A&M Hosts Dallas Baptist on Tuesday Night

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M Aggies are looking to keep a pair of streaks alive, entering their Tuesday evening tilt with Dallas Baptist on a seven-game home win streak and a season-long four-game win streak overall. A&M is riding high after a three-game sweep of Georgia in its inaugural SEC series.

Mikey Reynolds has a hit in each of his last 20 games, the longest string of his career and tied with Cliff Pennington for eighth on the Aggies’ all-time list. He is hitting .475 (38-for-80) during the span five doubles, 17 runs, 11 RBI and 11 stolen bases. The streak features 12 multi-hit games, including four three-hit games and one four-hit game. He has logged a first-inning hit in nine of the games. He has also reached safely in all 21 games. Reynolds still has some work to do for the school record. RJ Englert strung together a 28-game hit streak in 1972. In more recent history, Tyler Naquin logged a 27-game hit streak in 2011.

Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last nine games (the Aggies’ last 10 games), Lankford is batting .436 (17-for-39) with six multiple hit games, four doubles, two triples, one home run and 10 RBI. In the weekend series at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, he went 6-for-13 with five RBI. In the last five games, Lankford has three 3-hit games, going 3-for-5 each time. In the series finale against Georgia, Lankford came up just a single shy of hitting for the cycle going 3-for-5 with three runs, one double, one triple, one home run and one RBI.

Jace Statum has been a catalyst at the bottom of the order the last five games. He has a .722 on-base percentage over the span with six hits, seven walks and two sacrifice bunts in 20 plate appearances. He is batting .545 (6-for-11) with five runs, three RBI and two stolen bases over the five games. In the first 16 games of the season, Statum played in 12 games with just seven starts. He logged a .320 on-base percentage and .227 batting average (5-for-22) with five runs, three RBI and two stolen bases over the first 16 games.

First 16 games .227 12-7 22 5 5 3 .318 3 0 3 .320 1 2-3
Last 5 games .545 5-5 11 5 6 3 .545 7 0 1 .722 2 2-4

With the Aggies’ midweek win over Houston Baptist on March 12, head coach Rob Childress reached the 300-win plateau for his career. Childress owns a 303-160-2 record, all as the skipper of the Aggies. He trails only Mark Johnson (876 - 1985-2005) and Tom Chandler (660 - 1959-84) on A&M’s career win list.

The Aggies own a 12-3 record in home games during the 2013 campaign, led by a pitching staff which boasts a 1.92 ERA. Daniel Mengden leads the way with a 1.31 ERA and 2-0 mark in three starts on the Olsen Field mound. He has yielded just three runs on 14 hits and one walk while striking out 18 over 20.2 innings. Freshman Jason Jester is 2-0 with four saves at home, working 12.0 shutout innings, scattering seven hits and two walks while striking out 11. Mikey Reynolds is hitting .424 with 10 runs, nine RBI and nine steals in 15 home games. Mengden is batting .326 with nine runs, one double, one triple, one home run and eight RBI in 13 games.

Batters leading off an inning are hitting .351 (54-for-154) with nine doubles, two triples, one home run and a .435 on-base percentage for the Aggies. Daniel Mengden has a .647 on-base percentage, going 6-for-12 (.600) with four walks and one hit-by-pitch to lead the way. Jace Statum owns a .625 on-base percentage going 4-for-10 (.400) at the plate with six walks in 16 plate appearances. Krey Bratsen also owns .545 average, going 6-for-11 in his 11 leadoff plate appearances. Mikey Reynolds owns a .541 on-base percentage, going 16-for-33 (.485) with three walks and one hit-by-pitch.

A&M has outscored opponents 27-10 in the first inning this season. The Aggies have scored 26.5% of their runs in the first frame. The Maroon and White are batting .376 and own a .454 on-base percentage in the first inning of games. Mikey Reynolds leads the squad with six runs and eight hits (.474 - 9-for-19) in the opening frame. Cole Lankford has eight RBI in the first inning, going 4-for-9 (.444) with one double, one triple and one RBI. Daniel Mengden is batting .500 (7-for-14) with one triple and five runs.

This marks the 34th meeting between Texas A&M and Dallas Baptist with the Aggies owning a 25-8 advantage in the all-time series with all games played in College Station. The teams have met off-and-on since the 1985 campaign. The teams played a multi-game series from every year between 2006-11. In May of 2011, the Aggies the won two-of-three from the Patriots. In the 2011 series, Krey Bratsen went 6-for-14 (.429) with four runs and six RBI.

