When Texas A&M opened the 2020 season with a sweep of Miami (OH) last weekend, all eyes were on the Aggie offense. In their first action under new hitting coach Chad Caillet, the Ags showed immediate improvement over 2019’s less-than-stellar performance, combining for 32 runs on 35 hits, 19 walks, and seven homers over three games. Surely, given strength of competition last weekend and small sample randomness, the odds that the offense averaging 10.7 runs per game over the whole season are pretty slim. That number would have been good for second in the country, behind only New Mexico State’s 11.1 runs per game. Hell, the 2015 (6.6 R/G) and 2016 (7.2 R/G) teams didn’t even put up that kind of production. So, no, it’s probably not sustainable, albeit fun to dream about.
Naturally, as they welcomed Stephen F. Austin and Prairie View this past Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, the Aggie offense went and one-upped themselves with a 13-4 laugher against the Lumberjacks, and a complete and utter nuclear annihilation of the Panthers, 30-2. That brings their total run production to 75 over five games; good for almost two times their 40 runs through five games to kick off 2019. I don’t care who you are, that’s a pretty impressive turnaround.
This weekend, the Aggies will play host to the Black Knights of Army West Point. The Cadets opened their season against No. 16 Duke. They took the first game, 2-1, behind a Herculean effort by starter Logan Smith, a senior from Lufkin (#EMFTX), who allowed just one hit, one HBP, and a walk, while striking out 10 Blue Devils across 7.0 shutout innings. They damn near pulled off the series upset in the second game, as they led 7-1 through five, and 8-7 in the ninth. Alas, a sacrifice fly and a walk-off, two-out error sealed it for Duke. So, basically, all that to say this Army team should put up a pretty good fight.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to mention that the 2020 season will be Dave South’s final season calling Aggie Baseball games on the radio. When Dave officially retired from football and basketball after the 2017-2018 school year, he also mentioned that he would stay on as the play-by-play announcer for our beloved Olsen boys, giving us just a bit more time with, as Rob Childress so correctly put it, the “Vin Scully of Aggie baseball.” Like most Aggies, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Dave. Yet through all of the frustratingly long periods of silence that caused you to question whether or not the radio/audio feed had cut out, through all of the stories of some midweek game in 1987 that he told before you realize the count is already 2-2, through all of the routine-sounding fly balls that suddenl- BIG FLYYYYY, Dave’s love for Aggie baseball was always evident. Almost every big Aggie baseball moment is narrated by his signature enthusiasm. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything, Dave. Here’s hoping we get to hear your final call from Omaha, Nebraska. Gig ‘em.
- Friday: Asa Lacy (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Logan Smith (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
- Saturday: Christian Roa (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. TBA
- Sunday: Chandler Jozwiak (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA