Blue Bell Park Selected as a NCAA Regional Site

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M’s Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park was named one of 16 regional sites for the 70th annual NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee announced on Sunday evening.

Earlier in the day, Texas A&M won the SEC Tournament championship game, 12-5, against Florida to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. This extends the Aggies’ school-record streak of appearances in the NCAA Championship to 10 consecutive seasons and the 32nd overall selection to the tournament field.

This marks the 11th time Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park will host an NCAA Regional. Texas A&M was one of seven SEC schools selected to host a regional, joined by Florida, LSU, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

Each regional field features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 3, to Monday, June 6.

The remaining at-large teams, top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairing and site assignments will be announced on Monday at 11:00 am Central during an hour-long live selection program on ESPNU.

NCAA COLLEGE STATION REGIONAL TICKET INFORMATION

All-Session Regional tickets good for Lawn and Standing Room Only areas will go on sale Monday, May 30 at 2 pm online and by phone.  Reserved all-session seating is sold out.

Lawn/SRO All-Session tickets are $40 Adult and $20 Youth/Student (plus a $4 per ticket fee). The All-Session ticket includes all possible sessions.

If available, Individual game tickets for the Regional will go on sale Friday, June 3.  Sales times and specific information will be released once the game times are announced. Game times will be dictated by television and released at the earliest possible moment.

2016 NCAA DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP HOSTS

LSU
Virginia
Clemson
Texas A&M
South Carolina
Miami (Fla.)
TCU
Florida
Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisville
Texas Tech
Vanderbilt
Ole Miss
North Carolina State
Mississippi State
Florida State

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Aggie Win SEC Tournament Title, 12-5

HOOVER, Alabama – Trailing 5-3 with the game in the waning moments, senior J.B. Moss and junior Nick Banks delivered seventh inning heroics to turn the tide as the No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies rolled to a 12-5 win over the No. 1 Florida Gators in the SEC Baseball Tournament championship game Sunday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

The victory gives the Aggies’ their first ever SEC Baseball Tournament crown and the sixth league tournament title in school history.

Trailing by two with one out in the seventh, Hunter Melton hustled out an infield single and Austin Homan reached on an error by third baseman Jonathan India. Moss tied the game by blasting a first-pitch offering down the leftfield line for a double and Banks put the Aggies up 7-5 when he blasted the next pitch towards the rightfield scoreboard getting his second home run of the game.

Moss added a three-run double in the eighth as the Aggies put up five more runs. The senior outfielder finished the game with a SEC Tournament championship game record five RBI, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and five RBI.

Banks, named the Tournament MVP, finished the game 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI.

Others named to the All-Tournament Team included DH Jonathan Moroney, 2B Ryne Birk, SS Austin Homan and P Brigham Hill.

Andrew Vinson (4-2) earned the win in relief as he retired nine of the 11 batters he faced in innings seven through nine. The only two baserunners reached on errors. He recorded five strikeouts. Turner Larkins was solid in the start, allowing four runs, two earned on five hits and three walks while striking out four in 5.1 innings.

The Aggies captured SWC Tournament titles in 1986 and ‘89 and Big 12 Tournament crowns in 2007, ’10 and ’11.

The victory gives Texas A&M an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. This extends the Aggies’ school-record streak of appearances in the NCAA Championship to 10 consecutive seasons and the 32nd overall selection to the tournament field.

2016 SEC Baseball All-Tournament Team

P: Scott Moss, Florida

P: Brigham Hill, Texas A&M

P: Zac Houston, Mississippi State

C: Henri Lartigue, Ole Miss

DH: Jonathan Moroney, Texas A&M

1B: JJ Schwarz, Florida

2B: Ryne Birk, Texas A&M

3B: Colby Bortles, Ole Miss

SS: Austin Homan, Texas A&M

OF: Nick Banks, Texas A&M

OF: J.B. Woodman, Ole Miss

OF: Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt

 Most Valuable Player: Nick Banks, Texas A&M

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Late Rallies Send Aggies to SEC Championship Game

HOOVER, Alabama – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies scored seven runs in the final two innings, including a go-ahead, three-run, pinch-hit home run by Walker Pennington, to erase an 8-5 deficit in Saturday afternoon’s SEC Baseball Tournament semifinal game at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The late surge gave Texas A&M a 12-8 win over the No. 10 Ole Miss Rebels sending the Aggies to their first SEC Tournament championship game.

Down 8-5 with one out in the eighth inning, SEC Player of the Year Boomer White started the charge with a double to leftfield driving effective reliever Dallas Woolfolk from the game as Ole Miss called on closer Wyatt Short. The southpaw issued a four-pitch walk to Ryne Birk and Michael Barash followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to two runs. A passed ball moved two runners into scoring position and Jonathan Moroney followed by bouncing a single up the middle to plate Birk and close the gap to 8-7.

The Aggies then called on Pennington, a right-handed batter, to pinch-hit for lefty Joel Davis. Pennington looked at a fastball low and away on the first offering and then sent the second pitch towards the leftfield foul pole. It stayed fair for the three-run home run, his fourth dinger of the year, staking the Maroon and White to a 10-8 advantage.

Texas A&M (44-14) called on Mark Ecker in the eighth and giving up a leadoff single to Nick Fortes, he induced three fly outs to send the game to the ninth.

The Maroon and White added two more runs in the ninth. J.B. Moss was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Nick Banks followed with a double over the head of leftfielder Kyle Watson to drive in a run. Banks moved to third on a groundout by White and scored on a sacrifice fly by Barash.

Ole Miss (43-17) got two runners aboard with two outs in the ninth, but Ecker got J.B. Woodman to line out to first base to nail down his sixth save of the season.

The Aggies pounded out 12 hits and drew nine walks on the day. Austin Homan went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Barash was 2-for-3 with one double, one run and three RBI. White batted 1-for-3 with three walks, three runs, one double, one stolen base and one RBI.

The late comeback rained on a bannerday for Ole Miss’ Errol Robinson. He batted 4-for-6 with four RBI. Watson batted 2-for-3 out of the No. 9 hole, logging two runs, one walk, one HBP and two RBI. The Rebels pounded out 17 hits, all singles.

Texas A&M mounted a two-out rally to post two runs in the top of the first inning. With two down, White and Birk were issued bases on balls. Barash worked the count to 2-2 before dropping a double down the rightfield line, scoring White for the 1-0 lead. Birk came in to score an unearned run when first baseman Will Golsan’s glove came off with the ball in it after receiving a throw from Robinson on Moroney’s grounder to short.

Ole Miss cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the second. With one out, Ryan Olenek punched a single to right-center. After Holt Perdzock swung and missed at strike three for the second out of the inning, Kyle Watson dropped a single into centerfield to put runners on the corners. Robinson bounced a single up the middle to plate Olenek.

