SEC Athlete of the Week Honors for Deon Lendore, Shelbi Vaughan

BIRMINGHAM – A pair of Aggies earned SEC track and field honors this week following their performances at the 88th Texas Relays. Senior sprinter Deon Lendore was selected as men’s Runner of the Week while junior Shelbi Vaughan shared the women’s Field Athlete of the Week.

Vaughan broke the meet record in the discus as she dominated the competition with a U.S. leading toss of 201 feet, 8 inches (61.48), which bettered the runner-up by 14 and a half feet. It was the third consecutive Texas Relays collegiate discus title for Vaughan, who also won a pair of prep titles in 2011 and 2012. She bettered the previous meet record of 199-2 set in 2006 by Nebraska’s Becky Breisch, who along with UCLA’s Suzy Powell each won three Texas Relays titles in the discus over a four-year span.

The throw of 201-8 was the third best mark in Vaughan’s career, trailing the A&M school record of 208-8 (63.60) she set in winning the 2014 SEC championship as well as a 204-2 (62.25) from her series at the conference meet.

Lendore anchored the Aggies to a pair of relay victories in the 4×100 and 4×400 to earn his first set of wins at the Texas Relays. It was two of four relays titles A&M earned during the weekend among the eight victories that garnered Most Outstanding Team honors for the Aggies.

A challenge in the sprint relay had Lendore catching the TCU anchor and winning the battle with LSU’s anchor leg, Aaron Ernest, with a collegiate leading 38.91 to 38.93 edge at the finish line while TCU finished third in 39.15. The 38.91 by A&M currently ranks fourth in the world for the 2015 season.

Texas Tech was the nearest challenger to the Aggies in the 4×400 where A&M’s world-leading 3:02.19 victory was capped with a 44.8 split by Lendore after previous legs by Gregory Coleman, Bralon Taplin and Shavez Hart. The Red Raiders finished second in 3:03.47 while Baylor and Florida both clocked 3:05.26. It was the first Texas Relays 4×400 win for the Aggies since 2011 when they set the meet record of 3:00.45.

Texas A&M travels to the Stanford Invitational this week for a two-day meet on Friday and Saturday. The meet will have a webcast available through a subscription service on Flotrack.com.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

No. 1 Aggie Baseball Hosts Sam Houston State This Evening on Zone 1150

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The top-ranked Aggies look to send March out on a winning note as they host Sam Houston State in a Tuesday evening affair on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Tuesday’s game marks the beginning of a string of 27 games in which 21 games will be against teams that played in the 2014 NCAA Championship. Texas A&M’s offense has rekindled in the last six games, posting three of their highest hit totals of the year and batting .361 over the span.

No. 1 TEXAS A&M AGGIES (27-2, 7-2 SEC) vs. SAM HOUSTON STATE BEARKATS (14-16, 7-5 Southland Conference)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas

SCHEDULE - Tuesday – 6:35 pm
RADIO - Sports Radio 1150 The Zone  •  Dave South (play-by-play)
LIVE VIDEO - SEC Network+ (WatchESPN credentials required through cable provider) – Will Johnson (play-by-play), Mark Johnson (color analyst)
LIVE AUDIO – 12thMan.com  •  radioaggieland.com (free)
LIVE STATS - 12thMan.com
RANKINGS - Texas A&M – 1 (CB), 1 (USAT), 2 (D1B), 2 (BA), 2 (NCBWA); SHSU – unranked
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M leads 87-39-2. The Aggies have won the last game

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• TUESDAY:  #23 Turner Larkins (Fr., RHP, 3-1, 2.94 ERA) vs. #33 Sam Odom (So., RHP, 0-3, 4.03 ERA)

MIDWEEK PERFECTION
The Aggies are 8-0 in midweek action this season, outscoring opponents 54-13. The A&M offense has be highlighted by NICK BANKS, batting .654 (17-for-26) with three doubles and five RBI, and MITCHELL NAU, hitting .476 (10-for-21) with six RBI.

The pitching staff has a 1.34 ERA and the Aggies have 79 strikeouts in 74.0 innings. TURNER LARKINS has started five of the games, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.82 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. The bullpen is 5-0 with three saves and a 0.97 ERA in midweek action.

1,000 WINS AT OLSEN FIELD
With their win in the Saturday game against Auburn, the Aggies secured their 1,000th win at the friendly confines of Olsen Field. Playing their 38th season at the now-Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, the Maroon and White are 1,004-325-4 (.755) at the corner of George Bush Drive and Olsen Boulevard.

TEXAS A&M/SAM HOUSTON STATE SERIES NOTABLES
With campus 55 miles apart, Sam Houston State represents Texas A&M’s second-closest Division I rival behind Prairie View A&M (50 miles).

The Aggies and Bobcats have met on 128 occasions with Texas A&M owning a 87-39-2 edge in the all-time series. Since 2011, the series is even at 3-3. The teams faced off at least once every year between 1984-2006. Last season, Sam Houston State won 8-1 in March and the Aggies bounced back with a 3-1 win in May. In the March contest, the Aggies fell behind 4-0 in the second inning and were unable to bounce back. In the May meeting, all four runs were scored in the first three innings, including a two-run single by Jace Statum in the second inning.

MORE ON SAM HOUSTON STATE
The Bearkats are in their first year under head coach Matt Deggs. Sam Houston State is 14-16 overall and 7-5 in the Southland Conference. The Bearkats have series wins over Wichita State, New Orleans and Nicholls. In midweek play, Sam Houston State has two-game splits against Rice and Baylor.

Sam Houston State is hitting .281 as a team, averaging 5.3 runs per game. The Bearkats have four players hitting over .320, including Spence Rahm (.347, eight doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI), Travis Lee (.340, 2 doubles, 12 RBI), Jake MacWilliam (.328, three doubles, one home run, nine RBI) and Dylan Ebbs (.324, three doubles, 12 RBI).

The Bearkats pitching staff owns a 3.27 ERA and holding opponents to a .250 batting average. Tuesday’s starter Sam Odom is 0-3 with a 4.03 ERA.

The Bearkats have made the NCAA Division I Tournament in nine occasions since making the step up in class from Division II in 1987. Sam Houston State has played in six of the last eight tournaments, including the last three years. The Bearkats appeared in three NCAA Division II Tournaments prior to their promotion.

Sam Houston State boasts 15 former players who have gone on to play Major League Baseball. The group is highlighted by 10-year veteran and 1985 NL All-Star Glenn Wilson. The most recent addition to the list is Matt Langwell who made his debut with the Cleveland Indians in June of 2013 and was later appeared in eight games with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #23 TURNER LARKINS
Making his eighthth career start… owns a 5.33-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (32 K/6 BB)… bounced back last week after his first career loss with a win at UTSA… scattered two hits and two walks while striking out four in 6.0 innings against the Roadrunners… earned a win in his first career SEC and weekend start, holding Auburn to one run on four hits while striking out seven in 6.1 innings… was fantastic in his first career start, scattering five hits while striking out nine in 5.1 innings against Stephen F Austin… made quick work of Holy Cross in his first career outing, using just nine pitches to dispatch of the Crusaders in the eighth inning of the series finale win… selected on pick before Johnny Manziel in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

LARKIN’S CAREER TOTALS

Year W-L ERA APP/GS SV IP H R ER BB SO AVG
2015 3-1 2.94 9/7 0 33.2 34 12 11 6 32 .260
Career 3-1 2.94 9/7 0 33.2 34 12 11 6 32 .260


TURNER BASEBALL
Turner Larkins has the distinction of being selected in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft one spot before Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Larkins out of Arlington Martin High School in the 28th round with the 836th overall pick. The San Diego Padres followed by drafting Manziel with the 837th pick.

LISTEN AROUND THE WORLD
A&M fans in Bryan/College Station will find it easier to find baseball broadcasts as every game will air on SportsRadio 1150 The Zone. Free live audio of every pitch of the 2015 season is also available online at 12thMan.com. Fans across the world can listen to Aggie games free of charge on their iPhone, Blackberry and other selected PDAs and cell phones through the Radio Aggieland app. To check availability or to set up your device to listen to Aggie baseball all season long wherever you go, visit radioaggieland.com.

LOCAL BOY
With the departure of Krey Bratsen, the all-time Aggie leader in games played, newcomer BLAKE KOPETSKY takes over the role of the local boy. Kopetsky was a standout at Rudder High School in Bryan, earning three letters. He was tabbed an All-Texas 4A Third Team outfielder by the Texas SportsWriters Association as a senior in 2012. The last two years he played at Temple Junior College and returned home in the summers to star for the Brazos Valley Bombers.

Other recent players to hail from Bryan or College Station include Bratsen (2011-14), Luke Anders (2006-09), Nick Anders (2009), Kyle Nicholson (2004-07) and Keith Stein (2005-06).

Kopetsky has appeared in 16 games at the plate, including 13 starts. He’s batting .275 (11-for-40) with seven runs, one double, one triple, 11 walks, four RBI and three stolen bases. Kopetsky has reached base via a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 13 of his 16 games and he boasts a .431 on-base percentage. In Texas A&M’s 4-3 win against UTPA, Kopetsky tied a school record with five walks.

He has made three appearances on the mound, retiring eight of the nine batters he has faced in 2.2 innings, including five strikeouts.

ALLEMAND’S SENIORITY
Blake Allemand enters the season as the most senior of veterans on the squad. Heading into Tuesday’s game, Allemand has played in 196 games. With four more games, Allemand would become just the 17th Aggie to appear in 200 games. Five Aggies have appeared in 200 games in the 21st century, including school record holder Krey Bratsen (245 – 2011-014), Kevin Gonzalez (236 – 2008-11), Brodie Green (228 – 2007-10), Kyle Colligan (218 – 2006-09) and Brandon Wood (204 – 2010-13).

For his career, Allemand is hitting .283 (192-for-678) with 18 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 85 RBI and 29 stolen bases. He has made 190 career starts, including 47 in 2012, 61 in 2013 and 53 in 2014.

BANKS EARNS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA
NICK BANKS picked up a pair of Preseason All-America honors. The sophomore outfielder was named to the Perfect Game’s 2015 Preseason College All-America Second Team and D1Baseball.com Preseason All-America Second Team.

As a freshman, Banks batted .327 with 29 runs, 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 26 RBI and seven stolen bases. In 30 SEC contests, Banks ranked fourth in the league with a .360 batting average, going 41-for-114 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run, 15 runs and 16 RBI.

Following his successful rookie campaign, Banks earned Freshman All-America recognition from National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association and Collegiate Baseball. He was named All-SEC Second Team as well as earning a place on the SEC All-Freshman squad. Banks and Florida’s Logan Shore were the only two freshmen to earn All-SEC status in 2014.

Banks is living up to the hype in 2015, batting .429 (45-for-105) with 26 runs, six doubles, two triples, two home runs, 19 RBI and five stolen bases. He has reached base via walk, hit or HBP in all 28 of his games, sporting a .492 on-base percentage.

CALL ON ME
Coach Childress has four pitchers on staff who he has called on 50 or more times in their career, including JASON FREEMAN, ANDREW VINSON, A.J. MINTER and MATT KENT.

Freeman leads all active Aggies with his 63 games which includes 60 relief appearances. The 63 games ranks 12th on A&M’s all-time list. For his career, the right-hander is 5-3 with a 4.52 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. Vinson ranks 15th place on A&M’s all-time list with 62 appearances, all out of the bullpen. Vinson is 7-3 with a 2.59 ERA, two saves and 66 strikeouts (21 BB) in 73.0 innings. Kent counts 13 starts among his 53 games. The southpaw is 11-4 with a 3.31 ERA and 90 strikeouts (13 BB) in 127.2 innings. Minter is 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA, two saves and 69 strikeouts (25 BB) in 58.1 innings in 56 appearances, 52 in relief.

INHERITANCE TAX
In the Aggies’ 3-2 win against Baylor, A&M’s bullpen had a string of stranding 18 consecutive inherited runners snapped. The Aggie relievers have still been rather salty on the season, allowing just 14 of 57 inherited runners to score. TY SCHLOTTMANN has been the most tested out of the bullpen and he has been up to the task, stranding 15 of his 18 inherited runners. ANDREW VINSON has left 10 of the 14 ducks he inherited on the pound. KYLE SIMONDS has stranded five of the six runners he has inherited and JASON FREEMAN has stranded all four inherited runners. Against Prairie View A&M, Aggie relievers entered the game with seven baserunners, including bases loaded on two occasions, and they didn’t yield a run.

