Texas A&M baseball to take on Tennessee in SEC opening round

Aggie baseball to take on Tennessee in SEC Tournament opener
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Alabama -- Postseason play begins for the Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday when they battle the Tennessee Volunteers the opening round of the 2023 SEC Tournament.

The game against Tennessee will be the second of the SEC tournament and will begin after the conclusion of the game between South Carolina versus Georgia, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. CT. With a win in the single-elimination round the 10th-seeded Aggies will advance on to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and take on second-seeded Arkansas.

GAME COVERAGETV/STREAMING: Each game of the tournament is scheduled to be on SEC Network... Dave Neal will have the call of the Aggies’ opening round vs the Vols with Ben McDonald on analysis.

RADIO: Each game can also be heard locally on SportsRadio 1150 AM/93.7 FM The Zone.... Andrew Monaco will be in the booth to bring the action from Hoover Metropolitan Stadium... the pregame show begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.

SOCIAL: Fans can get in-game updates on social media by following @AggieBaseball on Twitter.

AGAINST THE VOLUNTEERS- The Aggies are 10-9 all-time against Tennessee.- This is the first time A&M and Tennessee have faced each other in the SEC tournament. The only other time the two have played each other at a neutral site was Opening Day of the 2005 season at Minute Maid Park in Houston where the Ags won 10-1.- The Aggies and Vols last faced each other during the regular season in Knoxville (March 24-26, 2023) where the Volunteers took all three games.STACKING WEEKENDS IN THE SCHLOSS ERASince Jim Schlossnagle took over the Aggie program for the 2022 season the Aggies have won 14 SEC series, which tied with Tennessee and Florida as the most among SEC programs in that span over the past two seasons.

LAVIOLETTE EARNS HONORSAggie outfielder Jace LaViolette had a busy Monday when he was named not only the SEC Player of the Week for his effort at Mississippi State, but also was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team for his performance in 2023 as a whole. He is the seventh Aggie to ever be named to the SEC All-Freshman Team while the weekly honor was his second of the season. LaViolette ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in league-only games in both batting average and on-base percentage, while his .835 slugging percentage against SEC opponents is a league best. He has four multi-home run games this year and 18 total home runs, with his three-homer game on Friday at Mississippi State giving him sole possession of the Texas A&M freshman home run record which had stood since 1987.

BOST NEARING MORE MILESTONESAustin Bost continues to add to his career totals as an Aggie and sits as the active leader on the roster in games played, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI and walks. He enters the weekend with 191 career hits and with nine more base hits this year would become the first Aggie since Braden Shewmake in 2019 to reach the 200-hit mark during an Aggie career. Bost also has socked 27 home runs in his career and needs two more to tie Brodie Greene’s total of 29, which currently stands alone as 10th all-time at Texas A&M.

ASCHENBECK DOING IT ALL FROM THE PENIt would be hard to argue Evan Aschenbeck as the MVP of the pitching staff in 2023, ranking second on the team both in appearances (22) and innings pitched (58.0). The key is that his work has come exclusively from the bullpen, and his workload from there is one among the most the nation as his 58.0 relief innings ranks as the most in the SEC and the fourth most in the nation.

ON THE RUNThe Aggies have been at their near best when they’ve been on the bases this season, ranking second to Kentucky in the league with 79 successful stolen bases. But what is more impressive is they’ve it in just 92 attempts, and the 85.8 percent success rate is the best among all SEC teams with at least 50 steals this year. The Aggies had nine stelas on May 9 vs UTRGV, the most by an Aggie team in a single game since A&M set its program record with 12 in a win over Northwestern State on February 10, 2006.

TREVOR, TREVOR, TREVORAggie third baseman Trevor Werner had a career night in the series opener vs Alabama, hitting a trio of two-run homers to lead the Aggies past the Crimson Tide. It was his second multi-homer game of the season (and of his career) but was also just the ninth three-homer game in Texas A&M baseball history. The last time it happened came in 1999 when Dell Lindsey accomplished the feat. Werner enters the weekend red hot with a seven-game hit streak12 RBI during that stretch.

He has been a primary catalyst for the Aggies since the calendar turned to May. In 11 games during the month of May he is slashing .326/.389/.783 with 6 home runs, 3 doubles and a team-high 17 RBI.GOLDEN BOYAggie shortstop Hunter Haas got a nod of approval from USA Baseball when he was named as one of 45 players in the country to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List. He earned another honor later in the year when he was one of 25 players named as a Brooks Wallace Award semifinalist, honoring the top shortstop in the country. Haas enters the week leading second on the team lead in batting average (.322) and is second in on-base percentage (.441) and has been error free in 51 of 54 games played in the field.