two outs, and 50 of its 103 RBIs (49 percent) have come with two down.
•    The Aggie bullpen has been nothing short of outstanding through the first 13 games of the year … through 40 appearances, the pen has combined for a 5-0 record and a miniscule 0.87 ERA, giving up just six earned runs (nine runs total) over 62 innings of work … during that span, the group has allowed just 36 hits, walked just 18 and fanned 78 while holding hitters to a .171 average … the pen did not allow an earned run over a span of 37.1 innings dating from February 20-March 9 … on the year, only seven of 37 inherited runners (19 percent) have scored.
•    A&M’s weekend starting rotation of junior Barret Loux, sophomore Ross Stripling and junior Nick Fleece are a combined 6-2 with a 2.93 ERA on the young season … overall, Aggie starting pitching in 2010 is 8-3 with a 3.22 ERA and .243 opponent average, walking just 13 and punching out 92 over 81 innings.
•    Texas A&M pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts in last Friday’s win over No. 25 Washington State … that tied for the most punchouts in a game by an Aggie staff since Jeff Granger fanned 21 in a win over Lubbock Christian on April 2, 1993 … A&M also struck out 18 in a win over Texas-Pan American on March 30, 2001.
•    A&M pitching has struck out 11 or more batters in seven of the last nine games and nine contests overall … the Aggies are averaging 10.7 punchouts per nine innings and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.5.
•    Aggie pitching has held opponents to two runs or less in six games this spring.
•    A&M has pounded out 10 or more hits in 10 of 16 games this year … the offense is hitting .330 and averaging seven runs per game.
•    Aggie opponents have scored 19 runs in the three Aggie losses on the year … 16 of those 19 runs have come in three innings (a 7-run third by SFA on Feb. 24, a 4-run fourth by Western Kentucky on Feb. 26, and a 5-run second by Washington State on March 13).
•    Texas A&M will play 21 of its first 24 games at home … the Aggies’ lone trip out of College Station during the span was for the QTI Baylor Classic in Waco … A&M will play the entire month of March at Olsen Field until it closes the month on March 30 at Texas State … the Aggies have nine regular-season games scheduled outside the state of Texas (Big 12 series at Kansas, Nebraska and OSU).

•    Senior DH JOE PATTERSON is pacing a solid Aggie offensive attack, hitting a team-best .444 (28-for-63) with seven doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs and 15 runs scored … Patterson, who saw a career-best 15-game hit streak come to an end in the series finale with Winthrop (3/7), has reached safely in every game this season and has hit safely in all but one … Patterson has reached safely (hit, walk or HBP) in 31 straight games dating back to last season.
•    Senior CF BRODIE GREENE is also hitting .444 (28-for-63) with five doubles, three triples, two home runs, 14 RBIs and 21 runs scored … Greene carries a career-high 12-game hit streak into the weekend.
•    Junior 1B CALEB SHOFNER leads the team in home runs (5) and RBIs (24) and sports a .419 average … if Shofner maintains his pace, he would drive in 91 runs over a 61-game season (drove in 42 over 61 games in 2009) … Shofner is hitting .439 over his last 10 games with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 16 RBIs.
•    Junior C KEVIN GONZALEZ is hitting .375 over his last nine games with three home runs and 10 RBIs … Gonzalez has hit safely in all but two of 15 games played this year.
•    Junior 2B ANDREW COLLAZO hit in the leadoff spot for the first time this spring following A&M’s loss to Western Kentucky (2/26) … since then, the Aggies are 10-1 … over that span, Collazo is hitting .318 with three RBIs, four stolen bases and five runs scored.
•    Sophomore utility man SCOTT ARTHUR is hitting .320 over his last 10 games with three doubles, four RBIs, eight runs scored and four stolen bases.
•    Sophomore two-way standout John Stilson has made a huge impact in his very brief Aggie career … Stilson has made six appearances in relief so far in 2010 and has already picked up two wins and two saves, and has punched out 25 in 17 innings of work … he has allowed eight baserunners in 58 plate appearances—a bunt single on the infield vs SFA (2/24), a base hit vs Winthrop (3/7), and five free passes … opponents are hitting .040 against Stilson.
•    True freshman pitcher MICHAEL WACHA has appeared in five of A&M’s last 10 games (four relief, one start), and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a save … Wacha did not allow a run in any of those outings (16 IP), gave up just nine hits and walked two while striking out 24 … he enters the weekend with 21 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to Feb. 20.
•    Senior pitcher CLAYTON EHLERT is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last three outings (two starts, one relief) … in 14 2/3 innings, Ehlert has allowed two earned runs and a walk while striking out 18 … opponents are hitting .226 against him in that span … Ehlert has thrown 11 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings entering the weekend … the senior gave up seven two-out runs in a loss to SFA (2/24), and removing that 1/3 of an inning from his statistics would drop his ERA from 4.67 to 1.06.

A&M’s complete game notes can be found here, while Texas Tech’s are available here.

Looking forward to a great weekend of baseball at Olsen Field. As always you can watch free live video of the games on aggieathletics.com,  listen live on radioaggieland.com or follow through live stats (aggieathletics.com) or in-game scoring updates via Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

A quick radio heads up for those of you in the area … Friday’s game will be broadcast locally on WTAW-AM 1620 … the broadcast will follow the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament game from Spokane, which is expected to tip at approximately 3:45 p.m. (CDT) … Saturday’s game will air on WTAW-AM 1620 … if the Aggie men defeat Utah State in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Sunday’s series finale will air on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone … otherwise, Sunday’s game will be broadcast on WTAW-AM 1620.

Sunday Pregame: Washington State

March 14th, 2010

I keep saying this but it’s just another gorgeous day at Olsen Field for today’s rubber game between No. 25 Washington State and Texas A&M. Low 70s, clear and a light breeze for what should be a solid game that will end what’s been a pretty good series.

First things first, for those wondering, WSU outfielder Kyle Johnson is fine…he is in the park today and won’t play. He was involved in the nasty collision in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday afternoon and lay on the field for over 15 minutes while medical staff evaluated him. He was taken to The Med and was released after 7:30 or so last night. Great to see him walking around and laughing with his teammates in pre-game.

This is a big game for both teams, as the Ags and Cougars are both trying to make an early statement. For A&M, a victory would give them a series win against a very good, ranked opponent and push them to a 4-1 week. For Washington State, they are looking for a big road series victory in their first games away from home this year.

Here are the starting lineups, first for Texas A&M:

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

and for Washington State…

CF Garry Kuykendall
LF Brett Jacobs
RF Derek Jones
3B Matt Argyropoulos
1B Michael Weber
DH Matt Fanelli
SS Shea Vucinich
2B Cody Bartlett
C Kyle Buchanan
RHP James Wise

Enjoy the game!