STOUT BULLPEN
The Aggie bullpen has been tested more frequently as the season has progressed and are stepping up to the challenge. Thirteen pitchers have combined to work 107.0 innings out of the bullpen, posting a 10-1 record, nine saves, a 1.60 ERA, 77 hits and 32 walks while striking out 99. The bullpen sports a WHIP of 1.02, opponent batting average of .204 and a 3.09-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. At the Houston College Classic, the bullpen allowed just one hit in 7.2 innings of scoreless relief.

SEEMS LIKE JUST LAST YEAR
Texas A&M is averaging 2.6 more runs per game and sporting a batting average .040 higher than the same point last season. Here’s a comparison of the Aggies offensive numbers through 29 games in 2014 and 2015.

  2014 2015
W-L 18-11 27-2
SEC W-L 4-5 7-2
Batting Average .276 .316
Runs Per Game 4.89 7.52
Runs 142 218
Home Runs 9 26
RBI 133 203
Slugging Percentage .359 .460
On-Base Percentage .355 .414


STREAKS
• On March 7, NICK BANKS had a career-long 13-game hit streak snapped. The sophomore batted .438 (21-for-48) with four doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI over the span. Banks has logged hits in 26 of the 28 games he’s played this season.
• NICK BANKS has reached base (via walk, HBP or hit) in all 28 game he’s played in 2015. He owns a .492 on-base percentage with 45 hits, 12 walks and two HBP over the span.
• NICK BANKS enters the game on a six-game hit streak. He is batting .500 (11-for-22) over the span with seven runs, two doubles, one home run and three RBI over the span.
• HUNTER MELTON has reached base in each of the last 13 games. He is batting .333 (15-for-45) over the span with 13 runs, four doubles, one home run and 11 RBI. He also has 10 walks and one HBP during the stretch for a .464 on-base percentage.
• RONNIE GIDEON enters the series with a eight-game hit streak. He is batting .484 (15-for-31) over the span with three doubles, one home run and eight RBI.
• LOGAN TAYLOR enters the series with a six-game hit streak. He is batting .476 (10-for-21) over the span with one home run and nine RBI. He has a .522 on-base percentage during the stretch.
• MITCHELL NAU enters the series with a six-game hit streak. He is batting .379 (11-for-29) over the span with one home run and 11 RBI.
• KYLE SIMONDS has a streak of 25.2 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run, covering nine outings. He has allowed three unearned runs, scattering 14 hits and 10 walks while striking out 19 over the span.
• RYAN HENDRIX has not allowed an earned run in nine outings in 2015, covering 11.1 innings. He has allowed one unearned run on nine hits and four walks while striking out 10 over the span.
• ANDREW VINSON is unscored upon in 14 outings in 2015, covering 16.1 innings. He’s scattered seven hits while striking out 12 over the span.
• MATT KENT was the first Aggie pitcher since Brooks Raley in 2008 to register a win in each of his first five starts in a season.
• The Aggies have scored 10 or more runs in five of their last 10 games.
• The Aggies are on a 13-game win streak in midweek games. The string includes five games at the end of 2014, including wins over then-No. 16 Rice and then-No. 25 Sam Houston State.
• Prior to the ninth inning at UTSA, the Aggie bullpen strung together 34.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. The relievers held opponents to 18 hits and 14 walks while striking out 35 over the span.

A FRIDAY NIGHT FIX
One of the things that doomed the Aggies in 2014 was an inability to win the opening game of the weekend. Last year, A&M struggled the first night of series, going 3-11 in openers (3-13 if you count the SEC Tournament and NCAA Houston Regional). This season, the Maroon and White have already exceeded the opening night win tally with a 7-0 mark. On Friday nights, the Aggies are batting .293 and they have hit 11 of their 26 home runs. The pitching staff owns a 1.43 ERA and is holding opponents to a .186 batting average in series/tournament openers. Last year, A&M hit .227 in their series openers, averaging just 3.21 runs per game. The pitching staff posted a 3.62 ERA and yielded a .249 batting average to foes.

QUICK DRAW
The Aggies are outscoring opponents a combined 64-16 in the first two innings of games, including 35-13 in first innings and 29-3 in second innings.

In the first inning of games, the Aggies are batting .341 (42-for-123) with a .450 on-base percentage and .463 slugging percentage. The Maroon and White have drawn 24 walks and have been hit by two pitches. The extra-base hits include 10 doubles, one triple and one home run.

In the first inning of games, the A&M pitching staff has held opponents to a .243 batting average (27-for-111) and have struck out 33 of the 122 batters they’ve faced (27.0%).

In the second inning of games, the Aggies are batting .307 (35-for-114) with a .404 on-base percentage and .553 slugging percentage. The Maroon and White have drawn 15 walks and have been hit by five pitches. The extra-base hits include five doubles, one triple and seven home runs.

In the second inning of games, the A&M pitching staff has held opponents to a .227 batting average (25-for-110) and have struck out 32 of the 116 batters they’ve faced (27.6%).

NINTH-INNING CLAMPS
The Aggie pitching staff has yet to yielded just five earned run in the ninth inning or extra innings, a body of work that includes 30.0 innings and all five of the earned runs have come with Texas A&M leading by four or more runs.

The bullpen, which has yielded just four runs, three unearned, in the ninth inning and extra frames, has allowed just 19 hits and 14 walks in the 29.2 innings, with 33 strikeouts. MARK ECKER has accounted for 10.0 innings, yielding only two hits and three walk while striking out 12. RYAN HENDRIX has worked 9.0 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, scattering eight hits and three walks while striking out nine.

FINISHING STRONG
Texas A&M has outscored opponents 72-25 combined in innings 7-9 plus extra innings, including 30-8 in the seventh inning and 38-11 in the eighth inning. Opponents are outscoring the Aggies 6-3 in the ninth inning, but A&M has batted in the ninth just seven times while the foe has gotten their ninth-inning hacks in 28 of the 29 games. Texas A&M is outscoring opponents 1-0 in extra innings.

BOUNCE BACK
The Aggies bounced back in grand fashion after each of their two losses, toppling UTSA 11-1 and besting Missouri 14-6. Two games marked the two highest hit totals on the season, including 19 against UTSA and 17 against Missouri. The Aggies hit a combined .414 (36-for-87) and averaged 12.5 runs per game in the two contests. NICK BANKS hit .833 (5-for-6) with four runs, one RBI and one stolen base in the two games. LOGAN TAYLOR batted .667 (4-for-6) with three runs, one home run and six RBI.

WEEKEND ROTATION
The Aggies’ weekend rotation had their only misstep of the season at Alabama, logging just 10.2 innings and posting a 6.75 ERA and .302 batting average. In the other six weekends, the starting rotation worked over 15 innings and registered an ERA of under 3.00.

                                STARTING PITCHER COMBINED STATISTICS

  ERA W-L IP H R ER BB SO OBA WHIP K/BB
HOLY CROSS 2.87 2-0 15.2 14 9 5 7 15 .230 1.34 2.14
PENN STATE 1.02 3-0 17.2 15 3 2 6 18 .224 1.19 3.00
DARTMOUTH 2.50 2-0 18.0 19 8 5 4 19 .271 1.28 4.75
Houston College Classic 0.93 2-0 19.1 13 3 2 1 25 .191 0.72 25.00
AUBURN 2.50 3-0 20.1 17 4 4 3 21 .213 0.97 7.00
at Alabama 6.75 1-1 10.2 13 9 8 4 16 .302 1.59 4.00
MISSOURI 1.69 1-0 16.0 15 5 3 5 11 .250 1.25 2.20


FOR STARTERS
Aggie starting pitchers have been solid in 2015, posting a 17-1 record with a 2.21 ERA after 29 games. A&M starters are holding opponents to a .238 batting and boast a 4.00-to-1 strikeouts-to-walk ratio (164/41). After a rough outing his first time out, GRAYSON LONG has regrouped in his last six starts. Over the span, he is 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 36.0 innings of work. He has allowed just eight runs, six earned, on 24 hits and 10 walks while striking out 45 during the stretch. Matt Kent is 6-0 with a 2.78 ERA, allowing 17 runs, 14 earned, in 45.1 innings of work. The junior lefty boasts four of A&M’s five longest starts. He has issued just three walks on the season, while striking out 37. Out for the remainder of the season, AJ Minter (2-0) was a star the first four weeks, posting a 0.43 ERA, has held opponents to a .213 batting average and has allowed just six runs, one earned, while striking out 29 in 21.0 innings over his first four starts.

DINGER WATCH
The Aggies already have 26 home runs on the season. Last year, A&M hit just 25 home runs on the year. The Aggies had just nine home runs at this point in the season in 2014. A&M has hit 11 of their 26 home runs on Friday nights. On Sunday, Logan Taylor hit a grand slam, the Aggies’ second salami of the season.

MEN IN BLACK
The Aggies have a new black uniform in their wardrobe for the 2015 season. The squad is only permitted to wear the jerseys for games in which they are trying to complete a series sweep. They have had the opportunity to don the black unis on seven occasions this season, going 6-1. The uniforms have been especially friendly to the pitching staff that owns a 1.97 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 65 strikeouts in 64.0 innings of work in the look.

MEATGRINDER
Starting with the three-game series at Alabama, 24 of Texas A&M’s last 34 games will be against teams that advanced to the 2014 NCAA Championship. The gauntlet includes seven SEC weekend series against NCAA tournament teams, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina, two games against Sam Houston State and one game against Rice. The Aggies are currently 5-2 in the stretch.

BALANCED ATTACK
Coach Childress has the potential to pencil in a lineup that can include eight players with 18 to 25 RBI. MITCHELL NAU leads the squad with 25 RBI followed by LOGAN TAYLOR with 24. RONNIE GIDEON and HUNTER MELTON each have 21 ribbies and BLAKE ALLEMAND has 20 RBI. NICK BANKS has driving in 19 runs followed by RYNE BIRK and JB MOSS with 18 apiece.

UP NEXT
The Aggies hit the road for a three-game series at Kentucky starting Thursday. Game times are 6 pm on Thursday and Friday and 12 pm on Saturday. All three games are slated for the SEC Network.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Vols Agree to Hire Former Texas Coach Rick Barnes

By STEVE MEGARGEE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A person familiar with the situation says Tennessee has reached an agreement to hire former Texas coach Rick Barnes as its next men’s basketball coach.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the hiring hasn’t been announced.

Barnes went 402-180 at Texas and reached the NCAA Tournament in 16 of his 17 seasons, including a Final Four appearance in 2003. Texas announced his departure Sunday, saying it was a mutual decision. Barnes said he was given the choice of firing his staff or being fired himself.

The 60-year-old Barnes is 604-314 in 28 seasons overall with stops at George Mason, Providence and Clemson.

Barnes replaces Donnie Tyndall, who was fired Friday after one season amid an NCAA investigation of his tenure at Southern Mississippi.

Rockets Guard Patrick Beverley to Miss Remainder of Season

HOUSTON (AP) _ Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist and will miss the remainder of the season, the team said.

Beverley injured the wrist during the Rockets’ win over the Indiana Pacers on March 23.

He had averaged 10.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 56 games for the Rockets this season.

A&M Equestrian Team Second at SEC

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 4 Texas A&M Equestrian team finished second at the SEC Equestrian Championship, falling 12-5 to champion #2 UGA. This marked the first loss in the Hildebrand Equine Complex for the Aggies, who will take an 8-6 record into competition for the national championship.

The Bulldogs came out strong, sweeping the competition in Equitation on the Flat, 4-0. Junior Marlena Parker led the Aggies with a 154 but was matched by her competitor to cancel the point. Senior Haley Buchmiller finished with a solid score of 152 but was bested when her opponent brought home a 157. Juniors Hannah Williams and Audrey Gallagher and sophomore Anna Rea were the other three starters for the Aggies, each falling to their opponent for the final three points.

In the Western Arena, action began as the team’s faced off in reining. Georgia took the first point, as junior Ashley Dotson was defeated by a two-point margin, 146.5-144.5. Sophomore Sarah Kate Grider and her competition ended in a tie, both riding an impressive 145. Senior Laura Sumrall won the first point for the Aggies, earning the top marks of the day with a 150, and the second point came on a victory from junior Hannah Jechow, with the largest margin of victory in the discipline at 145-136.5. Junior Logan Pluhar and her opponent also matched scores of 145 to cancel the second point of the round. Each of the Aggies’ scores were good enough to place in the top five reining marks in SEC Championship history and Sumrall’s 150 earned the new top spot and won MOP honors for the event as well as a place on the All-Championship team.

