COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Baseball returns to the diamond this weekend when it welcomes the Northeastern Huskies to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The three-game series marks the beginning of the Aggies’ second campaign in the SEC. A&M is coming off a 34-29 campaign in which they advanced to the NCAA Championship for a school-record seventh consecutive season.
#24 TEXAS A&M AGGIES (0-0) vs. NORTHEASTERN HUSKIES (0-0)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas
SCHEDULE – Friday, 6:35 pm • Saturday, 2:05 pm • Sunday, 1:05 pm
TELEVISION – None
STREAMING – AggieAthletics.com (premium subscription)
RADIO – WTAW-AM 1620 (Friday & Sunday); KZNE 1150 (Saturday)
LIVE AUDIO – AggieAthletics.com • RadioAggieland.com (free)
LIVE STATS – AggieAthletics.com/tamustats.com (mobile device)
SERIES HISTORY – First Meeting
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (2013 Stats)
• FRIDAY: #15 Daniel Mengden (Jr., RHP, 8-4, 2.11) vs. #14 Nick Berger (Jr., RHP, 6-6, 3.56)
• SATURDAY: #54 Parker Ray (Sr., RHP, 2-1, 1.73) vs. #34 James Mulry (So., LHP, 3-3, 4.11)
• SUNDAY: #38 Grayson Long (So., RHP, 4-2, 3.52) vs. #13 Chris Carmain (Sr., RHP, 1-1, 6.85)
TEXAS A&M/NU SERIES NOTABLES
The matchup this weekend will be the first ever series between the Aggies and Huskies. This marks the Aggies’ first-ever game against any current member of the Colonial Athletic Association. CAA members include the College of Charleston, Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern, Towson, UNC Wilmington and William & Mary
MORE ON NORTHEASTERN
The Huskies are coming off a 31-26 campaign in 2013 that saw them finish fifth in the CAA and advance to the semifinal of the CAA Tournament, ousting No. 3 seed Delaware, No. 6 seed James Madison and No. 1 seed UNCW before falling to No. 2 seed William & Mary... The Huskies were picked to finish fifth in the eight-team CAA... Northeastern provides an opportunity for a solid RPI opponent as the Huskies finished 111st in the RPI in 2013... NU returns four of their top five hitters from 2013, including 1B Rob Fonseca (.309, 15 doubles, six home runs, 40 RBI), CF Connor Lyons (.294, 11 doubles, three triples, 19 RBI), SS Jason Vosler (.290, 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 41 RBI) and 2B Michael Foster (.282, 17 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 38 RBI)... The team is led by head coach Neil McPhee who is in his 29th and final year at the helm of the program and has a career record of 697-623-4 (.527)... Former Major Leaguer and brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine, Mike Glavine is the team’s head-coach-in-waiting.
The Huskies have had nine players reach the Majors, including four since 2000... The most prolific product to go onto the Majors is 13-year veteran, 2007 AL Comeback Player of the Year, 2008 Gold Glove winner and 2009 All-Star Carlos Pena who batted .324 with 24 home runs in two seasons at Northeastern... The Huskies have played in the NCAA Division I Championship on seven occasions, including one trip to the College World Series in 1966.
NOTES AND NOTABLES
• Head coach Rob Childress enters his ninth season at the helm of the Texas A&M baseball program, beginning the year with a 323-182-2 record. Last season, he led the Aggies to the postseason to extend their school-record streak to seven consecutive seasons.
• Texas A&M welcomes back 17 letterwinners, including seven positional starters, from last season’s 34-29 team that advanced to the NCAA Championship. The Aggies return two All-SEC Second Team performers in Krey Bratsen (OF) and Daniel Mengden (UT). They are joined by Cole Lankford who earned SEC All-Defensive Team recognition at first base along with Mengden on the mound.
• The Aggies enter the season ranked in the Top 25 in three of the four major college baseball polls, earning the No. 23 ranking in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, No. 24 spot in the Baseball America ranking and the No. 25 position in the Collegiate Baseball ranking.
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #15 DANIEL MENGDEN
Mengden earned All-SEC Second Team recognition as a utility player as well as SEC All-Defensive Team recognition as a pitcher... In 2013, Mengden ranked fourth in the SEC in innings pitched (110.2), fifth in opponents batting average (.201), sixth in strikeouts (94), seventh in wins (8), ninth in ERA (2.11)... Pitched the Aggies’ only two complete games in 2013, both in SEC play... Went 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA in league games... In SEC action, ranked second in the league in innings (71.2), fourth in ERA (1.88) and opponents batting average (.198) and fifth in strikeouts (56)... Pitched for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer.
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #54 PARKER RAY
In 2013, ranked fifth in the SEC in ERA (1.73) and 10th in opponents batting average (.213)... Appeared in 10 SEC games, including four starts, logging a 0-1 record, 2.80 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 35.1 innings... Started the 2013 campaign in the bullpen, posting a 0.69 ERA in 26.0 innings of work over 17 appearances, walking five and striking out 16... Stepped up in the postseason going 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 16.2 innings of work in wins over Vanderbilt (5/22) at the SEC Tournament and UTSA (6/1) at the NCAA Corvallis Regional.
SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #38 GRAYSON LONG
Appeared in 12 games as a freshman, including 10 starts, registering a 4-2 record and a 3.52 ERA... Notched a 4-0 record with a 2.28 ERA in six midweek starts, logging 23 strikeouts in 27.2 innings.
TOUGH TESTS SPANGLE THE 2014 SCHEDULE
Ten teams on Texas A&M’s 2014 schedule will be coming off NCAA tournament campaigns.
Of the 14 squads who earned a berth in the field of 64 in ‘13, three hosted regionals and LSU and Mississippi State both advanced to the College World Series in Omaha where the Bulldogs finished as national runner-up to UCLA. Three of the Aggies’ opponents racked up 50 or more wins.
The Aggies will play a total of 25 games against 2013 NCAA tourney teams this spring.
Senior Krey Bratsen enters the season with a chance to set the Aggies’ all-time record for games played. Through three seasons he has 192 career games under his belt, 49 shy of the career record of 241 set by Scott Livingstone (1985-88). With eight more games, Bratsen will become the 15th Aggie to play in 200 games.
As a freshman, Bratsen played in all 69 games, including 68 starts. In 2012, he played in 60 games, including 55 starts. Last season, Bratsen was the only Aggie to start all 63 games.
BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
Krey Bratsen is flying up the Aggies career stolen bases charts with 70 which ranks third. He is just 13 steals from second place, trailing No. 2 Chuck Knoblauch (83 - 1987-89). 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. As a sophomore he swiped 21 bases and followed up with 18 in 2013.
JESTER SETS SINGLE-SEASON SAVE RECORD IN 2013
Senior Jason Jester had an historic season in 2013, setting the Aggie single-season record with 14 saves on the year. He broke the record of 13 set by Scott Beerer in 2003. Jester was successful on 14 of his 15 save opportunities during the year and went 3-4 with a 2.47 ERA on the season.
JESTER CLIMBING AGGIES CAREER SAVES LIST
Jason Jester starts the season ranked fourth on the Aggies’ career saves list with 14. He needs nine saves to equal the career mark of 23 set by Scott Centala (1987-89). With two saves, Jester would move into second place as he trails No. 3 Travis Starling (15 - 2007-09) and No. 2 Chris Russ (16 - 1998-2001).