Yesterday, the Aggie Baseballers got some revenge against Georgia, blanking the Dawgs by a final score of 7-0. Chris Andritsos powered the offense, going 3-for-5 at the dish with two huge #whammies and four RBIs. Allonte Wingate and Logan Foster accounted for the rest of the runs, with two RBIs and one RBI, respectively. In just the second start of his collegiate career, Asa Lacy dominated, holding the Dawgs to just three hits and three walks. With 6.0 innings of work, it was the longest of his young career, and he racked up a career-high eight punch-outs. Cason Sherrod came on in relief to begin the seventh, and he looked like the Sherrod we all know and love, earning a dominant three-inning save. He allowed just one baserunner, a one-out walk in the ninth, and struck out five.
That win was huge for multiple reasons. Principally, snagging a second win in Hoover really takes the pressure off of the Ags heading into Selection Sunday. Georgia finished the regular season as a concensus top ten team and came into yesterday’s game with a top-five RPI. Thanks to that win, A&M’s RPI is up to 15, according to both Warren Nolan and D1Baseball. You never know exactly how the committee will react in situations like these, so a regional bid is not a 100% sure thing. That said, it’s hard not to see the Aggies making the NCAA Tournament thanks to their strong showing in Hoover thus far.
Another perk from yesterday’s win, aside from ensuring that they will get to play at least one more game tomorrow, is that the Aggies get a few extra hours of rest today. Both games thus far have started at 9:30 a.m., which can mean some quick turnarounds. Today, however, first pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m. (pending weather, of course). This is just the second time that A&M has started the SEC Tournament with two consecutive wins, and their first time to do so without a first-round bye. The last time they began 2-0 in Hoover came in 2015. The Ags entered as the No. 3 seed, giving them a first-round bye, and knocked off 11th-seeded Alabama in the second round and second-seeded Vanderbilt in the third round. The Aggies met Vandy again in the single-elimination semifinals, but they fell to the Commodores 12-3, ending their run in Hoover.
Today’s opponent, the Auburn Tigers, represents another opportunity for the Ags to get some redemption. Back in March, A&M opened conference play in Auburn, where they dropped the first two games of the weekend, before salvaging the third. In the first game, four Aggie errors led to three unearned runs for the Tigers in a game the Ags lost 4-1. They faced Auburn’s ace, Casey Mize, in that one, and Mize was excellent. In 7.1 innings, he allowed just one run on five hits and no walks, while striking out 13. Stephen Kolek got the start for A&M. He struggled with his command, but he battled, pitching better than the numbers would indicate. In 5.1 innings, he was tagged for four runs (just one earned) on just two hits, but he issued five walks and only registered three strikeouts. Had it not been for their mistakes in the field, the game would have been tied, and Kolek would not have labored so much.
You can follow the official interactive bracket here. The winner of today’s game will advance all the way to the semifinals at noon on saturday, while the loser will take on the winner of Ole Miss/Georgia in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 CT.
John Doxakis (6-5, 3.04 ERA) vs. Casey Mize (9-4, 2.94 ERA)
Rob Childress has elected to go with his usual Saturday starter, John Doxakis. In his final start of the regular season against South Carolina, the Aggies’ defensive miscues plagued Dox much like Kolek’s start at Auburn. In 5.2 innings of work, he was tagged with four runs (just one earned) on six hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. Dox is pitching on just five days rest as opposed to the usual six, so there’s a chance he could be a bit fatigued. That chance isn’t likely, as it’s just one day shorter. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on, especially going up against the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
How to Watch
- Time: 4:30 pm CT (pending weather)
- TV: Every game of the tournament will be televised on the SEC Network
- Live Video: Every game can also be streamed via SEC Network +
- Radio: Dave South has the call on SportsRadio 1150 AM/The Zone 102.7 FM
- Live Stats: SECSports.com