Trailing 5-2 after the first two events, the Aggies were unable to get their footing over Fences and fell 4-1 to the eventual champions. Parker scored the only point for the Aggies with a 155-144 victory. Freshman Alex Desiderio, sophomore Haley Webster, junior Hannah Williams and senior Leah Chenelle also represented the Aggies in the final hunt seat discipline but were unable to come away victorious.

The championship meet wrapped up with the horsemanship competition. Sophomore Rachel Lucht and freshman Avery Ellis dominated the first two points, both scoring 147.5 and winning by a combined margin of 17.5 points. Senior Molli Jacobs, junior Logan Pluhar and sophomore Kaci Fisher rode well but were unable to come away with wins and the Aggies fell 3-2 and Georgia won its first SEC Championship 12-5.

NCAA Final Four Set

NCAA Final Four set: Duke and Michigan State have advanced to the big dance and will face each other next Saturday before Kentucky takes on Wisconsin. Justise Winslow drained a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch and finished with 16 points as top seed Duke beat Gonzaga 66-52 to win the South Region. In the other play in game: Travis Trice paced the Spartans with 17 in a 76-70 overtime win against Louisville.

 

A&M Softball Steals One From Bama

OLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 23 Texas A&M softball team (25-9, 7-5 SEC) earned an 11-5 victory against the No. 5 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Sunday in Tuscaloosa.

Neither A&M nor Alabama managed to catch a break in the first inning, but started posting numbers on the scoreboard in the top of the second.

The Aggies started with freshman Ashley Walters, reaching first on a walk, before junior Cali Lanphearcame to the plate to hammer her third homerun of the season and give A&M the first lead of the game, setting the tone for the remainder of the game. With two runs and one hit by the middle of the second, the Aggies took to defense allowing two singles and run before they shutting down the Alabama attack.

Coming into the third inning, freshman Erica Russell knocked one down for her first of the day, but was left stranded as Alabama took down the next three Aggie batters. The Crimson Tide managed to crank out a single, steal second and advanced to third, which allowed a sacrifice fly to bring a runner in for Alabama’s second run to tie the game. Fast glove-action on a line drive by freshman Tori Vidales ended the inning.

Walters opened up the visitor portion of the fourth with a long ball to the center wall, moving her to second, and a single up the middle from sophomore April Ryan put runners on the corners. Junior Cali Lanphear joined the two on the bags after being walked. With bases loaded, sophomore Abby Donnell took the plate for her second at bat, forcing it to the shortstop for a run and a single, but out went Ryan on the play. Russell followed suit with a single of her own, sending Donnell home for the second run of the inning. After a single from senior Brittany Cloptonloaded the bases, freshman Kristen Cuyos crushed a single which scratched two more runs across home for the Maroon and White. End of the visiting half saw four runs on five hits, Aggies leading 6-2.

Alabama came out hot, retaliating with a leadoff single. A fast-acting defensive play from catcher Ashley Walters to first and a fly ball to Clopton brought the Tide to two outs with a runner on second.  A walk brought the bases to maximum capacity, inviting a soaring hit to score for a two RBI single, closing the gap to 6-5. Walters made the last out to get the Aggies out of a jam and send the game into the fifth inning.

Walters and Ryan each took a walk down the first baseline, sitting tight until Lanphear smashed a three-run homer on her second at bat of the game, bringing her to five RBI and four runs in the game. With one gone, Donnell shot a single right past a diving shortstop and advanced to second after a walk from Russell. A line drive catch to second baseman and toss to first ended the inning with two runs, three hits and two runners left on to give the Aggies a 9-5 lead

It did not take long for the determined Aggies to find their way to the top of the sixth. After a flying ground ball towards shortstop put one on the base for UA, Reagan Boenker stepped in as first baseman and notched her first put out quickly. A&M quickly knocked out two more outs to flip the field.

With a double from Vidales putting her in scoring position, a pop fly and a line drive left her stranded in the top of the sixth. The Crimson Tide came up and faced defensive plays by Vidales, Ryan and Boenker to find themselves with two outs and none on base. Third batter up snagged a hit, but the team could not take advantage of it as they also left one runner on to move into the top of the seventh.

Boenker started the Aggies off and nailed a hit down the third base line, making it to second on a fielding error. A short hit single and a walk from Lanphear and Donnell filled the bags, giving Russell the opportunity to hammer it down the left side, forcing an error and bringing in two runs. Two strikeouts and a fly brought the inning to an end but the Aggies extended their lead by two.

Driven off of their success this game, pitcher Katie Marks and A&M defense retired the Crimson Tide in order and took the final game of the series 1—5.

All seven innings were pitched by junior Katie Marks who did a phenomenal job of leading the team and setting the pace. As the winning pitcher, she took on eight hits, five earned runs and five walks.

Coach Evans Post Game Sound
“I love my kids. I thought our ball club fought really hard today. We didn’t get down. Every time they scored, we figured out a way to get something done. Just really proud of our kids, especially Katie Marks.”

Let’s Hear a Hullabaloo
…for staying strong in the face of adversity. Junior Katie Marks went the distance for the Aggies on Sunday and kept her cool through seven innings. Every time the Tide tried to chip into the A&M lead, Marks stepped up to the rubber and shut down the threat, giving her team every opportunity to stay ahead and earn the win. Gig ‘em, Katie!

Coach Evans on Marks:
“I am so excited for Katie.  I don’t know if I could’ve been more excited for a player if not that kid right there. She’s fought really hard. She wants it and works so hard. Just with the way our team went behind her, it feels great to have her get that win and four our team to step up and get some runs for her.”

Up Next

The Aggies take on Stephen F. Austin in double-header at home Wednesday night. Follow along with live stats at 12thMan.com and @AggieSoftball on Twitter for all the hits, pitches and everything in between during the 2015 softball season.

NCAA Tournament Scores: Elite 8

EAST

(7) Michigan State – 76   (4) Louisville – 70

SOUTH

(1) Duke – 66   (2) Gonzaga – 52

WEST

(1) Wisconsin – 85   (2) Arizona – 78

MIDWEST

(1) Kentucky – 68   (3) Notre Dame – 66

Bats Power No. 2 Baseball to 14-6 Win Over Missouri

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M knocked the Missouri Tigers out with a 14-6 victory on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. A nine-run sixth highlighted the offensive exposition and helped the Aggies snag the rubber game from the Tigers.

Matt Kent (6-0) led the Aggies staff with another superb outing and notched his sixth win in just his seventh start of the season.  Kent pitched 6.0 innings of scoreless baseball aiding the Aggies in securing their sixth series victory in as many tries.

Missouri (20-9, 5-3) called on Peter Fairbanks (2-3) to make his seventh start of the season. He came in with a 1.82 ERA, but his sterling record didn’t faze the Aggies. Fairbanks was touched for four runs, and left the game after walking the first batter of the fourth inning.

The Texas A&M (27-2, 7-2) lineup hung runs on Missouri early and often. They scratched out the first run of the game in the bottom of the first on a Nick Banks’ single. The Aggies continued in the second slapping a crooked number on the scoreboard with a Logan Nottebrok two-run homer, his second of the season. Mitchell Nau added another in the third when he blasted a solo shot to dead center that bounced off the top of the fence. In the fifth frame, the Aggies brought the lead to five-love via a J.B. Moss single.

Kent was on his game early. He retired the first six batters of the game and induced double plays to wrap up the third and the fourth.  Missouri was on the cusp of a rally in the sixth with the bases juiced and nobody out. Kent settled down and fanned the next hitter then used his third inning-ending double play to escape the jam unscathed.

In the bottom of the sixth, The Aggies forced the Tigers to abandon all hope by dropping a cool nine runs on four different pitchers. After the first five runners reached base, Logan Taylor meandered to the box with the bases loaded. Taylor rocketed a grand slam to left, his sixth long ball on the season, giving the Aggies an 11-0 lead.  The Aggies weren’t done just yet as they added three bonus runs with four more hits including Nau’s second RBI single of the inning. The A&M sixth-inning carousel, included seven hits, three walks, 14 plate appearances, and nine runs scored by nine different Aggies.

Mizzou got on the scoreboard with five runs in the top of the seventh. Brigham Hill was tagged for five runs and relieved in the inning by Blake Kopetsky, who got a chance to record his longest outing of the season, working 1.2 innings. Corbin Martin and Andrew Vinson worked the ninth, allowing one run and putting a lid on the series.

Taylor led the Aggie offense with a 3-for-4 day that included a grand slam and two singles. Nau drove in four runs on three hits and tallied three runs. A&M was aided by a great day on the base paths with four stolen bases in four attempts. The eight-run margin was the Ag’s largest conference win since April 20, 2014 against Kentucky.

Texas A&M will take the field at 6:35 on Tuesday in action against local rival Sam Houston State before taking off for Lexington to meet The Kentucky Wildcats in a holiday showdown.

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Texas A&M Head Coach Rob Childress
On the win…
After the loss, we certainly responded today. I though Missouri played an outstanding game yesterday, As good as one could play to win. We came out today and from the word ‘go’ we were ready. It started on the mound. I thought Matt Kent was fantastic. We played great defense behind him, they had a couple of opportunities to grab some momentum. First and third no outs bases loaded no outs and Matt made some big pitches to get off the field. We continued to score I am proud of our guys, proud of our finish for this week.

On the defense today…
We didn’t take care of the ball well enough to deserve the win yesterday and today we did. I was proud of the way we responded.

On Logan Nottebrok’s performance…
I was proud of him. I ask our guys to stand ready when their name is called. They need to be prepared and he was certainly prepared today. Not only did he have a great day offensively but with the glove as well. I was very proud for him and of him.

On finishing March without a series loss…
Well we are off to a really good start. Today we found something out about our team. We hadn’t been in this situation before where we are playing to win a series on Sunday. We responded quite well. So far, so good. I am proud of our guys and the new month will start for us on Tuesday.

Senior third baseman Logan Nottebrok…
On playing well in such an important game after being out of the lineup for a while…
The only way you can do that is with your teammates keeping you up. Struggling at first it’s no big deal. It’s part of baseball. It’s going to happen. No one can go hard all the time. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates or coaches.

On his feeling after you hit the homerun…
I almost forgot what it felt like. It was great getting that monkey off my back again. Trying to get back up (can’t hear this part) for my team.

On winning the series on Sunday…
Clearing we done like losing. Every time we lose a game, we come back and show up ready to play. They call this championship Sunday. Championship games are ready to play on Sunday. We could easily have turned it down and went about our business. We came out strong. You know you have to win Sunday games to compete in the SEC.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggie Men Sweep Sunday Doubleheader

COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M’s ninth-ranked men’s tennis team swept a pair of matches against ranked teams Sunday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Aggies overpowered No. 13 Ole Miss 4-0 to in Sunday’s first match, followed by a 4-3 win over No. 74 UTSA in the night-cap.

With the wins A&M moved to 14-3 on the year and 8-1 in SEC play, the Aggies maintained their stronghold on second place in the SEC standings trailing No. 5 Georgia (16-2, 9-0) and holding a one and a half-match lead over No. 34 Mississippi State (15-5, 6-2) ahead of next month’s SEC Tournament in College Station. Ole Miss falls to 14-6 on the season and 5-3 against league opponents, UTSA falls to 12-7 on the year.

“Obviously we got off to a good start winning the doubles point against Ole Miss,” Texas A&M men’s tennis head coach Steve Denton said. “I thought our guys dealt with some difficult blustery conditions, the guys competed very well against Ole Miss. I was pleased with the effort, especially after having to change our doubles lineup, they made a difference for us. Our doubles teams really made a difference for us and we needed the wins in both matches today.”

For the 13th time this spring the maroon and white opened the match winning the doubles point, sophomore Max Lunkin and junior Shane Vinsant defeated Gustav Hansson and Stefan Lindmark on doubles court two to open play. After the freshman duo of AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknech suffered just their third loss this spring.

As all eyes shifted to the headliner on court one, seniors Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo did not disappoint, moving to 3-0 on court one and winning their fifth straight overall. The nation’s 32nd-ranked pair overpowered Nik Scholtz and Zvonimir Babic to open scoring.

As the pivotal conference match-up moved into singles play the Aggies deep lineup flexed their muscle. The home-team took four-of-six first sets and quickly put the match away winning on courts four, five and six. Freshman Jordi Arconada put the second point on the board, defeating William Kallberg 6-3, 7-6(1) on court five.

“Jordi is really starting to play some ball, he worked really hard the first month learning how to play college tennis,” Denton said. “He waited his turn and is really coming on lately. He played a really good match against [William] Kallberg, a senior that played two for them most of last season. For Jordi to win the first set that convincingly, then come back and play a really good tiebreaker in the second set was really good for us.”