The Aggies stretched the margin back out to two runs in the top of the third. With one out, White drew a four-pitch walk, moved to second on a single by Birk, advanced to third on walk by Barash and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Colby Bortles on a grounder by Davis. The White run pushed Texas A&M’s lead to 3-1.

The Rebels wrestled the lead from the Aggies with a five-run third inning. Tate Blackman started the inning with a single, driving Texas A&M starter Jace Vines from the game. Reliever Stephen Kolek got a groundout and a strikeout, but then issued a walk to Bortles and four consecutive singles to Olenek (RBI), Perdzock, Watson (2 RBI) and Robinson (RBI). The sequence also included a double steal as Watson swiped second and Perdzock stole home. Mitchell Kilkenny entered the game to put out the fire, striking out Golsan, but not before Ole Miss laid claim to a 6-3 advantage

Texas A&M trimmed run off the Ole Miss advantage in the top of the fourth. Leading off the frame, Homan hit a ball of the pitchers mitt and shortstop Robinson made a bare-handed pick and throw to first, but it pulled Golsan off the bag for a single. Moss followed with a single up the middle to put two runners on. A Banks fly out to the warning track in centerfield moved both runners in to scoring position and after White drew his third walk of the game, Birk plated Homan with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 6-4.

The Aggies shaved another run off the deficit in the top of the fifth. Moroney drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a balk. After a pair of fly outs, Homan poked a single to rightfield to knock in Moroney.

Robinson continued to menace the Aggies knocking in runs in the bottom of the fifth and seventh innings as Ole Miss opened up an 8-5 cushion and appeared to coasting to the victory.

Corbin Marin (2-1) was credited with the win in relief, working 0.2 innings. Kilkenny was Texas A&M’s most productive pitcher leading up to Ecker. He entered the game in the third inning and worked 3.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out four.

Short (2-2) was saddled with the loss for Ole Miss. He allowed six runs on four hits, one walk and two hit batsmen while striking out two in 0.2 innings of work. His blown save took the victory out of the hands of Woolfolk who was effective in 3.1 innings of relief, allowing one run on four hits and one walk.

Texas A&M plays the winner of Saturday evening’s game between Florida and LSU. The championship game is slated for 2 pm Sunday on ESPN2.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Aggies battalion for national championship challenge grows on final day of NCAA West

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Texas A&M completed its track and field battalion with seven more individual entries and all four relays advancing to Hayward Field on the final day of action in the NCAA West Preliminary rounds at Rock Chalk Park on Saturday.

The Aggies will have a total of 33 entries, 17 for the No. 1 men’s team and 16 for the No. 5 women’s squad, in challenging for national team titles in Eugene. Texas A&M’s tally includes 31 athletes, 17 men in 11 events and 14 women in 10 events, competing on the national championship weekend, which will be held from June 8-11.

“I’ve been to some tough competitions and this one was extremely difficult with the weather delays and adjusted schedule,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “That’s why I’m so pleased with this team. To advance the people we did and for them to compete the way they did, we just did a really good job.”

Texas A&M added a fourth event where they advanced three individuals. It was the men’s triple jump with the trio of Latario Collie (53-8 ½|16.37), Jeffrey Prothro (52-4 ½w|15.96) and Lathone Collie (52-2|15.90) as they finished second, ninth and 10th. Prothro moved up from his seed of 19th entering the event. A 53-11 (16.43) from Arizona State’s Tim White led the field.

A pair of Aggies advanced in the discus. Two-time defending champion Shelbi Vaughan secured her advancement with a toss of 182-0 (55.47) to finish seventh among the women’s field while Jeff Bartlett produced a career best 190-10 (58.16) to place sixth in the men’s field and move to No. 9 on the Texas A&M all-time list.

“A guy like Jeff keeps getting a little bit better with each competition,” noted Henry. “To throw 190-10 today was a huge throw for him. I think he’ll throw even better the next time he gets in the ring.

“Shelbi’s conditions were so tough that nobody threw really well. I know she was disappointed with what happened with the delay from Friday to Saturday. But this meet was about advancing and finishing in the top 12. Some performances suffered from time to time this weekend, but we did the things we needed to do.”

With the third flight of the women’s discus rescheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Vaughan opened with a 182-0 toss and then followed with a pair of fouls. It was tough going for most of the field, evidence by current collegiate leader Kelsey Card of Wisconsin needing a third round throw of 176-3 (53.72) to place 10th among the top 12 advancing.

Bartlett opened with a throw of 179-5 (54.70) and hit 176-1 (53.67) in the second round. Then he unleashed his 190-10 to move from 12th to fifth place and then settled at sixth after the round was completed. His previous mark of 179-5 would have ended up 20th overall

The Aggies advanced both 4×100 relays with the women winning their heat in 43.74 while the men were runner-up in 39.60. In the 4×400 relays both crews were heat winners with the men clocking 3:04.55 while the women ran 3:29.14, the No. 8 performer on the Texas A&M all-time list.

In the women’s sprint relay the foursome of Jennifer Madu, Diamond Spaulding, Brenessa Thompson and Aaliyah Brown produced the fastest time among the 12 schools moving on to Eugene. Oregon had the second best time of 43.75 and were followed by USC (44.14), San Diego State (44.43), Arkansas (44.58) and Iowa (44.59).

With a foursome of Will Williams, Elijah Morrow, Robert Grant and Fred Kerley, the Aggie men finished second to TCU (39.50) and had the fifth best time overall. Houston led the field with a 39.14 over Arizona State (39.32), Arkansas (39.45), TCU, Texas A&M and Texas (39.62).

The women’s 4×400 had some searing times. First USC ran an unopposed 3:26.73, the No. 9 time by a school, over Iowa (3:30.97) and Kansas State (3:32.16)

Then the second heat came down to the anchor legs of Arkansas and Texas with Razorback Taylor Ellis-Watson splitting 50.04 to hold off Longhorn Courtney Okolo, who split 49.86. Arkansas won the heat in a world-leading 3:25.48 over a 3:25.59 for Texas with Arizona (3:32.53) third. The Razorbacks produced the No. 4 time by a school with the seventh fastest performance.

In the final section Texas A&M held off the challenge from Oregon and Stanford with a 50.71 anchor leg by Shamier Little to produce its 3:29.14. The Ducks were second in 3:29.74 with the Cardinal third at 3:31.13. Running the first three legs for the Aggies were Briyahna Desrosiers (51.3), Jarra Owens (53.7) and Jazmine Fray (53.42).

Texas A&M men controlled their section of the 4×400 as the foursome of Deon Hickey (47.4), Fred Kerley (45.0), Donavan Brazier (46.54) and Robert Grant (45.56) established an early lead as they cruised to a 3:04.55 to better Arkansas (3:05.62) and BYU (3:05.79)

Other 4×400 sections winners included SFA (3:03.56) over Baylor (3:04.40) and Nebraska (3:04.40) along with Utah State (3:04.48) finishing ahead of Texas Tech (3:04.87) and Arizona (3:05.44)

After 4×100 relay duty in the morning, the tandem of Thompson and Brown advanced on time in the 200m while Spaulding just missed by 0.05 of a second.

