Last weekend did not treat the Aggie baseball team kindly. In 3 games vs. Mississippi State at home in College Station, A&M was outscored 27-9, then dropped another one at Sam Houston St. on Tuesday evening by a final score of 9-8 in 11 innings. The Aggies have been on a slippery slope ever since their series win in Oxford, falling to a 6-9 record in the SEC and 21-17 overall.
In game 1 against the #16 Bulldogs, Aggie ace Daniel Mengden took the mound for the start and had yet another fantastic outing allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits with 3 walks in 7 full innings. Minter and Ray did their parts coming in from the bullpen and allowing only 1 hit in the remaining 2 innings, but it was not enough as A&M ultimately fell by a final of 3-2. Krey Bratsen hit a 2-run double in the 4th but that was about all the offense that was generated. A&M just couldn’t ever get the key hit to break things open.
Game 2 had Pineda start for A&M and he continues to struggle, giving up 6 runs (5 earned) in only 2 innings. Six relievers came in after Pineda left giving up 3 more runs, but it didn’t matter in the end. A&M scored 1 run in the 1st, 1 more in the 7th, and 1 final run in the 9th to lose 9-3. Allemand, Wood, and Melton all had solid games offensively going 2-4 but it’s hard to win when you’re in a 5-1 hole after only 2 innings.
Hoping to get things going in the right direction, A&M sent Corey Ray out to start game 3. He lasted 3.2 innings giving up 3 ER and then the wheels fell off. In to relieve for Ray, Jason Freeman took the mound and what he managed to do in 17 pitches is almost a feat in itself. Without recording an out, he gave up a hit, 2 walks and hit a batter leaving a bases-loaded jam for A.J. Minter to try to work his way out of. Miss St. catcher Nick Ammirati hit the second pitch out of the park for a grand slam, putting the A&M in another deep hole early on that they wouldn’t be able to get out of. After all was said and done, the Bulldogs plated 15 runs and tallied 19 hits while A&M only scored 4 runs on 8 hits.
Like I said last week, A&M has got to find some consistency in the pitching staff. Aside from Mengden and Parker Ray, there hasn’t been a whole lot to boast about. The offense has also got to find their bats soon or they’ll be too far back to make any sort of noise in the SEC West, although it’s hard to really have a lot of fight in you when you are down 7,8, or even 9 runs after the first 3 innings. I’m still a believer and think things can definitely turn around, the boys just need some leadership and a spark to ignite things.