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

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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

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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.

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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!

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Saturday Pregame: Washington State

March 13th, 2010

Well, the consensus up here in the press box after yesterday’s win was that we got to watch a really, really good baseball game, and I’m sure all in attendance would agree. A&M rallied to knock off No. 25 Washington State, 4-3, in a game where really every pitch, every play, every at-bat mattered. Coach Childress said before the game that against an opponent like the Cougars, any mistake would be magnified and they’d make you pay for it, and they did as WSU took the 2-0 lead. But, the Aggies fought back, found a way and held on at the end to run its win streak to nine games.

Now, on to game two of the series…crystal clear skies, temps around 70 and a wind blowing in from center. If you have a chance to come out to Olsen you should definitely take advantage of it!

Here’s the A&M lineup this afternoon:

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

and for Washington State…

CF Garry Kuykendall
C Jay Ponciano
RF Derek Jones
3B Matt Argyropoulos
1B Michael Weber
DH Matt Fanelli
LF Brett Jacobs
SS Shea Vucinich
2B Cody Bartlett
LHP Spencer Jackson

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Friday Pregame: Washington State

March 12th, 2010

Windy but gorgeous day at Olsen Field for tonight’s series opener between Texas A&M and No. 25 Washington State. This is one of the “series to watch” around the country this weekend, and it should be a fun one. WSU is very similar to the Aggies in the fact they can hit and score runs, run a high-pressure offense and do like to steal. The Cougars feature a strong pitching staff as well and play great defense.

A&M’s lineup for tonight’s game will look like this:

2B Andrew Collazo
LF Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
3B Kenny Jackson
C Kevin Gonzalez
RF Tyler Naquin
SS Adam Smith
RHP Barret Loux

Washington State will go this way…

CF Garry Kuykendall
C Jay Ponciano
RF Derek Jones
1B Michael Weber
3B Matt Argyropoulos
DH Spencer Jackson
LF James Wise
SS Shea Vucinich
2B Cody Bartlett
RHP Chad Arnold

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Wednesday Pregame: Penn State

March 10th, 2010

Quick update here on what’s turned out to be a very nice night at Olsen Field…temps in the mid 70s, clear skies and a light wind.

A&M’s starting lineup, as the Aggies look for win No. 8 in a row…

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

And for Penn State…

LF Sean Deegan
RF Heath Johnson
3B Jordan Steranka
C Ben Heath
1B Joey DeBernardis
DH Mario Eramo
SS Luis Montesinos
2B Louie Picconi
CF Steve Snyder
RHP Mike Wanamaker

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Tuesday Pregame: Penn State

March 9th, 2010

Another gorgeous day at Olsen Field as the Aggies get ready to open up a two-game set with Penn State. Temps are in the mid- to upper-70s, beautiful blue skies and winds blowing out to center. Should be a great night to catch some baseball, hope you can make it.

Great series win for Texas A&M this past weekend over Winthrop, capped off by a very entertaining 2-1 game on Sunday. Coach Rob Childress called it the most complete game his team has played this year, and you can see why he said it…great defense (on both sides actually), strong pitching and clutch hits when A&M needed them the most. So that pushed the Aggies’ win streak to six games and built some momentum going into the only five-game week on the schedule. Not only will it be a busy week, but a tough one for A&M and a good test of where this team is at as Big 12 play is just over a week and a half away.

Penn State comes in at 4-3 and was cooled off only at the back end of last weekend’s tournament in Beaumont…the Nittany Lions had won four of their first five before dropping a pair to host Lamar to close the weekend. They are on a Texas swing this week (four in Beaumont, two here, then a three-game set at Texas State). Then this weekend, 9-1 Washington State comes calling, and the Cougars will bring a No. 25 ranking into Olsen on Friday night.

Anyways here is Texas A&M’s starting lineup for this evening. Remember both games this week are at 6:35 p.m.

2B Andrew Collazo
LF Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
3B Kenny Jackson
RF Tyler Naquin
C Kevin Gonzalez
SS Adam Smith
RHP Michael Wacha

Will be exciting to see Michael, a true freshman, get his first career start under the lights tonight. He’s been fantastic in relief this year.

The Nittany Lions will go this way:

LF Sean Deegan
RF Heath Johnson
3B Jordan Steranka
C Ben Heath
1B Joey DeBernardis
DH Mario Eramo
SS Luis Montesinos
2B Louie Picconi
CF Steve Snyder
RHP John Walter

Remember, follow along with free live video on our website, free live audio on radioaggieland.com and updates via Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

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Sunday Pregame: Winthrop

March 7th, 2010

Good afternoon from Olsen Field, where the Aggies are looking for a series sweep of Winthrop. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m., and right now we’re looking at cloudy skies and wind blowing to left center.

Here’s today’s starting lineups:

2B Andrew Collazo
LF Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
3B Kenny Jackson
RF Tyler Naquin
C Kevin Gonzalez
SS Adam Smith
RHP Nick Fleece

And for the Eagles (7-2)…

2B Tyler Cook
SS Adam Gliebe
RF Sean Sullivan
LF Chas Crane
1B Matt Thielepape
DH Eddie Rohan
3B Matt Pierpont
CF Zak Blair
C Tyler Donovan
RHP Wade Newman

If you can’t make it out today, as usual we’ll have free live video on aggieathletics.com. You can also listen on radioaggieland.com and follow the game through GameTracker or via Twitter at @aggie_baseball.

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Saturday Pregame: Winthrop

March 6th, 2010

Sorry I’m late with this, was watching the men’s hoops team take it to Oklahoma in Norman. Congrats to Coach Turgeon and the team on a big win.

And congrats to Barret Loux on his awesome performance last night in a 7-0 shutout. Hopefully Barret will get some regional and national recognition for his effort. We’ll find out on Monday.

A&M’s starting lineup today from Olsen:

2B Andrew Collazo
RF Scott Arthur
CF Brodie Greene
DH Joe Patterson
1B Caleb Shofner
3B Kenny Jackson
LF Joaquin Hinojosa
C Gregg Alcazar
SS Adam Smith
RHP Ross Stripling

And for Winthrop…

RF Sean Sullivan
2B Tyler Cook
DH Eddie Rohan
1B Matt Thielepape
LF Chas Crane
3B Matt Pierpont
CF Tyler McBride
SS Adam Gliebe
C Tyler Donovan
RHP Robert Lake

Low 70s, a bit cloudy and breezy at Olsen Field. A great day for baseball!

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