COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies host the Sam Houston State Bearkats looking to remain perfect in midweek contests in 2013. The Maroon and White are 9-0 on the season in games played on Tuesday and Wednesday, outscoring opponents 61-20. Mikey Reynolds, who has reached base in every game this season, will look to extend his streak to 34 games.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (20-13, 6-6 SEC) vs SAM HOUSTON STATE BEARKATS (19-12, 7-2, Southland)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas
SCHEDULE - Tuesday, 6:35 pm
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
LIVE AUDIO - aggieathletics.com • radioaggieland.com
LIVE VIDEO - aggieathletics.com (with premium subscription)
LIVE STATS - aggieathletics.com
RANKINGS - A&M - 24th (CB) • SHSU - unranked
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M Leads 85-37-2
SERIES STREAK - Texas A&M is on a one game win streak
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• Tuesday - Corey Ray (So., RHP, 2-0, 5.33 ERA) vs Tyler Eppler (So., RHP, 3-1, 2.90 ERA)
• Hawaiian Shirt Night: Come out to Blue Bell Park in your favorite Hawaiian shirt! The first 300 fans will receive a maroon lei necklace.
• All members of the Class of 2015 get in FREE when wearing a Class of 2015 shirt.
• Baseball Bingo
• Junior Aggie Club gets in FREE
REYNOLDS REACHING BASE
Mikey Reynolds current streak of reaching base via base hit, walk or hit-by-pitch at least once in 33 consecutive games is the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. Delaware’s Jimmy Yezzo leads the nation with 42 consecutive games, including 12 games in 2012. Charlotte’s Corbin Shive has a 37-game streak, but he has yet to play in 2013 due to injury. Troy’s Logan Pierce has a 35-game streak which includes two games in 2012. Campbell’s Elijah Trail has reached base in 34 consecutive games, all this season. After going hitless but reaching via a walk in the season opener, Reynolds went on a career-long 22-game hit streak. He has hit safely in 30 of 33 games. He is hitting .388 on the season with a .453 on-base percentage, 24 runs, seven doubles, 17 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last 21 games (the Aggies’ last 22 games), Lankford is batting .414 (36-for-87) with 11 multiple hit games, seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 16 RBI. 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. He has six three-hit games in his last 21 contests.
Lankford is currently on a 10-game hit streak, the longest of his career. Lankford is batting .450 (18-for-40) with three doubles and five RBI over the span.
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 309-166-2 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.
TEXAS A&M/SAM HOUSTON STATE SERIES NOTABLES
This marks the 125th meeting between the squads, with the Aggies owning an 85-37-2 edge in the all-time series. Texas A&M owns a 16-1-1 edge in the last 18 meetings, dating back to 2002. The series has been off-and-on since 1950. With the exception of 2007, the squads have played at least once a year since 1984. Last season, Texas A&M registered a 10-0 win in Huntsville. Daniel Mengden (7.0 IP), Corey Ray (1.0 IP) and Parker Ray (1.0 IP) combined on the six-hit shutout. Mikey Reynolds went 4-for-4 and Blake Allemand, Mitchell Nau and Troy Stein each had two hits for the Aggies.
MORE ON SAM HOUSTON STATE
Sam Houston State enters the fray with a 19-12 overall record and they own a 7-2 mark in Southland Conference play. The Bearkats are on a five-game win streak, including a three game sweep of McNeese State over the weekend. Sam Houston State has been deadly during midweek action with two wins over nationally-ranked Rice and one win apiece over nationally-ranked Texas and Houston. The Bearkats also split a two-game midweek set with the Baylor Bears.
As a team, the Bearkats have a .295 batting average paced by Jessie Plumlee with a .397 average, four doubles, two home runs and nine RBI in 25 games (20 starts). Kevin Miller (.348) and Carter Burgess (.344) are also hitting over .340. Miller has 20 runs and 14 RBI in 30 games and Burgess has 19 runs, six doubles, three triples and 17 RBI in 31 games.
The pitching staff owns a 3.63 ERA and is holding opponents to a .225 batting average with 244 strikeouts in 273.0 innings. Tuesday’s probable starter Tyler Eppler is 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA and holding foes to a .221 batting average. Closer Jason Simms is 1-1 with four saves and a 2.70 ERA in 14 appearances.
The Bearkats won the 2012 Southland Conference regular-season title and made their seventh NCAA Division I Championship appearance (all since 1987). Sam Houston State also played in three consecutive NCAA Division II Championships (1984-86) before moving up to Division I.
Sam Houston State boasts 11 former players who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The group is headlined by 10-year veteran and 1985 NL All-Star Outfielder Glenn Wilson and 11-year veteran and starting second baseman for the 1969 World Series Champion Amazin’ Mets Ken Boswell.