Thompson clocked a career best of 22.99 (1.2 wind) for third in her heat as she moved to No. 11 on the Texas A&M all-time list and improved her Guyana national record from the 23.19 she recorded during the SEC Championships.

Brown posted a 23.12 (-0.6 wind) as runner-up to Morolake Akinosun of Texas (22.81) while Spaulding finished third in the race with a 23.27. The cutoff for advancement was a 23.22.

In the men’s 200, Morrow ran 20.91 (0.0 wind) as runner-up, but didn’t advance on time. He finished 19th overall among the field of 48.

Bartlett also contested the shot put after the discus and his mark of 56-8 ½ (17.28) placed 35th. Alex Riba ran 3:49.61 to place eighth in the first heat of the 1,500m and he finished 36th overall. A mark of 39-10 by Anriel Howard in the women’s triple jump placed her 38th.

NCAA Championships – Aggies advancing to Eugene (Saturday additions in bold)

MEN (17 athletes, 11 events, 17 entries)

400m: Fred Kerley

800m: Donavan Brazier, Hector Hernandez

400m Hurdles: Robert Grant

4×100: Texas A&M (Will Williams, Elijah Morrow, Robert Grant, Fred Kerley)

4×400: Texas A&M (Deon Hickey, Fred Kerley, Donavan Brazier, Robert Grant)

Pole Vault: Chase Wolfle, Carl Johansson, Jacob Wooten

Long Jump: Will Williams

Triple Jump: Latario Collie, Jeffrey Prothro, Lathone Collie

Discus: Jeff Bartlett

Javelin: Ioannis Kyriazis, Sam Hardin

Decathlon: Lindon Victor

WOMEN (14 athletes, 10 events, 16 entries)

100m: Brenessa Thompson, Jennifer Madu, Aaliyah Brown

200m: Brenessa Thompson, Aaliyah Brown

400m: Briyahna Desrosiers

800m: Katie Willard, Jazmine Fray

400m Hurdles: Shamier Little

4×100: Texas A&M (Jennifer Madu, Diamond Spaulding, Brenessa Thompson, Aaliyah Brown)

4×400: Texas A&M (Briyahna Desrosiers, Jarra Owens, Jazmine Fray, Shamier Little)

Discus: Shelbi Vaughan

Javelin: Maggie Malone, Audrey Malone, Madalaine Stulce

Heptathlon: Annie Kunz

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Rinderknech, Withrow Earn All-America Honors after Advancing at NCAAs

TULSA, Okla. – Texas A&M Men’s Tennis’ Jackson Withrow and Arthur Rinderknech topped Texas Tech’s No. 12 Hugo Dojas and Felipe Soares at the 2016 NCAA Doubles Championship Friday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla.

The singles and doubles competition is being held May 25-30 at the Case Tennis Center, hosted by the University of Tulsa.

No. 8 Rinderknech and Withrow advanced to face No. 13 Skander Monsouri and Christian Seraphim of Wake Forest on Saturday. The Maroon & White clad duo improved to 14-5 on the season following Thursday’s 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (11) victory and are now a team-best 7-5 against ranked foes. The win was the second-straight ranked victory following their highest-ranked career triumph Thursday afternoon, having defeated No. 4 Lucas Conrinteli and Ryan Shane of Virginia in the opening round.

The duo earned All-America status for advancing to the NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals. The honor is the first of the career for Rinderknech and the third for Withrow. The Nebraskan earned doubles honors alongside Junior Ore during his sophomore and junior campaigns.

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

Complete NCAA tournament brackets, schedules, results and links to live scoring and video are available on the Championship Central page: http://tulsahurricane.com/sports/2016/3/25/2016-ncaa-mens-and-womens-tennis-championships-schedule.aspx

2016 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships Results
Singles First Round
No. 52 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. No. 7 Christopher Eubanks (GT), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Singles Second Round
No. 16 Jaren Hiltzik (ILL) def. No. 52 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles First Round
No. 8 Jackson Withrow & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. No. 4 Ryan Shane & Luca Corinteli (UVA) 6-2, 6-4

Doubles Second Round
No. 8 Jackson Withrow & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. No 12 Hugo Dojas & Felipe Soared (TT) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (11)

Doubles Third Round
No. 8 Jackson Withrow & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. No. 13 Skander Monsouri & Christian Seraphim (WF)

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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No. 2 Aggies run-rule No. 6 Vanderbilt, 13-3 in Seven Innings

HOOVER, Alabama – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies pounded out 14 hits in a seven-inning ‘run-rule’ win over the No. 6 Vanderbilt Commodores, 13-3, in SEC Baseball Tournament action Friday afternoon at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The victory sends the Aggies to a semifinal contest against No. 10 Ole Miss at noon on Saturday.

Michael Barash led the Aggie hit parade, going 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Austin Homan batted 2-for-3 with one double, one run and three RBI. Nick Banksbatted 2-for-4 with two runs, one home run and one RBI.Ryne Birk batted 2-for-4 with one double, two runs and one RBI.

Kyle Simonds (9-3) earned the win for Texas A&M. He yielded three runs, just one earned, on six hits while logging a career-high with 10 strikeouts. He pitched his third complete-game of the season, the most for an Aggie since Ross Stripling logged five in 2012.

The Commodores pounced on the Aggies for a run in the top of the first inning. With one out, Jeren Kendall poked a single to right field and stole second base. After Bryan Reynolds swung and missed at strike three for the second out of the inning, Alonzo Jones gapped a double to right-center, knocking in Kendall for the 1-0 lead.

The Aggies responded with their largest first-inning haul of the season, putting up seven runs in the home half of the frame. J.B. Moss and Banks started the inning with singles. After Boomer White flied out for the first out of the inning, Birk broke the scoring seal by slapping a single to leftfield. Barash followed by bouncing a single up the middle to score Banks, handing the Aggies a 2-1 lead. After Jonathan Moroneyswung and missed at strike three for the second out of the inning, Joel Davis laced a single through the left side of the infield, knocking in Birk. Hunter Melton followed with a wall-banger to right-center for a two-run double and Homan dropped a double down the rightfield line as Texas A&M’s lead ballooned to 6-1. The scoring in the frame was capped off when Homan moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when the catcher’s throw sailed down the leftfield line.

Texas A&M (43-14) tacked on two more runs in the third. Barash knocked a single back up the middle and Moroney reached on an infield single to start the inning.  After Davis pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Barash scored on a wild pitch. Homan faked a squeeze bunt and slapped a ball down the leftfield line. Walker Gristanti made a heroic diving catch to rob Homan of an extra-base hit, but Moroney pranced home on the sacrifice fly to stake the Maroon and White to a 9-1 lead.

