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Aggies Travel to Arkansas for Weekend Series

April 18, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

The Texas A&M Aggies head to Fayetteville looking to snap a season-long four-game losing streak. The Maroon and White may face the Arkansas Razorbacks without two of their top hitters as Mikey Reynolds left Saturday’s game after the second inning and missed the Aggies’ last two games with a knee injury and Cole Lankford has been sidelined with an illness the last four games. A&M will face a Razorback squad that has lost its last three games, including getting no-hit by the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (21-17, 6-9 SEC) at #10 ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (25-14, 9-6 SEC)

Baum Stadium (10,737) • Fayetteville, Arkansas

SCHEDULE - Friday, 6:35 pm • Saturday, 7:30 pm • Sunday, 1 pm

TELEVISION – Friday – Cox Sports Television • Saturday - ESPNU • Sunday - ESPN2

RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)

LIVE AUDIO - AggieAthletics.com • radioaggieland.com

LIVE VIDEO - Friday - 12thMan.TV (with premium subscription) NOTE: Due to the game being broadcasted on CST, this feed will be blacked out in states with access to CST (including Texas). Please visit www.coxsportstv.com/affiliates for a full listing of affected areas.

LIVE STATS - ArkansasRazorbacks.com

RANKINGS - A&M - unranked • ARK - 10 (NCBWA); 12 (BA); 12 (USAT); 13 (CB)

SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M Leads 38-29-1

SERIES STREAK - Texas A&M is on a two-game win streak

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday - Daniel Mengden (So., RHP, 4-2, 1.94 ERA) vs Barrett Astin (Jr., RHP, 2-2, 2.62 ERA)

Saturday - Matt Kent (Fr., LHP, 2-1, 3.48 ERA) vs Ryne Stanek (Jr., RHP, 4-2, 1.64 ERA)

Sunday - Rafael Pineda (Jr., RHP (3-3, 3.58 ERA) vs Randall Fant (Sr., LHP, 2-1, 2.36 ERA)

MELTON GETTING COMFORTABLE

In his first five games, including three starts, Hunter Melton went 0-for-10 at the plate with two walks. In his last three games, all starts, he went 5-for-13 with one double, two home runs, two runs and four RBI. In A&M’s 11-inning loss at Sam Houston State, Melton went 3-for-5 with one double, one home run and two RBI. In the ninth inning against the Bearkats, he delivered a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

Player           AVG  GP-GS  AB   R   H  RBI  SLG%  BB HBP  SO   OB%  SH  SB-ATT 

First 35 games  .000   5- 3  10   0   0    0  .000   2   0   4  .167   0   0-0

Last 3 games    .385   3- 3  13   2   5    4  .923   0   0   3  .385   0   0-0


REYNOLDS REACHING BASE

Mikey Reynolds current streak of reaching base via base hit, walk or hit-by-pitch at least once in 36 consecutive games is the third-longest active streak in the nation. Troy’s Logan Pierce has a 40-game streak, which includes two games in 2012, to lead the nation. Charlotte’s Corbin Shive has a 37-game streak, but he has yet to play in 2013 due to injury. After going hitless but reaching via a walk in the season opener, Reynolds went on a career-long 22-game hit streak. He has hit safely in 32 of 35 games. He is hitting .394 on the season with a .456 on-base percentage, 26 runs, eight doubles, 17 RBI and 12 stolen bases.


COLE TRAIN

Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last 21 games (the Aggies’ last 27 games), Lankford is batting .414 (36-for-87) with 11 multiple hit games, seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 16 RBI. In the weekend series at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, he went 6-for-13 with five RBI. In the series finale against Georgia, Lankford came up just a single shy of hitting for the cycle going 3-for-5 with three runs, one double, one triple, one home run and one RBI. In the series finale against No. 6 Ole Miss, Lankford keyed the Aggies comeback, going 2-for-4 with one double and two runs scored. He batted 5-for-11 against South Carolina, including three hits in the series opener. Lankford batted 7-for-14 with two doubles and two RBI in the three-game series against Auburn. He has six three-hit games in his last 21 contests. Lankford is currently on a 10-game hit streak, the longest of his career. Lankford is batting .450 (18-for-40) with three doubles and five RBI over the span.


CHILDRESS EARNS WIN NUMBER 300

With the Aggies’ midweek win over Houston Baptist on March 12, head coach Rob Childress reached the 300-win plateau for his career. Childress owns a 310-170-2 record, all as the skipper of the Aggies. He trails only Mark Johnson (876 - 1985-2005) and Tom Chandler (660 - 1959-84) on A&M’s career win list.


