COLLEGE STATION -- The fifth-ranked Texas A&M baseball team (37-7) renews an old Southwest Conference rivalry on Tuesday when the Aggies make their first trip to Fort Worth since 1995 to face TCU (29-15). First pitch at Lupton Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.
A&M leads the Big 12 standings with an 18-3 record and has won 20 of its last 21 games. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs are in a virtual tie for first with New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference race and have won 15 of 18 in the month of April.
The teams, longtime SWC rivals, met last year for the first time since the league folded after the 1996 season. A&M will be playing its first game in Fort Worth since May 1995.
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.
#5 Texas A&M AGGIES (37-7) at TCU HORNED FROGS (29-15)
Tuesday, April 29 • 6:30 p.m. CDT
Lupton Stadium (3,500) • Fort Worth, Texas
RADIO: WTAW-AM 1620*
* available inside stadium on low end of FM dial
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP:
A&M - #34 Scott Migl (So., RHP, 2-2, 5.03 ERA)
TCU - #33 Seth Garrison (Jr., RHP, 0-3, 4.11 ERA)
ADULT RESERVED $10
ADULT GEN. ADMISSION $8
YOUTH RESERVED $8
YOUTH GEN. ADMISSION $5
TICKET OFFICE (877) TCU-FROG or (817) 257-FROG
TICKET WEBSITE www.gofrogs.com
• At 18-3, A&M is off to its best-ever "start" in Big 12 play.
• Texas A&M has set a new school and league record with 15 consecutive Big 12 victories...the Aggies have not lost a conference game since March 23 at Oklahoma State.
• A&M has swept five consecutive conference series (Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Missouri) for the first time in school history.
• The Aggies' No. 5 national ranking (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 15 of its last 21 games and 28 of 44 overall.
• A&M pitching has fanned eight or more batters in 30 of 44 games (68 percent).
• The Aggie bullpen is 17-2 on the year with 11 saves and a 2.99 ERA, and is holding opponents to a .241 average.
• A&M has won 24 of its last 25 mid-week contests...an April 15 loss to Rice snapped a string of 23 consecutive mid-week victories dating back to April, 2006.
• Tuesday's game opens a stretch that will see the Aggies play seven of their next 10 away from home...A&M concludes a month of April that saw it play 14 of 18 games at Olsen Field.
• A&M is 4-1 against ranked opponents this season.
• A&M's 33-7 mark after 40 games was the fourth-best in school history.
• Of A&M's seven losses on the season, five have been by two or fewer runs.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M is 37-7 overall and leads the Big 12 with an 18-3 record. The Aggies have won 20 of their last 21, including five straight sweeps in league play–most recently over No. 4 Missouri this past weekend.
A&M is hitting .329 and averages 8.2 runs per game. The offense has pounded out 158 extra-base hits (80 doubles, 25 triples and 53 home runs) while stealing 63 bases.
Senior third baseman Dane Carter (.417, 7 HR, 49 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 38 of the team's 44 games in 2008. Junior first baseman Luke Anders (.377, 11 HR, 40 RBI) leads the team in home runs and has raised his average 60 points over the last month, while senior Darby Brown (.340, 9 HR, 49 RBI) is tied for the squad lead in in RBI. Junior shortstop José Duran (.397, 4 HR, 46 RBI) is the team's second-leading hitter and leads the Big 12 in hits. Two other starters (Kyle Colligan and Brian Ruggiano) are hitting over .315 for the year.
On the mound, the Aggies boast a Big 12-best 3.55 ERA. A&M pitching is averaging 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings and is holding opposing hitters to a .248 average. Sophomore Travis Starling (20 appearances, 7-0, 2.30 ERA) leads the squad in victories and has a team-best eight saves. Weekend starters Brooks Raley, Barret Loux and Clayton Ehlert have combined for a 14-3 record and 3.53 ERA, while junior Kyle Thebeau (4-2, 2 saves) features a team- and Big 12-best 1.79 ERA. The Aggie bullpen has been strong on the season, posting a 17-2 record, 11 saves, 2.99 ERA and .241 opponent average.
A QUICK GLANCE: TCU
TCU enters Tuesday's game with a 29-15 overall record and 13-5 mark in Mountain West Conference play, percentage points behind league leader New Mexico.
The Frogs hit .290 as a team, with 21 home runs and 239 RBI, and average 6.07 runs per contest.
Chris Ellington (.340, 4 HR, 34 RBI), Clint Arnold (.365, 16 RBI, 11 SB) and Ben Carruthers (.306, 25 RBI, 13 SB) pace the offense, while Tyler Lockwood (4-1, 2.12 ERA) and Andrew Cashner (7-2, 2.27 ERA, 5 saves) lead a pitching staff that sports a 3.62 ERA and is holding opponents to just over four runs per contest.
TCU returns five starters and 15 letterwinners from a 2007 team that went 48-14, won its second straight MWC title and advanced to NCAA regional play.
Jim Schlossnagle is in his fifth season in Fort Worth with an overall record of 196-98.
In one of the oldest and most-contested rivalries in Aggie baseball history, Texas A&M leads TCU, 157-85-4. The first meeting between the schools took place in 1906.
