COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Baseball team will unofficially begin its first season in the SEC when the Aggies begin fall baseball practice on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park with a 3 p.m. session on Monday, September 17.
As has become tradition under head coach Rob Childress, the Aggies will spend the fall competing internally for the Omaha Cup which has become a staple of the Texas A&M baseball culture. The event features the Aggies being split into different teams and competing against one another both on-and-off the field in order to sharpen the competitive nature and chemistry of the squad.
After a one-year hiatus, fall practices and scrimmages will once again be open to the public in the newly renovated Blue Bell Park.
The Aggies are coming off a 43-18 mark and a school-record sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
The fall roster includes the familiar names of 16 returning lettermen along with 17 talented newcomers. Highlighting the returners for the Aggies are four returning All-Big 12 performers from the 2012 season. Middle infielder Mikey Reynolds and catcher Troy Stein were both All-Big 12 Second Team performers while right-handed pitcher Kyle Martin and infielder Blake Allemand earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Allemand and outfielder Chance Bolcerek were both named to the Big 12 All-Freshman squad.
Stein played in 55 games, including 48 starts as a sophomore. He ranked fourth on the team with a .304 batting average, registering 12 doubles, two home runs and 25 RBI. He threw out 14 of 41 runners attempting to steal bases.
Reynolds appeared in 58 games at second base and shortstop, including 55 starts as a junior. He ranked third on the team with a .306 batting average and second with 55 runs. Reynolds led the team with 21 stolen bases and added 12 doubles, three triples, one home run and 23 RBI.
Martin was one of the Big 12’s top relievers in 2012. The right-hander appeared in 38 games, posting a 6-5 record with seven saves and a 3.20 ERA over 56.1 innings.
Allemand appeared in 50 games at second base, shortstop and third base with 47 starts as a freshman. He hit .289 with three doubles, two triples, four RBI and four stolen bases.
Bolcerek played in 42 games at the corner outfield spots and designated hitter with 26 starts as a freshman. He batted .289 with two doubles, three triples, seven RBI and three stolen bases.
Other key returners include Krey Bratsen, Brandon Wood, Rafael Pineda, Daniel Mengden, Parker Ray and Corey Ray.
Bratsen started 60 games in centerfield with 55 starts in 2012. He shared the Aggies’ stolen base lead with 21 and added 34 runs and 25 RBI. He is hoping to return to his 2011 form at the plate where he batted .332 with 45 runs, 36 RBI en route to earning Freshman All-America honors from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the Nation Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Wood played in 55 games with 50 starts in leftfield as a junior. He hit .258 with 30 runs, 10 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 25 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
Pineda started 15 games on the mound for the Aggies. He logged a 5-1 record with a 2.71 ERA and one complete game. The right-hander held opponents to a .237 batting average and walked just 16 batters while fanning 44 over 83.0 innings.
Daniel Mengden appeared as a pitcher and designated hitter for Texas A&M last season. As a pitcher, Mengden appeared in 22 games with four starts. The righty posted a 3-4 record with three saves and a 3.83 ERA and recorded 41 strikeouts in 47.0 innings. He appeared in six games as a DH with three starts, logging one home run and four RBI in 18 at-bats.
Parker Ray pitched in 16 games as a sophomore, logging a 2-1 record with a 1.29 ERA. The right-hander held opponents to a .191 batting average while striking out 16 over 14.0 innings.
Corey Ray pitched in 12 games, including three starts, as a freshman. The northpaw logged a 2-0 record and 3.52 ERA in 30.2 innings.
Texas A&M will cap off fall practice with the Maroon and White Series on Oct. 16-18 with 3 p.m. games on each day.