TEXAS A&M/ARKANSAS SERIES NOTABLES

Texas A&M and Arkansas have met on 68 prior occasions with the Aggies owning an 38-29-1 advantage in the all-time series. The 68 meetings is the most for the Aggies against an old guard SEC squad. A&M has won the last two meetings, five of the last seven and 11 of the last 16. In the last meeting, the Aggies won a 15-7 decision against the Razorbacks on March 1, 2008 in College Station. Sixty of the meetings came between 1974-91 when both teams were members of the Southwest Conference. The Aggies owned a 32-28 record during the SWC era.


MORE ON ARKANSAS

Arkansas enters the contest with a 25-14 overall record and 9-6 mark in SEC play. After a 23-8 start on the season, the Bulldogs have gone 2-6 in the last eight games.


The Razorbacks are hitting .265 on the season with a .352 slugging percentage and .353 on-base percentage. Arkansas has three players in the regular lineup hitting .300 or higher. Tyler Spoon leads the squad, going .316 with six doubles, three home runs and 37 RBI. Jacob Mahan is hitting .308 with six doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI. Brian Anderson is hitting .301 with 28 runs, eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 22 RBI.


Arkansas’ pitching staff has been the team’s main beacon of light this season, posting a 1.77 ERA and holding opponents to a .198 batting average. Starter Ryne Stanek leads the squad with a 4-2 record, 1.64 ERA and one complete-game in nine starts. He has 43 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .199 batting average over 49.1 innings. Jalen Beeks is the top performer out of the bullpen, going 4-0 with two saves and a 0.94 ERA in 18 appearances. He is holding opponents to a .216 batting average and has 20 strikeouts in 28.2 innings of work.


The Razorbacks have a proud baseball tradition, including seven trips to the College World Series with two coming in the last four years. Mississippi State has earned a bid in the NCAA Championship on 35 occasions, including each of the last 11 years.


Arkansas boasts 42 former players who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The group is led by 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, 12-year veteran and 2002 American League Rookie of the Year Eric Hinske.


ALLEMAND GETTING INTO GEAR

After going 0-for-17 in his first six games (the Aggies first eight games), Allemand has batted .314 (32-for-102) with five doubles, one home run and 17 RBI in the last 30 games. The 17 RBI during the span ranks second on the squad. Even when he wasn’t hitting, Allemand was able to get on-base enough to score five runs in the first six games, drawing five walks and getting hit by two pitches for a .292 on-base percentage. His on-base percentage the last 30 games is .437 with 17 walks and six HBP.

Player           AVG  GP-GS  AB   R   H  RBI  SLG%  BB HBP  SO   OB%  SH  SB-ATT 

First 8 games   .000   6- 6  17   5   0    0  .000   5   2   7  .292   2   3-3

Last 30 games   .314  30-30 102  18  32   17  .392  17   6  13  .437   5   7-10 


WOOD EMERGING

After going without a hit in his first 15 games (A&M’s first 24), including four starts, Brandon Wood has caught fire the last 14 games. Since the second game of the Sunday Ole Miss doubleheader, Wood is hitting .314 (16-for-51) with eight runs, two doubles, one triple, one home run and six RBI. He also owns a .379 on-base percentage and .451 slugging percentage over the span. The stretch includes a pair of three-hit games. In the first 24 games of the season, he went 0-for-12, but did manage to post a .333 on-base percentage with five walks and one hit-by-pitch.

Player           AVG  GP-GS  AB   R   H  RBI  SLG%  BB HBP  SO   OB%  SH  SB-ATT 

First 24 games  .000  15- 4  12   4   0    0  .000   5   1   4  .333   1   2-2

Last 14 games   .314  14-14  51   8  16    6  .451   5   1  13  .379   2   1-2  


GRUELING SCHEDULE

The Aggies schedule features eight teams in the Baseball America Preseason Top 25 for a total of 20 games. The slate also highlights seven games against three teams in the BA Preseason Top 5 and 13 games against five teams in the BA Preseason Top 10. The Aggies play preseason No. 1 North Carolina and No. 18 Rice at the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park. They have a non-conference road series at No. 22 Cal State Fullerton. They have SEC series at No. 13 Ole Miss, No. 7 South Carolina and No. 3 Arkansas and SEC home series against No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 10 LSU.


FREE BASEBALL

The Aggies are 1-2 in extra innings this season. Texas A&M beat Georgia, 2-1, in 10 innings in their Saturday affair at Blue Bell Park and lost their Friday night home game against Auburn, 6-4, in 10 innings and road game at Sam Houston State, 9-8, in 11 innings.


MARTIN NOW APPEARING

Kyle Martin spent his first three seasons exclusively as a stalwart in the bullpen. He currently ranks third on A&M’s career list with 88 appearances. Martin has some work ahead of him to move up the list further as he’s chasing Kyle Thebeau’s record of 103 appearances between 2006-09. Estevan Uriegas (2009-12) ranks second with 100 appearances.


BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW

With 13 stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into third place on the Aggie career stolen base charts with 65. Jason Tyner owns the school record with 118 from 1996-98. Chuck Knoblauch (1987-89) is next on the list with 83 steals.


Bratsen stole 31 bases as a freshman, the seventh-best season in school history. Last season, Bratsen racked up 21 stolen bases.


MAKING A SACRIFICE

The Aggies are on pace for a school-record sacrifice bunts. With 46 bunts through 38 games, A&M is on pace for 67 sac bunts for the year. The school record is 55 in 2011. Last year, the Aggies put down 50 sacrifice bunts. Krey Bratsen leads the squad with 14 sacrifice bunts. He had 19 as a freshman and eight as a sophomore. He owns the school career record with 41 sacrifice bunts. Charlie Curl has added 10 and Blake Allemand has six.


FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #15 Daniel Mengden

Sophomore Daniel Mengden is making his 14th career start, his 10th weekend start and his third “Friday Night” start ... He leads the Aggies with four victories ... After starting the season 3-0, Mengden has been the tough-luck starter the last six weekend, going 1-2 with three no-decisions despite posting a 1.82 ERA ... Last week he was saddled with the L in a 3-2 loss to No.16 Mississippi State, yielding three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks while striking out seven over 7.0 innings ... Three weeks ago, he allowed one run on six hits and one walk while striking out two over 5.2 innings in a win at No. 6 Ole Miss ... In his first SEC start, he got no-decision despite holding Georgia to just one run while striking out eight over 8.0 innings ...  On the road at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, he was saddled with a loss despite allowing just two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out six over 6.0 innings ... In his third outing he went a career-long with 8.0 IP against No. 12 Rice and equaled a career-high eight strikeouts ... He also had eight strikeouts in a win against Pepperdine in the second week of the season ... As a freshman, he made four weekday starts going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 26.2 innings ...  In his 13 career starts, he is 7-2 with a 1.55 ERA, .201 opponent batting average and 65 strikeouts (12 walks) in 87.0 innings.


SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #31 Matt Kent

Freshman Matt Kent is making his first career start ... He was named SEC Freshman of the Week on March 25 after a performance against No. 6 Mississippi in which he pitched 5.0 scoreless innings of relief, scattering three hits and one walk while striking out three to earn the win as A&M erased a 5-0 deficit to win 10-6 ... He also pitched 3.2 innings, giving up one run on six hits while striking out one against No. 13 South Carolina and 3.0 innings of scoreless relief with one hit, one walk and one strikeout against Houston ... He earned a victory in relief in the series finale win over Georgia, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings with one hit and one strikeout ... He ranks second on the squad with 16 appearances ... He is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings of work in SEC action.


SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #55 Rafael Pineda

Rafael Pineda is making his 24th career start ... This first 20 starts, and 21 overall, were “Sunday” starts coming at the tail end of series ... After back-to-back starts, against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, in which he didn’t record an out, Pineda was removed from the weekend rotation, but returned for the Auburn series ...  He worked his way back into the weekend rotation after two midweek starts in which he did not allow an earned run in 11.1 innings of work ... Against UT Arlington on March 26, he held UT Arlington scoreless over 7.1 innings, allowing just three hits while striking out three ... This past Tuesday he worked 4.0 innings against UTSA, allowing three unearned runs, before being removed from the contest due to a three-hour, 12-minute rain delay ... Last weekend he earned the win in the Sunday game against Auburn, he allowed just one run on six hits and three walks while fanning three over 7.2 innings ... He spent the entire 2012 season as the Aggies’ Sunday starter, amassing a 5-1 record and 2.71 ERA.


OWNING THE MIDWEEK

The Aggies are 10-1 in midweek action this season, registering a 73-30 edge in scoring. The pitching staff owns a 2.15 ERA, holding foes to a .227 batting average. Grayson Long (3-1), Corey Ray (3-0) and Rafael Pineda (1-0) have accounted for all the midweek starts on the mound. Troy Stein is hitting .480 (12-for-25) with eight runs, one double, two triples, two home runs, seven RBI and a .920 slugging percentage in seven midweek games, including six starts. Jonathan Moroney (.391), Mikey Reynolds (.381), Cole Lankford (.345) and Mitchell Nau (.345) are also hitting over .340. Cole Lankford is hitting .345 with two doubles, two triples and nine RBI. Mengden, Reynolds and Mitchell Nau have seven RBI apiece. Stein (.552) and Blake Allemand (.521) both have on-base percentages of .500 or higher.


