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Aggie baseball travels to California for first road series

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014 00:02

After winning seven of its first eight games of the season at home, the No. 18 Texas A&M baseball team will head to Fresno, Calif., for a three-game series against Fresno State starting Friday.

Daniel Mengden, Parker Ray, Grayson Long and Tyler Stubblefield have combined for a 4-1 record and 1.09 ERA in eight starts for the Aggies. Head coach Rob Childress said he was pleased with the performances of his four starting pitchers thus far.

“They have just been fantastic,” Childress said. “They have the ability to throw a breaking ball or change-up in hitters counts. They are all very competitive. They field their positions well and are good athletes.”

The Aggies outscored their opponents 51-14 in their eight-game home stand at Olsen Field. At 8:35 p.m. Friday, A&M will face an unwelcoming crowd for the first time in 2014.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Childress said. “[Fresno State head coach] Mike Batesole does a great job. There is a lot of tradition there at Fresno State. It’s a great facility and has great fan support. They are off to a great start and they have some very talented guys on the mound.”

Sophomore infielder Hunter Melton, who had two hits and an RBI in A&M’s 5-1 win over Houston Baptist on Tuesday, said the team recognizes how difficult a road series can be.

“Road games are always going to be tough,” Melton said. “This is going to be a big jump for us and a key to the rest of the season as we go out and try to sweep Fresno State. The first series is always tough on the road, but you hope to overcome it and get three wins out of it.”

Fresno State will send junior Jordan Brink (1-0, 0.61) to the mound Friday to take on Mengden (1-1, 1.38). On Saturday, senior Parker Ray (1-0, 2.31) will face Fresno State freshman Jimmy Lambert (0-1, 3.48). In Sunday’s final matchup, A&M will put sophomore Grayson Long (1-0, 0.00) on the mound to take on sophomore Tim Borst (0-0, 3.86).

Junior third baseman Logan Nottebrok, who transferred from Temple College during the offseason, has powered the Aggies through the first eight games of the season, leading the team in home runs (3), doubles (3), runs (10), hits (9) and RBIs (11).

Fresno State sophomore catcher Taylor Ward enters Friday’s game with a .375 batting average and a team-leading 10 RBIs.

Friday’s meeting will be the first between the two schools since 1997, with Fresno State holding a 3-0 advantage all-time.

The Aggies (7-1) will return to Texas on Tuesday when they play UT Arlington (2-5) at the Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers. 

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