COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Following a season-opening series sweep of Illinois-Chicago, the No. 4 Texas A&M baseball team is back in action on Tuesday night when it hosts Stephen F. Austin in a 6:35 p.m. contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (2011 Stats)
TUESDAY (FEB. 21)
Texas A&M - #37 Derrick Hadley (So., RHP, 0-1, 5.40)
SFA - #4 Justin Choate (Jr., RHP, 0-0, 0-0)
TEXAS A&M/SFA SERIES NOTABLES
Tuesday will mark the 21st time the Aggies and Lumberjacks have met on the baseball diamond ... The 2012 season will also be the seventh consecutive year the two schools have meet in the series ... the initial meeting came way back in 1949 ... Texas A&M won the first 18 meetings between the two schools before SFA broke into the series win column on Feb. 24, 2010, with a 7-6 victory at Olsen Field ... A year ago, the Aggies defeated the ‘Jacks 7-5 in College Station, led by three RBI from first baseman Jacob House.
MORE ON SFA
The Lumberjacks opened their season last weekend at the Lamar Tournament in Beaumont, Texas, dropping a pair of contests to Portland ... Sophomore shortstop Hunter Dozier emerged as the team’s early offensive leader as he went 4-for-6 with a pair of home runs during the season’s opening weekend ... head coach Johnny Cardenas is in his fourth season at the helm of the SFA program with a 57-54 overall record ... projected starter Justin Choate will be toeing the rubber for the first time as a ‘Jacks after transferring from Texarkana College.
NOTES AND NOTABLES
• Texas A&M swept away the Illinois-Chicago Flames on opening weekend to start the season 3-0 ... It marked the fourth straight season the Aggies have earned a sweep on opening weekend.
• Additionally, the Aggies won on Opening Night for the 12th straight year ... A&M is now 32-3 all-time in season openers on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
• Reigning Big 12 Player of Year Tyler Naquin picked up right where he left off during last season’s breakout sophomore campaign as over the weekend the All-American right fielder hit .545 (6-for-11) with a team high eight runs scored while also going a perfect 3-for-3 on the basepaths.
• Senior Jacob House etched his name in Aggie baseball history as he became the first player to homer in the newly renovated Blue Bell Park, taking a first inning pitch from UIC starter Joey Begel over the wall into the newly-constructed right field bullpen ... The Mansfield, Texas, native repeated the shot on Saturday, hitting an encore first inning, two-run home run.
• Sophomore Rafael Pineda flirted with perfection during Sunday’s series finale, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning and a no-hitter into the eight ... to find the last no-hitter thrown by a Texas A&M pitcher you have to go back to Feb. 14, 2004, when Zach Jackson held Texas A&M-Corpus Christi out of the hit column during a seven-inning contest.
• For the weekend, the Texas A&M pitching staff yielded just two runs to finish with an impressive 0.67 ERA ... All three Aggie starters (Michael Wacha, Ross Stripling and Pineda) picked up the win on the mound, while the A&M bullpen allowed just three hits in 7.1 innings of work.
Texas A&M is back in action this weekend when it welcomes Holy Cross to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for a three-game series ... the will be the season-opener for the Crusaders, who have never face the Aggies in program history ... game times are set for 6:35 p.m. Friday, 2:05 p.m. Saturday and 12:05 p.m. for Sunday’s series finale.
• TUESDAY - Junior Aggie Club Members get in FREE ... Twitter Tuesday: Anyone who tweets @aggie_baseball before 4:00 will receive a promotions code to purchase a $4 GA ticket for that day’s game ... Baseball Bingo: Diamond Darlings will be passing out Bingo Sheets on the concourse. Fans may fill them out based on the plays the Aggie’s make to win minibats and other Aggie Baseball prizes
• FRIDAY - Free Giveaway Friday - First 250 Fans will receive Aggie Baseball koozies
• SATURDAY - Have-A-Catch ... fans are invited to play catch on the field for 30 minutes following the game.
• SUNDAY - Kids are invited to come down to the field and run the bases following the game and The Junior Aggie Club will be passing out drawstring bags courtesy of Southwest Dairy Farmers ... Junior Aggie Club members get in FREE.