NINTH INNING LOCKDOWN

Texas A&M pitchers have allowed just four earned runs in ninth innings of games this season. In 29.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed five runs, four earned, on 22 hits and nine walks while striking out 23 for a 1.24 ERA and .212 opponent batting average. Jason Jester leads the way with 14.2 scoreless innings, scattering six hits and three walks while striking out 13. Parker Ray has worked 3.0 scoreless frames, scattering three hits and two walks while striking out one.


SETTING THE TABLE

Batters leading off an inning are hitting .332 (95-for-286) with 14 doubles, four triples, four home runs and a .410 on-base percentage. Daniel Mengden has a .667 on-base percentage, going 9-for-16 (.563) with four walks and one hit-by-pitch, one double and two home runs to lead the way. Mikey Reynolds owns a .525 on-base percentage, going 25-for-54 (.463) with five walks and two HBP. Jace Statum owns a .522 on-base percentage going 5-for-16 (.313) at the plate with seven walks in 23 plate appearances. Cole Lankford owns a .448 on-base percentage leading off innings, going 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles, one triple, one walk and one HBP.


FIRST INNING FIREWORKS

Both the Aggies and their opponents are finding the first inning to be the most fertile frame for scoring runs. Thirty-five of Texas A&M’s 179 runs (19.6%) have come in the first inning. Opponents have scored 26 of their 158 runs (16.5%) in the first inning.


A&M hitters are batting .355 (54-of-152) with a .500 slugging percentage in the first inning. Mikey Reynolds leads the way with a .455 batting average (15-for-33), 10 runs, three doubles, a .545 slugging percentage and a .545 on-base percentage. Troy Stein is batting .444 (4-for-9) with two doubles and five RBI. Cole Lankford also owns a .857 slugging percentage, going 6-for-14 (.429) with one double, one triple, one home run and nine RBI. Daniel Mengden is batting .438 (7-for-15) with one triple.


HERE COMES THE JESTER, 1-2-3

Jason Jester has been solid as the Aggies’ closer this season, going 9-for-10 in save situations. He is 2-2 with nine saves and a 3.10 ERA on the season. He has allowed 10 earned runs in 29.0 innings of work over 20 appearances, scattering 22 hits and seven walks while striking out 29. He is holding opponents to a .204 batting average.


STEIN PICKING UP STEAM

After a bit of a slow start, Troy Stein has hit .344 (22-for-64) in his last 18 games with 13 runs, two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 10 RBI. In the first 18 games of the season, Stein played in 15, including 13 starts and hit .260 (13-for-50) with just four runs, three doubles, one triple and three RBI. His slugging percentage (.531) and on-base percentage (.400) over his last 18 games is vastly improved over the numbers he put up in his first 15 games (.360 and .315, respectively).

Player           AVG  GP-GS  AB   R   H  RBI  SLG%  BB HBP  SO   OB%  SH  SB-ATT 

First 18 games  .260  15-13  50   4  13    3  .360   2   2  12  .315   1   1-1

Last 20 games   .344  18-18  64  13  22   10  .531   6   0  11  .400   1   0-0


BRATSEN BACK ON TRACK

Krey Bratsen had a brief mid-season slump, but he appears to be back on track. In his last 14 games, Bratsen is hitting .365 (19-for-52) with a .443 on-base percentage and five stolen bases. Over a 12-game span, from games 13 to 24 he hit just .132 (5-for-38) with a .244 on-base percentage and two stolen bases. Bratsen started the season on fire, hitting .356 (16-for-45) in the first 12 games with a .396 on-base percentage and six stolen bases.

Player           AVG  GP-GS  AB   R   H  RBI  SLG%  BB HBP  SO   OB%  SH  SB-ATT 

First 12 games  .356  12-12  45   6  16    7  .378   2   1   3  .396   4   6-7

Games 13-24     .132  12-12  38   7   5    4  .158   6   2  10  .244   5   2-3

Last 14 games   .365  14-14  52   6  19    7  .423   5   3  11  .443   5   5-5

UP NEXT

The Aggies head to San Marcos on Tuesday for their final non-conference road game of the season. Texas A&M and Texas State are slated for a 6:30 pm contest.

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