Aggies Host Missouri in SEC Action

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies host a familiar conference foe in SEC action this weekend as the Missouri Tigers come to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for a three-game series. Both squads are looking to make a late charge and move up the standings in their respective divisions and position themselves for the upcoming SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. Mikey Reynolds has two active streaks, with a 13-game hit streak and a stretch of 43 consecutive games reaching base.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (23-22, 7-13 SEC) at MISSOURI TIGERS (15-25, 7-14 SEC)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas

SCHEDULE - Friday, 6:35 pm • Saturday, 2:05 pm • Sunday, 1:05 pm
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
LIVE VIDEO - (with premium subscription)
RANKINGS - A&M - unranked • Missouri - unranked
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M Leads 44-32-1
SERIES STREAK - Missouri is on a one-game win streak
• Friday - Daniel Mengden (So., RHP, 4-3, 2.21 ERA) vs Rob Zastryzny (Jr., LHP, 2-8, 4.12 ERA)
• Saturday - Parker Ray (Jr., RHP, 0-1, 1.34 ERA) vs Brett Graves (So., RHP, 1-5, 4.42 ERA)
• Sunday - Rafael Pineda (Jr., RHP 4-4, 3.21 ERA) vs TBA

· First 500 fans receive a FREE 2012-2013 Aggie Baseball team mini poster
· Diamond Darling Appreciation Day
· Have A Catch Saturday – Fans are invited to play catch on the field for 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game
· Military Appreciation Day – All veterans and military personnel get 2 FREE tickets to the game and may purchase up to 8 additional tickets for $4 each
· Kids Run the Bases presented by the Pool Guy
· Junior Aggie Club members get in FREE

Despite only having one plate appearance in four of his last eight games, Mikey Reynolds current streak of reaching base via base hit, walk or hit-by-pitch at least once in 43 consecutive games is the longest active streak in the nation. After going hitless but reaching via a walk in the season opener, Reynolds went on a career-long 22-game hit streak. He’s currently on a 13-game hit streak. He has hit safely in 39 of 43 games. He is hitting .390 on the season with a .455 on-base percentage, 27 runs, nine doubles, 17 RBI and 12 stolen bases. In three pinch-hit appearances in three games against Arkansas he drew a walk and hit two singles.

The Aggies are on pace for a school-record sacrifice bunts. With 51 bunts through 45 games, A&M is on pace for 62 sacrifice bunts for the year. The school record is 55 in 2011. Last year, the Aggies put down 50 sacrifice bunts. Krey Bratsen leads the squad with 16 sacrifice bunts. He had 19 as a freshman and eight as a sophomore. He owns the school career record with 43 sacrifice bunts. Charlie Curl has added 10 and Blake Allemand has seven.

Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last 28 games (the Aggies’ last 34 games), Lankford is batting .389 (44-for-113) with 13 multiple hit games, nine doubles, two triples, one home run and 18 RBI. In the weekend series at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, he went 6-for-13 with five RBI. 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. In the series finale against No. 6 Ole Miss, Lankford keyed the Aggies comeback, going 2-for-4 with one double and two runs scored. He batted 5-for-11 against South Carolina, including three hits in the series opener. Lankford batted 7-for-14 with two doubles and two RBI in the three-game series against Auburn.

Texas A&M and Missouri have met on 67 prior occasions with the Aggies owning a 44-32-1 edge in the all-time series. As members of the Big 12 Conference, the teams have met every season since 1997. Last season, the Aggies won two-of-three from the Tigers at Blue Bell Park during the regular season, but Missouri scored a 5-3 win at the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In the three-game series, Kyle Martin earned a pair of wins in relief. Rafael Pineda started the Sunday affair, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out four over 6.0 innings. Mikey Reynolds hit .333 (4-for-12) with three runs, one double, two RBI and three stolen bases. In the 5-3 loss at the Big 12 Championship, Mitchell Nau accounted for all three of A&M’s RBI.

Missouri enters the series with a 15-25 record overall and a 7-14 mark in league play. The Tigers are hitting .247 on the season with a .325 slugging percentage and .342 on-base percentage. Dylan Kelly is leading the team with a .314 batting average with eight doubles, one home run and 22 RBI. Dane Opel is hitting .306 with 24 runs, three doubles, three triples, three home runs and 24 RBI.

Missouri’s pitching staff owns a 4.13 ERA and allowing opponents to bat .280. Friday starter Rob Zastryzny is 2-8 with a 4.12 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 67.2 innings.

The Tigers have made six College World Series appearances, all between 1952-64. Missouri won the 1954 College World Series. They have made 22 NCAA Championship appearances, including eight since 2003.

Missouri boasts 38 former players who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The group is headlined by three-time MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler.

After going 0-for-17 in his first six games (the Aggies first eight games), Allemand has batted .303 (40-for-132) with seven doubles, one home run and 19 RBI in the last 37 games. The 21 runs and 19 RBI during the span both ranks second. Even when he wasn’t hitting, Allemand was able to get on-base enough to score five runs in the first six games, drawing five walks and getting hit by two pitches for a .292 on-base percentage. His on-base percentage the last 34 games is .403 with 17 walks and six HBP.

Texas A&M pitchers have allowed just four earned runs in ninth innings of games this season. In 31.0 innings of ninth inning work, the bullpen has allowed five runs, four earned, on 23 hits and nine walks while striking out 25 for a 1.16 ERA and .207 opponent batting average. Jason Jester leads the way with 15.2 scoreless innings, scattering six hits and three walks while striking out 13. Parker Ray has worked 3.0 scoreless frames, scattering three hits and two walks while striking out one.

