COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M baseball team returns to action on Tuesday when the Aggies host McNeese State in a two-game, mid-week series at Olsen Field.
The teams will battle Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and then conclude the series on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Fans can listen to all the action on the home of Aggie Baseball and the flagship station of Texas A&M Athletics, News/Talk 1620 WTAW. Dave South, Scott Clendenin and Chuck Glenewinkel will call the action. All broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
McNeese State COWBOYS (0-3)at#20 Texas A&M Aggies (2-2)
Tuesday, February 26 - 6:30 p.m. CT
Wednesday, February 27 - 3 p.m. CT
C.E. “Pat” Olsen Field (7,053) • College Station, Texas
RADIO: WTAW-AM 1620
LIVE VIDEO: Aggies All-Access (free)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
A&M - Shane Minks (So., RHP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA)
MSU - Ryan Frantz (Jr., RHP, 0-0, 6.75 ERA)
A&M - Carson Middleton (So., RHP)
MSU - Tyler Davis (So., LHP, 0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Both games with the Cowboys will fall under the new "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" ticket promotion.
At every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday Aggie baseball game through the month of April, kids 12 and under will receive free admission with a paid adult. There is a limit of four kids per adult and all seats are general admission.
In addition, those attending Wednesday's game can get two slices of pizza and a drink for $5 as part of the new "Dinner at the Diamond" promotion.
Throughout the season, fans can also take advantage of the "Pick Six for $50" ticket special. For more information please see page 5 of this release.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M enters the weekend at 2-2 after splitting the season-opening weekend series with Northern Colorado.
A&M is hitting at a .261 clip with two home runs and 16 RBI. The Aggies average 4.25 runs per game and have swiped five bases on the young season.
A&M is led at the plate by junior catcher Brian Ruggiano (.538, 1 HR, 3 RBI), who hit safely in all four games this weekend, and senior third baseman Dane Carter (.385, 1, 4).
On the mound, the Aggies boast a 2.91 ERA. A&M pitchers struck out 42 Northern Colorado batters and held the Bears to a .203 average. Both victories were earned by the bullpen, which sports a 1.46 ERA in just over 12 innings of work.
A QUICK GLANCE: McNEESE STATE
McNeese State University is a campus of 8,800 students located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The Cowboys, who compete in the Southland Conference, return 15 letterwinners and four starters off last season’s squad that went 21-35 and finished second in the SLC's Eastern Division with a 17-12 mark.
McNeese (0-3) dropped three straight games to Louisiana Tech in Ruston last weekend. Shortstop Shon Landry leads the Cowboys in batting with a .444 average while Dustin Guidry is batting .429.
The Cowboys sport a .172 average and a 14.62 ERA through the first three games of the season.
McNeese State is coached by first-year head coach and Cowboy alum Terry Burrows.
Texas A&M and McNeese State have met 28 times since 1976, all in College Station. The Aggies lead the series, 23-5.
A&M has won seven straight against the Cowboys, including a pair of games last season at Olsen Field.
NORTHERN COLORADO REVIEW
Texas A&M won the bookends of the four-game set with Northern Colorado and earned a series split with the bears this past weekend at Olsen Field.
Friday's opener was back and forth early before the Aggies broke open a 5-5 tie with a four-run sixth inning, winning the game 9-5. Dane Carter, Jose Duran and Brian Ruggiano paced A&M's 13-hit attack with three hits each on the night. Shane Minks picked up the win in relief as the Aggie pen allowed two hits and no runs over the final four innings.
UNC took the series lead with a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, winning the first game 3-1 in seven innings before taking the finale by a score of 4-2.
Leading 1-0 in the sixth inning of game one, the Bears scored a pair of unearned runs to open up a three-run lead and allowed only one Aggie run in a pair of rallies in the sixth and seventh to close out the win. Aggie catcher Kevin Gonzalez went 2-for-2 at the plate in his first career start.
A&M took an early 2-0 lead in game two, fueled by a long solo home run by Ruggiano, but UNC would hit solo home runs of their own in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to take the lead. The Bears would add an insurance run later in the seventh to seal the victory. Aggie true freshman Barret Loux lasted five innings in his first career start, allowing three hits and fanning nine.
Sunday's finale was tied at two entering the last of the seventh inning, but a Darby Brown RBI groundout gave A&M a 3-2 lead. One inning later, a two-run home run by Carter pushed the Aggie advantage to 5-2, and Travis Starling tossed a hitless ninth to pick up his first save of the year. Kevin Cravey won the game in relief, allowing no hits over 1 innings after relieving a very impressive Scott Migl.
A STRONG PEN
The Texas A&M bullpen was impressive during the weekend series with Northern Colorado.
Aggie relievers went 2-1 with a 1.46 ERA in 12 innings of work, allowing five hits and two runs while walking four and striking out 16. UNC hitters managed a .125 average off the six players who saw action out of the pen.
POUNDING THE ZONE
Texas A&M pitchers struck out 42 batters while walking just 11 in their 34 innings of work this weekend.
The Aggie staff's 3.8 strikeout/walk ratio ranks second in the Big 12 to league-favorite Texas (4.1).
In 2007, A&M's pitching corps posted a 2.1 K/BB ratio for the full season.
Eight members of the Aggie baseball team saw their first career action in the maroon and white this past weekend.
Shortstop José Duran, catcher Kevin Gonzalez, designated hitter Nick Fleece and right fielder Brooks Raley all made their first-ever starts for Texas A&M, while Keith McInnerney went 1-for-2 over the weekend in pinch-hitting action.
Barret Loux, Kevin Cravey and Hank Robertson all made their debut on the mound.
AGS WIN EIGHTH STRAIGHT HOME OPENER
A&M's 9-5 win over Northern Colorado Friday night was the Aggies' eighth in a row in home openers. It also improved the team's record to 27-3 all-time in home openers at Olsen Field.
The Aggies' last loss in a home opener came on Feb. 8, 2000, in a 4-0 defeat to Texas-San Antonio.
In addition, this past Friday's game was played before 5,731 fans, the second-largest opening-day crowd in Olsen Field history.