COLLEGE STATION -- The sixth-ranked Texas A&M baseball team takes a break from Big 12 play when the Aggies (33-7) host Texas State (23-14) on Tuesday night at Olsen Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
A&M is in first place in the Big 12 at 15-3 and is sporting its highest ranking since 1999. The Bobcats, meanwhile, have won five straight and sit in second place in the Southland Conference's western division.
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.
Texas State BOBCATS (23-14) at #6 Texas A&M AGGIES (33-7)
Tuesday, April 22 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
C.E. "Pat" Olsen Field (7,053) • College Station, Texas
RADIO: WTAW-AM 1620
FREE LIVE VIDEO: Aggies All-Access
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
A&M - #34 Scott Migl (So., RHP, 2-2, 5.45 ERA)
TSU - #11 Zach Boles (So., RHP, 2-0, 6.15 ERA)
• At 33-7, A&M has posted the fourth-best 40-game record in school history.
• At 15-3, A&M is off to its best-ever "start" in Big 12 play.
• Texas A&M has tied a school record with 12 consecutive league victories...the 1971 and 1974 teams were the only others to do so.
• A&M has swept four consecutive Big 12 series (Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Baylor) for the first time in school history...it also marks the first time the Aggies have swept four straight league series since 1971.
• The Aggies' No. 6 national ranking (NCBWA, USA Today) is the highest since May 24, 1999, when Texas A&M was ranked second, fifth and sixth in the three major polls.
• Texas A&M has tallied double-figure hits in 12 of its last 17 games and 25 of 40 overall.
• A&M pitching has fanned eight or more batters in 27 of 40 games.
• The Aggie bullpen is 14-2 on the year with 10 saves and a 3.05 ERA, and is holding opponents to a .244 average.
• A&M has won 23 of its last 24 mid-week contests...last Tuesday's loss to Rice snapped a string of 23 consecutive mid-week victories dating back to April, 2006.
• The Aggies are in the midst of a month of April that will see them play play 14 of 18 games at Olsen Field...A&M will not leave the state of Texas until departing for Nebraska on May 8.
• A&M is 1-1 against ranked opponents this season, with both meetings coming in the last two weeks (13-6 win at No. 19 Houston, 11-2 loss to No. 7 Rice).
• Of A&M's seven losses on the season, five have been by two or fewer runs.
"START" TO SEASON RANKS AMONG SCHOOL'S BEST
Teams use "benchmark" wins (10, 20, 30, 40, etc.) as one way to measure success throughout the course of a season. This season's squad is off to one of the best "starts" in school history, if you can use that term 40 games into the year.
At 33-7, the 2008 Aggies have the fourth-best record after 40 games in school history, trailing only the 1989, 1993 and 1988 teams...
best record after 40 games, school history
YEAR RECORD PCT.
1. 1989 39-1 .975
2. 1993 36-4 .900
3. 1988 35-5 .875
4. 2008 33-7 .825
5. 2007 32-8 .800
1999 32-8 .800
1976 32-8 .800
In addition, the 2008 A&M baseball team reached the 30-win plateau with a 12-2 win over Oklahoma on April 13, tying the 1971 and 1984 teams as the fourth fastest to reach 30 victories.
fastest to 30 wins, school history
YEAR GAMES RECORD
1. 1989 31 30-1
2. 1993 33 30-3
3. 1988 34 30-4
4. 2008 36 30-6
1984 36 30-6
1971 36 30-6
7. 1990 37 30-7
1980 37 30-7
1975 37 30-6-1
10. 2007 38 30-8
1999 38 30-8
1976 38 30-8
ROLLIN' IN BIG 12 PLAY
Texas A&M has won 12 consecutive Big 12 games for the first time in school history. This season's string began with a 13-6 win over Kansas on March 28.
longest big 12 win streaks, A&M history
YEAR GAMES SPAN
1. 2008 12 Mar 28-
2. 1997 9 Mar 29-Apr 18
3. 1999 7 Mar 28-Apr 11
1998 7 Apr 18-May 2
5. 2003 6 Apr 5-18
1999 6 Feb 26-Mar 7
12 STRAIGHT LEAGUE WINS TIES SCHOOL RECORD
Texas A&M's 12-game Big 12 win streak ties the program's all-time record for consecutive conference victories. The 2008 Aggies became just the third team in school history to accomplish that feat.