The Aggies mounted a two-out rally in the fourth. After two Texas A&M strikeouts, Birk roped a double to left-center and Barash followed with an RBI single to left as the gulf widened to 10-1.

Vanderbilt took advantage of an Aggie error to score two unearned runs in the top of the sixth. Jason Delay was hit by a pitch and Ethan Paul struck out swinging. First baseman Melton pounced on a grounder in the hole hit by Kendall, but his throw to second base sailed past the glove of shortstop Homan for an error. Reynolds made the Aggies pay for the miscue with a single through the right side to plate Delay and put Kendall on third. Jones knocked in Kendall with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Texas A&M lead to 10-3.

Banks hit a leadoff home run in the home half of the sixth, his seventh dinger of the year, to stretch the Texas A&M lead to 11-3.

The game ended in less than suspenseful walk-off fashion when the Aggies scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to invoke the tournament 10-run rule. Moroney reached on a throwing error by shortstop Connor Kaiser to start the inning and Walker Pennington followed with a single through the left side of the infield. Moroney moved to third on a fly out by Melton and scored on an infield single by Homan. An ill-advised throw to first by the Kaiser after the ball caromed off the pitcher allowed Homan to move to second and Pennington advanced to third. The game ended on a fielding error by leftfielder Ro Coleman on a liner by Moss, who was credited with a sacrifice fly.

Kyle Wright (8-4) was saddled with the loss for Vanderbilt. He allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on 11 hits and one walk while striking out seven over 5.0 innings.

Coach Rob Childress, Michael Barash & Kyle Simonds

 

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Odor’s suspension reduced to 7 games, starts Friday

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Rougned Odor’s suspension for punching Toronto’s Jose Bautista has been reduced from eight to seven games, and the Texas second baseman will begin serving it in Friday night’s series opener against Pittsburgh.

The Rangers promoted former top prospect Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock, and he was in the lineup against the Pirates as the leadoff hitter playing second base. Odor has been leading off for Texas.

Odor’s penalty was cut by Major League Baseball executive vice president John McHale. The appeal over Odor’s role in a May 15 brawl between the Rangers and Blue Jays was heard Tuesday. The league disciplined 14 players and staff over the melee in Arlington.

The team has also placed right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson on MLB’s Family Medical Emergency List.

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Texas A&M’s Gavrilovska Falls in NCAA Second Round

TULSA, Okla. – Texas A&M’s Saska Gavrilovska (pronounced saush-ka gav-ril-ov-ska) saw her run in the NCAA Division I Women’s Singles Championship come to an end in the second round as she fell to 33rd-ranked Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 today at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Gavrilovska, a junior from Serbia who is only the second player in Texas A&M history to compete in the prestigious tournament each of the first three years of her career, won a no-ad point to break Hartono and take a 4-2 lead in the opening set. Both players held serve for the remainder of the frame as Gavrilovska, ranked a career-high 24th in the ITA singles rankings, went on to win, 6-3.

Both players struggled to hold serve in the second set. Hartono, a sophomore from the Netherlands, was the first to hold and then broke Gavrilovska once again to go up, 4-2. Gavrilovska, however, would win the next three games to go up 5-4. Hartono broke back to put the set back on serve at 5-5, but Gavrilovska won a no-ad point to break Hartono to go up 6-5. Gavrilovska, who entered the match 17-1 this season when winning the first set, was then serving for the match, but Hartono broke for her fifth time in the frame to tie the score at 6-6 and force a tiebreaker.

Gavrilovska, Texas A&M’s lone representative in the NCAA individual tournament, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the tiebreaker, but Hartono won the next two points to tie the score. Gavrilovska then built a 4-2 lead, but Hartono countered by winning three consecutive points to take her first lead, 5-4. Gavrilovska tied the score at 5-5, but Hartono went on to win the next two points to take the tiebreaker, 7-5, and force a third set.

Hartono, who had lost to Gavrilovska, 6-2, 6-1, in a regular-season Southeastern Conference matchup on March 13 in College Station, raced to a 5-0 third-set lead and went on to win the final set, 6-1, to advance to the Round of 16, thereby automatically earning All-America status.

Gavrilovska, who upset No. 9-16 seed and ninth-ranked Stephanie Wagner of the University of Miami, 7-6 (8), 6-4, in the first round on Wednesday and would have become only the second two-time All- American in the history of the Texas A&M women’s tennis program had she reached the Round of 16, finishes her season 20-11.

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

NCAA Singles Championship – Texas A&M results:
64           #24 Saska Gavrilovska (Texas A&M) def. #9 Stephanie Wagner [9-16] (Miami), 7-6 (8), 6-4
32           #33 Arianne Hartono (Ole Miss) def. #24 Saska Gavrilovska (Texas A&M), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Rockets, D’Antoni agree on 4-year deal

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) _A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Houston Rockets have agreed to terms with Mike D’Antoni on a four-year deal to make him their new head coach.

The two sides came to agreement on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the hiring.

The 65-year-old D’Antoni has long been thought of as one of the most innovative offensive minds in basketball. He led the Phoenix Suns to two Western Conference finals appearances in five seasons and also coached the Knicks, Lakers and Nuggets.

In Houston, D’Antoni will team with James Harden to form a formidable offensive tandem. D’Antoni replaces interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who took over for the fired Kevin McHale early in the season.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the hiring.

 

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Weather suspends first day of NCAA West Preliminary rounds in Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Action was limited on the first day of the NCAA West Preliminary rounds at Rock Chalk Park as a series of lightning and thunderstorm delays eventually suspended the competition.

Plans call for the women’s 10,000 meters to start at 8 a.m. on Friday morning followed by the men’s 10,000 meters at 8:40 a.m. Karis Jochen will compete in the women’s 10,000 meters for Texas A&M.

The men’s and women’s pole vault will be moved indoors, with the men scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. and the women competing at 5 p.m. Texas A&M has four vaulters in the men’s field and two in the women’s.

Only the first two flights of the women’s javelin and men’s hammer were completed today. Each event had one attempt made from the third flight before another lightning delay occurred.

Texas A&M’s Madalaine Stulce produced a mark of 162 feet, 1 inch during the second flight of the javelin, missing her career best by an inch. She is currently in third place while the third flight of 16 throwers still needs to be completed. Stulce ranked 20th heading into the meet with a season best of 162-2.

The Aggies have four throwers in the third flight of the javelin, including Texas A&M school record holder Maggie Malone (198-0) and her sister, Audrey (179-0), along with Kristen Clark (165-3) and Krystyn Bradley (163-7). They ranked second, seventh, 14th and 16th among West region throwers heading into the meet.

Other field events scheduled for Thursday included the men’s and women’s long jump, women’s hammer, and men’s pole vault. Track events for Thursday included the 400m hurdles, 1,500m, 100m, 800m and the 10,000m.

