Friday Pregame: Winthrop

March 5th, 2010

Another beautiful day for baseball here at Olsen Field for what should be a fun series between the 6-2 Aggies and 7-0 Winthrop. This is the first-ever meeting between the schools. The Eagles are out of the Big South Conference and have made five NCAA appearances under coach Joe Hudak (1995, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006). Here’s how the lineups will look today…

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

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 Matteo D’Angelo

A side note, it was great to see Ross Hales throwing to hitters off the mound today. He did so probably 3 or so hours before first pitch, and he looked pretty good. Ross is coming back from off-season surgery, and thanks to all the hard work he and trainer Josh Cohen have put in over recent months, is ahead of schedule. Best of luck to him as he continues his comeback.

Hope to see you out here at Olsen for a great weekend of baseball.

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Wednesday Pregame: BYU

March 3rd, 2010

Hard to top the weather we’ve got today at Olsen Field. Low 60s, crystal clear skies and a light breeze blowing from foul pole to foul pole (left to right). If you’re making the trip in for basketball tonight treat yourself to a few innings of Aggie baseball.

Anyways, we’re a few hours away from first pitch and the Aggies have just taken the field for batting practice. They’ll be facing a BYU squad that started the year very cold (0-4) but has now won three straight, including a 7-5 win at Baylor last night. Clayton Ehlert will face BYU freshman lefty Mark Anderson, who’ll be making his first career start at the friendly confines today.

Here’s how A&M is planning to go today:

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

And for BYU:

LF Sean McNaughton
SS Brandon Relf
1B Alex Wolfe
CF Jonathan Cluff
C Bryce Ayoso
DH Ryan Bernal
3B Austin Hall
2B Dane Nielsen
RF Alex Hancock
LHP Mark Anderson

First of 17 in a row here at Olsen Field, hope you can make it out to the park for a few games this month!

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Monday Musings…a Day Late

March 2nd, 2010

Okay, so the road trip and the rare Wednesday-only mid-week game threw me off. But enough with the excuses already, let’s take a look back at the week that was Aggie baseball.

One way to look at the 2-2 week for Texas A&M is that, save for two innings, the Aggies would probably have gone undefeated. But that’s the beauty of the sport, you have to play every inning, get all 27 outs…insert your favorite baseball cliche here.

Last Wednesday’s game against SFA was a frustrating one but I definitely saw some things I like. Hats off to the Lumberjacks for picking up the 7-6 win but, when a team scores all of its runs in one inning, and all with two outs, you have to feel that you left something on the table there. And the Aggies definitely do. But that being said, the team fought its way back and had  several chances to tie the game and/or take the lead, and fell just a run short.

The weekend was I feel a successful one for the most part. You’re never happy about losing, yet against a strong field like the tourney in Waco had (Western Kentucky, Baylor and Texas State–all ’09 NCAA Tourney teams) taking two of three away from home is not a bad thing at all. It didn’t necessarily show up in the boxscore, but if you were there you know what I’m talking about–A&M smashed the ball all weekend long. The pitching was again outstanding. Saturday’s win over Baylor was a gutty one…it seemed like the Aggies had to fight and claw for everything they got in getting a 4-2 victory. That spilled over to Sunday, where a tremendous diving catch by freshman Brandon Wood in left (yes, he caught it) kept a 3-2 game where it was and let the maroon and white build on the lead once it got back to the dugout.

So let’s look at this week, which starts off a season-long 17-game homestand. First up is BYU, which looks to build on a two-game win streak tonight at Baylor. The Cougars have yet to play a home game this season, and will do so once they get back from this Texas swing (one at Baylor, one at A&M, three at UT Arlington). BYU was 30-24 last year and made a bit of a run in the Mountain West tourney before falling to eventual super regional participant TCU. The Cougars were picked fifth in the league this spring.

I am very excited to see Clayton Ehlert get back on the hill–he had a very tough third inning last week vs SFA after retiring the first seven batters of the game rather quickly. Weather should be gorgeous and you’ll have plenty of time to get to Reed for the big hoops game against Oklahoma State, so hopefully you can make the trip out.

Over the weekend, Winthrop will make the trip to Olsen Field. The two programs have never met but have a few ties of late–Alex Wilson, last year’s 2nd-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, and Phil Carey, who was on the 2008 squad, both transferred to Texas A&M from Winthrop (located in Rock Hill, S.C.). The Eagles were picked to finish in the top three of the Big South and are no stranger to postseason success, having advanced to the NCAA Tourney five times (most recently in back-to-back trips in 2005 and 2006). Game times are 6:35/2:05/1:05 on the weekend.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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!

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