COLLEGE STATION -- Big 12 baseball returns to Olsen Field this weekend as No. 16 Texas A&M (23-6, 6-3 Big 12) hosts red-hot Kansas State (14-12, 2-4) in a three-game set.
First pitch on Friday and Saturday is set for 6:30 p.m., while Sunday's finale has been pushed up to a 12 p.m. start.
A&M enters the series winners of six straight and has had to come from behind in four of those. The Aggies have won 14 of their last 17 overall, including a sweep of Kansas last weekend in Lawrence.
The Wildcats have won eight of their last nine as they embark on their first Big 12 road trip of 2008. K-State took two games from Oklahoma State in Manhattan last weekend before sweeping Central Arkansas in a mid-week series.
Fans can listen to every pitch locally on the flagship home of Texas A&M Athletics, News/Talk 1620 WTAW. Dave South, Scott Clendenin and Chuck Glenewinkel call the action all season long. All broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
Kansas State WILDCATS (15-12, 2-4 Big 12) at #16 Texas A&M AGGIES (23-6, 6-3 Big 12)
Friday, April 4 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
Saturday, April 5 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
Sunday, April 6 • 12 p.m. CDT
C.E. "Pat" Olsen Field (7,053) • College Station, Texas
RADIO: WTAW-AM 1620
LIVE VIDEO (Free): Aggies All-Access
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
A&M - #30 Brooks Raley (Fr., LHP, 4-0, 3.37 ERA)
KSU - #20 Brad Hutt (Sr., RHP, 3-2, 2.25 ERA)
A&M - #50 Barret Loux (Fr., RHP, 1-1, 4.78 ERA)
KSU - #35 Justin Murray (Jr., RHP, 2-0, 1.62 ERA)
A&M - TBD
KSU - #15 Lance Hoge (Jr., LHP, 1-1, 2.19 ERA)
Members of Texas A&M's 1998 Big 12 championship team will be in attendance at Saturday night's game against Kansas State and will be recognized prior to first pitch.
The '98 Aggies went 46-20 (21-9 Big 12) and claimed the program's first Big 12 title with an 8-4 win over Baylor in Waco on May 2. A&M hosted the NCAA Central Regional at Olsen Field and advanced to the championship game.
• The Aggies are in the midst of an April schedule that will see them play 14 of 18 games at home...A&M will not leave the state of Texas until departing for Nebraska on May 8.
• At 6-3, A&M is off to its best start in Big 12 play since 1999...the Aggies were 7-2 after nine games that season.
• A&M swept Kansas last weekend in Lawrence, marking the Aggies' first three-game Big 12 sweep since May, 2003 (also against KU)...it also was the first road sweep for Texas A&M since April, 2003 at K-State.
• Texas A&M has tallied double-figure hits in six straight games and 19 of 29 overall.
• A&M has played error-free ball in seven of its last 11 contests.
• A&M pitching has fanned eight or more batters in 22 of 29 games.
• The Aggie bullpen is 10-2 on the year with a 2.07 ERA and is holding opponents to a .224 average.
• A&M has won 22 consecutive mid-week games dating back to April, 2006.
• Of A&M's six losses on the season, five have been by two or fewer runs.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M is 23-6 overall and tied for second in the Big 12 with a 6-3 record. The Aggies enter the weekend on a six-game win streak that saw them pick up road victories at UTSA and Kansas and, most recently, a mid-week sweep of Stephen F. Austin at Olsen Field.
A&M is hitting .311 and averaging 7.4 runs per game. The offense has pounded out 93 extra-base hits (50 doubles, 16 triples and 27 home runs) while stealing 51 bases.
Senior third baseman Dane Carter (.434, 5 HR, 31 RBI) leads the team and the Big 12 in numerous offensive categories and has hit safely in 27 of the team's 29 games in 2008. Junior shortstop José Duran (.383, 2 HR, 27 RBI) ranks second on the team almost every column, while senior Darby Brown (.323, 7 HR, 31 RBI) sports a 13-game hit streak and leads the squad in homers and RBI. Three other starters (Luke Anders, Kyle Colligan and Brian Ruggiano) are hitting over .300 for the year.
On the mound, the Aggies boast a 3.28 ERA, second-best in the Big 12. A&M pitching is averaging 8.7 strikeouts per game and is holding opposing hitters to a .237 average. Freshman Brooks Raley (4-0, 3.37 ERA) leads the team victories. Sophomore Travis Starling (14 appearances, 4-0, 0.49 ERA) has a team-best six saves. The Aggie bullpen has been strong on the young season, posting a 10-2 record, six saves, 2.07 ERA and .224 opponent average.
