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Aggies Host Stephen F Austin in Midweek Showdown

February 17, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Baseball returns to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday afternoon looking to remain perfect on the year. The Aggies host the Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks in a 6:35 pm game at the friendly confines. The Maroon and White will try to start the season 4-0 for the fourth time in the last six seasons.

Freshman Tyler Stubblefield will take the mound for the Aggies in his first career start. He pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in the season-opening win against Northeastern on Friday.

Junior Logan Nottebrook hopes to remain hot at the plate. He batted .444 (4-for-9) the opening weekend, going 3-for-4 with two doubles the first game and closing out the series against the Huskies with A&M's first walk-of home run since the 2011 Big 12 Championship title game.


Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas
– Tuesday, 6:35 PM
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SERIES HISTORY – Texas A&M leads 21-1


TUESDAY: A&M - Tyler Stubblefield (Fr., LHP, 0-0, 0.00) vs.  SFA - Kevin Bishop (Sr., RHP, 0-0, 4.50)

The Aggies are 21-1 all-time against the Lumberjacks, with the lone loss coming in 2010 when Stephen F Austin notched a 7-6 win. Last season, the Aggies logged a 9-2 victory with Corey Ray striking out eight while allowing two runs on three hits and two walks over 5.1 innings. Parker Ray capped off the victory with 2.0 blank frames, scattering one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Mikey Reynolds went 4-for-5 in the win with one run and two RBI. Troy Stein logged three hits and Charlie Curl went 3-for-3 with one run and three RBI.

The Lumberjacks are coming off a 28-29 campaign in 2013... SFA finished sixth in the Southland Conference with a 15-12 record and were bounced in the league tournament, losing their first two games... The Lumberjacks opened the season by going 2-1 at the UT Arlington Invitational, beating host UTA (14-9) and Incarnate Word (12-5) and losing the middle game to No. 18 Oklahoma State (3-1)... Mackenzie Handel opened the season by hitting .500 (5-for-10) with three runs, one double, one home run and three RBI… Nick Ramos batted .455 (5-for-11) with six runs, one double and two RBI on the opening weekend... Johnny Cardenas is in his sixth season as the Lumberjacks’ head coach, with a 150-138 record... He was tabbed the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2010... Stephen F Austin now boasts their first-ever former player in the Major League’s as catcher Steven Hill made his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on August 10, 2010, hitting a home run in his only game that season... He returned to the Majors in 2012, appearing in nine games.

• Head coach Rob Childress enters his ninth season at the helm of the Texas A&M baseball program, beginning the year with a 326-182-2 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 started the season 3-0 for the fifth time in the last six years… The only time in the span A&M didn’t start 3-0 was last season when the Maroon and White opened up the year with a loss against UIC only to rebound with a pair of wins to finish the series.

Stubblefield is making his first career start at Texas A&M… In the season opener against Northeastern, Stubblefield worked 2.0 shutout innings of relief, scattering two hits and striking out one.

Texas A&M starting pitchers combined to log a 2-0 record and 1.50 ERA on the opening weekend. Junior Daniel Mengden, senior Parker Ray and sophomore Grayson Long held Northeastern to a .197 batting average, allowing three runs on 13 hits and seven walks while striking out 25 over 18.0 innings.

On Friday, Mengden equaled a career-high with 11 strikeouts, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks over 6.0 innings in a 10-2 win. On Saturday, Ray allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking out seven over 5.0 innings in an 11-2 victory. Long had his longest career start on Sunday, working 7.0 shutout innings with two hits and three walks while striking out seven.

The Aggies’ bullpen allowed just one run in 9.0 innings of work over the opening weekend. The reserves sported a 1.00 ERA and .171 opponent batting average in the three games, allowing one run on six hits, all singles, and two walks while striking out eight. Andrew Vinson has led the charges with 2.1 blank innings over two games, retiring all seven batters he faced, including three strikeouts.

Texas A&M had 10 newcomers see action in the opening series, including seven freshmen and three junior college transfers.

On the mound, freshmen Mark Ecker, Ryan Hendrix and Tyler Stubblefield combined to work 4.0 innings. Ecker worked one inning, allowing one run in the ninth inning of Saturday’s 11-2 win. Stubblefield worked 2.0 scoreless innings and Hendrix tossed 1.0 blank inning in Friday’s 10-2 victory.

Transfers Logan Nottebrok and Patrick McLendon both started all three games. Nottebrok hit .444 (4-for-9) with two doubles and one home run, with the dinger being a walk-off variety in A&M’s 1-0 win on Sunday. McLendon hit .250 (3-for-12) with five runs and three RBI.

Freshmen Nick Banks, Ryne Birk and Ronnie Gideon and transfer G.R. Hinsley each got one start on the weekend and freshman Nick Choruby saw action as a defensive substitute and pinch-runner.

Senior Jason Jester had a 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.

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).

Jester appeared in one game the opening weekend, earning a win in the Aggies’ 1-0 walk-off victory on Sunday.

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