This weekend was a far cry from the four-game losing streak that preceded it. Heading into this weekend, the starting pitching had been very... subpar. The entire pitching staff had given up 24 runs in the team's most recent weekend series to the Florida Gators, where they also issued 20 free passes. That was utterly unacceptable. The team headed down to Reckling Park at Rice University on Tuesday in hopes to right the ship, but ended up dropping their first midweek tilt in over a year to the Owls. Things truly seemed bleak, to put it lightly.
The Ags came into this weekend truly needing a sweep to keep up in the very competitive SEC West, and they delivered in convincing fashion. In total, the maroon and white outscored the Dawgs 30-3, and hit a total of eight home runs during the three game sweep of Georgia. The Aggies gave everyone a healthy dose of #fun at a time when Aggie faithful (and the team, as well, if we're being honest) needed it most.
For the first time in what feels like forever, here's GBH's Official Three Gig 'Ems of the weekend:
: Pitching Staff
It's no secret that last weekend the Aggie pitching staff had a rough go of it. 24 runs and 20 walks in three games over the weekend is certainly no way to go through life. But this weekend, the Ags' pitchers made a complete 180. Three total runs and five total walks. That's a little bit better than the weekend before. Another interesting stat from last weekend was that the starting rotation only made it through 6.1 combined innings. Well, this weekend the starting rotation threw 23.0 total innings out of 27. That's a little better than the weekend before. Hopefully, as the Ags take the road once again this coming weekend, the rotation can put together back-to-back solid weekends for the first time since the Aggies traveled to Pepperdine back in February. Keep doing the thing, boys.
: Boomer White
Boomer currently ranks second in the SEC in batting average, hitting at a clip of .424. Is that good? Seems good. This weekend he bolstered his batting average by going 6-11. Is THAT good? He also hit his second home run of the season on Saturday to start the rare back-to-back-to-back job that extended A&M's lead to 8-1 over Georgia. Seriously, is that good? In total, he drove in three runs, walked three times and went 14 plate appearances without striking out once. Okay. Come on. Be real with me. Is that good or not? Keep doing the thing, Boomer.
: Hunter Melton
Melton literally had one of the best, if not the best, weekend of any hitter that's donned the maroon and white since A&M joined the SEC four years ago. On Friday, he went 1-3 with a double and an RBI. Pedestrian, right? Then on Saturday, he went 2-4 with two home runs and four RBI. Not so pedestrian, right? Finally, on Sunday, he went 3-4 with a grand slam, a double and five RBI. Definitely not pedestrian. Melton has been white hot of late, and that has pushed his good senior campaign from good to flat out great. Keep doing the thing, Hunter.
Friday: A&M 5, UGA 0
Friday's contest never seemed threatening for the Aggies. It took until the third inning to get to UGA ace Robert Tyler, who took a no-hitter against Alabama into the eighth inning last weekend, but the Ags ended up tagging him for three runs on six hits and four walks. They ended up adding two more on Georgia reliever Heath Holder, but that was all they'd get that day. Luckily for the maroon and white, newly-minted Friday night starter Brigham Hill threw 6.1 brilliant innings of three-hit baseball. Hill also only walked one batter. It was a great, tone-setting start to the weekend.
On offense, the Ags got the majority of their offensive production from the bottom of the order. Michael Barash knocked in the first run of the weekend with an RBI single in the fourth. Nine-hole hitter Austin Homan added two more runs in the fourth with a two-run single. In the sixth, Aggie LF Walker Pennington hit his first home run as an Aggie, before Melton knocked in the Ags' fifth run of the night via a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Saturday: A&M 15, UGA 1
A&M's Jace Vines threw eight fantastic innings of one run baseball on Saturday. He scattered eight hits throughout his eight innings and struck out seven. There's not much more to say about Vines' performance, other than he was wonderfully amazing.
The Aggie offense scored fifteen runs on Saturday, and six of those runs came on home runs. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Boomer White led off with a home run. Hunter Melton followed that up with a home run of his own. Not to be outdone, Ryne Birk then hit a solo shot of his own to make it 8-1. The following inning, Melton hit a two-run home run to extend the Aggie lead to 11-1. Then in the eighth, Nick Banks hit a home run of his own to make it 12-1. The Ags added three more runs that inning to push the lead to 14. It was just a crazy explosion of offense.
Sunday: A&M 10, UGA 2
Kyle Simonds wanted to join in on the pitching staff's bonanza, apparently, and threw 8.2 outstanding innings of his own. In total, he ended up allowing two meaningless solo shots, one in the eighth and one in the ninth, but he was fantastic outside of those two at bats. Mark Ecker came on with two outs in the ninth and retired the final out of the game via a fly out to center field.
Offensively for the Aggies, the first seven runs of the game were scored with two outs. A team of A&M's caliber should be able to produce even when time is running out on them in an inning, and they did just that on Sunday. In the third, the Aggies loaded the bases with two outs, and Melton hit his third home run of the season, this time a grand slam, to stake A&M to a 4-0 lead. Then in the fourth, they added three more two-out runs with a J.B. Moss two-run single and a Nick Banks RBI single to make it 7-0. Joel Davis drove in a run in the fifth to make it 8-0, and then he hit a solo shot in the seventh to push the lead to 9-0. In the eighth, Melton drove in his eleventh run of the weekend with a sacrifice fly to make the score 10-1. It was yet another offensive explosion on Sunday. It was very #fun.
This Tuesday, the Aggies welcome in the 11-19 Abilene Christian Wildcats to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. This weekend, the Cats dropped a series to Houston Baptist, who the Ags took down in extra innings earlier this season, at home. The weekend before, ACU got swept at home by Lamar, so they're having a rough stretch right now. The game will be televised on SEC Network+ and 1150 AM/102.7 FM.