An updated schedule for the remainder of the meet should be available this evening.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Weather washes Bombers Opening Weekend; Home opener moved to next Thursday June 2nd

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Bryan-College Station, TX (May 26, 2016) – The Brazos Valley Bombers games, against Acadiana Cane Cutters, on Friday, May 27th, and Saturday, May 28th, have been postponed due to weather conditions.

The Friday night firework show, sponsored by TEEX, will be moved to August 7th. The children’s Art Show, sponsored by Painting with a Twist, will be moved to Friday, June 3rd.

The Bombers new opening day will be June 2nd. The national traveling act BBoy McCoy will be making his stop at Nutrabolt Stadium on Thirsty Thursday presented by WB Liquors. The Oscar & Son’s Body Shop Car Show has also been rescheduled to June 2nd. The Bombers will take the field on May 31st on the road vs. the Woodlands Strykers.

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No. 2 Texas A&M defeats No. 9 South Carolina, 4-1 in Second Round of SEC Tournament

HOOVER, Alabama – For the second time in 13 days, Brigham Hillstymied South Carolina hitters as he led the No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies to a 4-1 win over the No. 9 Gamecocks in an SEC Baseball Tournament elimination game Thursday morning at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Just under two weeks after pitching 7.0 innings in the Aggies’ 3-0 shutout of the Gamecocks in Columbia, Hill (8-1) yielded just one unearned run on five hits and three walks while striking out eight in 7.0 innings to improve to 8-1 on the season. Hill, who was overlooked for all-league pitching honors, lowered his ERA to 1.88 on the year.

In his last three starts, Hill has allowed two runs, one earned, on 14 hits and six walks while striking out 22 in 20.0 innings. He is 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA and .189 opponent batting average in the span that includes three wins over Top 10 opponents.

Mitchell Kilkenny and Mark Ecker retired all three batters they faced in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the win. Ecker fanned two batters to pick up his fifth save of the season.

Jonathan Moroney continues to be in the groove for Texas A&M. He went 3-for-4 on the day with one run and one RBI. The senior is 10-for-18 (.556) with four runs, two doubles, one home run and seven RBI over the last five games.

Texas A&M (42-14) did most of their damage in the top of the second inning. Leadoff batter Ryne Birk started the rally by drawing a four-pitch walk and advancing to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Nick Banks singled through the left side of the infield to knock in Birk. Michael Barash slapped a double to left-center to plate Banks and Moroney capped off the rally with a single to rightfield, pushing Barash across for the 3-0 lead.

South Carolina (42-15) mustered their lone run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Gene Cone drew an eight-pitch walk. Marcus Mooney followed with a single to rightfield. With Cone charging to third base, Bank misplayed the ball allowing him to round the bag and head home. The Gamecocks would eventually get the tying run to second base in the inning, but first baseman Hunter Melton pounced on a Jonah Bride knock deep into the hole and wheeled to throw to Hill covering at the bag to end the inning and rob Bride of a two-run single.

The Aggies mounted a two-out rally in the ninth to tack on an insurance run. Moroney slapped a two-out single to left-center and chugged to third on a two-base throwing error by relief pitcher Josh Reagan on failed pickoff attempt. Homan bounced a single up the middle, plating Moroney for the 4-1 lead.

Banks closed out the contest with a web gem for the Aggies. After Ecker fanned the first two batters he faced in the ninth, T.J. Tolbert launched a ball toward rightfield where Banks made a leaping grab with his glove a foot over the wall for the end game.

Webb (10-5) was saddled with the loss for South Carolina. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out eight in 6.2 innings.

Homan was 2-for-3 with one walk and one RBI.

Cone was the Gamecocks’ most effective hitter, going 1-for-2 with two walks and one run.

The Aggies return to action in an elimination game Friday at 3 pm. Texas A&M plays the loser of Thursday’s game between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

 

Coach Rob Childress, Brigham Hill & Jonathan Moroney

 

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Baylor Football Coach Art Briles to be Terminated; AD Ian McCaw Placed on Probation

AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty

AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty

May 26, 2016

Board of Regents apologizes to Baylor Nation; Dr. David Garland named interim University President; Ken Starr transitions to role of Chancellor and remains professor at Baylor University Law School; Head Football Coach Art Briles suspended with intent to terminate; Athletic Director Ian McCaw sanctioned and placed on probation; University self-reports to NCAA; Task Force responsible for implementing recommendations formed and operative; Findings of Fact and Recommendations made available

WACO, Texas (May 26, 2016) – In Fall 2015, Baylor University’s Board of Regents engaged outside counselPepper Hamilton, LLP (Pepper) to conduct an independent and external review of Baylor’s institutional response to Title IX and related compliance issues through the lens of specific cases.

Key findings of the investigation reflect a fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). The findings include:

  • The University’s student conduct processes were wholly inadequate to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response under Title IX; Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures; and in some cases, the University failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects.
  • Actions by University administrators directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.
  • In addition to broader University failings, Pepper found specific failings within both the football program and Athletics department leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player and to a report of dating violence.
  • There are significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of student athlete misconduct.
  • Over the course of their review, Pepper investigated the University’s response to reports of a sexual assault involving multiple football players. The football program and Athletics department leadership failed to take appropriate action in response to these reports.

“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” said Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”

Pepper’s review was detailed, thorough and rigorous. Pepper had unfettered access to Baylor faculty, staff and administration. Pepper also spoke with students who have been impacted by interpersonal violence. Pepper Hamilton examined more than a million pieces of information – from correspondence to interviews to reports. The experiences of students impacted by interpersonal violence played a significant role in the investigation into the University’s response. While those experiences informed the findings, the details of individual cases are protected by Federal law and will not be referenced in any document made public by the University.

“We, as the governing Board of this University, offer our apologies to the many who sought help from the University.  We are deeply sorry for the harm that survivors have endured,” said Ron Murff, chair-elect of the Baylor Board of Regents. “Baylor’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community remains our primary imperative. The Board has taken decisive action to ensure the University’s priorities are aligned with our unyielding commitment to that mission.”

OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATION

Following Pepper’s comprehensive briefing, the Board charted a course of action that it believes is in the best interest of students and the long-term wellbeing of the University.

“We were asked to provide a thorough and candid assessment. Baylor allowed us to follow the facts, without influence or interference, wherever they led, and Baylor’s Board of Regents openly received sobering findings of failure within football, the Athletics Department and the University as a whole,” said Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie M. Gomez, partners with Pepper Hamilton, LLP. “We believe the choice to share these findings of fact publicly and acknowledge past failures is an important step for the University as it implements the recommendations derived from these findings.”

PERSONNEL DECISIONS

The Pepper findings revealed a lack of strong institutional management and control on a number of levels. The Board’s actions reflect a focus on the points at which the most significant levels of accountability and obligation should have been exercised.

“We have made these decisions, because, above all, we must safeguard our students and our campus,” said Willis. “We must set a new course to ensure the leaders of the University place a premium on responding effectively and with sensitivity to those impacted by the tragedy of interpersonal violence.”

