Last weekend we saw more of the same struggles against Ole Miss from the Aggie Baseballers that we saw in their SEC opener against Auburn. In the first game of the series, A&M held a 4-2 lead in the eighth. After Ole Miss tacked on a run to cut the lead to 4-3, the next batter singled to left, allowing a runner on third to score and tie the game. Logan Foster misplayed the ball, and the Rebels scored what ended up being the winning run. Sigh. The Ags evened the series on Friday with a 7-6 victory, but that didn’t come easily because of course not. With a 7-2 lead in hand, Ole Miss loaded the bases with two outs before a pinch hitter hit a grand slam. Whatever; a win’s a win. The Aggies then dropped the rubber match on Saturday 7-6. They allowed two more unearned runs, so for those keeping score at home, yes that means A&M should have won that game too. Frustrating to say the least.
The silver lining in all of this is that the two series A&M has played thus far have come against top 10 teams. I’m pretty confident in saying that had the Aggies stayed out of their own way, we’d be talking about two series wins, A&M ranked somewhere in the top 5, and riding the high of the Early-Season Aggie Sprots Phenomena™.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much easier this weekend, as the boys in maroon and white head on over to Athens for a showdown with the Bulldogs. Here’s the thing about UGA Baseball: since A&M first began playing in the SEC in 2013, Georgia hasn’t won more than 11 conference games in any given year. They also haven’t had a winning season. It would be easy to assume that the Aggies will get a bit of a break. Not so fast my friend dot Corso. As it stands today, UGA is tied atop the SEC standings with a conference record of 5-1, 19-6 overall. They’re currently on a seven-game winning streak, coming off a sweep of South Carolina, and are even ranked No. 24 in the coaches poll. They’re the hottest team in the league and have only dropped one of their 15 games at home this season. A series win this weekend will not come easily.
- Thursday: Stephen Kolek (3-2, 1.70 ERA) vs. Chase Adkins (2-0, 4.34 ERA)
- Friday: John Doxakis (4-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Emerson Hancock (3-1, 3.60 ERA)
- Saturday: Mitchell Kilkenny (5-0, 1.86 ERA) vs. Ryan Webb (1-1, 2.88 ERA)
What to Watch For
Give the weekend starters some help please
It’s no secret that A&M’s trio of weekend starters have been excellent this season. None of them have given up more than three earned runs in any single game. Each of them have at least 30 strikeouts, and only one (Kolek) has issued more than 10 free passes on the year. It’s not necessarily that they need more offensive support, although at just under seven runs per game the offense could pick it up a little bit. No, the biggest thing plaguing A&M right now is their .970 fielding percentage, which ranks 12th out of 14 in the SEC. That ain’t gonna cut it.
Michael F. Helman still leads the way offensively
Michael F. is currently on a 19-game hitting streak. In his last seven games, he’s tallied 15 hits, with four multi-hit games. He’s also scored 10 runs in that span, with at least one in each game. He still leads the team in hitting at an even .400, total bases with 64, and doubles with nine. He’s also held onto his team lead in hits with 44, which ranks fifth in the entire country and first in the SEC. Dude is on fire right now. Keep doing the thing, Michael F.
How to Watch
- Times: Thursday, 4:02 pm | Friday, 6:02 pm | Saturday, 1:02 pm
- TV: All three games will be available via the SEC Network +
- Radio: Dave South has the call on SportsRadio 1150 AM/The Zone 102.7 FM
- Live Stats: georgiadogs.com