COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies host the UTSA Roadrunners to start an eight-game homestand. The Maroon and White have played well on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park in 2013, sporting a 14-3 record and A&M enters the homestand with a nine-game home win streak. The Aggies are also 8-0 in midweek action this week and are looking to build momentum following a weekend at South Carolina that saw them get swept in a series for the first time since April 2012.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (18-11, 5-4 SEC) vs UTSA ROADRUNNERS (16-12, 2-4 WAC)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas
SCHEDULE - Tuesday, 6:35 pm
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
LIVE AUDIO - aggieathletics.com • radioaggieland.com
LIVE VIDEO - aggieathletics.com (with premium subscription
LIVE STATS - aggieathletics.com
RANKINGS - A&M - 18th (CB) • UTSA - unranked
SERIES HISTORY - A&M leads 20-9
SERIES STREAKS - A&M is on a one-game streak
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS - Rafael Pineda (Jr., RHP, 2-2, 3.38 ERA) vs Nolan Trabanino (Fr., LHP, 3-2, 4.15 ERA)
• Head Men’s Golf Coach, Coach J.T. Higgins will be throwing out the first pitch
• Junior Aggie Club Members get in FREE
• Baseball Bingo
OWNING THE MIDWEEK
The Aggies are 8-0 in midweek action this season, winning the games by a combined margin of 50-16. The pitching staff owns a 1.88 ERA, holding foes to a .194 batting average. Grayson Long (3-0), Corey Ray (2-0) and Rafael Pineda (1-0) have accounted for all the midweek starts on the mound. Troy Stein is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with two triples. Jonathan Moroney (.412), Mikey Reynolds (.371) and Daniel Mengden (.367) are all hitting .350 or better. Cole Lankford is hitting .320 with two doubles, two triples and eight RBI. Mengden and Mitchell Nau have seven RBI apiece. Stein (.571) and Blake Allemand (.529) both have on-base percentages above .500.
SHINING AT HOME
The Aggies own a 14-3 record in home games during the 2013 campaign, led by a pitching staff which boasts a 1.69 ERA. Grayson Long leads the way with a 3-0 record and 1.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 21.2 innings. Rafael Pineda is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 22.0 innings. Daniel Mengden owns a 1.31 ERA and 2-0 mark in three starts on the Olsen Field mound. He has yielded just three runs on 14 hits and one walk while striking out 18 over 20.2 innings. Freshman Jason Jester is 2-0 with five saves at home, working 13.0 shutout innings, scattering seven hits and two walks while striking out 11. Mikey Reynolds is hitting .397 with 10 runs, nine RBI and nine steals in 17 home games. Mengden is batting .321 with 10 runs, one double, one triple, two home run and nine RBI in 15 games. Cole Lankford is hitting .305 with four doubles, three triples, one home run and 12 RBI. Krey Bratsen has 11 runs, three doubles, 11 RBI and nine steals.
A DIFFERENT STREAK
Although Mikey Reynolds career-long hit streak was snapped at 22 games in the Aggies’ 2-1 win over Ole Miss on March 24, he still has an impressive string going. Reynolds has reached base safely via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in all 96 games this season. Reynolds, who has hit safely in 26 of 29 games, reached by way of a walk in the season opener vs UIC, reached by way both a hit-by-pitch and an intentional walk in the first game of the doubleheader sweep of Ole Miss and reached via a walk in the series finale at South Carolina. He is hitting .405 on the season with a .458 on-base percentage, 21 runs, seven doubles, 15 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last 17 games (the Aggies’ last 18 games), Lankford is batting .391 (27-for-69) with eight multiple hit games, five doubles, two triples, one home run and 13 RBI. In the weekend series at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, he went 6-for-13 with five RBI. In the last five games, Lankford has three 3-hit games, going 3-for-5 each time. 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.
