CORVALLIS, Oregon - The Texas A&M Aggies face the UTSA Roadrunners in an elimination game at the Corvallis Regional on Saturday afternoon. The Maroon and White lost a 6-4 decision to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos while Roadrunners lost to Oregon State, 5-4, on a walk-off double. The teams are no strangers as they met on April 2 this season. The Aggies were the 11-4 victors in the game that featured a 3-hour, 12-minute rain delay.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (32-28, 13-16 SEC) vs UTSA Roadrunners (35-24, 15-11 WAC)
Goss Stadium (3,248) • Corvallis, Oregon
SCHEDULE – Saturday, 2 pm Central
RADIO – WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
LIVE AUDIO – AggieAthletics.com • RadioAggieland.com
LIVE VIDEO – ESPN3 and WatchESPN (Tom Hart and Mike Rooney)
LIVE STATS – www.NCAA.com
RANKINGS – A&M - unranked • UTSA – unranked
SERIES HISTORY – Aggies lead 21-9
SERIES STREAK – Aggies have won two in a row
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS: Friday – Parker Ray (Jr., RHP, 1-1, 1.83 ERA) vs Brock Hartson (Fr., RHP, 9-4,3.10 ERA)
AGGIES IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Aggies are making their 29th NCAA Championship appearance overall and their seventh in a row. The Aggies are 64-65 all-time in NCAA Championship play, including 55-42 in regional action.
Texas A&M has won regionals in 1993, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011. They also captured a district playoff in 1951 before regional play began.
The Aggies have advanced to the College World Series on five occasions, including 1951, ‘64, ‘93, ‘99 and 2011.
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 2.32 ERA on the season. He has allowed 11 earned runs in 42.2 innings of work over 31 appearances, scattering 50 hits and 12 walks while striking out 37. He is holding opponents to a .192 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 55 of his 58 games. The streak began with a 22-game hit streak and ended with a 15-game hit streak. He has hit safely in 49 of 58 games. He is hitting .340 on the season with a .404 on-base percentage, 38 runs, 13 doubles, one triple, one home run, 25 RBI and 18 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 43 games (the Aggies’ last 49 games), Lankford is batting .358 (62-for-173) with 17 multiple hit games, including eight three-hit games. He has 15 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 31 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 the last four games of the regular season, Lankford hit .444 (8-for-18) with three doubles, one home run and nine RBI.
TEXAS A&M/UTSA SERIES NOTABLES
Texas A&M owns a 21-9 advantage in the all-time series. The teams have played at least once a year every season since 1993. The Maroon and White own an 18-4 advantage in games played in College Station. This season, the A&M won an 11-4 decision in a game that included a 3:12 rain delay. UTSA owned a 3-0 lead before the game was halted in the middle of fourth. After the delay, the Aggies immediately scored six runs in the home half of the fourth and coasted to the victory. Blake Allemand and Brandon Wood each had three hits in the win. The Aggies won last season’s contest, 4-3, in a rain-shortened seven-inning contest at Blue Bell Park. Tyler Naquin hit a two-run home run in the seventh to put the Aggies ahead, shortly before play was suspended. After a 1:33 delay, the game was called and A&M was awarded the victory. Parker Ray picked up the win in relief with one scoreless inning.
MORE ON UTSA
UTSA enters Saturday’s contest with a 35-24 record. Despite the loss on Friday, the Roadrunners have won 10 of their last 12 games. UTSA earned the NCAA Championship bid by winning the WAC Tournament with four straight wins.
Daniel Rockett was hitting .522 (35-for-67) with eight doubles, one triple, five home runs and 22 RBI in 16 games the first time the teams met on April 2. Since then he is batting just .237 (31-for-131) with five doubles, one triple, five home runs and 26 RBI in 31 games. UTSA, who is hitting .302 as a team, has four hitters with averages above .320, including RJ Perucki (.352, 12 2B, 12 HR, 47 RBI), Riley Good (.336, 11 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 33 RBI), Rockett (.333, 13 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 48 RBI) and Mike Warren (.322, 11 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 29 RBI).
The Roadrunners’ pitching staff has lowered its ERA from 4.83 prior to the first meeting on April 2 to 4.32. Saturday’s starter Brock Hartson is 9-4 with a 3.10 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 101.2 innings. Reliever Jordan Pacheco is 7-2 with a 4.25 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 72.0 innings. Closer Matt Sims is 6-3 with a 2.31 ERA,eight saves and 61 strikeouts in 58.1 innings.
UTSA has two NCAA Championship appearances since it began playing baseball in 1992, including 1994 (Austin Regional) and 2005 (Waco Regional).
