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Series Preview: Aggie Baseball Hosts LSU

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In which it’s really time to turn this thing around

Photo via Rebecca S.

With A&M’s struggles through the first three weekends of SEC play, it’s time for the Aggie Baseballers to right the ship. With the series loss last weekend, they fell out of D1Baseball’s Top 25 for the first time this season. While they’re still better off than they were at this point last season, the Ags are definitely reeling right now.

In a league where the regular season conference champion usually ends up around 20-10 in league play, there is always room for error. A team always has the ability to absorb a series loss or two and still finish atop the conference standings. That means there is still time for A&M to pick themselves up, string a few series wins together, and earn a spot as a regional host come NCAA Tournament time. But the time for that is right now.

The Aggies should be very well-rested this weekend. Tuesday’s game was postponed due to weather, with no makeup date set to this point. Everybody on the team should be ready to go. When A&M started to turn their season around in 2017, it started with a series win at LSU. This weekend would be a good place to start their 2018 turnaround.

Probable Starters

  • Thursday: Stephen Kolek (3-3, 3.02 ERA) vs. Zach Hess (4-3, 4.93 ERA)
  • Friday: John Doxakis (4-1, 2.03 ERA) vs. Caleb Gilbert (3-2, 3.79 ERA)
  • Saturday: Mitchell Kilkenny (6-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Ma’Khail Hilliard (6-1, 0.76 ERA)

What to Watch For

A&M needs to have good Stephen Kolek back

The need to start the series off with a win, giving the team command of the weekend, is so, so important. It sounds cliche, because it is, but it’s true. In two of the three SEC series thus far, Kolek hasn’t been all that great. At Auburn, just one of the four runs he allowed was earned, but he also walked five batters. Last weekend at Georgia, he surrendered seven earned runs. That just can’t happen. For A&M to come out victorious against LSU, Kolek will more than likely need to put up a strong performance tonight.

Kilkenny vs. LSU’s third starter Hilliard

All season long, Mitchell Kilkenny has been outstanding. He’s been the primary reason A&M hasn’t gotten swept yet, with his excellent 1.59 ERA and 0.949 WHIP. This weekend, he’ll match up with Ma’Khail Hilliard, who will make his fifth start of the season on Saturday. Hilliard has been incredible, posting a microscopic 0.76 ERA and an excellent 0.962 WHIP. He also has 37 strikeouts in his 35.1 innings of work. This duel should be a fun one to watch.

How to Watch

  • Times: Thursday, 7:02 pm | Friday, 6:02 pm | Saturday, 2:02 pm
  • TV: Thursday and Friday night you can catch the games on the SEC Network
  • Radio: Dave South has the call on SportsRadio 1150 AM/The Zone 102.7 FM
  • Live Video: All three games will be available to stream on the SEC Network +
  • Live Stats: tamu.statbroadcast.com (desktop); tamustats.com (mobile)