• The squads were both members of the Southwest Conference from 1923 until the dissolvement of the league in 1996.
• A&M defeated TCU 13-2 in College Station last season in the teams' first meeting since the '96 season.
• The Aggies have won seven straight against the Frogs and have not lost to TCU since 1995.
• A&M won the last meeting between the schools in Fort Worth, a 10-9 decision on May 14, 1995.
• TCU is the Aggies' fourth most common opponent all-time, with Tuesday's game marking the 247th meeting between the schools.
most common opponents, all-time
Texas Tech 138
Sam Houston State 119
Texas-Pan American 71
Texas A&M continued its roll through Big 12 play with a three-game sweep of No. 4 Missouri this past weekend at Olsen Field.
The Aggies fell behind 8-1 in the sixth inning of Friday's opener, but chipped away in the next three frames to trail by one entering the last of the ninth. A Brian Ruggiano double tied the game at eight before a bases-loaded balk by Ryan Allen before his first pitch to Brodie Greene forced home the winning run.
The momentum carried into Saturday as the Aggies pounded out 15 hits en route to a 15-0 win over the Tigers. Kevin Gonzalez drove in a career-high five runs and Luke Anders homered twice to pace the offensive attack, while freshman Barret Loux was dominant on the mound–allowing two hits in his six innings of shutout work.
The Aggies held a 2-0 lead through much of Sunday's nationally-televised finale, but Mizzou were able to score one in the seventh and tie the game in the ninth to send it to extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, however, leadoff hitter Kyle Colligan smashed the first pitch he saw over the fence in left center to give A&M a 3-2 walk-off win and the series sweep.
THROWIN' UP ZEROS
Texas A&M's 15-0 shutout of fourth-ranked Missouri on Saturday was the 10th by the Aggie pitching staff in Big 12 play, and the first since 2004.
In addition, it was the biggest shutout win ever for A&M in Big 12 action and was the Aggies' first blanking of a ranked opponent in league action.
big 12 shutouts, A&M history (10)
OPPONENT DATE SCORE
(#4) Missouri April 26, 2008 15-0
Kansas State May 15, 2004 8-0
Missouri April 23, 2004 1-0
at Kansas April 10, 2004 4-0
Kansas April 6, 2001 8-0
at Kansas State March 24, 2001 1-0
vs Kansas State April 9, 1999 3-0
at Oklahoma State March 13, 1998 8-0
Kansas April 27, 1997 8-0
Nebraska April 13, 1997 3-0
Saturday's victory marked the largest shutout win in a conference game for A&M since a 15-0 defeat of Arkansas in 1974.
MORE ON SATURDAY'S 15-0 WIN
Saturday's 15-0 win over Missouri tied a school record for largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game.
The Aggies defeated Iowa State, 19-4, at Olsen Field on April 5, 1997. A&M's largest wins in Big 12 play:
largest margin of victory, Big 12 games only
OPPONENT DATE MARGIN SCORE
(#4) Missouri April 26, 2008 15 15-0
Iowa State April 5, 1997 15 19-4
at Iowa State March 26, 2000 14 15-1
Kansas State Feb. 25, 2000 14 19-5
at Kansas State April 13, 2003 13 16-3
at Iowa State March 25, 2000 13 14-1
Iowa State March 7, 1999 13 14-1
It marked the largest margin of victory in a conference game since the Aggies defeated Texas, 25-6, on April 30, 1995 in Austin in a Southwest Conference matchup.
ROLLIN' IN BIG 12 PLAY
Texas A&M has won 15 consecutive conference 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 15 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
15 STRAIGHT LEAGUE WINS SETS NEW SCHOOL, Big 12 RECORD
Texas A&M's 15-game Big 12 win streak set not only the program's all-time record for consecutive conference victories, but became the new Big 12 standard.
A&M's 15-0 shutout of Missouri on Saturday gave the Aggies 14 Big 12 wins in a row, eclipsing the previous league record of 13 straight victories set by the 2000 Nebraska squad.
Until an 11-inning win over Baylor on April 20, 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. 15 2008
2. 12 1974
Some notes on A&M's 15-game Big 12 win streak:
• Aggies are hitting .357 with 25 home runs and 140 RBI, averaging 9.9 runs per game and fielding at a .983 clip.
• The pitching staff sports a 4.43 ERA and is holding opponents to 4.7 runs per game.
• A&M has scored 10 or more runs in nine of the 15 games.
• Six of the 15 have been decided by two runs or less, with three going into extra innings.
• Ten of the games have been played at Olsen Field.
• Nine of the wins have been of the come-from-behind variety.
• Included in the streak were the Aggies' first-ever sweep of Oklahoma, first Big 12 sweep of Baylor and first three-game Big 12 sweep of Missouri.
DELIVERING WHEN IT COUNTS
The 2008 Aggie baseball team is making a strong case as one of the best Big 12 hitting teams in school history.