Batters leading off an inning are hitting .327 (112-for-342) with 17 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and a .404 on-base percentage. Daniel Mengden has a .652 on-base percentage, going 10-for-18 (.556) with four walks and one hit-by-pitch, one double and two home runs to lead the way. Mikey Reynolds owns a .515 on-base percentage, going 28-for-31 (.459) with five doubles, five walks and two HBP. Cole Lankford owns a .457 on-base percentage leading off innings, going 14-for-33 (.424) with three doubles, one triple, one walk and one HBP.

The Aggies are 1-2 in extra innings this season. Texas A&M beat Georgia, 2-1, in 10 innings in their Saturday affair at Blue Bell Park and lost their Friday night home game against Auburn, 6-4, in 10 innings and road game at Sam Houston State, 9-8, in 11 innings.

Troy Stein owns considerably a higher batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage in road games as compared to home games. In 16 road games, Stein is batting .362 (21-for-58) on the road, 92 points higher than his home batting average.

16 road games .362 16-15 58 11 21 5 .569 5 1 15 .422 0 2-2
26 home games .270 21-20 74 8 20 7 .392 4 0 11 .308 2 1-1

Kyle Martin spent his first three seasons exclusively as a stalwart in the bullpen and one of the pitchers most called upon by Coach Rob Childress. He currently ranks third on A&M’s career list with 91 appearances. Martin has some work ahead of him to move up the list further as he’s chasing Kyle Thebeau’s record of 103 appearances between 2006-09. Estevan Uriegas (2009-12) ranks second with 100 appearances.

With 14 stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into third place on the Aggie career stolen base charts with 66. Jason Tyner owns the school record with 118 from 1996-98. Chuck Knoblauch (1987-89) is next on the list with 83 steals.

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

Jason Jester has been solid as the Aggies’ closer this season, going 10-for-11 in save situations. He is 2-2 with 10 saves and a 2.70 ERA on the season. He has allowed 10 earned runs in 33.1 innings of work over 24 appearances, scattering 22 hits and seven walks while striking out 33. He is holding opponents to a .182 batting average.

Sophomore Daniel Mengden is making his 16th career start, his 12th weekend start and his fourth “Friday Night” start ... He leads the Aggies with four victories ... After starting the season 3-0, Mengden has been the tough-luck starter the last seven weekend, going 1-3 with four no-decisions despite posting a 2.22 ERA ... In his first SEC start, he got no-decision despite holding Georgia to just one run while striking out eight over 8.0 innings ... On the road at No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, he was saddled with a loss despite allowing just two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out six over 6.0 innings ... In his third outing he went a career-long with 8.0 IP against No. 12 Rice and equaled a career-high eight strikeouts ... He also had eight strikeouts in a win against Pepperdine in the second week of the season ... As a freshman, he made four weekday starts going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 26.2 innings ... In his 15 career starts, he is 7-3 with a 1.78 ERA, .207 opponent batting average and 71 strikeouts (14 walks) in 93.0 innings.

After 33 career appearances, all out of the bullpen, Parker Ray is made his first career start last weekend ... Despite getting saddled with the loss, he worked 7.2 innings in his first career start, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four at Alabama ... Ray didn’t allowed a run in his last six relief appearances, covering 14.1 innings, scattering nine hits and two walks while striking out eight ... In three of his last four outings, he’s worked 3.0 or more innings ... At Arkansas he scattered three hits while fanning two over 3.1 innings ... Against Texas State, Ray pitched 3.2 shutout innings, scattering three hits and one walk while striking out four.

Rafael Pineda is making his 26th career start ... The first 20 starts, and 22 overall, were “Sunday” starts coming at the tail end of series ... After back-to-back starts, against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, in which he didn’t record an out, Pineda was removed from the weekend rotation, but returned for the Auburn series ... He worked his way back into the weekend rotation after two midweek starts in which he did not allow an earned run in 11.1 innings of work ... Against UT Arlington on March 26, he held UT Arlington scoreless over 7.1 innings, allowing just three hits while striking out three ... In his last midweek start, he worked 4.0 innings against UTSA, allowing three unearned runs, before being removed from the contest due to a three-hour, 12-minute rain delay ... Four weeks ago, he earned the win in the Sunday game against Auburn, he allowed just one run on six hits and three walks while fanning three over 7.2 innings ... He spent the entire 2012 season as the Aggies’ Sunday starter, amassing a 5-1 record and 2.71 ERA.

After a bit of a slow start, Troy Stein has hit .330 (30-for-91) in his last 25 games with 16 runs, four doubles, two triples, three home runs and 11 RBI. In the first 18 games of the season, Stein played in 15, including 13 starts and hit .260 (13-for-50) with just four runs, three doubles, one triple and three RBI. His slugging percentage (.518) and on-base percentage (.384) over his last 25 games is vastly improved over the numbers he put up in his first 15 games (.360 and .315, respectively).

First 18 games .260 15-13 50 4 13 3 .360 2 2 12 .315 1 1-1
Last 27 games .330 25-25 91 16 30 11 .518 8 0 18 .384 1 2-2

The Aggies continue SEC action at Blue Bell Park with a three-game series against the LSU Tigers starting on Thursday.

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