COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies welcome the Pepperdine Waves to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for a three-game series this weekend. The Aggies come in winners of four consecutive games and boast a pitching staff with a 1.40 ERA. Pepperdine owns the same 4-1 record as Texas A&M and Waves' hitters own a .325 batting average on the year.
#24 TEXAS A&M AGGIES (4-1) vs PEPPERDINE WAVES (4-1)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas
SCHEDULE - Friday, 6:35 PM • Saturday, 6:05 PM • Sunday, 1:05 PM
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 Dave South, play-by-play
LIVE VIDEO - aggieathletics.com (with a premium subscription)
LIVE AUDIO - aggieathletics.com • radioaggieland.com
LIVE STATS - aggieathletics.com
RANKINGS - Texas A&M - 24th (NCBWA), 24th (USAT), 26th (CollBB)
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M leads 4-1
SERIES STREAKS - Texas A&M has won three straight
- Have A Catch: Don't miss your chance to play catch on Olsen Field under the lights! Fans will be invited to play catch in the outfield for half an hour following the conclusion of the game
SUNDAY - All Junior Aggie Club members get in FREE
- Autograph Session: The Aggie Baseball team will be hosting an autograph session and poster giveaway after Sunday's game vs. Pepperdine. Come out and meet the members of your 2013 Fightin' Texas Aggie Baseball team!
- Run The Bases: All kids are invited to run the bases following the conclusion of the game.
- Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Up to 4 children under the age of 12 get in free with the purchase of an accompanying adult ticket.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
- FRIDAY: #32 Kyle Martin (Sr., RHP, 0-1, 0.00) vs. #44 Scott Frazier (Jr., RHP, 1-0, 0.00)
- SATURDAY: #15 Daniel Mengden (So., RHP, 1-0, 1.59) vs. #37 Corey Miller (Jr., RHP, 1-0, 1.50)
- SUNDAY: #55 Rafael Pineda (Jr., RHP, 1-0, 1.50) vs. #27 Aaron Brown (So., LHP, 0-0, 3.18)
LEADING OFFTexas A&M Baseball looks to extend its four-game win streak as they host the Pepperdine Waves in a three-game series on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park ... The Aggies' pitching has been stellar to date, posting a 1.40 ERA and holding opponents to a .196 batting average ... Last season, A&M swept Pepperdine in a three-game series in Malibu in 2012.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
- RADIO - Fans can listen locally on WTAW-AM 1620 ... Dave South (play-by-play) and selected commentators will call the action ... pregame show begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
- INTERNET - aggieathletics.com will offer live play-by-play and statistics ... fans can watch all non-televised games on 12thMan.TV (with a premium subscription).
- MOBILE PHONE - listen to the game on your iPhone, Blackberry or PDA free of charge ... log on to radioaggieland.com for more information.
TEXAS A&M/PEPPERDINE SERIES NOTABLES
The Aggies are 4-1 all-time against the Waves. The squads first met in 2002 when Pepperdine traveled to College Station to participate in the Aggie Continental Express Baseball Classic. The teams played a pair of seven-inning games with A&M winning the first one 6-2 and dopping the next game two days later, 2-0. Last season, Texas A&M went to Malibu and swept a three-game series from Pepperdine. The Aggies won the three games by a combined 25-7 tally, including a complete-game 4-0 shutout by Michael Wacha on Friday night. Blake Allemand batted .500 (6-for-12) with two runs in a double and Mikey Reynolds batted .400 (6-for-15) with two runs, one double, one triple and four RBI.
MORE ON PEPPERDINE
The Waves are coming off a 36-23 campaign in which they won the West Coast Conference with a 16-8 mark in 2012 ... Pepperdine made its 26th NCAA Championship appearance where they were eliminated by Stanford in the Palo Alto Regional ... Pepperdine won the 1992 College World Series in one of its two trips to Omaha ... This season, the Waves started the season with a four-game sweep of Western Michigan ... Pepperdine lost their midweek game at Cal State Fullerton, 6-3 ... Pepperdine has sent 34 players onto Major League Baseball with the most notables being three-time MLB All-Star Dan Haren, 16-year journeyman catcher Chad Kreuter, 1986 Cy Young Award Winner Mike Scott and 132-game winner Randy Wolf.
NOTES AND NOTABLES
- Head coach Rob Childress is in his eighth season at the helm of the Texas A&M baseball program, beginning the year with a 293-154-2 record. Last season, he led the Aggies to the postseason for a school-record sixth-consecutive season.
- Texas A&M welcomes back 17 letterwinners, including five positional starters, from last season's 43-18 team that advanced to the NCAA Championship. The Aggies return two All-Big 12 Second Team performers in Troy Stein (C) and Mikey Reynolds. They are joined by Blake Allemand (INF) and Kyle Martin (RHP) who garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention a year ago. Allemand and Chance Bolcerek were Big 12 All-Freshman selections.
FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER: #32 KYLE MARTIN
After 77 relief appearances in his first three seasons in College Station, senior Kyle Martin made his first collegiate start last Friday night ... Despite no-decision and a team loss, Martin tallied career-highs with 6.2 IP and 10 strikeouts and the two runs he allowed were unearned ... His 78 appearances ranks seventh on A&M's career list ... Last season Martin served as the Aggies' closer, going 6-5 with seven saves and a 3.20 ERA ... He was All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a junior.
SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER: #15 DANIEL MENGDEN
Sophomore Daniel Mengden is making his sixth career start and his second career weekend start ... Last week he won his initial weekend start, allowing one run on three hits and one walk while striking out two over 5.2 innings ... As a freshman, he made four weekday starts going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 26.2 innings ... He twice pitched 7.0 innings, including an effort at Sam Houston State where he pitched 7.0 scoreless innings, scattering six hits while striking out four ... His career high for strikeouts is five on two separate occasions ... In his six starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.
SUNDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER: #55 Rafael Pineda
Junior Rafael Pineda is making his 17th career start, all in the weekend rotation ... He spent the entire 2012 season as the Aggies' Sunday starter, amassing a 5-1 record and 2.71 ERA ... Pineda earned a victory in his start against Pepperdine in 2012 ... He allowed two runs on six hits while striking out three over 5.2 innings ... Pineda is making his 12th start at Blue Bell Park ... He is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA at home.
POSTSEASON STREAK CONTINUES IN 2013
Prior to the arrival of head coach Rob Childress, Texas A&M had never appeared in the NCAA Tournament more than four consecutive years. Hosting an NCAA Regional in 2012 extended the Aggies current string to six consecutive years, something that had never happened before in the program's 112 year history.
Childress has led the Aggies to the postseason each of the last six seasons, topping the previous-high water mark of four-straight trips, a feat that had happened only twice before at Texas A&M. Former head coach Tom Chandler led his squad to the NCAA Regionals each season from 1975 to 1978 and 11 years later the Aggies enjoyed a similar four-year run from 1986-89 under the direction of head coach Mark Johnson.
The Aggies had seven true freshmen make appearances on the opening week of action. Jonathan Moroney started four games in leftfield agains UIC. He hit .385 with one double, one triple and four RBI. JB Moss is hitless in three at-bats over two games, but he has a sacrifice bunt. Logan Taylor has one start at third base and was hit by a pitch in three plate appearnces. Cory Raley scored on run as a pinch-runner. On the mound, Grayson Long won his first career start on Wednesday. He is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Andrew Vinson has pitched 1.2 scoreless innings over two appearances. AJ Minter retired the only batter he faced on the season.
This season, seven pitchers have taken the mound as Aggies for the first time, including three true freshmen. The seven pitchers have combined to allow just one run on eight hits over over 15.1 innings. True freshman Grayson Long leads the group, posting a 1-0 mark with a 1.35 ERA over 6.2 innings. Redshirt freshman Matt Kent has made four appearances, racking up 2.2 scoreless frames, including a pair of inning ending double plays. Junior Jason Jester has one save, which went 1.2 shutout frames. True freshmen Andrew Vinson (1.2 IP) and AJ Minter (0.1 IP), sophomore Zach Brashear (1.1 IP) and redshirt freshman Ty Schlottmann (1.0 IP) are all unscathed on the year.
SETTING THE TABLE
Batters leading off an inning are hitting .378 (14-for-37) with one double, one triple and a .439 on-base percentage for the Aggies. Daniel Mengden leads the way with a .750 average (3-for-4) and .800 on-base percentage.
AGGIE PITCHING DOMINATING RIGHT-HANDED BATTING
Texas A&M pitchers are holding right-handed hitters to a .188 batting average (19-for-101). Among starters, Kyle Martin leads the squad, allowing righties to hit just .118 (2-for-17). Grayson Long isn't far behind at .133 (2-for-15). Zach Brashear has the best numbers out of the bullpen with righties hitting .000 (0-for-4).
KILLING THE RALLY
Aggie pitchers are hunkering down with runners on base. The A&M staff is holding opponents to a .185 batting average with runners on base. Matt Kent has retired all six batters he's faced with runners on base with five groundouts and a strikeout. The Aggies are also limiting the opponent to a .160 (4-for-25) batting average with runners on base and two outs and .205 (8-for-39) with runners in scoring position.
BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
With one stolen base on the opening weekend, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into a tie for sixth place on the Aggies career stolen bases charts with 53. He is just three steals from fourth place, trailing No. 4 Blake Stouffer (56 - 2005-08) and No. 5 Brian Thomas (55 - 1990-93). 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
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.
MARTIN NOW APPEARING
Now the Aggies' Friday night starter, Kyle Martin spent his first three seasons as a stalwart in the bullpen. He currently ranks seventh on A&M's career list with 78 appearances. It will be a harder record to reach as a starter, but he's chasing Kyle Thebeau's record of 103 appearances between 2006-09.
Texas A&M plays host to the Northwestern State Demons in a two-game series on Feb. 27-28 on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.