The following personnel changes are effective immediately.

  • Ken Starr will no longer serve in the role of President of Baylor University effective May 31. David Garland, former dean and professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim President of Baylor University while the University initiates a search for its next President. Garland previously served as Baylor’s interim President from August 2008 to May 2010. Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor’s Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.
  • Effective immediately, Head Football Coach Art Briles has been suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate according to contractual procedures.
  • Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. McCaw will work with University leadership and the Board of Regents to implement the recommendations as they relate to the restoration of a tone of accountability within the football program, to effective oversight and controls of the Athletics department, and to critically needed changes that will re-align the Athletics program with the University mission.
  • Additional members of the Administration and Athletics program have also been dismissed. Neither these individuals nor the disciplinary actions will be identified publicly.
  • Greg Jones, as Executive Vice President and Provost, serves as second in command and will continue to have responsibility for the academic enterprise and fulfillment of the University’s Christian mission.
  • The roles of members of several University departments will be clarified and staff will be engaged in continuing and robust training before the start of the Fall 2016 semester.
  • The overall business operations of the University, including Athletics, will be executed primarily through Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • The Board of Regents has created the full-time position of Chief Compliance Officer that will report directly to the Office of the President.

PROCESS ACTIONS

In addition to personnel changes, it is imperative the University leverages the investigation’s findings to institute improvements to better strengthen its ability to prevent, investigate and respond to acts of interpersonal violence and care for those who are affected by these acts. The University has retained the services of Rick Evrard, of Bond, Schoenech & King, PLLC, and has made contact with the NCAA to initially discuss potential infractions and to offer full cooperation with any resulting investigation.

Pepper provided recommendations to address deficiencies and process failures as outlined in the Findings of Fact. Among the areas of focus where improvements have been recommended:

  • Remedial and Restorative Remedies: Baylor will review all cases of interpersonal violence over the past three academic years, to offer remedies, identify any current need for investigation, or isolate any broad pattern or cultural implications. Consistent with Title IX, Baylor will contact victims and offer specific remedies to the individuals identified in Pepper’s review.
  • Title IX: The work of the Title IX office, established in November 2014, provides prevention training, engages student advocates and supports those who experience interpersonal violence. Improvements call for clarifying roles and responsibilities within the office, better utilizing case management tools to coordinate care and support, and providing leadership to coordinate information across University functions. In addition, standardized protocols will be established to balance individual requests for anonymity with broader campus safety obligations. Other recommendations include committing sufficient infrastructure and resources to the Title IX office and support from senior leadership to ensure appropriate and informed administrative oversight.
  • Athletics: A wide range of changes will be implemented in Baylor’s Athletics policies and procedures. The overall operations of the Athletics department will be integrated into the mainstream operations of the University. Significant attention will be given to ensuring policies are consistent across all students and student-athletes alike with consistent protocols that eliminate any appearance of preferential treatment. The University will create and maintain a culture of high moral standards among student-athletes and leadership to ensure Baylor Athletics places paramount importance on student welfare and abides by Title IX reporting obligations. The University will review policies and protocols regarding transfers and recruits as well as opportunities for Athletics personnel to integrate across non-athletics programs within the University.    
  • Engagement & Education: The role of training, education and engagement of the entire Baylor community is vital to the successful transformation of our campus culture. A renewed emphasis on our faith commitment will permeate the work we do in this area over the coming months and years. Annual training will be required for all students, faculty, employees and contractors, with additional trauma-informed training for implementers, investigators and adjudicators. Additional focus will be given to establishing expectations for student organizations and interest groups as well as greater community engagement within campus residence halls. Additionally, the University will evaluate the climate on campus and undertake a more concerted effort to openly discuss prevention of and response to interpersonal violence.
  • Centralized Reporting and Resolution: A centralized hub of student conduct information will provide a level of “early warning” for those students who are at risk or who may place others at risk. The University will ensure the accountability of employees by making clear the violation of reporting obligations could be cause for discharge. Additionally, processes will be put in place to ensure all instances of interpersonal violence, regardless of where they originate, will be evaluated under the Title IX office.
  • Public Safety: Baylor has placed a priority on improving its professional public safety office with the hiring of new leadership and additional experienced officers. Continued training, the establishment of community partnerships and stronger collaboration among area law enforcement will be a focus of improvement. Improvements will also focus on establishing clear protocols for supporting the needs of individuals who have experienced interpersonal violence and establishing partnerships with advocacy organizations. The University will also revisit its protocol for sharing information between Waco Police Department and Baylor University Police Department.
  • Counseling and Advocacy: With more than $5 million allocated to improvements and staffing in the Baylor Counseling Center in the coming year, efforts are already underway to improve services, support, and access to this vital resource. Additional work will be done to enhance after-hours access and emergency crisis availability and coordination with Title IX staff. The University will establish dedicated victim-advocacy services for students who need help navigating recovery and continued pursuit of their education after an incident of assault.

“Undergirding our work to implement the recommendations of Pepper Hamilton is a firm commitment to care for and develop the whole person – body, mind and spirit,” said Kevin Jackson, Vice President for Student Life. “We will continue to provide opportunities that help each student grow in their faith and become the person God has designed them to be. We commit to illustrate God’s love and grace and to help them grow their own deep roots that hold them firmly in God’s will for their lives.“

EXECUTIVE-LEVEL TASK FORCE ON IMPLEMENTATION

An Executive-Level Task Force on Implementation, established by the Baylor Board of Regents, will act promptly to address Pepper’s recommendations in the areas outlined above, Remedial and Restorative Remedies, Title IX, Athletics, Engagement and Education, Centralized Reporting and Resolution, Public Safety, and Counseling and Advocacy, as well as other areas across the University.

The Task Force, which is led by Dr. Ramsower, includes implementation groups comprised of members of Baylor’s faculty, staff and administration who share responsibility for identified areas and the holistic well-being of students in our campus community.

Within the coming weeks, the Task Force will identify areas where improvements are already underway, areas for immediate implementation and areas for more thorough consideration. The Task Force and implementation groups will assess best practices across other universities, implement more complex recommendations by Pepper Hamilton and continue to move Baylor forward along a path of improvement.

Periodic announcements will chronicle the work of the Task Force and implementation groups as they make improvements.

FINDINGS OF FACT

The Findings of Fact, developed by the Board with guidance from Pepper, is available on the University website. Within the Findings of Fact, readers will find detailed assessments of system failures and comprehensive list of recommendations. These recommendations provide a roadmap for next steps and are based on industry best practices and Pepper’s extensive experience helping universities nationwide establish systems to safeguard students, faculty and staff from sexual violence and take steps to ensure robust response and procedures.

