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Series Preview: Aggie Baseball Travels to The Box

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Callin’ Baton Rouge!

Photo via Rebecca S.

For the second time this season, the Aggie Baseballers are hitting the road for an SEC bout, as they head over to Baton Rouge to take on LSU (21-9, 6-3). The Ags have been quite comfortable on the road recently, having put together a four-game winning streak away from Olsen Field. That streak includes their demolishing sweep of Kentucky two weeks ago, and, of course, their super-not-stressful win at The Disch this past Tuesday night. In case you’ve been living under a rock or have been too enamored with our new Men’s Basketball coach’s budding bromance with JFF, enjoy these highlights from Tuesday:

This weekend’s series with the Tigers is A&M’s first against an SEC West foe. Given that Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, and the Aggies are all currently bunched up at the top of the division, this series could have major implications in the SEC West race.

LSU came into 2019 with three preseason No. 1 rankings (USA Today Coaches Poll, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game) and two preseason No. 2 rankings (D1Baseball, Baseball America), and the Tigers immediately rattled off eight straight wins to begin the season. On their first trip away from Alex Box Stadium, however, they were swept in Austin. They then kicked off SEC play with a home sweep of Kentucky, before dropping two of three at Georgia the following weekend.

Coming into this series, though, the Tigers are riding pretty high once again. They knocked off then-No. 2 Mississippi State in Starkville last weekend, riding 10-5 and 11-2 victories in games two and three, respectively.

LSU is led offensively by Sr. RF Antoine Duplantis, who’s slashing .331/.393/.545, with a team-leading seven homers and a team-leading 33 RBIs, and is seemingly entering his 13th season in Baton Rouge. Their biggest bats outside of Duplantis are Jr. CF Zach Watson (.347/.402/.492, 2 HRs, 20 RBIs), Jr. SS Josh Smith (.343/.457/.495, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs), and So. LF Daniel Cabrera (.309/.412/.585, 6 HRs, 28 RBIs). The Tigers sit middle of the pack in the SEC as a team, statistically speaking. Aside from their league-lead in sac flies, LSU ranks no higher than third (caught stealing) and no lower than 12th (triples) in any of the remaining categories tracked by the SEC.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they’ll be without Cabrera, their usual cleanup hitter, this weekend. Cabrera underwent a “minor procedure” last weekend after injuring his right thumb in the Mississippi State series. That’s a tough blow for LSU, as the sophomore is a huge part of their offense.

On the mound, Friday night starter Zack Hess, who sports a 4.06 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 18 walks in 37.2 innings, and Saturday starter Cole Henry (3.90 ERA, 34 Ks, 10 BBs, 30.0 IP) lead the way for LSU. Much like the offense, the Tigers’ pitching sits middle of the pack in the SEC. They rank as high as sixth in hits allowed, and as low as 13th in strikeouts, walks, and saves.

Alex Box Stadium is one of, if not the toughest place to play for those not sporting purple and gold. There’s this weird voodoo that happens in that building that summons opossums out of thin air, causes opposing players to forget how to baseball properly, wills LSU to come back from 9-1 deficits, and elicits “Geaux Tigers” volley chants from 10,000 supporters. And yet, last time the Aggies ventured into college baseball’s nightmare house, it was Walker Pennington conjuring up some portable Olsen Magic to propel A&M to a series victory in 2017. Hopefully there will be no Olsen Magic needed this weekend.

Due to poor weather forecasts in Baton Rouge this weekend, Sunday’s game has been moved to Saturday, meaning we get our first double header of the year.

Probable Starters

  • Friday: John Doxakis (3-2, 2.38 ERA) vs. Zack Hess (2-2, 4.06 ERA)
  • Saturday Game 1: Asa Lacy (5-0, 1.48 ERA) vs. Cole Henry (2-1, 3.90 ERA)
  • Saturday Game 2: TBA vs. Eric Walker (2-1, 4.60 ERA)

How to Watch

  • Times: Friday, 7:02 pm | Saturday Game 1, 2:02 pm | Saturday Game 2, 7:02 pm
  • TV: Saturday’s games will air on ESPN2 and the SEC Network
  • Live Video: All three games can be streamed on SEC Network +
  • Radio: SportsRadio 1150 AM/The Zone 102.7 FM
  • Live Stats: LSUSports.net