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Series Preview: Aggie Baseball Welcomes Tennessee

The Ags look to continue their climb to the top of the division as they host the VAWLS

Photo via Rebecca S.

The Aggie Baseballers dropped their second midweek contest of the season on Tuesday against UT-Arlington, 3-2. Turner Larkins made his second start of the season, giving up three runs (only one earned.........) on six hits and no walks in four innings. He also struck out five Mavericks. Arlington did that thing a lot of smaller schools do against big name opponents in midweek games where they brought in a fresh arm every two innings. It wasn’t annoying at all.

This weekend, however, the Tennessee Vols are in town. They are 19-15 on the season, and a mere 4-11 in SEC play. Needless to say, they have been scuffling so far this year, but thanks to a series victory at Memphis to open the year and another series win in Gainesville two weeks ago, their RPI still sits in the top 50. As always in the SEC, this won’t be an easy series for the Ags, but if they can win the weekend, their postseason chances will get that much better.

Probable Starters

  • Friday: Brigham Hill (5-3, 3.29 ERA) vs. Hunter Martin (4-3, 3.47 ERA)
  • Saturday: Corbin Martin (4-2, 3.83 ERA) vs. Garrett Stallings (2-0, 3.18 ERA)
  • Sunday: Stephen Kolek (2-2, 4.11 ERA) vs. Zach Warren (2-4, 5.92 ERA)

What to Watch For

Starting pitching consistency

It’s no secret that the starting rotation has had a roller coaster season. Each starter has shown flashes of brilliance, what with Brigham being Brigham (most of the time), Corbin starting to put it all together, and Kolek’s domination of Auburn. This rotation has a very high ceiling, but they need to be more consistent. For all we know, Brigham’s five-run outing against Alabama last weekend was an aberration, but we’ve also seen him string together a few starts in which he’s given up quite a few runs. The Ags need the starters to set the tone.

Tennessee has some pretty good hitters

The top half of the Vols’ order includes four guys hitting over .300, and another with a .296 average. Their big boppers, Jordan Rodgers and Jeff Moberg, are hitting .375 and .333, respectively, and they both are tied for the team lead in RBIs with 21 apiece. They’ve also combined for 11 of the team’s 22 home runs. Cleanup man Benito Santiago (yes, son of that Benito Santiago) has 20 RBIs and three bombs of his own, and Andre Lipcius is hitting .315 with 19 RBIs. This lineup will not be an easy task.

Bring back the Shewmake Show

Braden Shewmake is very good at baseballing, but he’s been in a bit of a slump lately. In his last 12 games, he’s hit a mere .250, causing his season average to fall from .393 down to .350. Yes, .350 is still outstanding, especially for a first-year player, but a 43-point drop in batting average means things aren’t going your way. Hopefully, Shew can break out of this funk very soon and start hitting like the player we know he is.

How to Watch

  • Times: Friday, 2:00 pm | Saturday, 2:00 pm | Sunday, 1:00 pm
  • TV: All three games will be available via SEC Network +
  • Radio: Dave South has the call on SportsRadio 1150 AM/The Zone 102.7 FM
  • Live Audio: 12thman.com