HOOVER, Alabama – The Texas A&M Aggies open up play at their first-ever SEC Tournament on Tuesday when they face the Florida Gators in a 4:30 pm contest at Hoover (Ala.) Metropolitan Stadium. The winner of the game advances to play No. 1 seed Vanderbilt in the double elimination portion of the tournament on Wednesday. The loser is eliminated from the tournament.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (30-25, 13-16 SEC) vs FLORIDA GATORS (29-27, 14-16 SEC)
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (10,800) • Hoover, Alabama
SCHEDULE – Tuesday, 4:30 pm
TELEVISION – Comcast SportsNet South (Ch. 119 on SuddenLink Bryan); Cox Sports Television (listings)
RADIO – WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
SATELLITE RADIO – Sirius 158/XM 199
LIVE AUDIO – AggieAthletics.com • RadioAggieland.com
LIVE VIDEO – ESPN3.com
LIVE STATS – www.SECDigitalNetwork.com
RANKINGS – A&M - unranked • UF – Unranked
SERIES HISTORY – Texas A&M leads 6-1
SERIES STREAK – Texas A&M won the last four meetings
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• Tuesday - Daniel Mengden (So., RHP, 7-3, 1.92 ERA) vs Johnny Magliozzi (So., RHP, 4-1, 2.14 ERA)
AGGIES IN THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
Texas A&M appeared in 14 of 16 Big 12 Tournaments, winning three of the last six. The Aggies won the tournament titles in 2007, 2010 and 2011. The Maroon and White own the second-best winning percentage in tournament history (.563) with a 27-21 mark, trailing only Nebraska (.707) who went 29-12 in their 10 appearances. 2005 and 2006 were the only two seasons the Aggies didn’t make the tournament between 1997-2012.
The Aggies won SWC Tournament titles in 1986 and 1989.
HERE COMES THE JESTER, 1-2-3
Jason Jester has been solid as the Aggies’ closer this season, going 13-for-15 in save situations. He is 3-3 with 13 saves and a 2.45 ERA on the season. He has allowed 11 earned runs in 40.1 innings of work over 26 appearances, scattering 28 hits and 11 walks while striking out 35. He is holding opponents to a .190 batting average.
In 15 save opportunities, Jester has allowed just one run on 12 hits and four walks while striking out 18 over 22.1 innings. He owns a 0.40 ERA in save situations and holding opponents to a .156 batting average. He has allowed just two of 12 inherited runners to score.
REYNOLDS REACHING BASE
In the Aggies’ series finale against Missouri, Mikey Reynolds had his streak of reaching base snapped at 45 games. The senior has reached base in 50 of his 53 games. The streak began with a 22-game hit streak and ended with a 15-game hit streak. He has hit safely in 48 of 53 games. He is hitting .359 on the season with a .419 on-base percentage, 37 runs, 11 doubles, one triple, one home run, 23 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Reynolds’ 45-game streak of reaching base included three pinch-hit appearances in three games at Arkansas in which he drew a walk and hit two singles.
REYNOLDS THE STREAKER
Mikey Reynolds is the only player in NCAA Division I to log two or more hit streaks of at least 15 games. After going hitless in the first game of the season, Reynolds hit in the next 22 games, the sixth-longest streak in school annals. Later in the year he posted a 15-game hit streak that included back-to-back games with pinch-hit singles in his only at-bats.
Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last 38 games (the Aggies’ last 44 games), Lankford is batting .370 (57-for-154) with 16 multiple hit games, including seven three-hit games. He has 14 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 28 RBI during the span. 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. In four games last week, Lankford hit .444 (8-for-18) with three doubles, one home run and nine RBI.
TEXAS A&M/FLORIDA SERIES NOTABLES
The Aggies and Gators have met on seven prior occasions with Texas A&M owning a 6-1 advantage in the series. In 2007, the Maroon and White swept a three-game series in College Station by a combined tally of 26-7. The Aggies won two-of-three in Gainesville in 2006, sandwiching a pair of shutouts victories (4-0 and 1-0) around a 4-1 loss. In the first meeting of the all-time series, the Aggies eliminated host Florida from the 1992 NCAA East Regional with a 6-5 win.
MORE ON fLORIDA
Florida is 29-27 overall and finished 14-16 in the SEC. The Gators enter the tournament having lost eight of their last 12 games, including 8 of 10 in league play.