Until Sunday's 11-inning win over Baylor, it had been 34 years since an Aggie baseball team and rattled off a dozen straight wins in league play...
longest conference win streaks, A&M history
1. 12 2008
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M is 33-7 overall and leads the Big 12 with a 15-3 record. The Aggies have won 16 of their last 17, including four straight sweeps in league play–most recently over Baylor this past weekend.
A&M is hitting .325 and averages 8.0 runs per game. The offense has pounded out 141 extra-base hits (71 doubles, 24 triples and 46 home runs) while stealing 60 bases.
Senior third baseman Dane Carter (.423, 6 HR, 45 RBI) leads the country in triples (8) and ranks at the top of both the team and Big 12 charts in numerous offensive categories. He has hit safely in 36 of the team's 40 games in 2008. Senior Darby Brown (.336, 9 HR, 45 RBI) is tied for the squad lead in homers and RBI. Junior shortstop José Duran (.390, 4 HR, 40 RBI) is the team's second-leading hitter, while junior first baseman Luke Anders (.366, 9 HR, 35 RBI) has raised his average 50 points over the last three weeks. Two other starters (Kyle Colligan and Brian Ruggiano) are hitting over .330 for the year.
On the mound, the Aggies boast a 3.66 ERA, second-best in the Big 12. A&M pitching is averaging 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings and is holding opposing hitters to a .250 average. Freshman Brooks Raley (5-0, 3.11 ERA) and sophomore Clayton Ehlert (5-2, 3.21 ERA) lead the team in victories, while sophomore Travis Starling (19 appearances, 6-0, 2.22 ERA) has a team-best eight saves. Junior Kyle Thebeau (3-2) features a 1.92 ERA, third best in the league, and is holding opposing hitters to a .233 average. The Aggie bullpen has been strong on the season, posting a 14-2 record, 10 saves, 3.05 ERA and .244 opponent average.
A QUICK GLANCE: TEXAS STATE
Texas State (23-14, 13-5 Southland) has won five straight and enters the week off a sweep of conference foe Central Arkansas in San Marcos.
The Bobcats, who sit one game back of UTSA in the SLC's Western Division, hit .332 as a team with 41 home runs and 284 RBI. TSU averages 8.03 runs per game.
Paul Goldschmidt (.376, 12 HR, 51 RBI), Lance Loftin (.372, 6 HR, 32 RBI) and Thomas Field (.377, 5 HR, 27 RBI) pace the offense, while Mike Hart (4-2, 3.92 ERA) and Josh Walter (3-1, 1.61 ERA, 4 saves) lead a pitching staff which sports a 5.12 ERA.
The Bobcats return 16 letterwinners and four starters from a 2007 team that went 37-23 overall and finished second in the Southland's western division at 20-10.
Ty Harrington is in his ninth season at Texas State with a record of 289-222.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series with Texas State, formerly Southwest Texas State, 34-11.
• A&M has won 22 of the 31 meetings between the schools at Olsen Field.
• The Aggies and Bobcats have played seven games at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, with A&M winning six of those meetings.
• Texas State has won two of the last three meetings at Olsen, including a 5-1 victory in 2006.
• The teams first met in 1987 and have played every season since.
Texas A&M swept Baylor for the first time in Big 12 play with three wins this weekend in a split-site series.
Friday night's opener in College Station was a pitcher's duel between Aggie freshman Brooks Raley and Bears righty Kendal Volz. Tied at one entering the last of the eighth, Darby Brown was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home the eventual game-winning run in a 2-1 Aggie victory.
Saturday, the series shifted to Waco, and A&M blasted five home runs en route to an 11-1 win over Baylor. A six-run third for the visitors put the game out of reach, and Barret Loux allowed two hits over five innings to pick up his second Big 12 victory of the season.
On Sunday, the Aggies posted one of their wildest comebacks in years, scoring six in the ninth to tie the game and eventually outlasting Baylor, 13-12, in 11 innings. All six of A&M's runs in the frame came after an out was recorded. Blake Stouffer drove in the game-winner in the 11th with a two-out single, and the Aggies cut down the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead.
STARLING NAMED BIG 12 PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Texas A&M sophomore Travis Starling (Yoakum, Texas) was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Pitcher of the Week by a select media panel, the league office announced Monday.
Starling, who earned the first weekly honor of his career, picked up a win and a save to lead A&M to their first-ever Big 12 sweep of Baylor this past weekend.