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 136-102-3 (.571) against current members of the SEC, including 3-2 vs Alabama, 39-31-1 vs Arkansas, 1-2 vs Auburn, 7-1 vs Florida, 3-0 vs Georgia, 3-1 vs Kentucky, 16-14-1 vs LSU, 6-3 vs Ole Miss, 8-10 vs Mississippi State, 47-32-1 vs Missouri, 0-4 vs South Carolina, 3-1 vs Tennessee, 1-1 vs Vanderbilt. 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.
AGGIES VS 2013 TOURNAMENT FIELD
The Aggies are 10-18 against teams that made the 2013 NCAA tournament field.
Texas A&M beat Rice, 8-3, early in the season at the Minute Maid Classic but lost the contest the next day against North Carolina, 14-2.
On March 8-10, A&M took one-of-three from Cal State Fullerton on the road. In mid-week games, the Aggies claimed the lone matchup with UTSA, 11-4, and split games with Sam Houston State, 4-1 (W); 9-8 (L; 11 innings).
In the Maroon and White’s first road SEC series, the Aggies captured two seven-inning games from Ole Miss on March 24 to claim the series win. A&M was swept by South Carolina and Mississippi State. The Aggies claimed the series opener in Arkansas, 5-3, before dropping the next two games to lose the series. In a rain-shortened series, Alabama claimed the two games it played against the Aggies with 3-2 scores in both contests. The Aggies were the only team this season to win a series-opening game against LSU. A&M lost the series, however, when it dropped the seven-inning rubber-match 2-1.
At the SEC tournament in Hoover, Ala., A&M won its opening game against Florida, 6-3, and then knocked off top-seeded Vanderbilt, 5-0, before dropping back-to-back games to Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
NINTH INNING LOCKDOWN
Texas A&M pitchers have allowed just four earned runs in the ninth innings of games this season. In 43.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed five runs, four earned, on 31 hits and 15 walks while striking out 36 for a 0.84 ERA and a .201 opponent batting average. Jason Jester leads the way with 21.1 scoreless innings, scattering 10 hits and six walks while striking out 17. Andrew Vinson 9.1 innings worth of ninth-inning work, allowing two runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out 11.
The Aggies schedule featured 10 teams in the Baseball America Preseason Top 25 for a total of 24 games. The slate was also highlighted by 10 games against four teams in the BA Preseason Top 5 and 16 games against six teams in the BA Preseason Top 10. The Aggies played preseason No. 1 North Carolina and No. 18 Rice at the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park. They played a non-conference road series at No. 22 Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies had 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. In the NCAA Tournament they played two games against BA Preseason No. 2 Vanderbilt and one game against Mississippi State.
MORE ON THE 2013 SCHEDULE
Sixteen teams on Texas A&M’s 2013 schedule were coming off NCAA tournament campaigns.
Of the 16 squads who earned a berth in the field of 64 in ‘13, six hosted regionals and Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina 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 played a total of 35 games against 2012 NCAA tourney teams this spring.
Mitchell Nau has five plate appearances with bases load this season. The sophomore has gone 4-for-5 with bases loaded with seven 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 .324 batting average (22-for-68) and .370 on-base percentage with 54 RBI in 81 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 321-181-2 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 1-3 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.
POSTSEASON STREAK CONTINUES INTO 2013
Prior to the arrival of head coach Rob Childress, Texas A&M had never appeared in the NCAA Championship more than four consecutive years. Traveling to Corvallis for the 2013 Regional, the Aggies extended their current string to seven 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 seven 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.
STEIN PICKING UP STEAM
After a bit of a slow start, Troy Stein has hit .311 (46-for-148) in his last 40 games with 22 runs, seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and 19 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 (.486) and on-base percentage (.360) over his last 40 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 42 games .311 40-40 148 22 46 19 .486 10 2 32 .360 1 3-3
MARTIN CLIMBING CAREER PITCHING APPEARANCES 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 96 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.
PROTECT THE HOMEFRONT
The Aggies are 23-10 this season at Blue Bell Park, including a 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.
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.
BRATSEN CLIMBING CAREER STOLEN BASES CHART
With 17 stolen bases on the year, junior centerfielder Krey Bratsen moved into third place on the Aggie career stolen base charts with 69. 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.
MELTON HEATING UP
In the last 16 games, Hunter Melton is hitting .348 (23-for-66) with seven runs, two doubles, one triple, four home runs and 12 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.
Despite not being named to the SEC Tournament All-Tournament Team, Melton hit two of the only five home runs hit at the tournament. In the Aggies’ four games the freshmen registered hits that gave A&M leads on four occasions.