With six of the 27 scheduled league games remaining, this year's squad already ranks near the top of the school's Big 12 single-season offensive charts...
most home runs, big 12 single season
HOME RUNS GAMES YEAR
1. 56 29 1999
2. 49 30 1998
3. 35 30 1997
4. 33 21 2008
33 26 2007
most runs batted in, big 12 single season
RBI GAMES YEAR
1. 210 29 1999
2. 206 30 1998
3. 200 30 1997
4. 174 21 2008
highest batting average, big 12 single season
AVG GAMES YEAR
1. .331 30 1997
2. .328 21 2008
3. .314 29 1999
4. .303 27 2003
most runs scored, big 12 single season
RUNS GAMES YEAR
1. 227 29 1999
2. 222 30 1998
3. 218 30 1997
4. 185 21 2008
runs per game, big 12 single season
RPG GAMES YEAR
1. 8.81 21 2008
2. 7.83 29 1999
3. 7.40 30 1998
4. 7.27 30 1997
The Texas A&M offense has produced seven hit streaks of 10 games or longer this season. Listed below are the streaks and the player's batting average, home run total and RBI count over the span of the streak...
longest hit streaks, 2008 season
NAME GAMES DATES AVG/HR/RBI
Blake Stouffer 19 Mar 28-Apr 26 .338/3/12
Darby Brown 17 Mar 14-Apr 8 .438/6/32
Dane Carter 16 Mar 18-Apr 12 .439/1/24
Dane Carter 16 Feb 23-Mar 15 .485/4/18
José Duran* 14 Apr 5-present .439/2/19
José Duran 11 Mar 14-Mar 30 .449/0/9
Kyle Colligan 10 Mar 25-Apr 8 .452/1/8
THE COMEBACK KIDS
Texas A&M has provided fans some memorable comebacks thus far in the 2008 season. While the 13-12, 11-inning win at Baylor on April 20–in which the Aggies scored six runs with one out in the ninth to tie the game–will stand out, there have been several other clutch rallies...
memorable comebacks, 2008 season
OPPONENT (DATE) DEFICIT POINT IN GAME FINAL SCORE
N Colorado (Feb 22) 5-2 bot 4th W, 9-5
Ohio St (Feb 29) 5-1 bot 5th W, 8-5
at UTSA (Mar 25) 3-0 top 5th W, 5-4
at Kansas (Mar 29) 6-3 top 8th W, 9-6 (10)
at Kansas (Mar 30) 8-6 top 8th W, 10-8
K-State (Apr 5) 7-1 bot 6th W, 13-8
Baylor (Apr 20) 12-6 top 9th W, 13-12 (11)
Missouri (Apr 25) 8-1 bot 6th W, 9-8
Of Texas A&M's 37 victories this season, 19 are of the come-from-behind variety.
Texas A&M has trailed at some point in 11 of its 18 Big 12 wins in '08.
"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 posted 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
ANDERS NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Texas A&M junior first baseman Luke Anders (College Station, Texas) was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week by a select media panel, the league office announced Monday.
Anders, who earned the first weekly honor of his career, hit .467 to pace Texas A&M to a 4-0 week that included a three-game sweep of No. 4 Missouri. Anders hit two home runs, drove in five and scored four runs, while getting hit once and drawing three walks.
In addition, he posted an .867 slugging percentage, a .579 on-base percentage and was perfect in the field in 25 chances at first base. Anders’ two home runs came in Saturday’s victory over the Tigers, marking his second multi-homer game of 2008.
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 saw a career-high 19-game hit streak come to an end on Sunday, one on which the San Antonio native hit .338 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
Playing in front of his hometown fans at UTSA on March 25, Stouffer went 0-for-4 and saw his season average dip to .213. Since then, he has raised his batting 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 21 games, which included a season-best 13-game win streak, Anders has hit .427, mashed six doubles, a triple and eight home runs while driving in 25. His slugging percentage over the span is .853.
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 38 of the Aggies' 44 contests overall. Carter has reached safely (hit or walk) in all but two games (April 13 vs Oklahoma, April 27 vs Missouri), but he did drive in a run in each of those contests.
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 34 contests...
CATEGORY FIRST 10 GAMES LAST 34 GAMES
batting average .087 .383
hits-at bats 2-for-23 51-for-133
home runs 0 9
RBI 3 46
slugging pct. .174 .654
runs scored 5 25
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 36 of A&M's 44 games this year, Duran has posted multiple hits in 24 of those 36 (67 percent).
A STRONG PEN
The Texas A&M bullpen has been very impressive in 2008.
A total of 14 Aggies have seen action in relief, posting a combined 2.99 ERA and picking up 17 wins and 11 saves. In 162 innings of work, opposing teams have managed 146 hits (.241 average) and 54 earned runs while striking out 169 times.
Of the players that have made more than one appearance out of the pen this year, six are holding opponents to an average of .200 or less in those outings.
POUNDING THE ZONE
Texas A&M pitchers have struck out 372 batters while walking 137 in their 396 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 30 of the 44 games in 2008, is averaging 8.45 strikeouts per nine innings–second-best in the Big 12.
It's not just one or two arms that are carrying the strikeout load, however. Five players have posted 35 or more Ks this spring, led by freshmen Barret Loux (59) and junior Kyle Thebeau (50).
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 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 (W, 3-2) 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.
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.