Shortly thereafter No. 79 Catanzariti put away Babic on court five; winning 6-3, 7-6(3) on court four. Just under 10 minutes later the final nail was put in the coffin for the Rebels as Lunkin defeated Vinod Gowda on court six. The Moscow native improved to 7-1 this spring and 4-1 in league matches.

“Our younger players came through for us pretty well,” Denton added. “With Jordi and AJ both winning tie-breakers in the second set, that really helped us secure that team victory. The man of the match was probably Max Lunkin, he did a really great job in doubles with Shane [Vinsant]. He was the best player on the court and was able to clinch the match for us. I’m really proud of him because he has been working really hard in practice.”

Moving into the day’s second match the Aggies doubles play held form, opening the match with the point for 14th time this spring. Vinsant and Lunkin teamed up for their second doubles win on the day, defeating Jake Rother and Joel Rubio on doubles court three. Efferding and Szabo were tripped up by Tito Moreiras and Tomas Stillman.

With the point in the balance the Aggies freshman duo were put to task. Catanzariti and Rinderknech proved their metal with a 8-6 victory in the doubles tiebreaker. The pair improved to 11-2 this spring and a perfect 2-0 on doubles court two, defeating Yannick Junger and Diogo Casa on court two.

The maroon and white captured the next two point to put the Roadrunners neck to the chopping block. Freshman continued to rule the day, Rinderknech claimed his second win Sunday, defeating Moreiras 6-3, 6-2 on court three followed by Arconada picking up his second win of the day, defeating Rubio 6-4, 6-4 on court four.

UTSA raced back into the match winning the next three points and knotting the score at three points apiece. Casa put the first orange and blue point on the board, defeating sophomore Frankie Colunga 6-3, 6-2 on court six. Szabo was the next to fall, bested by Joao Riquelme 6-1, 7-5 on court five. The final UTA point of the day came from No. 82 Stillman over No. 59 Efferding, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 on court two.

Catanzariti was the final match standing deep into the third set against Junger on court two. The reigning SEC Freshman of the Week broke the UTSA senior’s serve twice in the pivotal third set and rallied to take the 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory to clinch the Aggies sixth win in a row. The Aggies freshman leads the squad with 12 dual wins on the year including an impressive 7-1 record against SEC opponents.

The Aggies will return to the road with a midweek contest at former SWC-foe Rice at the George R. Brown Tennis Center in Houston Wednesday evening at 5 p.m.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMensTennis.

#9 Texas A&M 4, #13 Ole Miss 0

Texas A&M (13-3, 8-1); Ole Miss (13-6, 5-3)

Singles – Order of finish (5, 4, 6)

1. #59 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) vs. #15 Nik Scholtz (OM) 6-3, 5-3, unfinished

2. #67 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) vs. #84 Stefan Lindmark (OM) 5-7, 3-4, unfinished

3. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. Gustav Hansson (OM) 4-6, 5-5, unfinished

4. #79 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)

5. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. William Kallberg (OM) 6-3, 7-6 (7-1)

6. Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Vinod Gowda (OM) 6-3, 6-4

Doubles – Order of finish (2, 3, 1)

1. #32 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Nik Scholtz/Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-2

2. Max Lunkin/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Gustav Hansson/Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-2

3. William Kallberg/Grey Hamilton (OM) def. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) 6-3

#9 Texas A&M 4, #74 UTSA 3

Texas A&M (14-3, 7-1); UTSA (12-7)

Singles – Order of finish (3, 4, 6, 5, 1, 2)

1. #82 Tomas Stillman (UTSA) def. #59 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2

2. #79 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. Yannick Junger (UTSA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

3. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Tito Moreiras (UTSA) 6-3, 6-2

4. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. Joel Rubio (UTSA) 6-4, 6-4

5. Joao Riquelme (UTSA) def. Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-1, 7-5

6. Diogo Casa (UTSA) def. Frankie Colunga (TAMU) 6-3, 6-2

Doubles – Order of finish (3, 1, 2)

1. Tomas Stillman/Tito Moreiras (UTSA) def. #32 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-3

2. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Yannick Junger/Diogo Casa (UTSA) 7-6 (8-6)

3. Shane Vinsant/Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Jake Rother/Joel Rubio (UTSA) 6-3

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

No. 15 Texas A&M Women Rally to Defeat No. 21 Ole Miss, 4-2

OXFORD, Miss. – The 15th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team dropped the doubles point for only the third time this season but overcame several deficits in singles to complete a 4-2 come-from-behind victory against 21st-ranked Ole Miss today at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

Texas A&M, the winner of seven of its last eight matches, improves to 10-4 overall, including 7-2 in Southeastern Conference matches. Ole Miss suffers its fourth consecutive loss and drops to 11-8 overall and 3-7 in SEC matches only.

“Today’s win was a total team effort, which is emblematic of the cohesive group we have this year,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “Losing the doubles point on the road in concert with our six matches in just over a week certainly made it a challenge, but we have a good team with excellent character and one-by-one we were able to get back in the match.”

In doubles, A&M’s 56th-ranked duo of Eva Paalma and Rachel Pierson opened by winning the first four games en route to an 8-4 victory over Julia Jones and Natalie Suk at the No. 1 line. The Rebels, however, pulled away for a victory at No. 2 as Mai El Kamash and Erin Stephens topped 80th-ranked Rutuja Bhosale and Saska Gavrilovska, 8-5.

The doubles point came down to Court 3, where A&M’s Stefania Hristov and Anna Mamalat and the Rebels’ Iris Verboven and Marija Milutinovic were embroiled in a back-and-forth affair. A&M had retaken the lead at 7-6, but Ole Miss won the next game to knot the score at 7-7 and force a tiebreaker. The Rebels then pulled away for a 7-3 win in the tiebreaker to win the match and clinch the doubles point for Ole Miss.

Mamalat would quickly rebound in singles with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Zalina Khairudinova at the No. 5 line to tie the team score at 1-1, but Jones, ranked 14th in the nation in singles, followed with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over 32nd-ranked Pierson at the No. 1 line to put the Rebels back on top, 2-1.

Bhosale, playing the No. 2 line for only the third time this season, knotted the score at 2-2, with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over El Kamash. It was the eighth consecutive victory for the reigning SEC Player of the Week, who improved to 8-1 in conference matches.

The Rebels had won the first set on two of the three remaining matches, but A&M mounted a comeback. Hristov had lost her first set, 6-3, to Verboven at No. 6 and dropped the first two games of the second set before beginning to turn the tables. Hristov won six of the next seven games to take the set, 6-3, and force a third set. The junior from Romania jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the final frame and held on to win, 6-4, giving A&M its first lead of the day at 3-2.

Gavrilovska followed a similar path, dropping her opening set, 6-3, to Suk at No. 3. Gavrilovska also lost the first two games of the second set but came back to take her first lead at 5-4. Suk tied the set at 5-5 before Gavrilovska won the next two games to win the set, 7-5, sending the match to a decisive third set. The sophomore from Serbia trailed the final set, 4-2, before reeling off four consecutive games to complete the come-from-behind victory and clinch the hard-fought win for the Aggies.

Court 4 went unfinished with Stephens holding a 4-0 lead over Paalma in the third set. Paalma had won the first set, 7-6, winning the intense tiebreaker, 11-9. Stephens had won the final three games of the second set to win, 6-3, and force the third set.

“Rutuja continues to play superbly, Mamalat chipped in with a good win and Hristov came back from a set down to get us close,” Joffe said. “Saska was able to muster up the emotional energy to hang in a match that was looking hopeless for a while, and a couple hours later she was able to clinch the win for us.

“The most encouraging thing about this is that I truly believe we are not yet playing near our best. I know out ladies are excited to get a few days off, and over the next three weeks they will focus in on getting to their best. In that event, the outlook for the stretch is awful good.”

The Aggies return home to the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on Wednesday, April 1, for a non-conference, make-up match against Abilene Christian. First serve is at 2 p.m. The match was originally scheduled for Feb. 21 but the match was postponed because of the forecast of inclement weather.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.

#15 Texas A&M 4, #21 Ole Miss 2

 

Singles – Order of finish: 5, 1, 2, 6, 3

1. #14 Julia Jones (OM) def. #32 Rachel Pierson (A&M), 6-3, 6-3

2. #57 Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) def. #120 Mai El Mamash (OM), 6-4, 6-4

3. #77 Saska Gavrilovska (A&M) def. #107 Natalie Suk (OM), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4

4. Erin Stephens (OM) vs. Eva Paalma (A&M), 7-6 (9), 3-6, 4-0 unfinished

5. Anna Mamalat (A&M) def. Zalina Khairudinaova (OM), 6-1, 6-3

6. #101 Stefania Hristov (A&M) def. Iris Verboven (OM), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

 

Doubles – Order of finish: 1, 2, 3

1. #56 Paalma/Pierson (A&M) def. Jones/Suk (OM), 8-4

2.El Kamash/Stephens (OM) def. #80 Bhosale/Gavrilovska (A&M), 8-5

3. Verboven/Marija Milutinovic (OM) def. Hristov/Mamalat (A&M), 8-7 (3)

Team records:

Texas A&M: 10-4, 7-2 SEC

Ole Miss: 11-8, 3-7 SEC

Pronunciations:

Rutuja Bhosale            roo-tooj-ah bo-slay

Ines Deheza                 ee-NAY de-HAZE-uh

Saska Gavrilovska       SAUSH-ka gav-rah-lov-ska

Howard Joffe               JOFF-ee

Eva Paalma                 A-va PALM-uh

 

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M Men Named Most Outstanding Team at 88th Texas Relays, Shelbi Vaughan Breaks Meet Record to Claim Third Consecutive Title

AUSTIN – Another five victories for the Aggies on the final day of the 88th Texas Relays brought Texas A&M’s weekend total to an outstanding 10 wins, half of which were achieved in relay events.

The Aggie men were selected as the Most Outstanding Team with eight titles over the weekend, which included the 4×100, 4×400, 4×800, distance medley relays, long jump, triple jump as well as B division wins in the pole vault and triple jump.

“I’m elated with the things that we did here this weekend,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “To win the 4×1, 4×4, 4×8 and distance medley here at Texas is a huge accomplishment for any team. Then we also won the long jump and triple jump. Those are huge efforts for our team right now.”

The highlight of the day for A&M was a meet record for Shelbi Vaughan in the discus and a 26-4 ½ winning leap by Olabanji Asekun in the long jump. Relay victories were added in the men’s 4×100 (38.91) and 4×400 (3:02.19) as well as the women’s 4×200 (1:32.41) with collegiate-leading efforts in each race.

“On the women’s side we had a meet record with Shelbi Vaughan, which is tremendous, and ran a great 4×200 while just barely getting nudged in the 4×100,” noted Henry. “In the 4×400 we had two legs that looked excellent, but we have to be healthy to run any better.

“Texas Relays is important, but it’s not an end all. It’s just a meet on the schedule. This is the one where we get started for the rest of the season.”

Vaughan’s third consecutive discus victory at the Texas Relays came with a meet record as her final throw traveled a distance of 201 feet, 8 inches. That mark topped the field by 14-plus feet as Vaughan added two and a half feet to the previous meet record of 199-2 (60.71) set by Becky Breisch of Nebraska in 2006.

“It’s exciting since it’s only my third time to throw over 200 feet,” stated Vaughan. “Having everybody out here on the final day while I was throwing, and hearing all the cheering while relay races are going by, was really nice. I looked at the schedule to see what over events were going on while I was throwing. I was excited since I knew there would be a good crowd out here.”

Vaughan’s series included marks of 179-6 (54.73), foul, 182-3 (55.54), 169-3 (51.58), 190-11 (58.20), 201-8 (61.48). While Vaughan improved her collegiate leading mark this season from a 195-2 (59.49) she threw last week, she now becomes the American leader for 2015 and currently ranks ninth on the world list.

“I was struggling at first with some not really good throws,” noted Vaughan. “After talking with my coach he said go for it, since I have nothing to lose as I was sitting in first place. The wind was really crazy today, going in all different directions, and seemed to be stronger when I went up to throw. I just had to put it out of my mind and throw.”

Her meet record winning performance is the third best mark in Vaughan’s career, following the A&M school record of 208-8 (63.60) she set in winning the SEC Championship last season and a 204-2 (62.25) that was part of her SEC series.

Asekun claimed the Aggies first win the Texas Relays long jump since Fabrice Lapierre won in 2006 (26-1) and defeated NCAA Indoor champion Marquis Dendy in the process. Asekun’s 26-4 ½ (8.04) came in the third round after 23-5 ½ (7.15) and 25-2 (7.67) in the first two rounds. He then recorded a 24-7 (7.49) in round four, followed by a pair of fouls.