Dallas Baptist enters the fray with an 11-9 record. The Patriots have been on a roller coaster ride early in the season, getting swept by Creighton in Weekend One, sweeping Mississippi Valley State in Weekend Two, getting swept by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Weekend Three and sweeping Oral Roberts in Weekend Four. Last weekend, Dallas Baptist won two-of-three against Sam Houston State in Dallas. The Patriots are hitting .303 on the season, led by Jaime Garrido who is batting .404 (21-for-52) with 11 runs, four doubles and 10 RBI. Duncan McAlpine is hitting .356 (21-for-59) with 16 runs, seven doubles, one triple, four home runs and 20 RBI. 2012 Third-Team All-American Boomer Collins is hitting .305 (25-for-82) with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 21 RBI.

In 2008, current Patriots’ head coach Dan Heefner led DBU to its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance in his second season as head coach. In 2011, Dallas Baptist won the NCAA Fort Worth Regional and came within a game of the College World Series, losing to California at the Santa Clara Super Regional. The Patriots made their third NCAA Championship appearance last year, falling to Baylor in the championship game of the Waco Regional. Dallas Baptist boasts 11 former players who reached the Major Leagues. The group is led by 10-year veteran and three-time MLB All-Star infielder Freddy Sanchez and 2009 MLB All-Star Ben Zobrist.

Aggie volunteer assistant coach Austin Knight is familiar to the Dallas Baptist program. Knight, in his first season on the A&M staff, served as a volunteer assistant coach at DBU in 2011 and 2012. In his first year on the staff, he helped guide the Patriots to the NCAA Santa Clara Super Regional after toppling the likes of Oklahoma, Oral Roberts and TCU at the Fort Worth Regional. He spent the summer of 2011 as an assistant coach with the LaCrosse Loggers in the Northwoods League. Last season, Knight helped guide DBU to a 41-19 mark and a spot at the Waco Regional where they advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship game for the second consecutive season.

Knight was a four-year starter at DBU. He earned Freshman All-America honors his rookie season in 2007 after hitting .338 with 12 doubles and 43 RBI. He started every game at shortstop for the Patriots’ 2008 squad that advanced to the College Station regional. He holds the DBU career record for walks with 169.

Knight’s brother Nash Knight is a sophomore infielder for Dallas Baptist.

This season, eight pitchers have taken the mound as Aggies for the first time, including three true freshmen. The eight pitchers have combined to allow 14 earned runs on 52 hits and 29 walks over 65.0 innings. True freshman Grayson Long leads the group, posting a 2-0 mark with a 3.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts over 17.2 innings. Redshirt freshman Matt Kent is 1-1 and tied for the most appearances with 11, racking up 9.2 frames, with five runs for a 4.66 ERA. Junior Jason Jester is 2-0 with five saves, which are all over 1.0 inning in length. He hasn’t yielded a run in 16.1 innings of work, scattering seven hits and three walks while striking out 16. True freshman AJ Minter (3.2 IP) and sophomore transfer Nate Sorenson (0.1 IP) are unscathed on the year. Sophomore transfer Zach Brashear has allowed two unearned runs over 5.1 innings and redshirt freshman Ty Schlottmann has allowed one unearned run over 2.2 innings. True freshman Andrew Vinson has allowed three earned run in 9.1 innings of work.

It’s early in the season, but the Aggies’ are on a brisk pace for stolen bases with 43 through 21 games. The current pace would give A&M 114 through a 56-game season. The school record is 151 set in 2007. Mikey Reynolds leads the team with 11 steals followed by Krey Bratsen with eight. Blake Allemand has six steals and Charlie Curl and Jace Statum have chipped in with four apiece. Last season, A&M tallied 129 stolen bases which ranks third on the Aggies’ all-time chart.

With eight stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into fourth place on the Aggies career stolen bases charts with 60. He is three steals shy third place, trailing No. 3 Steven Truitt (63 - 1997-99). Jason Tyner owns the school record with 118 from 1996-98.

Bratsen stole 31 bases as a freshman, the seventh-best season in school history. Last season, Bratsen racked up 21 stolen bases.

Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas
SCHEDULE - Tuesday 6:35 pm
• Baseball Bingo: Fans are invited to play Baseball Bingo every Tuesday at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Come early for the chance to win exclusive Aggie Baseball prizes
• All Junior Aggie Club members get in FREE
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
LIVE VIDEO - aggieathletics.com (premium subscription)
LIVE AUDIO - aggieathletics.com • radioaggieland.com
LIVE STATS - aggieathletics.com
RANKINGS - Texas A&M - 24th (CB) • Dallas Baptist - unranked
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M leads 25-8
SERIES STREAKS - Texas A&M is on a one-game win streak
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS - Grayson Long (Fr., RHP, 2-0, 3.06) vs. Blake Webster (Sr., RHP, 1-0, 6.08)

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