ALLEMAND GETTING INTO GEAR
After going 0-for-17 in his first six games (the Aggies first eight games), Allemand has batted .317 (27-for-35) with five doubles, one home run and 17 RBI in the last 25 games. The 17 RBI during the span is a team-high. Even when he wasn’t hitting, Allemand was able to get on-base enough to score five runs in the first six games, drawing five walks and getting hit by two pitches for a .292 on-base percentage. His on-base percentage the last 25 games is .423 with 13 walks and four HBP.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB% SH SB-ATT
First 6 games .000 6- 6 17 5 0 0 .000 5 2 7 .292 2 3-3
Last 21 games .314 25-25 86 14 27 17 .407 13 4 12 .423 4 6-7
WOOD PICKING UP STEAM
After going without a hit in his first 15 games (A&M’s first 24), including four starts, Brandon Wood has caught fire the last six games. Since the second game of the Sunday Ole Miss doubleheader, Wood is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with five runs, two doubles and four RBI. He also owns a .472 on-base percentage and .548 slugging percentage over the span. The stretch includes a pair of three-hit games. In the first 24 games of the season, he went 0-for-12, but did manage to post a .333 on-base percentage with five walks and one hit-by-pitch.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB% SH SB-ATT
First 24 games .000 15- 4 12 4 0 0 .000 5 1 4 .333 1 2-2
Last 6 games .419 9- 9 31 5 13 4 .548 3 1 8 .472 2 1-2
MARTIN NOW APPEARING
Now a starter, Kyle Martin spent his first three seasons as a stalwart in the bullpen. He currently ranks third on A&M’s career list with 86 appearances, tied with Chris Russ (86 - 1998-2001). 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. Estevan Uriegas (2009-12) ranks second with 100 appearances.
BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
With 11 stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into a tie with Steven Truitt (1997-99) for third place on the Aggie career stolen base charts with 63. 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.
SHINING AT HOME
The Aggies own a 16-5 record in home games during the 2013 campaign, led by a pitching staff which boasts a 2.03 ERA. Rafael Pineda is 3-0 with a 1.07 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. Daniel Mengden owns a 0.98 ERA and 2-0 mark in four starts on the Olsen Field mound. He has yielded just three earned runs (5 runs) on 21 hits and one walk while striking out 23 over 27.2 innings. Freshman Jason Jester is 2-1 with six saves at home, working 16.1 innings, allowing one run on 10 hits and two walks while striking out 14. Mikey Reynolds is hitting .373 with 13 runs, 12 RBI and 10 steals in 21 home games. Cole Lankford is hitting .351 with six doubles, three triples, one home run and 15 RBI in 21 home games, including 19 starts. Krey Bratsen is hitting .309 with 13 runs, three doubles, 12 RBI and 10 steals in 21 home games.
OWNING THE MIDWEEK
The Aggies are 9-0 in midweek action this season, winning the games by a combined margin of 61-20. The pitching staff owns a 1.78 ERA, holding foes to a .217 batting average. Grayson Long (3-0), Corey Ray (2-0) and Rafael Pineda (1-0) have accounted for all the midweek starts on the mound. Jonathan Moroney (.400), Troy Stein (.375) Mikey Reynolds (.368) Cole Lankford (.345) and Daniel Mengden (.343) are all hitting .340 or better. Cole Lankford is hitting .345 with two doubles, two triples and nine RBI. Mengden, Reynolds and Mitchell Nau have seven RBI apiece. Blake Allemand (.538) and Brandon Wood (.500) both have on-base percentages of .500 or higher.
NINTH INNING LOCKDOWN
Texas A&M pitchers have yet to allow an earned run in ninth innings of games this season. In 24.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed one unearned run on 16 hits and seven walks while striking out 21. Jason Jester leads the way with 12.2 scoreless innings, scattering six hits and two walks while striking out 11. Andrew Vinson worked 5.2 blank frames, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out seven.
HERE COMES THE JESTER, 1-2-3
Jason Jester has been solid as the Aggies’ closer this season, going a perfect 8-for-9 in save situations. He is 2-1 with eight saves and a 1.80 ERA on the season. He has allowed just five earned runs in 25.0 innings of work over 17 appearances, scattering 15 hits and five walks while striking out 24. He is holding opponents to a .169 batting average.
MAKING A SACRIFICE
The Aggies are on pace for a school-record sacrifice bunts. With 42 bunts through 33 games, A&M is on pace for 71 sac bunts for the year. The school record is 55 in 2011. Last year, the Aggies put down 50 sacrifice bunts. Krey Bratsen leads the squad with 13 sacrifice bunts. He had 19 as a freshman and eight as a sophomore. Charlie Curl has added 10 and Blake Allemand has six.
SETTING THE TABLE
Batters leading off an inning are hitting .342 (83-for-243) with 13 doubles, four triples, three home runs and a .424 on-base percentage. Daniel Mengden has a .667 on-base percentage, going 9-for-16 (.563) with four walks and one hit-by-pitch, one double and two home runs to lead the way. Jace Statum owns a .588 on-base percentage going 4-for-11 (.364) at the plate with six walks in 17 plate appearances. Mikey Reynolds owns a .509 on-base percentage, going 22-for-50 (.440) with five walks and two HBP. Cole Lankford owns a .448 on-base percentage leading off innings, going 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles, one triple, one walk and one HBP.
TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #22 COREY RAY
Corey Ray is making his seventh career start and his fourth start of the 2013 season... In his three starts a freshman, Ray went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 15.0 innings of work... In his last appearance, Ray was solid in relief allowing one run on three hits and one walk while striking out one over 4.1 in the Aggies’ Saturday loss to Auburn... Ray struggled a bit in his first outing in 2013, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks over 1.1 innings in the 4-3 win over UIC on Feb. 16, but rebounded to earn a midweek win over Stephen F Austin, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks over 5.1 innings... He earned a win against Northwestern State, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks while striking out four over 6.1 innings... In his last start, Ray gave up five runs on eight hits while striking out one in 4.1 (he got no-decision in the Aggies’ win).
The Aggies continue the eight-game homestand with a three-game series against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Blue Bell Park. Game times are 6:35 pm on Friday, 12:35 pm on Saturday and 1:05 pm on Sunday.