“I’m happy to get this win in my home state,” said Asekun. “I was really happy, 26 feet has been my goal. I’m happy to hit it this early in the season. It’s been a big landmark for me since I’ve been progressing in the long jump this year.

“I was shocked when I jumped 26 feet. I was just trying to keep my composure and not get too excited for the remaining jumps. I slipped up a little bit, but I’m happy with the overall result.”

Dendy opened with a pair of fouls and then hit 25-5 ¼ (7.75) in round three to continue in the competition. He challenged Asekun with a 26-2 ¼ (7.98) in round four and then fouled twice trying to surpass the winning distance. Cal’s Walter Jones (25-4 ½) placed third, followed by Lutalo Boyce of A&M-Kingsville (25-3 ½) and Florida’s KeAndre Bates (25-0).

The Aggie men swept the 4×100 and 4×400 relays with the same group of runners in each race. It was the eighth victory for A&M in the 4×1 and 11th in the 4×4 in the history of the Texas Relays.

In the 4×100 the running order was Gregory Coleman, Shavez Hart, Bralon Taplin and Deon Lendore. Through the last two handoffs A&M trailed TCU. Lendore passed the Horned Frog anchor, but then had to be wary of LSU’s Aaron Ernest.

A lean at the finish line had Lendore earning the Aggie victory in a collegiate-leading 38.91 with LSU runner-up in 38.93. TCU finished third in 39.15 ahead of Baylor (39.22), Clemson (39.64), and Auburn (40.26).

“I shocked myself in the 4×100,” said Lendore. “I wasn’t sure if I was ready for both rounds of the relay, so I just tried to build into it. I felt good through my first few steps so I just gave it my all.

“After I caught the TCU runner I felt Ernest on the inside so I kind of drifted to him to have a head-to-head race with him straight to the finish line.”

In the 4×400 A&M had close company from Texas Tech throughout the race with Florida and Baylor a strides back trading third place position. Coleman opened with a 47.0 and Taplin produced a 44.7 split on his carry as Hart followed with a 45.7. Then Lendore closed out the victory with a 44.8 that gave the Aggies some cushion over the Red Raiders.

Texas A&M earned its first Texas Relays title in the 4×400 since 2011 with a 3:02.19 as Tech finished second in 3:03.47 while Baylor and Florida both ran 3:05.26, with the Bears holding a 0.002 edge for third, and Texas placed fifth in 3:08.26.

“I really wanted to win, because this is the first year I’ve had a win at the Texas Relays,” explained Lendore. “We all came out here and did what we needed to do. It’s always nice to get wins over here, so I’m happy I finished my senior season with a bang at the Texas Relays. It’s all good now.”

Taplin added: “Since I’m a senior it’s nice to end it with a Texas Relays win. I know Deon wanted to win really bad. Running fast on the 4×400 is getting easy. I just want to keep running fast. I want to go 43 at the end of this season. My job is to give them a lead, so I plan on doing my job all the time.”

Texas A&M women defeated Texas, 1:32.41 to 1:32.53, for its first 4×200 victory at the Texas Relays since 2010 when the Aggies had a three-year winning streak that included times of 1:31.41 (2010), 1:32.31 (2009) and 1:33.46 (2008).

The A&M foursome on the 4×200 included Ashton Purvis, Jennifer Madu, Shamier Little, Aaliyah Brown. The Aggies held a lead at each exchange and withstood the challenge by the Longhorns on the anchor leg. Brown maintained an edge over Texas anchor Ashley Spencer to the finish line.

“We came out determined in the 4×200, because last year we came up a little bit short,” noted A. Brown. “We wanted to win that relay for a bit of revenge and that’s what we did. It’s great to come out and beat someone on their home track. It was a great race.”

Madu added: “Getting ready for the Texas Relays helped us come together to try to recollect ourselves.”

Following the Aggies and Longhorns in the two-section 4×200 final were Clemson (1:36.06), Notre Dame (1:36.31), LSU (1:36.36), Pittsburgh (1:36.81), and Houston (1:37.41).

Another close race followed in the 4×100 an hour and a half later with Texas holding the narrow edge, 43.70 to 43.72, for the victory. The A&M squad included Little, Purvis, Madu and A. Brown. LSU ran 44.46 for third, followed by Clemson (45.00), Louisiana Tech (45.18) and Purdue (45.25).

Madu and A. Brown then ran in the 100 meters, posting wind-aided times of 11.12 and 11.31, respectively, to place second and seventh. Assisted by a 5.1 wind, Morolake Akinosun of Texas won the race in 10.94 with Texas Tech’s Cierra White runner-up in 11.07.

Hart finished second in the men’s 100 with an impressive 10.10 that was aided by a 3.3 wind. Baylor’s Trayvon Bromell defended his title with a 9.90 clocking while LSU’s Tremayne Acy finished third in 10.12.

Brea Garrett improved her outdoor best in the shot put to 52-1 ¾ (15.89) in placing sixth. She moves to No. 2 on the A&M all-time list. Missouri’s Jill Rushin won the event with a toss of 55-11 (17.04).

The women’s 4×400 placed sixth in 3:37.96 after getting a pair of strong carries from Little (51.9) and Kamaria Brown (51.1) on the first two legs. Texas won the race in 3:29.65 over Florida (3:31.05), Arkansas (3:32.47) and Clemson (3:34.48).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggie Baseball Suffers First Home Loss of the Year

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies had a 21-game home win streak snapped, falling to the Missouri Tigers, 3-2, on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park Saturday afternoon.

Nick Banks put the Aggies in front in the home half of the inning. Leading off the frame, he launched an 0-2 pitch into the visitor’s bullpen for his second home run of the season.

Texas A&M tacked on another run in the third inning. Hunter Melton started the inning with a gapper to right-center for a double. Michael Barash put down a sacrifice bunt to move Melton to third and the Aggie first baseman came home to score on a single to centerfield by Blake Allemand, staking A&M to a 2-0 margin.

The Tigers took advantage of a Texas A&M error to tie the game in the fourth. With one out, Ryan Howard drew a six-pitch walk. Zach Lavy followed with a lazy fly ball down the leftfield line that Logan Taylor misplayed for an error, putting runners at first and third. Brett Bond hit a single to rightfield, plating Howard and cutting the Aggie lead to 2-1 with runners on the corners. Logan Bone tied the contest at 2-2, sending Lavy home with a suicide squeeze bunt.

Texas A&M (26-2, 6-2) missed a chance to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Taylor singled through the right side and Ronnie Gideon golfed a single into shallow left-center to put two runners on. Blake Kopetsky drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bags with Ags, bringing Hunter Melton to the plate. Melton hit a hump-back liner that was snared by second baseman Brett Peel who shuffled the ball to shortstop Ryan Howard, doubling off Gideon at the bag. Gideon was ejected from the game for displaying his displeasure for the merits of the call.

Missouri (20-8, 6-2 SEC) pushed the go-ahead run across in the top of the eighth. Josh Lester reached on a bunt single to start the frame and scored when Ryan Howard rattled a double down the leftfield line.

In the home half of the eighth, the Maroon and White strung together a pair of two-out singles from Taylor and GR Hinsley in the eighth to put runners on the corners, but Blake Kopetsky struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Aggies made noise again in the ninth, but couldn’t push the tying run across. With one out, Barash blasted a ball down the leftfield line. The laser hit the wall three feet shy of a home run, but was so hard he was held to a single. Nick Choruby pinch-ran for Barash and moved to third on a single to rightfield by Allemand. With runners on the corners, Birk was unable to get enough distance on a fly ball to left field and the second out of the inning did not produce a run. The game ended with Nau grounding out to short.

Ty Schlottmann (2-1) was saddled with the loss for A&M. He allowed one run on two hits in 0.1 inning of work.

Kyle Simonds had a strong effort in his first career start. He worked 5.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out one. Jason Freeman worked two scoreless frames as the first pitcher out of the bullpen, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out one.

Tanner Houck (4-1) earned the win for Missouri. He yielded two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three in 7.0 innings of work. Breckin Williams worked around four hits for while striking out two over 2.0 innings for his seventh save of the season.

Texas A&M pounded out 12 hits, but stranded 10 runners and hit into two double plays.

The rubber match of the series is slated for 1:05 pm on Sunday.

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

 

Head coach Rob Childress 

On the game…

“We made mistakes and Missouri took advantage of them. We weren’t able to do enough to make up for our mistakes. They’re a good ball club. When you have a lead, you can’t let them back in the game with mistakes, because they will make you pay for them.”

On the series…

“This is SEC baseball. Every weekend is like this. Tomorrow is championship Sunday. Both teams are playing for something and the winner will be the team that executes and plays the best baseball.”

Junior starting pitcher Kyle Simonds

On his day…

“It felt good to be back in a starting role. To be back on the bump, and to go for about five innings. I wish it would have gone longer. I made too many mistakes, I should have put some guys away when I had two strikes on them, so I kind of beat myself up by giving too many walks, but I thought we played hard.

On starting as opposed to relieving…

“Yeah, it’s what I came here to do, I came here to start. It’s what I’ve done for quite a while now, so hopefully I’ll get the ball next Saturday as well.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Lunkin Clinches Aggies Sweep of Razorbacks

COLLEGE STATION – The 9th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 4-0 in front of a season-high 405 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center Friday evening. The Aggies maintained a stronghold on second place in the Southeastern Conference ahead of next month’s SEC Tournament in College Station.

The Aggies improved to 12-3 overall and 7-1 in SEC competition with the win, Arkansas falls to 11-10 and 1-6 in league play.

“A win like this is good to showcase the depth that this team has,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “Our mantra has to be ‘Next man up.’  We had a lot of guys come into the lineup and get off to a good start in the match.”

The maroon and white captured the doubles point to open the match for the 12th time this season, moving to 10-2 when starting matches up 1-0. The senior duo ofJeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo wasted little time winning on court one, the nation’s 32nd-ranked duo swept Jovan Parlic and Giammarco Micolani 6-0 in just under 20 minutes. The win was the senior pair’s fourth in a row and 10th this spring.

“I was extremely pleased with how Jordan and Jeremy came out and really took care of business in doubles,” Denton added. “Once adrenaline kicked in and they were excited to play on court one, they played really well. It was nice to be able to showcase two of our seniors on court one tonight.”

A&M’s remarkable freshman tandem of AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknechclinched the point, 6-4 over David Herrerias and Juan Marino. The youthful duo improved to 10-1 in dual matches and an impressive 7-1 against league opponents.

The maroon and white carried momentum into singles play, taking the first set on five of six courts. Junior Shane Vinsant worked quickly to double the A&M point total, winning 6-0, 6-2 on court one. Vinsant, ranked No. 67, improved to 4-4 against ranked opponents this year, besting No. 81 Micolani. The Keller native captured his third straight win, improving to 4-2 in SEC action.

“Shane played a really good player from Arkansas on court one tonight,” Denton voiced. “Micolani has had some really good results this year and has an ATP ranking. Shane played pretty well and it shows to our guys that even when everything is going perfect and they can adjust their game a little bit. I think Shane came out and played a little more first-strike tennis today instead of playing more defensive.”

Freshman Jordi Arconada secured the Aggies third point of the night, outdueling Johan den Toom 6-4, 7-5 on court four. Friday’s win was the third this spring for the Puerto Rico native, improving to 2-1 against conference opposition.

As play wound down the race was on to secure the fourth and final point of the evening. Szabo, Catanzariti and sophomore Max Lunkin were all on match point, but Lunkin edged in front of his teammates to clinch the team victory. The Moscow native improved to 6-1 in duals and 3-1 in the SEC, defeating Herrerias 6-4, 6-3 on court five.

“It’s really good for Max to get the clinch win tonight,” Denton pontificated. “He puts in a lot of extra work at practice because he really wants to be on the court and compete for us. He has had a lot of success when he is in the lineup and has been very reliable. He really deserves the win tonight with how hard he works.”

The Aggies will finish out the weekend within the friendly confines of the Mitchell Tennis Center hosting No. 13 Ole Miss at noon on Sunday, followed by a 4 p.m. appointment with No. 74 UTSA.

“Our next order of business is Ole Miss, they beat us last year 4-3 in Oxford and I know they have a really good team again this year,” Denton articulated. “I know they will come in here excited to play against us and we have to be ready for a tough match.”

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMensTennis.