Over the course of the investigation, a special committee of the Board of Regents was periodically updated on Pepper’s work. Additionally, in early May, Pepper presented their findings of fact and recommendations to Board leadership in Philadelphia and was onsite to brief the full Board during its May meeting in Waco. While no written report h

as been prepared, the Findings of Fact reflect the thorough briefings provided by Pepper and fully communicates the need for immediate action to remedy past harms, to provide accountability for University administrators and to make significant changes that can no longer wait.

“We believe these Findings of Fact are forthright and critical to rebuild trust in Baylor University,” said Murff. “The Board was adamant that Pepper Hamilton’s findings and recommendations be shared with the community with as much detail as possible.”

Story courtesy of Baylor University Athletics

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Texas A&M’s Gavrilovska, Vinsant Advance at NCAA Singles Championships

TULSA, Okla. – Texas A&M will be represented in the second round of both the women’s and men’s NCAA Division I Tennis Singles Championships as Saska Gavrilovska and Shane Vinsant both recorded first-round upsets today to advance. Texas A&M sophomore Arthur Rinderknech was not as fortunate, falling in his first-round match today at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

Gavrilovska, a junior from Serbia, opened the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship by upsetting No. 9-16 seed and ninth-ranked Stephanie Wagner of the University of Miami, 7-6 (8), 6-4. The victory, which equals Gavrilovska’s highest ranked win in 2015-16, avenges her Round of 16, three-set loss to the two-time All-American in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Gavrilovska, ranked a career-high No. 24 while making her third consecutive appearance in the prestigious tournament, improved to 20-10 and will face Southeastern Conference-foe and 33rd-ranked Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss in the second round on Thursday at 11 a.m. Gavrilovska defeated Hartono, 6-2, 6-1, during the regular season.

Vinsant, No. 52 in the ITA singles rankings, recorded his highest ranked win of the season and advanced by knocking off seventh-ranked Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship. The senior from Keller, Texas, improved to 23-16 and will face 16th-ranked Jared Hilzik of Illinois in the second round on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Vinsant is making his second appearance in the tournament, having reached the Round of 16 to earn All-America honors as a sophomore.

Rinderknech, a sophomore who was making his first appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, retired trailing 13th-ranked Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest, 3-0, in the third set. Although eliminated from singles competition, Rinderknech will return to the courts to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship. He and senior teammate Jackson Withrow will take on No. 4 Luca Corinteli and Ryan Shane of Virginia in the opening round on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Gavrilovska’s match was back on serve at 4-4 in the first set, and both players continued to hold serve to force a tiebreaker at 6-6. Neither player held more than a two-point lead in the tiebreaker, with Gavrilovska pulling away to win, 10-8.

Gavrilovska, who entered the match 16-1when winning a first set this season, won a no-ad point to break and go up 5-4 in the second set. Gavrilovska then held serve to win the second set, 6-4, and close out the straight-set victory.

Vinsant and Eubanks were on serve at 4-4 in the opening set before Vinsant broke to go up, 5-4. The Aggie then held serve to win, 6-4. It was Eubanks who broke away late in the second set. On serve at 5-4, Eubanks broke Vinsant to win the set, 6-4, and even the match. The third set remained on serve until Vinsant posted the only break of the frame to take a 5-4 lead. Vinsant then held to close out the 6-4 third-set victory to advance.

Rinderknech, ranked 18th in singles, lost a no-ad point to open his match against Mansouri before reeling off seven consecutive games to win the first set, 6-1, and take a 1-0 lead in the second set. The second set remained on serve until Mansouri won a no-ad point to go up a break, 5-4. Mansouri then held serve to close out the frame and even the match at a set apiece.

Mansouri, who automatically garnered All-America status by being a No. 9-16 seed in the 64-player field, broke Rinderknech to open the third set and then held serve to go up 2-0. Mansouri would break Rinderknech again, winning a controversial no-ad point to take a 3-0 lead before Rinderknech retired.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s and women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the Texas A&M tennis teams on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN and @AggieWTEN.

Complete NCAA tournament brackets, schedules, results and links to live scoring and video are available on the Championship Central page: http://tulsahurricane.com/sports/2016/3/25/2016-ncaa-mens-and-womens-tennis-championships-schedule.aspx

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Mazara hits long homer as Rangers beat Angels 15-9

By STEPHEN HAWKINS

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Rangers rookie Nomar Mazara hit the longest home run in the major leagues this season, Rougned Odor drove in three runs in likely his last game before a suspension and Texas beat the Los Angeles Angels 15-9 Wednesday.

Mazara led off the second with a drive into the second deck of the right-seat seats that would have traveled 491 feet had it landed unimpeded, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast program. Along with his eighth homer of the season, he had a two-run single during a four-run sixth that made it 11-6.

Los Angeles had leads of 1-0 and 4-1 after its first two at-bats, but Hector Santiago (3-3) quickly gave those up each time. It was 4-4 when Texas started the third with consecutive hits off the lefty before Ryan Rua greeted Mike Morin with a two-run single that put the Rangers ahead to stay.

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Aggies Lose Late Lead to Vanderbilt

HOOVER, Alabama – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies gave up single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to let a 5-4 lead slip away, sending the No. 6 Vanderbilt Commodores to a 6-5 win Wednesday morning at the SEC Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met.

Texas A&M (41-14) entered the contest 34-0 when leading after seven innings, but couldn’t make the lead stand on Wednesday.

Vanderbilt (43-15) tied the game in the eighth. Alonzo Jones hit a leadoff single off the glove of Aggie relieverJace Vines and Julian Infante followed with a single up the middle. Texas A&M closer Mark Ecker tried to snuff out the rally, but he fell down when trying to field a bunt back to the mound by Will Toffey, loading the bases. Connor Kaiser sent a fly ball to deep rightfield, tying the game at 4-4 with the sacrifice fly.

The Commodores caught lightning in a bottle to take the lead in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Walker Grisanti, who had just 36 at-bats on the season, launched a 0-1 pitch from Ecker over the rightfield fence for his first home run of the season and the 6-5 lead. The dinger snapped Ecker’s streak of 32.1 innings without yielding an earned run.

Texas A&M got the leadoff man aboard in the bottom of the ninth when Jonathan Moroney worked a six-pitch walk, but Austin Homan struck out on his third attempt to get a sacrifice bunt down and Nick Choruby bounced into a game-ending 3-6-1 double play.

The Aggies pounced on the Commodores for three runs in the bottom of the second. With one out, Ryne Birk punched a 3-1 offering up the middle for a single. With two outs, Nick Banks stroked a single to leftfield and Moroney hit a gapper to left-center for a two-run double. Homan followed with a wall-banger to triple, knocking in Moroney for the 3-0 lead.

