COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Aggies wrap up their five-game homestand on Tuesday as they welcome the Sam Houston State Bearkats to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. A&M won three of the first four games of the homestand with all of the wins coming by one run. Three of the games during the stretch went extra innings with 11-inning wins vs Columbia (8-7) and Florida (4-3) and an 11-inning loss to Florida (5-3). Cole Lankford delivered two walk-off hits at home last week. Ryan Hendrix will be making his first career start on the mound for the Aggies. The freshman has allowed just one run in his 4.1 innings to date.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (17-8) vs. SAM HOUSTON STATE BEARKATS (16-8)
MARCH 25, 2014
OLSEN FIELD AT BLUE BELL PARK • COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS
SCHEDULE: Tuesday 6:35 pm
RADIO: WTAW-AM 1620 – Dave South. play-by-play
LIVE VIDEO: aggieathletics.com (with premium subscription)
LIVE AUDIO: aggieathletics.com • radioaggieland.com (free)
LIVE STATS: tamu.statbroadcast.com/tamustats.com (mobile devices)
SERIES HISTORY: A&M leads 86-38-2
SERIES STREAKS: Sam Houston State won the last meeting
JAC Free Admission – Junior Aggie Club members get in free
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• TUESDAY: #27 Ryan Hendrix (Fr., RHP, 0-1, 2.08) vs. TBA
TEXAS A&M/SAM HOUSTON STATE SERIES NOTABLES
The Aggies own an 86-38-2 advantage in the all-time series against Sam Houston State. A&M is 17-2-1 against the Bearkats in the last 20 meetings, but the teams are an even 2-2 in the last four bouts.
Last season, the Aggies won 4-1 in College Station while the Bearkats posted an 8-7 win in 11 innings in Huntsville. Corey Ray worked 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out two and Troy Stein drove in four runs with an RBI double and a three-run home run in the 4-1 win. Playing with a makeshift lineup without Mikey Reynolds and Cole Lankford, A&M tied the game at 8-8 after falling behind 8-1 in the fourth, but were unable to pull the game out in extra innings with Jessie Plumlee hitting a walk-off sac fly in the 11th.
MORE ON SAM HOUSTON STATE
Sam Houston State hopes to stop a four-game losing skid. The Bearkats (16-8) were ranked No. 16 in last week’s Baseball America poll, but dropped out after a midweek loss to UT Arlington and getting swept in three games at Central Arkansas. Notable success for the Bearkats in 2014 include a mid-week win at Rice, winning two of three against Dallas Baptist and defeating TCU and Texas Tech at the Houston College Classic. Sam Houston State also has three-game sweeps of Cal State Northridge and New Orleans to their credit.
The Bearkats are batting .297 as a team with a .376 on-base percentage and .396 slugging percentage. Colt Atwood leads the squad with a .394 bat-ting average, 21 runs, five doubles, one triple and 21 RBI in 24 games. Ryan O’Hearn is batting .327 with 15 runs, four doubles, four home runs and 22 RBI.
Sam Houston State owns a 2.83 ERA and is holding opponents to a .241 batting average. The Bearkats defense has been suspect in 2014, owning a .951 batting average and allowing 20 unearned runs in 24 games.
The Bearkats have made the NCAA Division I Tournament in eight occasions since making the step up in class from Division II in 1987. Sam Houston State has played in five of the last seven tournaments, including 2012 and 2013. The Bearkats appeared in three NCAA Division II Tournaments prior to their promotion.
Sam Houston State boasts 15 former players who have gone on to play Major League Baseball. The group is highlighted by 10-year veteran and 1985 NL All-Star Glenn Wilson. The most recent addition to the list is Matt Langwell who made his debut with the Cleveland Indians in June of 2013 and was later appeared in eight games with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #27 RYAN HENDRIX
Hendrix is making his first collegiate start... Didn’t allow a run in his first five outings, covering 4.0 innings... Longest outing is 1.0 inning in each of his first three appearances... Saddled with the loss in A&M’s 5-1 loss to Louisiana Tech.
BRATSEN CLIMBING AGGIES’ ALL-TIME GAMES LIST
After missing the beginning of the season with an illness, Krey Bratsen has seen action in 17 games, including nine as a defensive replacement/pinch-hitter and eight starts. Bratsen has a chance to set the Aggies’ all-time record for games played. He currently has 209 career games under his belt, 32 shy of the career record of 241 set by Scott Livingstone (1985-88). Last weekend, Bratsen moved into 10th place on A&M’s career, passing Mike Scanlin (207 - 1983-86).
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.
OLSEN MAGIC IN 2014
The Aggies have logged four walk-off wins on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park in 2014. The first weekend of the season wrapped up with a 1-0 win over Northeastern to complete a three-game sweep. The victory was earned when Logan Nottebrok hit a 1-0 offering from the Huskies’ Brad Burcroff over the leftfield fence for a leadoff and walk-off home run. It marked the first walk-off home run for Texas A&M since May 29, 2011 when Andrew Collazo hit a walk-off dinger in the Big 12 Championship title game against Missouri for a 10-9 victory.
In the Aggies’ 7-5 win vs. Sacramento State, Nottebrok hit a two-run home run to the same location, to break the 5-5 tie for the walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth.
Cole Lankford delivered a game-winning double in A&M’s 8-7 win over Columbia and five days later handed the Aggies a series win over Florida with a walk-off single in a 4-3 win over Florida.
PROTECTING THE HOMEFRONT
The Aggies are 15-3 in home games in 2014. Offensively, the Aggies are hitting .307 at home with nine players logging batting averages over .300. Mitchell Nau (.357), Jace Statum (.357) and Patrick McLendon (.356) are all hitting over .350. Cole Lankford has five doubles and 17 RBI in 17 games. McLendon and JB Moss both have a team-high 14 runs at home.
On the mound, the Aggies have a 2.25 ERA and are holding opponents to a .216 batting average. Grayson Long (2-0, 1.71), Tyler Stubblefield (2-0, 1.98) and Daniel Mengden (2-1, 2.00) have been dominant on the familiar mound.
JESTER CLIMBING AGGIES CAREER SAVES LIST
With his three saves on the season, Jason Jester moved past Chris Russ (16 - 1998-2001) and Travis Starling (15 - 2007-09) for second place on A&M’s career saves list with 17. He needs six saves to equal the career mark of 23 set by Scott Centala (1987-89).
IN A PINCH
The Aggies are currently hitting .417 (10-for-24) with one walk, one sacrifice fly, one sac bunt, one double, one home run and seven RBI in 24 pinch-hit appearances. Mitchell Nau (3-for-3, one double, one home run, 5 RBI), Ryne Birk (2-for-3), Krey Bratsen (1-for-1, one sac bunt, 1 RBI), Nick Banks (1-for-2), Nick Choruby (1-for-2), Jonathan Moroney (1-for-3, 1 RBI) and JB Moss (1-for-2) account for the 10 hits.
Texas A&M returns to SEC action on Friday when the Aggies travel to Athens for a three-game series against the Georgia Bulldogs.