A QUICK GLANCE: K-STATE
Kansas State (14-12, 2-4 Big 12) enters the weekend as one of the league's hottest teams after winning eight of its last nine.
The Wildcats lead the Big 12 with 65 stolen bases in 2008, and hit .247 as a squad with 19 home runs. KSU averages 5.6 runs per contest.
K-State is led offensively by junior CF Dane Yelovich (.302, 3 RBI, 13 SB), junior 3B Nate Tenbrink (.295, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 14 SB) and sophomore 1B Justin Bloxom (.274, 5 HR, 22 RBI). On the mound, the squad's weekend rotation--senior righty Brad Hutt (3-2, 2.25 ERA), junior RHP Justin Murray (2-0, 1.62) and junior lefty Lance Hoge (1-1, 2.19)--combines for a 2.04 ERA. Senior Daniel Edwards (1-2, 6.08) is tied for second in the league with six saves.
KSU returns 22 letterwinners off an '07 squad that went 34-24 and finished eighth in the Big 12. The Wildcats are coached by Brad Hill, who sports 554 career wins and is in his fifth season in Manhattan.
Texas A&M leads the overall series with K-State, 30-8-1, and 26-7-1 since the formation of the Big 12 in 1997.
• A&M has won every series between the schools in league play in College Station, and 10 of 11 overall...the Aggies' only series defeat was in 2005 in Manhattan.
• After dropping the first-ever Big 12 game between the schools in '97, A&M won the next 11--the longest winning streak of the series.
• The Aggies took three of four games from KSU last season, including two during the regular-season matchup in Manhattan and a 7-2 victory over the Wildcats in Oklahoma City that propelled A&M into the Big 12 title game.
• This weekend marks the earliest the two schools have met on the diamond since 2001, when the series was played in late March.
The Aggie baseball team has won 22 straight mid-week non-conference contests, including the first 10 on the slate in 2008.
A&M won all 10 mid-week games last season and the final two of the 2006 campaign. The Aggies' last loss in mid-week action was on April 18, 2006, a 9-6 setback to No. 19 Houston at Olsen Field.
Texas A&M swept Stephen F. Austin, 8-1 and 5-4, this week at Olsen Field.
The Aggies used another big first inning on Tuesday to propel them to the victory, scoring five in the first off Lumberjack starter Erich Lehmann. Kyle Colligan went 3-for-3 in the leadoff spot, Dane Carter drove in four on the night and Clayton Ehlert allowed a run on seven hits in six innings of work as the sophomore improved to 3-2.
Luke Anders won the game for A&M on Wednesday with a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Darby Brown reached on a two-out error in the frame and moved into scoring position on a Brian Ruggiano single. Anders then punched one through the infield, scoring pinch-runner Brodie Greene to give the Aggies the 5-4 win. A&M's bullpen tossed 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball, with Travis Starling (4-0) picking up the victory.
Texas A&M recorded its first three-game Big 12 series sweep in five seasons last weekend over the Kansas Jayhawks at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence.
A&M opened the weekend with a 13-6 win over KU, beginning the game with an eight-run first. Darby Brown set career highs by going 5-for-5 with five RBI in the victory, and true freshman Brooks Raley moved to 4-0 on the hill on the day.
The Aggies trailed Kansas 6-3 entering the eighth inning of Saturday's game, but a three-run shot by Luke Anders in that frame tied the contest. The game went into extra innings and, in the 10th, Raley singled in the game winner and Dane Carter followed with a two-run single as A&M defeated Kansas, 9-6.
Texas A&M opened up a 6-0 lead after 1 1/2 innings on Sunday, but the Jayhawks responded with a seven-run second to take the lead. Down 8-6 in the seventh, Brown connected on a two-out, two-run home run--his second of the day--to tie the contest. The Aggies would get another two-run single from Carter in the eighth to sweep the series with a 10-8 victory.
• The “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” ticket promotion is in effect for Sunday's game, through which 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.
• Throughout the season, fans can also take advantage of the "Pick Six for $50" ticket special. For more information contact the Athletic Ticket Office at 888-99-AGGIE or online at aggieathletics.com.
• Kids can run the bases following Sunday's game, courtesy Subway.
PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS WEEKEND SET FOR APRIL 25-27
Texas A&M Athletics will hold Prostate Cancer Awareness Weekend, presented by the College Station Medical Center and adidas, in conjunction with the April 25, 26 and 27 Missouri series at Olsen Field.
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