#9 Texas A&M 4, #62 Arkansas 0

 

Singles – Order of Finish (1, 4, 5)

1. #67 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. #81 Giammarco Micolani (ARK) 6-0, 6-2

2. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. Jovan Parlic (ARK) 4-6, 6-3, 0-1, unfinished

3. #79 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) vs. William Albanese (ARK) 6-1, 6-6 (4-5), unfinished

4. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. Johan den Toom (ARK) 6-4, 7-5

5. Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. David Herrerias (ARK) 6-4, 6-3

6. Jordan Szabo (TAMU) vs. Juan Marino (ARK) 6-4, 5-2, unfinished

 

Doubles  – Order of Finish (1, 3)

1. #32 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Jovan Parlic/Giammarco Micolani (ARK) 6-0

2. Max Lunkin/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) vs. Johan den Toom/William Albanese (ARK) 6-5, unfinished

3. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. David Herrerias/Juan Marino (ARK) 6-4

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

No. 15 Texas A&M Defeats No. 35 MSU, 5-2

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The 15th-ranked Texas A&M women’s tennis team returned to the win column and posted its sixth victory over the last seven matches with a 5-2 victory over No. 35 Mississippi State this afternoon at A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

With the win, Texas A&M improves to 9-4 overall, including 6-2 in Southeastern Conference matches. MSU drops to 13-6 overall, 3-5 in SEC play and 0-5 in the all-time series against the Aggies.

“Today was a really good win for the Aggies,” A&M head coach Howard Joffe said. “Mississippi State was every bit as good and tough as advertised. This was an overall team effort, and the encouraging pieces from today were I felt our ladies were oppressive at every position. [Stefania] Hristov and [Anna] Mamalat both won tough three-set matches to get us over the finish line, Rutuja [Bhosale] had another excellent ranked win over Georgiana Patrasc and the doubles teams are starting to click.”

Texas A&M won the doubles point for the 10th time in 12 matches to take the early lead. Hristov and Mamalat, playing together for only the third time in a dual match this season, gave the Aggies the early edge with a quick 8-3 victory over Timea Guibe and Naomi Tran at the No. 3 line.

Eva Paalma and Rachel Pierson soon followed with an 8-3 win at No.1 against Martina Frantova and Patrasc to clinch the point for the Aggies.

Court 2 was knotted at 5-5 between A&M’s Bhosale and Saska Gavrilovska and the Bulldogs’ Jasmine Lee and Louise Ronaldson, but play was stopped as soon as the doubles match was clinched.

Gavrilovska then got the Aggies off to a quick start in singles, winning the first five games in each set en route to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Louise Ronaldson at the No. 3 line to put A&M ahead 2-0.

The Bulldogs kept the match close by winning the first set on three of six singles courts and cut the lead to 2-1 as 56th-ranked Lee topped 32nd-ranked Pierson, 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1.

Bhosale, celebrating her 19th birthday, moved up to the No. 2 line for only the second time this season. She gave the Aggies a 3-1 lead and extended her team-leading win streak to seven matches, taking the final three games to cap a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Patrasc. With the victory, the reigning SEC Player of the Week improved to 7-1 in SEC matches and 9-2 in dual match play.

MSU once again got back within a point at 3-2 as Frantova held off Paalma, 7-5, 6-4, at the No.4 line, while the remaining two matches would go to a third set to determine the overall winner.

Despite dropping the opening set, Hristov would be the one to clinch the victory for the Aggies. The third set was tied at 3-3 before Hristov reeled off the next three games to complete a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Guibe at the No. 6 line to put A&M up, 4-2.

Mamalat also broke away from a 3-3 third-set tie by winning her final three games to defeat Jennifer Brown, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, to close out the Aggies’ 5-2 victory.

The Aggies conclude their trip through Mississippi on Sunday as they take on No. 21 Ole Miss in Oxford. First serve has been moved up to noon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.

#15 Texas A&M 5, #35 Mississippi State 2

Singles – Order of finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 6, 5
1. #56 Jasmine Lee (MSU) def. #32 Rachel Pierson (A&M), 6-4, 6-0
2. #57 Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) def. #81 Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 6-1, 6-3
3. #77 Saska Gavrilovska (A&M) def. #124 Louise Ronaldson (MSU), 6-3, 6-1
4. Martina Frantova (MSU) def. Eva Paalma (A&M), 7-5, 6-4
5. Anna Mamalat (A&M) def. Jennifer Brown (MSU), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
6. #101 Stefania Hristov (A&M) def. Timea Guibe (MSU), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3

Doubles – Order of finish: 3, 1
1. #56 Paalma/Pierson (A&M) def. Martina Frantova/Georgiana Patrasc (MSU), 8-3
2. #80 Bhosale/Gavrilovska (A&M) vs. Jasmine Lee/Louise Ronaldson (MSU). 5-5 unfinished
3. Hristov/Anna Mamalat (A&M) def. Timea Guibe/Naomi Tran (MSU), 8-3

Team records:
Texas A&M: 9-4, 6-2 SEC
Mississippi State: 13-6, 3-5 SEC

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Jeffrey Prothro Claims First A&M Win on Day Three of Texas Relays

AUSTIN – Texas A&M’s first victory on day three of the 88th Texas Relays came from sophomore Jeffrey Prothro in the B division of the triple jump as he produced a career best of 50-8 ¾ (15.46) to better a field of 15 jumpers.

“It’s all about improvement and competing against myself,” noted Prothro. “I compete against myself first and then the competition. It’s great to get outdoors and to the Texas Relays, which is a great meet. It was a great day to compete and I’m happy with my performance today.”

A first round mark of 49-3 by Prothro claimed the early lead and he maintained it throughout the competition. In round two Prothro improved to 49-8 ½ and then went 50-6 ¾ in the third stanza after a challenge from David Oluwadara of Boston University, who briefly took the lead at 50-0 ¾ and finished second overall with that mark.

“I wanted to get out and take the lead,” said Prothro. “I kind of like it when guys have to chase me, so getting out in front early is always a good thing. I was able to relax and jump how I like to jump instead of chasing a distance.”

Following a foul in round four, Prothro hit his winning distance of 50-8 ¾ in round five and closed out the event with a 49-10 on his final attempt.

“This is really encouraging, it’s only March and I’ve already matched my PR from last season. I’m starting early and looking forward to improving every meet.”

This marks the fourth Texas Relays triple jump title for the Aggies since 2009 and the first B division win. Previous A&M winners included Julian Reid in 2009 and 2011 as well as Zuheir Sharif in 2010.

Last season, Prothro placed ninth in the B division of the Texas Relays with a 48-11 ½ distance. During the course of the outdoor season in his freshman campaign, Prothro established a wind-aided best of 50-8 ¼ (15.45) and a legal best of 50-2 ¾ (15.31). He went on to place ninth in the SEC Championships as well as the USATF Junior Championships.

Texas A&M men’s 4×100 relay led qualifying with a time of 39.49 as Deon Lendore passed TCU in the final stages of the prelim race for the heat victory. TCU finished second in 39.54 and posted the second best qualifying time. The first three legs of the Aggie 4×100 included Gregory Coleman, Shavez Hart and Bralon Taplin.

The rest of the field qualifying for the Saturday finals included LSU (39.58), Baylor (39.82), Clemson (40.11), South Plains (40.12), West Texas College (40.24), Auburn (40.43) and UT-Arlington (40.55).

Texas A&M women won their heat of the 4×100 in 44.26 to post the second fastest qualifying time behind a 44.01 by Texas. The other finalists included LSU (44.74), Purdue (44.97), Louisiana Tech (45.25), UNLV (45.68), Notre Dame (45.70), Clemson (45.75) and Texas Tech (45.75).

Javelin competition for the Aggies had Ioannis Kyriazis finishing fourth in the men’s event with a best of 226-8 (69.10) while teammate Devin Bogert placed eighth with a 223-1 (68.01). Maggie Malone finished seventh in the women’s event with a toss of 166-5 (50.73), which moved her to No. 8 on the Aggie all-time list.

The B division of the women’s pole vault had Emily Gunderson tying for fourth with a clearance of 13-1 ½ (4.00), which moved her to equal No. 4 on the A&M all-time list with Aly Daily and current teammate Sara Kathryn Stevens. Misses at 13-7 ¼ (4.15) knocked out Gunderson, who finished in a three-way tie for fourth place.

A clearance of 12-7 ½ (3.85) had Stevens finishing in a four-way tie for 10th place, while Brittany Wooten missed the opening height.

Jena Hemann contested the high jump after her record performance in the heptathlon on Thursday and was involved in a seven-way tie for seventh place in clearing 5-7 ¼ (1.71) in the B division.

Prelims in the 100 meters produced three finalists for the Aggies with Shavez Hart winning his heat in 10.39 while Aaliyah Brown (11.69) and Jennifer Madu (11.54) each finished second in their respective heats of the women’s 100.

Running in the prelims of the 100 hurdles were A&M’s heptathlon pair of Ashtin Zamzow (14.63) and Shaina Burns (15.66).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

A&M Baseball Hosts Missouri Tonight on Zone 1150

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies and Missouri Tigers meet in a battle of first place squads. Both teams are 5-1 in league play with Texas A&M leading the Western Division standings and Missouri tied with Vanderbilt atop the Eastern Division. The contest matches two of the top pitching staffs in the nation. The Aggies lead the SEC with 1.76 ERA and Missouri enters the fray with a 2.28 ERA, which ranks second in the league. Friday’s starting pitchers shared SEC Pitcher of the Week last week. Texas A&M’s GRAYSON LONG is 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA and Missouri’s Reggie McClain is 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA. Among SEC teams, the it is the most contested series for the Aggies with 80 meetings.

#2 TEXAS A&M AGGIES (25-1, 5-1 SEC) vs. MISSOURI TIGERS (19-7, 5-1 SEC)
Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) • College Station, Texas

SCHEDULE – Friday – 6:35 pm  •  Saturday – 1:05 pm  •  Sunday – 1:05 pm
TELEVISION - Saturday – SEC Network  •  Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Gabe Gross (color analyst)
RADIO – Sports Radio 1150 The Zone  •  Dave South (play-by-play)
LIVE VIDEO – SEC Network+ (WatchESPN credentials required through cable provider) Friday & Sunday – Will Johnson (play-by-play), Mark Johnson (color analyst)
LIVE AUDIO – 12thMan.com  •  radioaggieland.com (free)
LIVE STATS – 12thMan.com
RANKINGS - Texas A&M – 1 (CB), 2 (USAT), 3 (D1B), 3 (BA), 3 (NCBWA); Missouri – 23 (CB)
SERIES HISTORY – Texas A&M leads 47-32. The Aggies have won the last three games

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• FRIDAY:  #38 Grayson Long (Jr., RHP, 5-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. #24 Reggie McClain (Jr., RHP, 4-1, 1.74 ERA)
• SATURDAY:  #14 Kyle Simonds (Jr., RHP, 2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. #11 Tanner Houck (Fr., RHP, 3-1, 3.02 ERA)
• SUNDAY:  #31 Matt Kent (Jr., LHP, 5-, 3.20 ERA) vs. #37 Peter Fairbanks (Jr, RHP, 2-2, 1.82 ERA)

1,000 WINS AT OLSEN FIELD
With their win in the Saturday game against Auburn, the Aggies secured their 1,000th win at the friendly confines of Olsen Field. Playing their 38th season at the now-Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, the Maroon and White are 1,002-324-4 (.755) at the corner of George Bush Drive and Olsen Boulevard.

BIG INNINGS
The Aggies have been producing plenty of big innings early in the 2015 campaign. The Maroon and White have scored multiple runs in 53 of their 216 innings on the year. Texas A&M has 32 innings with at least three runs and 15 “Big Innings” with at least four runs. Twice in 2015, A&M has logged seven runs, including the second inning of the season opener against Holy Cross and in the seventh inning of the second game of the year. The Aggies have batted through the lineup six times this season, including twice in the Aggies’ 11-2 win against Prairie View A&M.

TEXAS A&M/MISSOURI SERIES NOTABLES
Texas A&M and Missouri have met on 80 prior occasions with the Aggies owning a 47-32-1 edge in the all-time series.

The teams did not play in 2014. The Aggies swept the series in College Station in 2013, the first season the two squads played in the SEC. The Maroon and White started the series with one-run wins on Friday (2-1) and Saturday (6-5) and registered a 4-1 victory in the finale. In the Friday game, Missouri got a leadoff single which originally came around to score, but the Tigers managed just one more hit the remainder of the game as Daniel Mengden struck out 10 in 8.0 innings. The Aggies rallied for two runs in the fourth to clinch the opener. The Saturday game featured a collapse by Missouri. The Tigers led 5-3 going to bottom of the ninth, but A&M took advantage of four Missouri errors to clinch the series. In the finale, Rafael Pineda, MATT KENT and Jason Jester combined to hold the Tigers to six hits and one unearned run.

