COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies host the UTPA Broncs for the final home game of the 2013 campaign. The Maroon and White are 22-10 at home on the season, including 11-0 in midweek home games. Freshman Grayson Long returns to the mound for his first start since April 16. Long is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in six home appearances, including five starts.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (27-24, 11-15 SEC) vs UTPA Broncs (24-26, 14-9 GWC)
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 - unranked • UTPA - unranked
SERIES HISTORY - A&M leads 57-18
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS – Grayson Long (Fr., RHP, 3-1, 4.22 ERA) vs Matt Daniels (Jr., RHP, 1-5, 7.94 ERA)
GRAYSON LONG BACK ON THE MOUND
Grayson Long returns to the Olsen Field mound for the first time since April 6 and he’s pitching for the first time since April 16. He has struggled in his last two outings, yielding a combined seven runs on seven hits and five walks while striking out two over 3.1 innings. Before that, he was 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA in seven appearances, including five starts.
The Aggie bullpen has been stout the last 11 games, allowing just eight runs, seven earned, over 33.2 innings. The reserves are 1-1 with three saves and a 1.87 ERA over the span. The bullpen has also only allowed four of 23 inherited runners to score.
SUCCESS IN MIDWEEK HOME GAMES
The Aggies are 11-0 in home midweek action this season, winning the games by a combined margin of 71-23. The pitching staff owns a 1.64 ERA, holding foes to a .214 batting average. Grayson Long (3-0), Corey Ray (3-0) and Rafael Pineda (2-0) have accounted for all the midweek starts on the mound. Jonathan Moroney (.391), Troy Stein (.375), Mikey Reynolds (.370), Daniel Mengden (.368), Blake Allemand (.353) and Cole Lankford (.333) are all hitting .330 or better. Lankford has two doubles, two triples and 10 RBI. Mengden, Reynolds and Mitchell Nau have seven RBI apiece. Allemand owns a .542 on-base percentage and has team-highs with 13 runs and six stolen bases.
TEXAS A&M/UTPA SERIES NOTABLES
A&M owns a 57-18 advantage in the all-time series against UT Pan American. Although the Aggies have won 14 of the last 16 and 50 of the last 56 meetings, the Broncs won the last game 5-2 in March of last season to split a two-game series.
MORE ON UTPA
UT Pan American enters the fray with a 24-26 overall record and the Broncs are on a five-game losing skid, including being swept in four games at Northern Colorado.
The Broncs are hitting .281 as a team. Shane Ammon leads the team in batting with a .355 average and has 26 runs, nine doubles and 22 RBI in 38 games (31 starts). Bryan Ramirez is hitting .333 with 13 runs, four doubles, one home run and 18 RBI in 30 games (24 starts). Among every day starters, Alex Howe is leading the team with a .321 average, 29 runs, nine doubles, three triples, 38 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 49 games. Riley Goulding is hitting .312 with 34 runs, eight doubles and 25 RBI in 49 games.
UT Pan American owns a 4.04 team ERA and is holding opponents to a .258 batting average with 349 strikeouts in 410.1 innings. Tuesday’s probable starter RHP Matt Daniels is 1-5 with a 7.94 ERA. Closer Aaron Moore is 0-0 with four saves and a 2.38 ERA.
The Broncs were once a regional power in baseball, advancing to the NCAA Championship on 13 occasions and finishing fourth at the 1971 College World Series.
UTPA boasts four former players who went on to play in Major League Baseball, headlined by the Tyrone Brothers, Jim and Wayne.
NINTH INNING LOCKDOWN
Texas A&M pitchers have allowed just four earned runs in the ninth innings of games this season. In 36.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed five runs, four earned, on 26 hits and 11 walks while striking out 29 for a 1.00 ERA and .202 opponent batting average. Jason Jester leads the way with 18.2 scoreless innings, scattering seven hits and four walks while striking out 15. Parker Ray has worked 3.0 scoreless frames, scattering three hits and two walks while striking out one.
HERE COMES THE JESTER, 1-2-3
Jason Jester has been solid as the Aggies’ closer this season, going 13-for-14 in save situations. He is 2-3 with 13 saves and a 2.54 ERA on the season. He has allowed 11 earned runs in 39.0 innings of work over 26 appearances, scattering 26 hits and 10 walks while striking out 35. He is holding opponents to a .183 batting average.
In 14 save opportunities, Jester has allowed just one run on 10 hits and three walks while striking out 18 over 21.0 innings. He owns a 0.43 ERA in save situations and holding opponents to a .138 batting average.
BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
With 15 stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen has moved into third place on the Aggies career stolen bases charts with 67. Jason Tyner owns the school record with 118 from 1996-98. Chuck Knoblauch (1987-89) ranks second with 83.
Bratsen stole 31 bases as a freshman, the seventh-best season in school history. Last season, Bratsen racked up 21 stolen bases.
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.
Texas A&M wraps up regular-season play with a road trip to play the Tennessee Volunteers starting Thursday. Game times for the series are 5 pm on both Thursday and Friday and 12 pm on Saturday.