Called on to protect a 2-1, ninth-inning lead over the Bears Friday night at Olsen Field, Starling retired Baylor’s 4-5-6 hitters in order to pick up his eighth save of the year.
On Sunday in Waco, Starling threw a career-high four innings and picked up the victory in A&M’s 13-12, 11-inning win over Baylor. Included in that outing was a stretch during the ninth and 10th innings where he retired six of seven, setting the stage for Texas A&M to score the game-winner the next frame.
STARLING NAMED TO STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Texas A&M sophomore Travis Starling was one of 45 relief pitchers named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association “Stopper of the Year Award” watch list by the organization on April 17. The award is given to the top relief pitcher in Division I college baseball.
Starling (Yoakum, Texas) ranks second in the Big 12 and 15th nationally in saves with seven. In 23 1/3 innings of work, he sports a 5-0 record and a 1.54 ERA with 17 appearances out of the Aggie bullpen.
Starling sits in sixth place on the A&M single-season save charts, just six shy of the school record (13, Scott Beerer, 2003).
Finalists for the award will be announced May 28 with the winner named on June 4.
CHILDRESS GETS 100TH WIN
Texas A&M coach Rob Childress recorded his 100th career win, and 100th at A&M, in a 13-6 win at No. 19 Houston on April 8.
In the midst of his third season in Aggieland, Childress became the second-fastest coach in school history to reach the century mark. He ranks third behind only Mark Johnson and Tom Chandler on the Aggie charts in victories.
Senior All-American Blake Stouffer had a tough start to the 2008 campaign at the plate, but has played a big part in the Aggies' roll in recent weeks.
Stouffer enters the week on a career-high 16-game hit streak. The San Antonio native is hitting .338 over the 16 games with two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and 22 runs scored.
Over that span, Stouffer raised his season average 56 points to .269.
One of the Olsen faithful's favorite walk-up songs belongs to junior 1B Luke Anders (Tim McGraw's "Indian Outlaw"), who may be taking the song's "Bearclaw" line to heart of late.
Over the last 14 games, which included a season-best 13-game win streak, Anders has hit .417, mashed six doubles, a triple and six home runs while driving in 20. His slugging percentage over the span is .850
CARTER's BIG YEAR
Senior third baseman Dane Carter is having a career season for Texas A&M.
The Graham, Texas native has a pair of 16-game hit streaks in 2008 and has hit safely in 36 of the Aggies' 40 contests overall. The April 13 game against Oklahoma marked the only time all season that Carter did not reach base by either a hit or a walk.
After struggling with injury during 2007, Dane Carter has had a tremendous '08 campaign. A comparison of his offensive numbers after playing in the same number of games he did last season...
dane carter: 2007 vs 2008
CATEGORY 2007 TOTALS 2008 (1st 37 GMS)
games played 37 37
games started 19 37
batting average .203 .432
hits 15 64
runs scored 14 41
doubles 2 9
triples 0 8
home runs 1 5
RBI 11 43
slugging pct. .270 .703
TURNING THE CORNER
Senior DH/1B Darby Brown had a tough start to the 2008 campaign, beginning the year 2-for-23 at the plate (.087 average).
With a mammoth home run off the top of the batter's eye in center field against Nicholls State on March 5, Brown has turned the corner in a big way, hitting .383 over the last 30 contests...
CATEGORY FIRST 10 GAMES LAST 30 GAMES
batting average .087 .383
hits-at bats 2-for-23 46-for-120
home runs 0 9
RBI 3 42
slugging pct. .174 .675
runs scored 5 23
DURAN STEPS UP
The Aggies knew entering 2008 that they would have to replace all-conference selection and third-round draft pick Brandon Hicks (.338, 10 HR, 59 RBI) at shortstop.
After a strong battle in the offseason, junior transfer José Duran won the opening-day nod, and has not disappointed. The Fort Worth native is near the top of the A&M offensive charts in nearly every category.
Not only has he hit safely in 32 of A&M's 40 games this year, Duran has posted multiple hits in 21 of those 32 (66 percent).
LEGGING IT OUT
Texas A&M has hit 24 triples over 40 games this season. A closer look at this accomplishment:
• The Aggies have already eclipsed last season's triples total (20), with 16 regular-season games remaining...with eight triples in Big 12 play, A&M has already bested the 2007 total of three.
