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Series Preview: Aggie Baseball Travels to Starkville

Taking on St8ball at the New Dude, which should be fun

I’ve included a picture of bunting because, like a one-out sac bunt from your cleanup hitter, Aggie Baseball is frustrating sometimes
Photo via Rebecca S.

The Aggie Baseballers shook off their disappointing weekend on Tuesday night with an easy 8-2 win over Abilene Christian. The bulk of the scoring came from a pair of crooked numbers put up by the A&M offense. In the bottom of the second, Cole Bedford got the scoring started with a three-run homer to straight-away center. The Ags tacked on another run in the third on a Will Frizzell RBI single to right. The second crooked number for A&M came in the seventh. An RBI fielder’s choice by Braden Shewmake, an RBI infield single from Hunter Coleman, a wild pitch, and an RBI single from Cam Blake accounted for four Aggie runs in the inning. On the mound, Kaylor Chafin (eyeballs emoji) got the start for A&M. As is the case for most of the bullpen, Chafin has had a rough season. On Tuesday night, however, he pitched very well. In three innings, Chafin allowed just one hit, no runs or walks, and struck out three.

Now before we get on with our regularly scheduled discussion of Mississippi State, let’s take a peek at A&M’s NCAA Tournament outlook. Heading into last weekend’s series with Tennessee, the Aggies seemed bound for a regional host spot. Yes, despite dropping their first three SEC series in aggravating fashion, A&M was primed to play at home at Olsen Field into the beginning of June. Then they dropped a series to Tennessee. Not great.

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, however, that loss doesn’t drop them out of the tournament altogether. Far from it, actually. The Aggies entered last weekend with the No. 12 RPI according to both Warren Nolan and D1Baseball. As it stands today, those same two publications show that A&M dropped all the way to No. 14. Panic button time? Hardly. In D1Baseball’s most recent Projected Field of 64 they have the Ags slotted as the two seed in the Austin regional (*siiiiiiiiigh*), which would be super duper fun. So yes, with four series and two midweek contests left in the season, all is not lost. Plus, two of those remaining series are against Top 10 teams (home vs. No. 1 Florida, at No. 7 Arkansas), so on the off chance the Aggies pull it together and take those series, we may very well be talking about a College Station regional again.

All of that starts with a trip to Starkville this weekend. Mississippi State is coming off of a home sweep of No. 6 Arkansas last weekend and a 7-6 victory over No. 7 Ole Miss on Tuesday night, so to say the Bulldogs are on a bit of a run would be an understatement. State has been through a lot this season, losing their head coach two days after they were swept in their season opener at Southern Miss. Before last weekend, they sat at 5-10 in the SEC and had one SEC series victory on the season, which came at home against Ole Miss the first weekend of April. Now they are riding extremely high. This will be a huge test for A&M.

Probable Starters

  • Friday: Mitchell Kilkenny (8-1, 1.91 ERA) vs. Konnor Pilkington (2-5, 2.95 ERA)
  • Saturday: John Doxakis (6-1, 2.10 ERA) vs. Ethan Small (4-3, 2.79 ERA)
  • Sunday: Stephen Kolek (3-4, 3.77 ERA) vs. Jacob Billingsley (3-2, 4.14 ERA)

How to Watch

  • Times: Friday, 6:32 pm | Saturday, 6:32 pm | Sunday, 3:32 pm
  • TV: Sunday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network
  • Live Video: All three games available via SEC Network +
  • Radio: Dave South has the call on SportsRadio 1150 AM/TheZone 102.7 FM
  • Live Stats: hailstate.com/schedule.aspx?path=baseball (according to the official 12thman.com preview?); tamustats.com (mobile)