No. 2 Aggies and No. 6 Baylor collide in Battle of the Brazos series
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07
After losing two consecutive games, the No. 2 Texas A&M baseball team will look to snap Baylor’s 21-game winning streak this weekend in the Battle of the Brazos, as they take on No. 6 Baylor Friday night at Blue Bell Park and Saturday and Sunday at Baylor Ballpark in Waco.
Game one of the pivotal Big 12 series is slated for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch Friday night at the friendly confiners of Blue Bell Park, before the series wraps up in Waco, with a 6:35 p.m. start time Saturday, and 2:05 p.m. first pitch Sunday.
While the Bears (32-7, 15-0 Big 12) are riding a school-record 21 game winning streak—and is also perfect in Big 12 play, 15-0—the Aggies have dropped its last two contests. In the maroon and white’s last outing Tuesday night, No. 7 Rice escaped with a 5–4 victory.
“This was a pretty disappointing loss,” Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We played just good enough to lose.”
Although A&M freshman Gandy Stubblefield got the start on the mound, the Lufkin native struggled with his command and was relieved by freshman Corey Ray after recording only two outs.
The Aggies scored all four of their runs in the first innings, but had no answer for Rice, who chipped away at its deficit with one run apiece through five innings, before taking the lead in the top of the ninth inning to pull away for the victory, dropping the Aggies’ record to 28-9 overall, and 9-3 in the Big 12.
Aggie Big 12 Player of the Week, junior right-hander Michael Wacha (5-0), will get the Friday night start against the Bears. The Texarkana native threw his second complete game shutout against Kansas last Friday as he won his 23rd career game, breaking into the top 10 all-time record for school wins.
Wacha will go head-to-head with another junior right-hander with a 5-0 record Friday night, when Baylor’s Josh Turley takes the mound.
Senior right-hander Ross Stripling (6-1) is projected to get the Saturday night start in Waco against the Bear’s 8-0 senior, Trent Blank. Stripling got his 27th win last weekend at Kansas to move into a tie with Casey Fossum (1997-99) for fifth most wins in school history.
Sophomore A&M pitcher Rafael Pineda (5-1) is projected to close out the series Sunday afternoon in Waco against a pitcher to be determined for the Bears.
With two schools in close proximity—both along the Brazos River—Baylor is one A&M’s oldest rivals, having first met on the diamond in 1904. The Aggies hold a 180-131-4 overall record over the Bears.
The last time the old rivals met, the Aggies won the series 2-1, winning game one, 5–1, in Waco, then losing the rubber-match 1–12 in College Station, before closing out the series with a 2–1 victory.
The Aggies are 3-0 this season in Big 12 Conference series, while the Bears are also undefeated. If the Aggies look to pick up a crucial series win, its starting three pitchers must pitch well into the seventh and eighth inning against the league’s hottest team.