As members of the Big 12 Conference, the teams have met every season from 1997-2012. In 2012, the Aggies won two-of-three from the Tigers at Blue Bell Park during the regular season, but Missouri scored a 5-3 win at the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In the three-game series, Kyle Martin earned a pair of wins in relief. Rafael Pineda started the Sunday affair, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out four over 6.0 innings. Mikey Reynolds hit .333 (4-for-12) with three runs, one double, two RBI and three stolen bases. In the 5-3 loss at the Big 12 Championship, Mitchell Nau accounted for all three of A&M’s RBI.

MORE ON MISSOURI
The Tigers are 19-7 on the year and are tied atop the SEC Eastern Division standings with a 5-1 record. Mizzou has series sweeps against Iona (four-game), UIC and Georgia. The Tigers also boast a series win against Georgia and won two of three at the Kleberg Bank College Classic in Corpus Christi.

Missouri’s engine is powered by the pitching staff. The Tigers boast a 2.29 ERA, are holding opponents to a .205 batting average and have 194 strikeouts in 224.0 innings. Two weekend starters boast sub-2.00 ERAs, including Reggie McClain (4-1, 1.74 ERA) and Peter Fairbanks (2-2, 1.82 ERA). Closer Breckin Williams is 4-0 with six saves and a 1.26 ERA in 11 appearances.

Missouri is hitting .250 as a team, but have been active on the base paths with 42 stolen bases, led by Brett Peel with 15. Brett Bond leads the team in hitting with a .291 average, three home runs and 11 RBI. Josh Lester is batting .289 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 21 RBI. Peel is hitting .269 with five doubles, one triple and seven RBI.

The Tigers have made six College World Series appearances, all between 1952-64. Missouri won the 1954 College World Series. They have made 22 NCAA Championship appearances, including eight since 2003.

Missouri boasts 49 former players who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The group is headlined by four-time MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler and 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #38 GRAYSON LONG
SEC Pitcher of the Week twice in 2015… in his last outing, fanned 14 of the 23 batters he faced in 6.0 innings at Alabama… named Most Outstanding Player at the Houston College Classic two weeks ago, scattering three hits and striking out a then career-high 10 batters without a walk in a 6-0 win against No. 16 Houston… in his four three starts he’s 4-0 with a 0.72 ERA, 24 strikeouts and a 0.88 WHIP… enters play as the Aggies’ active leader in wins (15), innings pitched (170.0) and strikeouts (136)… led the Aggies’ with six wins last season… also ranked second on A&M with 15 starts and 89.1 innings pitched… started his sophomore campaign by allowing just one run in his first five starts, scattering 22 hits and 10 walks while striking out 22 batters in 34.0 innings… last season he earned SEC wins against Auburn, Florida, eventual national champion Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Mississippi State, posting a 5-2 record in league action.

LONG’S CAREER TOTALS

Year W-L ERA APP/GS SV IP H R ER BB SO AVG
2013 4-2 3.52 12/10 0 46.0 39 19 18 25 38 .235
2014 6-2 3.12 15/15 0 89.1 98 32 31 28 55 .284
2015 5-0 2.08 6/6 0 34.2 23 11 8 13 43 .184
Career 15-4 3.02 33/31 0 170.0 160 62 57 66 136 .252


SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #14 KYLE SIMONDS
Making his first career start… has not allowed an earned run in in his 20.2 innings of work… did not allow a run in his first 16 innings of action… earned a win in his last outing, pitching 5.0 innings of relief at Alabama, allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out four… earned a save in his first career appearance, retiring 12 of the 13 batters he faced, including four strikeouts, in series opener against Holy Cross… picked up his first career win against UTPA, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out one in 2.1 innings… owns a 2.57-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 0.87 WHIP… tabbed the 2014 NJCAA Division I Pitcher of the Year at Hutchinson Community College.

SIMONDS’ CAREER TOTALS

Year W-L ERA APP/GS SV IP H R ER BB SO AVG
2015 2-0 0.00 8/0 1 20.2 11 1 0 7 18 .159
Career 2-0 0.00 8/0 1 20.2 11 1 0 7 18 .159


SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTER:  #31 MATT KENT
Named to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament team two weeks ago as he stymied Baylor hitters for the better part of 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out nine… leads Texas A&M with four wins… owns a 16.5-to-1 K/BB ratio in 2015 and 7.12-to-1 for his career… opened season with a win against Holy Cross, yielding just one unearned run on five hits while striking out three in 7.0 innings of work… prior to this season, both of his prior weekend starts came as a freshman in 2013, losses to Arkansas and LSU… was 1-0 with a 2.77 in his four starts as a sophomore… has had success in long relief against SEC squads in the past including 5.0 scoreless innings at Mississippi State in 2014 and 5.0 blank frames at Ole Miss in 2013… his effort against Ole Miss in 2013 earned him SEC Freshman of the Week recognition.

KENT’S CAREER TOTALS

Year W-L ERA APP/GS SV IP H R ER BB SO AVG
2013 2-3 4.17 26/2 0 36.2 43 17 17 2 21 .299
2014 3-1 3.15 20/4 0 45.2 50 18 16 8 32 .284
2015 5-0 3.20 6/6 0 39.1 43 17 14 3 34 .276
Career 10-4 3.48 52/12 0 121.2 136 52 47 13 87 .286


PITCHER WEDGE
Kyle Simonds marks the only player on the squad to not play high school baseball. Simonds spent his springs at Grand Island (Neb.) Central Catholic High School playing golf. Skilled on the links, Simonds qualified for the Nebraska Class C state tournament all four years, finishing 11th at the championship as a junior. He got his share of baseball in the summers staring for American Legion squad Home Federal. He went 2-for-2 with one double, one home run and three RBI at the Cornhusker League All-Star Game in July 2012.

Simonds honed his pitching skills at Hutchinson Community College where he blossomed last year. As a sophomore, he was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Pitcher of the Year, posting a 13-0 record (13 wins led the nation) and a 2.30 ERA. He broke single season school records for wins (13), complete-games (nine), shutouts (three) and strikeouts (103) in 2014.

The northpaw has been impressive in his eight appearances this season. Simonds has not yielded an earned run in 20.2 innings, striking out 18 and scattering 11 hits and seven walks. In his first career outing, he retired 12 of 13 batters he faced with the only batter reaching base on a HBP, blanking Holy Cross for 4.0 innings with four strikeouts. Simonds scattered three hits over 2.1 innings against Stephen F. Austin, striking out four. He blanked Penn State for two frames in the series opener and pitched two innings of A&M’s 6-0 shutout of then-No. 16 Houston at the Houston College Classic. Simonds earned his first career win working 2.1 innings, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out one in a 4-1 victory against UTPA. Last Saturday, Simonds worked 5.0 innings of relief, allowing one unearned run to help the Aggies’ secure their 24th consecutive win, setting an SEC record.

INHERITANCE TAX
In the Aggies’ 3-2 win against Baylor, A&M’s bullpen had a string of stranding 18 consecutive inherited runners snapped. The Aggie relievers have still been rather salty on the season, allowing just eight of 45 inherited runners to score. TY SCHLOTTMANN has been the most tested out of the bullpen and he has been up to the task, stranding 14 of his 15 inherited runners. ANDREW VINSON has left seven of the nine ducks he inherited on the pound. KYLE SIMONDS has stranded five of the six runners he has inherited and JASON FREEMAN has stranded all four inherited runners. Against Prairie View A&M, Aggie relievers entered the game with seven baserunners, including bases loaded on two occasions, and they didn’t yield a run.

STOUT BULLPEN
The Aggie bullpen has been tested more frequently as the season has progressed and are stepping up to the challenge. Thirteen pitchers have combined to work 96.0 innings out of the bullpen, posting a 9-0 record, nine saves, a 1.03 ERA, 62 hits and 24 walks while striking out 91. The bullpen sports a WHIP of 0.90, opponent batting average of .186 and a 3.79-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. At the Houston College Classic, the bullpen allowed just one hit in 7.2 innings of scoreless relief.

KYLE SIMONDS has worked the most innings, weaving 20.2 frames, allowing just one unearned run on 11 hits and seven walks while striking out 18 in eight appearances. He is 2-0 and owns one of the Aggies’ eight saves, a four-inning outing in the season opener against Holy Cross. TY SCHLOTTMANN has been called on the most, with 14 appearances. The southpaw has worked 15.0 frames, earning a 2-0 record with 0.60 ERA, scattering nine hits and two walks while striking out 12. He has stranded 14 of 15 inherited baserunners. Eighth-inning set-up man ANDREW VINSON and dual closers RYAN HENDRIX and MARK ECKER have combined to work 34.0 innings without allowing an earned run – Vinson is 2-0, allowing four hits while striking out 10 over 12.2 innings in 12 outings; Hendrix has five saves and has allowed one unearned run, scattering nine hits and four walks while striking out 10 over 11.1 innings in nine outings; Ecker has three saves and has allowed just two unearned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out 15 over 9.0 innings in nine outings.

SEEMS LIKE JUST LAST YEAR
Texas A&M is averaging 2.2 more runs per game and sporting a batting average .025 higher than the same point last season. Here’s a comparison of the Aggies offensive numbers through 25 games in 2014 and 2015.

  2014 2015
W-L 17-9 25-1
SEC W-L 3-3 5-1
Batting Average .274 .311
Runs Per Game 5.00 7.50
Runs 130 195
Home Runs 9 22
RBI 121 180
Slugging Percentage .364 .453
On-Base Percentage .354 .413


STREAKS
• On March 7, NICK BANKS had a career-long 13-game hit streak snapped. The sophomore batted .438 (21-for-48) with four doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI over the span. Banks has logged hits in 23 of the 25 games he’s played this season.
• NICK BANKS has reached base (via walk, HBP or hit) in all 25 game he’s played in 2015. He owns a .491 on-base percentage with 40 hits, 11 walks and two HBP over the span.
• RYNE BIRK enters the series with a six-game hit streak. He is batting .318 (7-for-22) over the span with three doubles and six RBI. He also has six walks during the stretch for a .464 on-base percentage.
•  RONNIE GIDEON enters the series with a six-game hit streak. He is batting .480 (12-for-25) over the span with two doubles, one home run and eight RBI.
•  KYLE SIMONDS has a streak of 20.2 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run, covering eight outings. He has allowed one unearned run, scattering 11 hits and seven walks while striking out 18 over the span.
• RYAN HENDRIX has not allowed an earned run in nine outings in 2015, covering 11.1 innings. He has allowed one unearned run on nine hits and four walks while striking out 10 over the span.
• TY SCHLOTTMANN has stranded the last 12 runners he has inherited. For the season, he has stranded 14 of the 15 runners he has inherited.
• TY SCHLOTTMANN has retired the first batter he has faced in each of his last 10 appearances.
• ANDREW VINSON is unscored upon in 12 outings in 2015, covering 12.2 innings. He’s scattered four hits while striking out 10 over the span.
• MARK ECKER has not allowed an earned run in his last 12 career outings, covering 14.0 innings. He’s scattered five hits and four walks while striking out 19 over the span.
• MATT KENT was the first Aggie pitcher since Brooks Raley in 2008 to register a win in each of his first five starts in a season.
• After starting the season 0-for-14, PATRICK MCLENDON has a hit in each of his last three at-bats.
• The Aggies have scored 10 or more runs in four of their last seven games.
• The Aggies own a 20-game win streak at Blue Bell Park dating back to the 2014 season. It marks the Aggies’ longest home win streak since they won 21 in a row at Olsen Field in 1990. The school record is 39 consecutive games between 1988-89.
• Prior to the ninth inning at UTSA, the Aggie bullpen strung together 34.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. The relievers held opponents to 18 hits and 14 walks while striking out 35 over the span.

A FRIDAY NIGHT FIX
One of the things that doomed the Aggies in 2014 was an inability to win the opening game of the weekend. Last year, A&M struggled the first night of series, going 3-11 in openers (3-13 if you count the SEC Tournament and NCAA Houston Regional). This season, the Maroon and White have already exceeded the opening night win tally with a 6-0 mark. On Friday nights, the Aggies are batting .288 and they have hit 11 of their 21 home runs. The pitching staff owns a 1.00 ERA and is holding opponents to a .168 batting average in series/tournament openers. Last year, A&M hit .227 in their series openers, averaging just 3.21 runs per game. The pitching staff posted a 3.62 ERA and yielded a .249 batting average to foes.