TEXAS A&M/UTSA SERIES NOTABLES
Texas A&M owns a 20-9 advantage in the all-time series. The teams have played at least onece a year every season since 1993. The Maroon and White own a 17-4 advantage in games played in College Station. The Aggies won last season’s contest, 4-3, in a rain-shortened seven-inning contest at Blue Bell Park. Tyler Naquin hit a two-run home run in the seventh to put the Aggies ahead, shortly before play was suspended. After a 1:33 delay, the game was called and A&M was awarded the victory. Parker Ray picked up the win in relief with one scoreless inning.
MORE ON UTSA
UTSA enters Tuesday’s contest with a 16-12 record. Daniel Rockett is leading the Roadrunners’ offense, hitting .522 (35-for-67) with eight doubles, one triple, five home runs and 22 RBI in 16 games. He missed 12 games from March 5-24, but has been hitting .450 (9-for-20) with two home runs and seven RBI since his return. UTSA, who is hitting .324 as a team, has three other hitters with averages above .340, including RJ Perucki (.368, 8 2B, 7 HR, 30 RBI), John Bormann (.352, 9 2B, 1 HR, 19 RBI) and Mike Warren (.347, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI).
The Roadrunners’ Achilles heel has been the pitching staff that owns a 4.83 ERA and allowing opposing hitters to bat .311. Tuesday’s probable starter Nolan Trabanino is 3-2 with a 4.15 ERA in nine appearances, including five starts. Reliever Jordan Pacheco has logged the most innings, going 6-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 appearances, including two starts.
UTSA has two NCAA Championship appearances since it began playing baseball in 1992, including 1994 (Austin Regional) and 2005 (Waco Regional).
ALLEMAND GETTING INTO GEAR
After going 0-for-17 in his first six games (the Aggies first eight games), Allemand has batted .271 (19-for-70) with four doubles, one home run and 14 RBI in the last 21 games. 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 21 games is .400 with 11 walks and five HBP.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB% SH SB-ATT
First 6 games .000 6- 6 17 5 0 0 .000 5 2 7 .292 2 3-3
Last 21 games .271 21-21 70 7 19 14 .371 11 5 12 .400 4 5-5
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.
MORE ON THE 2013 SCHEDULE
Fourteen teams on Texas A&M’s 2013 schedule will be coming off NCAA tournament campaigns.
Of the 14 squads who earned a berth in the field of 64 in ‘13, four hosted regionals and Arkansas and South Carolina both advanced to the College World Series in Omaha where the Gamecocks finished as national runner-up to Arizona. Eight of the Aggies’ opponents racked up 40 or more wins.
The Aggies will play a total of 31 games against 2012 NCAA tourney teams this spring.
NINTH INNING LOCKDOWN
Texas A&M pitchers have yet to allow an earned run in ninth innings of games this season. In 20.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed one unearned run on 14 hits and seven walks while striking out 17. Jason Jester leads the way with 10.2 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out eight. Andrew Vinson worked 4.2 blank frames, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out six.
HERE COMES THE JESTER, 1-2-3
Jason Jester has been lights out as the Aggies’ closer this season, going a perfect 7-for-7 in save situations. He is 2-1 with seven saves and a 1.66 ERA on the season. He has allowed just four earned runs in 21.2 innings of work over 14 appearances, scattering 12 hits and four walks while striking out 21. He is holding opponents to a .156 batting average.
MAKING A SACRIFICE
The Aggies are on pace for a school-record sacrifice bunts. With 38 bunts through 29 games, A&M is on pace for 73 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 11 sacrifice bunts. He had 19 as a freshman and eight as a sophomore. Charlie Curl has added eight and Blake Allemand has six.
BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
With nine stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into fourth place on the Aggies career stolen bases charts with 62. He is three steals shy third place, trailing No. 3 Steven Truitt (63 - 1997-99). Jason Tyner owns the school record with 118 from 1996-98.
Bratsen stole 31 bases as a freshman, the seventh-best season in school history. Last season, Bratsen racked up 21 stolen bases.
Texas A&M returns to SEC play with a three-game series against the Auburn Tigers beginning on Friday at Blue Bell Park. Game times are 6:35 pm on Friday, 2:05 pm on Saturday and 1:05 pm on Sunday.