The Gators are hitting .270 as a team with a .361 slugging percentage and .348 on-base percentage. Richie Martin leads the team with a .306 batting average, 24 runs, five doubles, one triple and 18 RBI in 41 games. Harrison Bader is hitting .303 with 35 runs, seven doubles, two triples, one home run, 22 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 56 games. Justin Shafer and Taylor Gushue are the top power threats. Shafer is hitting .298 with a .440 slugging percentage, 17 doubles, one triple and four home runs in 56 games. Gushue is hitting .284 with a .441 slugging percentage, 13 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 33 RBI in 56 games.
Florida owns a 3.89 ERA and .256 opponent batting average. Tuesday’s expected starter Johnny Magliozzi owns a 4-1 record, 2.14 ERA and 12 saves on the season. He has made 27 appearances, including two starts.
The Gators have made eight College World Series, including each of the last three years. They finished as runner-ups in 2005 and 2011, losing to Texas and South Carolina, respectively. Florida has earned bids to 28 NCAA Championships, including the last five years and 13 of the last 15 seasons. The Gators own 12 SEC regular-season titles and six conference tournament crowns.
Florida boasts 56 former players who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The group is headlined by 10-year Cleveland Indians’ veteran, four-time AL All-Star and 1953 AL Most Valuable Player Al Rosen, two-time NL All-Star and 1993 Gold Glove second baseman Robby Thompson and two-time NL All-Star and two-time World Series champion David Eckstein.
ALLEMAND GETTING INTO GEAR
After going 0-for-17 in his first six games (the Aggies first eight games), Allemand has batted .292 (49-for-168) with eight doubles, one home run and 24 RBI in the last 47 games. He and Krey Bratsen are the only two players to play in every game over the 47-game span. The 24 RBI and 23 runs during the span rank second. 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 40 games is .400 with 22 walks and seven 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 47 games .292 47-47 168 24 49 24 .357 23 7 24 .395 6 12-19
Texas A&M is in the midst of its first season in the Southeastern Conference. After 16 seasons in the Big 12 Conference, the Aggies will meet a new set of league mates. This year, A&M will face 10 of 13 possible conference opponents in the regular season, with no series scheduled against Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt this season.
The Aggies are 135-100-3 (.574) against current members of the SEC, including 3-2 vs Alabama, 39-31-1 vs Arkansas, 1-2 vs Auburn, 6-1 vs Florida, 3-0 vs Georgia, 3-1 vs Kentucky, 16-14-1 vs LSU, 6-3 vs Ole Miss, 8-9 vs Mississippi State, 47-32-1 vs Missouri, 0-4 vs South Carolina, 3-1 vs Tennessee. With long-time Big 12 companion Missouri out of the equation, A&M entered 2013 campaign with a 78-52-2 (.595) mark against the old guard. Texas A&M had never faced Auburn, Georgia and Vanderbilt prior to the 2013 campaign.
NINTH INNING LOCKDOWN
Texas A&M pitchers have allowed just four earned runs in the ninth innings of games this season. In 38.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed five runs, four earned, on 28 hits and 13 walks while striking out 29 for a 0.95 ERA and .204 opponent batting average. Jason Jester leads the way with 19.2 scoreless innings, scattering eight hits and five walks while striking out 15. 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 .316 (134-for-424) with 22 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and a .383 on-base percentage. Daniel Mengden has a .600 on-base percentage, going 13-for-25 (.520) with four walks, one hit-by-pitch, two doubles and three home runs to lead the way. Mikey Reynolds owns a .476 on-base percentage, going 31-for-75 (.413) with six doubles, six walks and three HBP. Krey Bratsen owns a .432 on-base percentage leading off innings, going 14-for-35 (.400) with one double one home run and two HBP.
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.
Mitchell Nau has four plate appearances with bases load this season. The sophomore has gone 4-for-4 with bases loaded with six RBI. Against UT Pan American, Nau had a bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning, but a passed ball on an 0-2 pitch unloaded the bases. As a team, the Aggies have a .318 batting average (21-for-66) and .367 on-base percentage with 52 RBI in 79 plate appearances.
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 319-178-2 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.
The Aggies are 2-2 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. In a game that was scheduled for seven innings, the Aggies lost a heart-breaking 2-1 decision in eight innings in the rubber match against No. 3 LSU.