QUICK DRAW
The Aggies are outscoring opponents a combined 60-16 in the first two innings of games, including 34-13 in first innings and 26-3 in second innings.

In the first inning of games, the Aggies are batting .360 (40-for-111) with a .475 on-base percentage and .495 slugging percentage. The Maroon and White have drawn 24 walks and have been hit by two pitches. The extra-base hits include 10 doubles, one triple and one home run.

In the first inning of games, the A&M pitching staff has held opponents to a .265 batting average (27-for-102) and have struck out 32 of the 113 batters they’ve faced (28.3%).

In the second inning of games, the Aggies are batting .314 (32-for-102) with a .415 on-base percentage and .529 slugging percentage. The Maroon and White have drawn 14 walks and have been hit by five pitches. The extra-base hits include five doubles, one triple and five home runs.

In the second inning of games, the A&M pitching staff has held opponents to a .238 batting average (24-for-101) and have struck out 30 of the 105 batters they’ve faced (28.6%).

KENT HARDLY WAIT
MATT KENT was a consistent performer in the first five weeks of the season. At 5-0, he is tied with for the SEC in victories on the mound. He is the first starting pitcher since Brooks Raley, in 2008, to earn a win in each of their first five starts in a season. During the stretch, the crafty southpaw has impeccable command with 33 strikeouts and just two walks on the season.

With a no-decision last week, Kent is still 5-0 on the season. He owns a 3.20 ERA and has allowed just three walks while striking out 34 in 39.1 innings of work.

NINTH-INNING CLAMPS
The Aggie pitching staff has yet to yielded just three earned run in the ninth inning or extra innings, a body of work that includes 27.0 innings and all three of the earned runs have come with Texas A&M leading by eight or more runs. The bullpen, which has yielded just two runs, one unearned, in the ninth inning and extra frames, has allowed just 17 hits and nine walks in the 26.2 innings, with 32 strikeouts. MARK ECKER has accounted for 9.0 innings, yielding only two hits and one walk while striking out 12. RYAN HENDRIX has worked 8.0 innings, allowing one unearned run, scattering seven hits and two walks while striking out nine.

FINISHING STRONG
Texas A&M has outscored opponents 70-17 combined in innings 7-9 plus extra innings, including 30-3 in the seventh inning and 36-10 in the eighth inning. Opponents are outscoring the Aggies 4-3 in the ninth inning, but A&M has batted in the ninth just six times while the foe has gotten their ninth-inning hacks in 25 of the 26 games. Texas A&M is outscoring opponents 1-0 in extra innings.

WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND
The Aggies’ bullpen has been nearly untouchable the last four weekends. The crew has combined to work 38.1 without yielding an earned run over the span. The bullpen has allowed a total of four unearned runs the last four weekends, allowing just 15 hits and 11 walks while striking out 35. Over the span, the relievers are holding opponents to a .118 batting average and boast a 0.68 WHIP.

MORE BULLPEN NOTES
In the last 20 games, the Aggie bullpen has allowed eight runs, just four earned, in 74.0 innings of work dating back to the Sunday contest against Penn State. The relief pitchers have scattered 41 hits and 21 walks while striking out 69 over the span. The run includes eight bullpen wins and eight saves. The stretch included a string of 23.0 consecutive innings without yielding a run and a 34.2-inning string of not allowing an earned run that was snapped against UTSA. Aggie relievers own a 0.49 ERA and have held opponents to a .163 batting average over the span.

The Aggie pitching staff was the talk of the Houston College Classic. The staff combined to post a 0.67 ERA and hold opponents to a .156 batting average during the tournament. A&M allowed three runs, just two earned, in 27.0 innings of work. The Aggies came two botched pickoff attempts away from allowing just one run total for the three games. The staff sported a 7.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (30/4) and a miniscule 0.67 WHIP.

FOR STARTERS
Aggie starting pitchers have been solid in 2015, posting a 16-1 record with a 2.27 ERA after 25 games. A&M starters are holding opponents to a .237 batting and boast a 4.25-to-1 strikeouts-to-walk ratio (153/36). After a rough outing his first time out, GRAYSON LONG has regrouped in his last five starts. Over the span, he is 5-0 with a 0.87 ERA in 31.0 innings of work. He has allowed just five runs, three earned, on 19 hits and eight walks while striking out 38 during the stretch. Matt Kent is 5-0 with a 3.20 ERA, allowing 17 runs, 14 earned, in 39.1 innings of work. The junior lefty boasts four of A&M’s five longest starts. He has issued just three walks on the season, while striking out 34. Out for the remainder of the season, AJ Minter (2-0) was a star the first four weeks, posting a 0.43 ERA, has held opponents to a .213 batting average and has allowed just six runs, one earned, while striking out 29 in 21.0 innings over his first four starts.

DINGER WATCH
The Aggies already have 22 home runs on the season. Last year, A&M didn’t hit their 22nd home run until the 54th game of the season and hit just 25 home runs on the year. The Aggies had just nine home runs at this point in the season in 2014. A&M has hit 11 of their 21 home runs on Friday nights. On Tuesday night, RONNIE GIDEON hit a three-run home run to snap a six-game homerless string for the Aggies. It marked the longest drought of the season for A&M.

MEN IN BLACK
The Aggies have a new black uniform in their wardrobe for the 2015 season. The squad is only permitted to wear the jerseys for games in which they are trying to complete a series sweep. They have had the opportunity to don the black unis on seven occasions this season, going 6-1. The uniforms have been especially friendly to the pitching staff that owns a 1.97 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 65 strikeouts in 64.0 innings of work in the look.

MEATGRINDER
Starting with the three-game series at Alabama, 24 of Texas A&M’s last 34 games will be against teams that advanced to the 2014 NCAA Championship. The gauntlet includes seven SEC weekend series against NCAA tournament teams, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina, two games against Sam Houston State and one game against Rice. The Aggies are currently 3-1 in the stretch.

BALANCED ATTACK
Coach Childress has the potential to pencil in a lineup that can include eight players with 16 to 21 RBI. RONNIE GIDEON leads the squad with 21 RBI. HUNTER MELTON, MITCHELL NAU and LOGAN TAYLOR each have 19 ribbies. BLAKE ALLEMAND and RYNE BIRK are one back with 18, followed by NICK BANKS (17) and JB MOSS (16).

MIDWEEK PERFECTION
The Aggies are 8-0 in midweek action this season, outscoring opponents 54-13. The A&M offense has be highlighted by NICK BANKS, batting .654 (17-for-26) with three doubles and five RBI, and MITCHELL NAU, hitting .476 (10-for-21) with six RBI.

The pitching staff has a 1.34 ERA and the Aggies have 79 strikeouts in 74.0 innings. TURNER LARKINS has started five of the games, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.82 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. The bullpen is 5-0 with three saves and a 0.97 ERA in midweek action.

UP NEXT
The Aggies wrap up the brief four-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Sam Houston State Bearkats in a 6:35 pm contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Navarro Shoots 74 on First Day of LPGA Kia Classic

CARLSBAD, Calif.- Texas A&M sophomore golfer Marijosse Navarro used three birdies to shoot a 74 (+2) in the first round of the LPGA’s Kia Classic at the Aviara Golf Club on Thursday.

Navarro, who teed off Hole No. 10 today, shot a 2-under 34 over the last nine holes that she played on Thursday, which is normally the front nine of the par 72 / 6,593-yard course. She hit nine of 14 fairways and reached 10 of the 18 greens in regulation. Navarro sits in a tie for 109th after one round.

Navarro will tee off in the second round off of Hole No. 1 at 2:17 p.m. CT/12:17 p.m. PT. Coverage of the event is on the Golf Channel from 5 to 8 p.m. CT.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Yates Named Co-SEC Golfer of the Week

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M senior Greg Yates has been named Co-SEC Golfer of the Week by the league office.

The Mansfield, Texas, native captured his third collegiate win on Tuesday at the Valspar Collegiate held at Floridian Golf Club, ending the 54-hole event atop the 73-player field. Yates (67-67-67=201) piled up a tournament-leading 22 birdies to lead the Aggies and finish atop the player standings at 12-under par.

During his four-year Aggie career, Yates had previously claimed medalist honors at the 2014 Sea Best Invitational as a junior and the 2011 HBU Men’s Intercollegiate during his freshman campaign.

For the season, Yates owns a 72.19 scoring average with three top-10 finishes.

Georgia’s Lee McCoy shared Golfer of the Week honors with Yates after earning medalist honors at the Linger Longer Invitational.

The Aggie men’s golf team is back in action next weekend when it hosts its lone home tournament of the year, the Aggie Invitational at Traditions Golf Club.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Hemann 2nd, Kunz 4th After First Day of Texas Relays Heptathlon

AUSTIN – A strong opening day in the heptathlon finds the Texas A&M duo of Jena Hemann and Annie Kunz in second and fourth place, respectively, at the Texas Relays with scores of 3,510 and 3,393 points.

Alex Gochenour of Arkansas leads the multi-event competition with 3,757 points while Oklahoma’s Payton Stumbaugh is third at 3,416. The heptathlon continues at Myers Stadium on Thursday at 11 a.m. with the long jump, followed by the javelin and 800 meters.

Hemann’s score is her best first day tally ever, topping the 3,344 she produced in the 2013 Texas Relays when she went on to set a career best score of 5,531 points in placing fourth. Kunz put together her second best first day score, trailing a 3,471 she had in the 2013 Texas Relays.

“I just feel like I’m in a pretty solid position right now,” said Hemann. “I was a little nervous coming into today since we had a break this past week following the indoor nationals. Javelin will be a key event tomorrow in terms of keeping my placement. If I can get a solid mark in the long jump tomorrow I think that will be a key as well.”

Kunz noted: “I’m still getting the rust off from taking off so long with soccer. After taking that year off it’s hard to come back, but I’m finally getting that feeling back with my movements in various events. I felt good today and I know I have a lot more in me. This is a good first step this early in the outdoor season.”

Starting off with the 100 hurdles, Hemann ran 14.27 with a 3.9 aiding wind for 941 points. Her previous best hurdle time in a heptathlon was 14.28 from the 2013 NCAA Championships. Then a high jump clearance of 5-8 ¾ (1.75) netted Hemann 916 points and improved her previous best in a heptathlon of 5-7 ¾ (1.72) from the 2012 Big 12 meet.

Another big point producer for Hemann was the shot put where she had the best mark among the field of 18 entrants with a toss of 44 feet, 11 inches (13.69) for 773 points. Her previous best of 44-1 ½ (13.45) occurred in the 2013 NCAA heptathlon.

Closing out the first day with the 200 meters, Hemann clocked 25.07 (2.5 wind) for 880 points. That time was her third best effort in a multi, trailing only a 24.83 and 25.01 from 2013 at the NCAA and SEC Championships.

The opening event also showed solid signs for a good day from Kunz as she posted a 14.16 (2.0 wind) in the 100 hurdles for 956 points. She then cleared 5-6 ½ (1.69) in the high jump for 842 points.

In the shot put a career best of 42-10 ¾ (13.07) picked up 732 points. The previous best for Kunz was 41-7 (12.67) from the 2013 NCAA Championships. Running in the same heat of the 200m as Hemann, Kunz posted a time of 25.26 for 863 points.

“Day one is the day where I need to take care of business since I can get a lot of points in those events,” said Kunz. “The shot put really helped move me to the top a little more. So, that was nice to get a good throw in.”

Gochenhour led the Texas Relays heptathlon from the first event as she ran 13.15 (1,102 points) in the hurdles with a 2.0 wind. She cleared 5-10 (953) in the high jump, had a 42-8 ¾ (729) shot put and ran 24.08 (4.3 wind) in the 200 to build a 247-point lead over Hemann.

Arkansas also has Leigha Brown (3,386) and Taliyah Brooks (3,359) in the heptathlon as they finished the first day in sixth and seventh place.

“It’s nice having the competition from Arkansas here since they were also in the national meet a couple of weeks ago and we are able to compete with that caliber of athlete again,” stated Hemann.

88th Texas Relays – Austin, Texas

Heptathlon – day one scores

1. Alex Gochenour, Arkansas                       3,757

2. Jena Hemann, Texas A&M                     3,510

3. Payton Stumbaugh, Oklahoma               3,416

4. Annie Kunz, Texas A&M                          3,393

5. Jallycia Pearson, UTEP                              3,390

6. Leigha Brown, Arkansas                           3,386

7. Taliyah Brooks, Arkansas                         3,359

8. Carly Loeffel, Notre Dame                       3,327

9. Sierra Patrick, unattached                        3,305

10. Abrianna Torres, Colorado                    3,216

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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