Vanderbilt took advantage of a costly Texas A&M error in the top of the third to tie the game at 3-3. Ethan Paul started the frame with a single up the middle. Andrew Vinson then sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a walk to Bryan Reynolds. The Aggies appeared to be out of the frame with no damage, when Infante grounded to shortstop Homan, but his throw to second pulled Birk off the bag, loading the bases with two outs. The Commodores followed with a two-run single by Toffey and an RBI single by Kaiser.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Infante drove a 1-2 pitch into the visitors bullpen in leftfield for a solo home run, giving Vanderbilt a 4-3 advantage.

The Aggies reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Michael Barash slapped a single to left-center and moved to third after a couple of wild pitches. Nick Banks slashed a double to left field to plate Barash for the tying run and Homan slipped a single through the right side to push Banks across for the go-ahead run.

Andrew Vinson made his 101st appearance on the mound for the Aggies, but just his third start. He worked 6.0 innings, allowing four runs, one earned, on seven hits and one walk while striking out three. Ecker (4-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing one run on two hits while striking out one in 2.0 innings.

Matt Ruppenthal earned the win in relief for Vanderbilt. He pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, scattering one hit and two walks while striking out three.

The bottom third of the Aggies’ order batted 6-for-10 with three runs and five RBI. The first six hitters went 3-for-25 with two runs. Banks, Moroney and Homan logged two hits apiece and they each had one extra-base hit.

The Commodores 5-6-7 hitters combined to go 7-for-11 with two runs and five RBI. The rest of the order batted 4-for-22. Toffey led Vanderbilt with three hits and two RBI.

Texas A&M returns to action Thursday as the play the loser of Wednesday’s Ole Miss-South Carolina game. The game is slated for 9:30 a.m.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Don Maestri Joins Aggie Basketball Staff

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Legendary Troy basketball coach Don Maestri has joined the Aggie basketball staff as a special assistant to head coach Billy Kennedy.

“I am excited to have Coach Maestri join my staff,” Kennedy said. “He has been a mentor to me since the eighth grade at Holy Cross School. I am a coach today in part because of the impact he made on me years ago. To add a coach of his experience and knowledge will help our program immensely.”

During an impressive 31-season tenure at Troy (1982-2013), Maestri guided the Trojan program to 501 victories, eight 20-win seasons and seven conference championships, most recently the 2010 Sun Belt regular season title, while developing three All-Americans and 39 all-conference players. At the Division II level, Maestri guided the program to the Final Four in 1988 and 1993.

A seven-time coach of the year honoree in five different conferences, he stands out as Troy’s all-time winningest coach with a career record of 501-403 (.554) and led the Trojans to eight postseason tournament appearances, including the program’s lone NCAA Tournament appearance at the Division I level in 2003. He was inducted into Troy’s Sports Hall of Fame in August 2013 and the court at Trojan Arena is named in his honor.

“I’m excited to join the Aggie Basketball staff and look at my role as trying to help the program be successful in any way I can,” Maestri said. “I look forward to working with this talented coaching staff as well as this group of players. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Billy Kennedy who, in addition to being an outstanding coach and teacher, is a great embodiment of Texas A&M’s core values.”

During Troy’s first season at the Division I level, 1993-94, Maestri’s run-and-gun style earned the Trojans a conference title, going undefeated in the East Coast Conference. Troy also gained national recognition by leading the nation in three-pointers made per game while averaging 97.6 points per contest. For his efforts, Maestri was named East Coast Conference Coach of the Year.

On Jan. 12, 1992, Maestri’s Trojans, then competing at the Division II level, set an NCAA record by scoring 258 points in a win over DeVry.

Prior to taking his position at Troy, Maestri spent three seasons as an assistant in the SEC during stints at Alabama (1980-82) and Mississippi State (1979-80) as well as coaching at Holy Cross High School from 1970-79 in his hometown of New Orleans.

 

Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy

 

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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College Station Gets a Hockey Team, as Sugar Land Imperials Are Purchased and Relocated

story-318

FRISCO, TEXAS – The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced that it has approved the transfer of membership, purchase and relocation of the Sugar Land Imperials by the Exceed Hockey Group, LLC, ownership group.

The team will be relocated from Sugar Land, Texas to College Station, Texas for the 2016-17 season and will be known as the College Station Spirit. The College Station Spirit will assume the playing rights to those players that were rostered with the Sugar Land Imperials during the 2015-16 season.

The new ownership group consists of Scott Meyer and Joe Pankratz, who also own the Minnesota Magicians in the NAHL, as well as, the NA3HL’s Chicago Bulldogs. The Spirit will compete in the NA3HL’s South Division and will be based out of Spirit Ice Arena in College Station, Texas, which is also home to Texas A&M University.

The Spirit have also announced that Nick Bydal has also been named the new head coach of the team.

“We are excited to have Nick Bydal as the first head coach of the College Station team. Nick has been a great asset to our Minnesota Magicians NAHL franchise over the last two years. He is a bright, young coach and we are looking forward to establishing a great relationship between both teams in the NAHL and NA3HL,” stated Meyer.

Following a high school career in which he captained East Grand Forks High School to two Minnesota State Tournament appearances (2001 & 2002), Bydal spent three seasons with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  He then continued his career as a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). Upon graduation from Stevens Point, he spent time in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) playing parts of two seasons with the Fayetteville FireAntz, Louisiana Ice Gators, and Augusta RiverHawks.

More recently, Bydal has been the Assistant Coach for the Minnesota Magicians in the NAHL the past two seasons. Bydal also has experience coaching at the high school level in various capacities.  In 2012, he became an assistant coach at East Grand Forks High School with both the varsity and junior varsity squads. In 2013, he was an assistant coach for the Crookston varsity hockey team while also serving as an evaluator at the Minnesota Reebok High Performance Select 15 Festival.

 

About the NA3HL

Entering its seventh season, the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), one of eight USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues, serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification.  The primary mission of the NA3HL, which is managed organizationally by the North American Hockey League (NAHL), is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes whose youth options are limited but are still reaching their potential and have aspirations of playing in the NAHL or United States Hockey League and eventually the NCAA or American College Hockey Association.  For more information, visit www.na3hl.com

Story courtesy of The North American 3 Hockey League

The post College Station Gets a Hockey Team, as Sugar Land Imperials Are Purchased and Relocated appeared first on WTAW.

Rangers Youngsters Perez, Mazara Key 4-1 Win Over Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Martin Perez finally got a win after another strong May
start and rookie Nomar Mazara homered in his home park for the first time,
leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on
Tuesday night.

Perez (2-4) was winless for the month despite a 2.59 ERA in four starts coming
in, and the left-hander dropped that number to 2.08 with six strikeouts in six
shutout innings.

Mazara pulled his seventh homer into the upper deck in right field off Jhoulys
Chacin (0-1) in the sixth inning. Mazara had three hits and reached base all
four times.

The 21-year-old’s two-run shot put Texas ahead 3-0 after Perez escaped the top
of the sixth by getting through the middle of the order after putting runners at
first and third with no outs.

The post Rangers Youngsters Perez, Mazara Key 4-1 Win Over Angels appeared first on WTAW.

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