COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies travel to Huntsville for a 6:30 pm game at Sam Houston State Bearkats. The Aggies are looking to remain perfect in midweek contests in 2013. The Maroon and White are 10-0 on the season in games played on Tuesday and Wednesday, outscoring opponents 65-21. Blake Allemand enters the fray with a career-long nine-game win streak.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (21-16, 6-9 SEC) at SAM HOUSTON STATE BEARKATS (20-15, 8-4, Southland)
Don Sanders Stadium (1,163) • Huntsville, Texas
SCHEDULE - Tuesday, 6:30 pm
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620 (Dave South, play-by-play)
LIVE AUDIO - aggieathletics.com • radioaggieland.com
LIVE VIDEO – bearkats.com (with premium subscription)
LIVE STATS – bearkats.com
RANKINGS - A&M - unranked • SHSU - unranked
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M Leads 86-37-2
SERIES STREAK - Texas A&M is on a two-game win streak
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• Tuesday – Grayson Long (Fr., RHP, 3-1, 3.48 ERA) vs Tyler Eppler (So., RHP, 3-2, 3.41 ERA)
Blake Allemand enters Tuesday’s game with a career-long nine-game hit streak. Over the span, he’s batting .412 (14-for-34) with nine runs and three RBI. He also has five walks and a .475 on-base percentage. The stretch includes four multiple-hit games, including a three-hit game against UTSA.
CHILDRESS EARNS WIN NUMBER 300
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 310-169-2 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.
TEXAS A&M/SAM HOUSTON STATE SERIES NOTABLES
This marks the 126th meeting between the squads, with the Aggies owning an 86-37-2 edge in the all-time series. Texas A&M owns a 17-1-1 edge in the last 18 meetings, dating back to 2002. The series has been off-and-on since 1950. With the exception of 2007, the squads have played at least once a year since 1984. Last season, Texas A&M registered a 10-0 win in Huntsville. Daniel Mengden (7.0 IP), Corey Ray (1.0 IP) and Parker Ray (1.0 IP) combined on the six-hit shutout. Mikey Reynolds went 4-for-4 and Blake Allemand, Mitchell Nau and Troy Stein each had two hits for the Aggies. Last week, the Maroon and White registered a 4-1 win over the Bearkats. In the win, Stein went 3-for-4 with one double, one home run and four RBI. Ray earned the victory, pitching 6.0 scoreless innings, scattering three hits and two walks while striking out two.
MORE ON SAM HOUSTON STATE
Sam Houston State enters the fray with a 20-13 overall record and they own a 8-4 mark in Southland Conference play. The Bearkats are coming off dropping a weekend series to Lamar, losing the Friday and Sunday games.. Sam Houston State has been deadly during midweek action with two wins over nationally-ranked Rice and one win apiece over nationally-ranked Texas and Houston. The Bearkats also split a two-game midweek set with the Baylor Bears.
As a team, the Bearkats have a .289 batting average paced by Jessie Plumlee with a .386 average, five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI in 29 games (24 starts). Kevin Miller (.346) and Carter Burgess (.326) are also hitting over .320. Miller has 24 runs and 15 RBI in 34 games and Burgess has 21 runs, six doubles, three triples and 18 RBI in 35 games.
The pitching staff owns a 4.14 ERA and is holding opponents to a .232 batting average with 266 strikeouts in 304.0 innings. Tuesday’s probable starter Tyler Eppler is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA and holding foes to a .226 batting average. Closer Jason Simms is 1-1 with four saves and a 2.48 ERA in 15 appearances.
The Bearkats won the 2012 Southland Conference regular-season title and made their seventh NCAA Division I Championship appearance (all since 1987). Sam Houston State also played in three consecutive NCAA Division II Championships (1984-86) before moving up to Division I.
Sam Houston State boasts 11 former players who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The group is headlined by 10-year veteran and 1985 NL All-Star Outfielder Glenn Wilson and 11-year veteran and starting second baseman for the 1969 World Series Champion Amazin’ Mets Ken Boswell.
ALLEMAND GETTING INTO GEAR
After going 0-for-17 in his first six games (the Aggies first eight games), Allemand has batted .320 (32-for-100) with five doubles, one home run and 17 RBI in the last 29 games. The 17 RBI during the span is a team-high. 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 29 games is .430 with 16 walks and four HBP.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB% SH SB-ATT
First 6 games .000 6-6 17 5 0 0 .000 5 2 7 .292 2 3-3
Last 21 games .320 29-29 100 16 32 17 .400 16 4 12 .430 4 7-9
WOOD PICKING UP STEAM
After going without a hit in his first 15 games (A&M’s first 24), including four starts, Brandon Wood has caught fire the last 13 games. Since the second game of the Sunday Ole Miss doubleheader, Wood is hitting .348 (16-for-46) with seven runs, two doubles, one triple, one home run and six RBI. He also owns a .404 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage over the span. The stretch includes a pair of three-hit games. In the first 24 games of the season, he went 0-for-12, but did manage to post a .333 on-base percentage with five walks and one hit-by-pitch.