• The Aggies set a school record in late February with three triples in each of three consecutive games (McNeese State, Ohio State, Arkansas). What makes this feat even more impressive is that the last time a Texas A&M team had three triples in ANY game before last week was on April 11, 1999, when the Aggies defeated Kansas State 7-2 in St. Joseph, Mo.–a stretch of 519 games.
• Senior third baseman Dane Carter had two triples in the Feb. 26 win over McNeese State, the first time an Aggie had two triples in one game since Chad Hudson on May 21, 1999 in a 10-3 win over Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City.
• Carter has eight triples on the season, just one shy of the single-season school record (9, Brian Thomas, 1993).
TURN, TURN, TURN...TURN
Texas A&M tied a school record with four double plays in the Feb. 27 win over Nicholls State.
While the feat has been accomplished often, the last time the Aggies did turn four double plays in one game was against Clemson in the NCAA Super Regional championship on June 6, 1999 (499 games ago).
A STRONG PEN
The Texas A&M bullpen has been very impressive in the first part of the season.
A total of 14 Aggies have seen action in relief, posting a combined 3.05 ERA and picking up 14 wins and 10 saves. In 144 innings of work, opposing teams have managed 131 hits (.244 average) and 49 earned runs while striking out 149 times.
Of the players that have made more than one appearance out of the pen this year, five are holding opponents to an average of .200 or less in those outings.
POUNDING THE ZONE
Texas A&M pitchers have struck out 338 batters while walking 127 in their 359 innings of work thus far, or a 2.7 K/BB ratio. In 2007, A&M's pitching corps posted a 2.1 K/BB mark for the full season.
The Aggie staff, which has fanned eight or more batters in 27 of the 40 games in 2008, is averaging 8.47 strikeouts per nine innings–third-best in the Big 12.
It's not just one or two arms that are carrying the strikeout load, however. Five players have posted 30 or more Ks this spring, led by freshmen Barret Loux (54) and junior Kyle Thebeau (45).
AGGIES ON THE TUBE
No stranger to national exposure, the Texas A&M baseball team will appear on television at least seven times in 2008.
The Aggies have won their first three televised games of the year, all on COX Sports Television.
FOX College Sports, available on digital cable outlets across the country, broadcast the April 13 series finale with Oklahoma and will air the May 16 series opener at Texas.
In addition, FOX Sports Net will broadcast the April 27 series finale against Missouri live from Olsen Field and CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) will air the May 10 game between A&M and Nebraska in Lincoln.
As always, fans can get complete and up-to-date television broadcast information on aggieathletics.com.
2008 texas a&m television schedule
DATE OPPONENT NETWORK
March 1 Arkansas (W, 15-7) COX Sports TV
March 2 Louisiana Tech (W, 7-3) COX Sports TV
March 4 Nicholls State (W, 5-1) COX Sports TV
April 13 Oklahoma (W, 12-2) FOX College Sports
April 27 Missouri FOX Sports Net
May 10 at Nebraska CBS College Sports
May 16 at Texas FOX College Sports
AGGIES ON THE 'NET
For the sixth straight year, AggieAthletics.com will bring fans around the globe live video of Texas A&M baseball.
Fans will be able to watch, free of charge, all non-televised Aggie home games, along with selected road games, through the new Aggies All-Access.
If live video of an A&M game is not available, free live audio will be provided through All-Access.
The highly-popular Aggies All-Access is in its second season of bringing live game action, television shows, highlights and much more to A&M fans around the world. Aggies All-Access is the most-watched channel on the CSTV.com network.
2008 PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Texas A&M will be the defending champion at the 12th-annual Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, scheduled for May 21-25 at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in downtown Oklahoma City.
The eight-team championship will be in a two-division, pool play format for the third straight season in 2008. The winner of each bracket will meet in the championship game, with the victor earning the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship.
Oklahoma City and AT&T Bricktown Ballpark will be the host of the event through the 2011 season. For ticket information, contact the Oklahoma Redhawks at (405) 218-1000.
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.
AGGIES TO HONOR '78 TEAM ON SATURDAY
Texas A&M will honor the 1978 Southwest Conference Championship team at its 30th reunion this Saturday in conjuction with the Missouri game at Olsen Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT TO TAKE PLACE MAY 2
The annual Military Appreciation Night will take place at Olsen Field on Friday, May 2 when the Aggies take on Dallas Baptist. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Asst. Media Relations Director
Texas A&M Athletics Department
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