COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The ninth-ranked Texas A&M baseball team will host its final Big 12 Conference series on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park this weekend when the Aggies face Texas Tech in a three-game series.
The Aggies (32-13; 11-7 Big 12) enter the weekend in a third-place tie in the league standings while the Red Raiders (26-22; 5-13 Big 12) sit in seventh place.
Friday’s game is slated for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch and will be televised by Cox Sports. Both Saturday and Sunday’s contests will be live streamed for free by 12thManTV on aggieathletics.com and will begin at 2:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m., respectively.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
FRIDAY (MAY 4) – 6:35 p.m.
Texas A&M - #38 Michael Wacha (Jr., RHP, 5-0, 2.48)
Texas Tech - #42 John Neely (Sr., RHP, 3-5, 5.28)
SATURDAY (MAY 5) – 2:05 p.m.
Texas A&M - #36 Ross Stripling (Sr., RHP, 6-2, 2.65)
Texas Tech - #44 Rusty Shellhorn (Jr., LHP, 5-2, 4.26)
SUNDAY (MAY 6) – 1:05 p.m.
Texas A&M - #55 Rafael Pineda (RS-So., RHP, 5-1, 2.87)
Texas Tech - #16 Trey Masek (So., RHP, 1-4, 3.43)
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
• TV — Friday’s game will be broadcast by Cox Sports ... Will Johnson (play-by-play), along with Alan Cannon (commentary), will have the call.
• RADIO — Fans can listen locally on WTAW-AM 1620 ... Dave South (play-by-play), along with selected color commentators, will call the action ... pregame show begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
• INTERNET — aggieathletics.com will offer live play-by-play and statistics ... fans can watch Saturday and Sunday’s games free of charge on aggieathletics.com.
• MOBILE PHONE — listen to the game on your iPhone, Blackberry or PDA free of charge ... log on to radioaggieland.com for more information.
TEXAS A&M/TEXAS TECH SERIES NOTABLES
The two long-time conference rivals in both the Southwest Conference and Big 12 reunite this weekend in what has been one of the most hotly contested series in recent years. Texas A&M leads the all-time series with the Red Raiders by a margin of 95-56, including a 28-23 edge since the formation of the Big 12 Conference.
The home team has dominated the series with the Aggies taking two of three games in Lubbock last season to earn their first series victory on the South Plains since 1997. The Red Raiders, meanwhile, last won a series in College Station in 1995 during Southwest Conference play.
After the weekend set with Texas Tech, the Aggies will enjoy a week without a mid-week game before hosting San Diego State, which is led by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, in a three-game home series next weekend.
NOTES & TRENDS
• Friday’s game is Breast Cancer Awareness Day and the mothers of three Texas A&M baseball players (Nik Castilleja, Tyler Naquin and Ross Stripling) who are cancer survivors will do the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to their sons.
• The Aggie baseball team was well represented at the annual Texas A&M Athletics CHAMPS Banquet, as senior pitcher Ross Stripling was named the male Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The award is presented to a senior who has completed his or her eligibility and has maintained at least a 3.5 grade-point average while also taking into account athletic achievements and community service and leadership. Additionally, the Male Freshman of the Year went to Blake Allemand.
• The Aggies are one of the most nation’s aggressive teams on the base paths and enter the weekend ranked fourth in the country in team stolen bases with 101. It marks only the ninth time in program history the Aggies have surpassed the century-mark in steals with four of the seasons coming during the Childress-era. Texas A&M features five players who have swiped at least 10 bags this season, led by sophomore Krey Bratsen with 17.
• Saturday’s scheduled starter Ross Stripling continues to leave his mark as one of the most successful pitchers in school history, climbing both the Texas A&M and Big 12 all-time wins list. The right-hander captured his 28th win last weekend at Texas to move into sole possession of fifth place in school history. Up next on the list is former Aggie great Ryan Rupe, who won 30 games for the Aggies from 1994-98. Stripling also ranks among the most proficient winners in Big 12 history, sitting in fifth place all-time with Kyle Gibson of Missouri (2007-09) and Baylor’s Steven White (2000-03).
• Fellow starting pitcher Michael Wacha is also etching his name into the Aggie record books, as he won his 24th career game last weekend to move into ninth place on the Texas A&M career top 10. He enters the Texas Tech series sharing the No. 9 spot with Rick Luecken (1980-83).
• Stripling and Wacha also rank in the top four for all-time strikeouts at Texas A&M with Wacha in third place with 298 career punch outs and Stripling right behind in fourth with 297.
• Last week, Stripling and right-hander Rafael Pineda were named to the initial Watch List for the Pitcher of the Year award, presented by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
• Aggie right fielder Tyler Naquin remains the Big 12’s leading hitter as he enters the weekend with a .395 (70-for-177) clip at the plate.
• FRIDAY – Breast Cancer Awareness Day: Glowsticks will be given away at the entrance of the park by the Diamond Darlings … In the top of the 8th innings we would like to recognize all Breast Cancer survivors in the crowd and after that have everyone crack their glowsticks at once to “Light Blue Bell Park Pink” … Pink Ribbons will be given away and fans are encouraged to wear pink … Silent Auction - Taking place on the concourse until the eighth inning.
SATURDAY - Have A Catch - Fans are invited to play catch on the Field for 30 minutes after the game … Silent Auction - Resumes on the concourse until the eighth inning.
SUNDAY - Silent Auction - Resumes on the concourse until the eighth inning ... Sunday Run Day - Kids are invited to run the bases following the game.