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 16 games .343 16-16 66 7 23 2 1 4 12 .591 1 1 16 .368
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 12 of the last 14 games and registering a .396 batting average (19-for-48).
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 47-60 .396 14-14 48 9 19 5 25 .521 0 1 .400 1 1 3-3
STATUM PICKING UP STEAM
Outfielder Jace Statum has raised his batting average 36 points in the last 14 games. Statum played in 37 of the Aggies first 46 games, with 25 starts, hitting .216 with a .243 slugging percentage and .356 on-base percentage. After hitting .324 with a .351 slugging percentage and .419 on-base percentage the last 14 games, he has his season batting average up to .252. Statum’s .324 batting average the last 14 games ranks third on the squad behind only Krey Bratsen’s .396 and Daniel Mengden’s .344.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI TB SLG% BB HBP OB% SF SH SB-ATT
First 46 games .216 37-25 74 15 16 6 18 .243 16 0 .356 6 6 6-10
Last 14 games .324 14-13 37 6 12 3 13 .351 6 0 .419 0 3 3-4
CALL ON ME
Jason Jester is climbing the Aggie single-season appearance list with 31. He is just one of nine players in school history to pitch in 30 or more games. He is currently tied with Joaquin Hinojosa (2011) for eighth place on the list. With his next appearance, Jester will tie Hart Hering (2006) for seventh place.
FOUR AGGIES EARN ALL-SEC ACCOLADES
The Texas A&M Aggies had three players named to the All-SEC team in their first season of affiliation, the league announced on May 28. The Maroon and White also had two players named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.
Krey Bratsen, Daniel Mengden and Mikey Reynolds were all named to the All-SEC Second Team.
Only LSU (6) and Vanderbilt (4) had more players named to the two All-SEC squads. Ole Miss and Mississippi State also had three apiece. Arkansas and South Carolina each had two players named to the teams. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky and Missouri all had one player selected. Florida and Tennessee were shut out from the teams.
Mengden and Cole Lankford were selected for the SEC All-Defensive Team.
Bratsen was selected as one of the three second-team outfielders. Mengden was picked for the second-team utility/designated hitter spot. Reynolds shared second-team shortstop recognition with Alabama’s Mikey White.
Mengden was selected as the all-defensive team pitcher and Lankford shared first base honors with LSU’s Mason Katz.
THREE AGGIES EARN SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK RECOGNITION
The Maroon and White had players earn SEC Rookie of the Week on three occasions in 2013.
Jonathan Moroney garnered the first honor on March 4. He was honored after a weekend in which he was named to the All-Tournament team of the talent-laden Astros Foundation College Classic. He batted .556 (5-for-9) at the tournament with one double, one home run, two runs scored and four RBI on the weekend.
Matt Kent was named freshman of the week on March 25 after working 5.0 scoreless innings of relief in a 10-6 win against then No. 6 Ole Miss. Kent entered the game with A&M trailing 5-2 in the second and kept the Rebels’ prolific bats in check as A&M outscored Ole Miss 8-1 down the stretch. He allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out three in his 5.0 innings of work.
Hunter Melton earned the award on May 6 after hitting .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs and three multiple hit games in a week in which A&M went 4-0, including a three-game sweep of Missouri.
Three Aggies are hitting over .300 in games away from Blue Bell Park. Cole Lankford is hitting .347 with 12 runs, five doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI. Reynolds is batting .323 with 16 runs, seven doubles, one triple, nine RBI and four stolen bases. Troy Stein is hitting .303 with 15 runs, six doubles, one triple, four home runs and 11 RBI. Stein leads the team with a .505 slugging percentage on the road.
On the mound away from Blue Bell Park, Parker Ray is 1-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 11 appearances, including three starts. He is holding opponents to a .192 batting average over 35.2 innings. Jason Jester is 1-2 with three saves and a 2.33 ERA, holding opponents to a .162 batting average and striking out 19 in 19.1 innings.
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #54 PARKER RAY
After 33 career appearances, all out of the bullpen, Parker Ray made his first career start April 27 ... Despite getting saddled with the loss, he worked 7.2 innings in his first career start, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four at Alabama ... He held LSU to just one run over 5.1 innings ... In his most recent start, Ray held No. 1 Vanderbilt scoreless over 8.0 innings, scattering three hits and three walks while striking out three ... In his five starts, Ray is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA and a .220 opponent batting average in 33.0 innings ... Ray didn’t allowed a run in his last six relief appearances, covering 14.1 innings, scattering nine hits and two walks while striking out eight ... At Arkansas he scattered three hits while fanning two over 3.1 innings ... Against Texas State, Ray pitched 3.2 shutout innings, scattering three hits and one walk while striking out four.