Player AVG GP-GS AB R H RBI SLG% BB HBP SO OB% SH SB-ATT
First 24 games .000 15-4 12 4 0 0 .000 5 1 4 .333 1 2-2
Last 13 games .419 13-13 46 7 16 6 .500 6 1 12 .404 2 1-2
MARTIN NOW APPEARING
Kyle Martin ranks third on A&M’s career list with 87 appearances. He’s chasing Kyle Thebeau’s record of 103 appearances between 2006-09. Estevan Uriegas (2009-12) ranks second with 100 appearances.
BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
With 13 stolen bases on the year, junior OF Krey Bratsen moved into third place on the Aggie career stolen base charts with 65. 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.
OWNING THE MIDWEEK
The Aggies are 10-0 in midweek action this season, winning the games by a combined margin of 65-21. The pitching staff owns a 1.70 ERA, holding foes to a .211 batting average. Grayson Long (3-0), Corey Ray (3-0) and Rafael Pineda (1-0) have accounted for all the midweek starts on the mound. Troy Stein (.450), Jonathan Moroney (.391) Mikey Reynolds (.381), Cole Lankford (.345), Daniel Mengden (.343) and Mitchell Nau are all hitting .330 or better. Cole Lankford is hitting .345 with two doubles, two triples and nine RBI. Mengden, Reynolds and Mitchell Nau have seven RBI apiece. Stein (.522) and Blake Allemand (.512) both have on-base percentages of .500 or higher.
HERE COMES THE JESTER, 1-2-3
Jason Jester has been solid as the Aggies’ closer this season, going a perfect 9-for-10 in save situations. He is 2-1 with eight saves and a 3.08 ERA on the season. He has allowed just five earned runs in 26.1 innings of work over 19 appearances, scattering 20 hits and six walks while striking out 26. He is holding opponents to a .204 batting average.
MAKING A SACRIFICE
The Aggies are on pace for a school-record sacrifice bunts. With 45 bunts through 37 games, A&M is on pace for 68 sac 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 14 sacrifice bunts. He had 19 as a freshman and eight as a sophomore. Charlie Curl has added 10 and Blake Allemand has six.
SETTING THE TABLE
Batters leading off an inning are hitting .335 (93-for-278) with 14 doubles, four triples, four home runs and a .409 on-base percentage. Daniel Mengden has a .667 on-base percentage, going 9-for-16 (.563) with four walks and one hit-by-pitch, one double and two home runs to lead the way. Jace Statum owns a .524 on-base percentage going 5-for-15 (.333) at the plate with six walks in 21 plate appearances. Mikey Reynolds owns a .525 on-base percentage, going 25-for-54 (.463) with five walks and two HBP. Cole Lankford owns a .448 on-base percentage leading off innings, going 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles, one triple, one walk and one HBP.
TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER: #38 GRAYSON LONG
Grayson Long is making his sixth career start and his second weekend start, both SEC starts ... He’s been potent in a starting role to date, going 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 26.1 innings in his five prior starts ... Last week, he allowed just one hit in 5.2 innings in a no-decision against No. 13 South Carolina ... Two weeks ago, he went 5.1 scoreless innings with two hits, two walks and two strikeouts to earn a win against Dallas Baptist ... He also earned a win against Prairie View A&M (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K) and Texas Southern (5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).
REYNOLDS REACHING BASE
Mikey Reynolds current streak of reaching base via base hit, walk or hit-by-pitch at least once in 36 consecutive games is the third-longest active streak in the nation. Troy’s Logan Pierce has a 40-game streak, which includes two games in 2012, to lead the nation. Charlotte’s Corbin Shive has a 37-game streak, but he has yet to play in 2013 due to injury. After going hitless but reaching via a walk in the season opener, Reynolds went on a career-long 22-game hit streak. He has hit safely in 32 of 35 games. He is hitting .394 on the season with a .456 on-base percentage, 26 runs, eight doubles, 17 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
Cole Lankford has been playing his best collegiate baseball as of late. In his last 21 games (the Aggies’ last 26 games), Lankford is batting .414 (36-for-87) with 11 multiple hit games, seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 16 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. He has six three-hit games in his last 21 contests.
Lankford is currently on a 10-game hit streak, the longest of his career. Lankford is batting .450 (18-for-40) with three doubles and five RBI over the span.
The Aggies continue the eight-game road swing with a three-game series at Arkansas starting on Friday.