Aggies face tough road series
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 00:03
Heading into the third week of a young season, Texas A&M baseball has watched its national ranking slide steadily lower.
Starting the preseason at No. 26, A&M fell off the rankings after a 1-for-3 showing at the Astros Foundation College Classic over the weekend.
The Aggies look to regain their momentum beginning Friday during a three-game road series at No. 13 California State Fullerton.
“It’s early in the season,” said junior pitcher Rafael Pineda. “I don’t think all gears are clicking on the same cylinders right now. Our guys are doing the best we can right now — we’re fighting.”
Cal State Fullerton enters the series with a 10-2 record, losing their last two games to Oregon and San Diego. Senior first baseman Carlos Lopez leads the team with a .333 batting average, seven RBIs and 15 hits.
Texas A&M enters the contest with a 9-5 record with four of their five losses to unranked opponents. Senior shortstop Mikey Reynolds has shown consistency with the bat at the top of the lineup. Reynolds enters the series against Cal State Fullerton with a 13-game hitting streak and leads the team in batting average (.463), hits (25), runs (11) and RBIs (10).
“We’re very fortunate to have him back as a senior after he had an opportunity to sign [with the MLB],” head coach Rob Childress said. “It’s a good thing for us that he did come back because he’s been the one constant for us.”
One statistic that has been lacking for the Aggies is home runs, with only two on the season. The first came Friday when SEC Freshman of the Week Jonathan Moroney hit one against Houston and the second during Tuesday’s win over Prairie View A&M by sophomore catcher Mitchell Nau.
Defensively, Texas A&M will need a productive weekend from their pitching staff in order to contain the Titans. The Aggies have a combined earned run average of 3.15 per nine innings opposed to their opponents’ average ERA of 4.62.
“We have a great team,” said junior centerfielder Krey Bratsen. “If we don’t come out with an edge, the other team is going to come out and beat you every time.”