Troy Stein owns a considerably higher batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage in road games as compared to home games. In 19 road games, Stein is batting .338 (24-for-71) on the road, 45 points higher than his home batting average.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB% SH SB-ATT
19 road games .338 19-18 71 12 24 8 .549 5 1 19 .390 0 2-2
33 home games .293 28-27 99 11 29 11 .404 6 1 14 .336 2 1-1
STEIN PICKING UP STEAM
After a bit of a slow start, Troy Stein has hit .336 (39-for-116) in his last 32 games with 19 runs, six doubles, two triples, three home runs and 15 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 (.500) and on-base percentage (.391) over his last 32 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 37 games .326 35-35 129 20 42 18 .496 10 1 25 .376 1 2-2
MARTIN CLIMBING CAREER PITCHING APPERANCES CHART
Kyle Martin spent his first three seasons exclusively as a stalwart in the bullpen and one of the pitchers most called upon by Coach Rob Childress. He currently ranks third on A&M’s career list with 93 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 CLIMBING CAREER STOLEN BASES CHART
With 15 stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into third place on the Aggie career stolen base charts with 67. 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.
TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #15 DANIEL MENGDEN
Sophomore Daniel Mengden is making his 19th career start ... In his 18 career starts, he is 10-3 with a 1.66 ERA, .195 opponent batting average and 96 strikeouts (21 walks) in 125.0 innings ... He was tabbed the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week on May 13 after holding LSU’s prolific offense to just one run on five hits while striking out five over 8.0 innings in a 2-1 win ... He leads the Aggies with seven victories ... After starting the season 3-0, Mengden had been the tough-luck starter the next eight weekends, going 1-3 with four no-decisions despite posting a 2.22 ERA ... Three weekends ago, he snapped out of the funk with a career-high 10 strikeouts in 8.0 innings in a 2-1 win over Missouri ... Over the last three weeks he is 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA and .171 opponent batting average, holding opponents to three runs on 14 hits and five walks while striking out 19 over 25.0 innings ... As a freshman, he made four weekday starts going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.
JESTER SETS A&M SINGLE-SEASON SAVES RECORD
With his save in the series opener against LSU, Jason Jester tied the A&M single-season saves record of 13 set by Scott Beerer in 2003.
PROTECT THE HOMEFRONT
The Aggies are 23-10 this season at Blue Bell Park, including an 8-7 mark in SEC action. Six A&M players are hitting over .300 at home, including Mikey Reynolds (.352), Cole Lankford (.333), Hunter Melton (.333), Daniel Mengden (.329), Krey Bratsen (.314) and Jace Statum (.304). Daniel Mengden is 4-1 with a 1.24 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 50.2 innings in his seven starts at home. Rafael Pineda is 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 47.1 innings in his nine games, including eight starts at home. Jason Jester is 2-1 with a 10 saves, a 2.31 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 23.1 innings over 17 appearances.
MELTON HEATING UP
In the last 11 games, Hunter Melton is hitting .348 (16-for-46) with five runs, two doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBI. Prior to the outburst, the Corsicana-native was hitting just .171 (7-for-41), but he did have two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in the 14 games.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB%
First 44 games .171 14-12 41 4 7 2 0 2 7 .366 7 0 12 .292
Last 8 games .348 11-11 46 5 16 2 1 2 6 .565 1 1 12 .375
BRATSEN BACK ON A HOT STREAK
The only player to play in every game for the Aggies, Krey Bratsen has gone through some hot and cold stretches. He’s currently on one of his hot streaks, getting a hit in each of his last nine games and registering a .500 batting average (15-for-30). In the last two games, he hit 6-for-8 with four runs, two doubles, one home run and one RBI.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI TB SLG% BB HBP OB% SF SH SB-ATT
Games 1-12 .356 12-12 45 6 16 7 17 .378 2 1 .396 0 4 6-7
Games 13-24 .132 12-12 38 7 5 4 6 .158 6 0 .244 1 5 2-3
Games 25-33 .406 9-9 32 4 13 5 14 .438 4 2 .487 1 4 3-3
Games 34-46 .160 13-13 50 3 8 2 10 .200 2 1 .208 0 3 3-4
Games 47-45 .500 9-9 30 6 15 4 21 .700 0 1 .500 1 1 1-1
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