The Aggies tussled with a familiar pair of Southland Conference this past Tuesday and Wednesday, taking home a pair of 4-0 wins over Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word, respectively. A&M’s offense entered the week absolutely on fire, having scored 107 runs over their first eight games, good for tops in the country in scoring (13.4 runs per game). Meanwhile, the pitching staff didn’t seem like itself, outside of Asa Lacy, Christian Roa, Bryce Miller, and a few others. The Aggies’ team ERA of 3.13 at the week’s onset was good for 93rd in the country, despite racking up 13.0 K/9 (sixth nationally). So despite the offense possibly cooling off a bit (the eight combined runs over two games reduced their scoring to a measly 11.5 R/G), the pair of shutouts brought the team ERA down to 2.48 (46th nationally).
This weekend, the Ags have made the trek up to Frisco for the fourth annual 2020 Frisco College Baseball Classic. All four teams in this year’s tournament field come from “Power 5” conferences, three of which are ranked in at least three of the major polls.
Friday night’s opponent, Illinois (3-3), comes into the tournament unranked, but their closer led the nation in saves a year ago and may just be the best closer in the country. They’ll start senior righty Ty Weber, who has allowed just three runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk, while striking out nine in 11 innings through his first two starts of the season.
Saturday’s opponent, UCLA (8-0), is ranked 10th by D1Baseball, 11th by Baseball America, seventh by the NCBWA, first by Collegiate Baseball, and eighth in the USA Today Coaches Poll. They also boast one of the best pitching staffs in college baseball, coming into the weekend ranked second nationally in ERA (0.75), hits per nine (4.38), and K/BB ratio (6.87), fifth in BB/9 (1.88), and sixth in K/9 (12.9). Aaron Fitt over at D1Baseball listed this matchup as the biggest of the weekend, saying that what makes this one “so juicy is that the immovable object that is the UCLA pitching staff will take on the unstoppable force that is the Texas A&M offense.”
Sunday’s opponent, Oklahoma State (7-2), comes in ranked 23rd (BA), 28th (NCBWA), 28th (CB), and 17th (USAT). The Cowboys entered the season ranked 22nd in D1Baseball’s preseason Top 25, but an opening weekend series loss to GCU (yes, GCU, as in Grand Canyon University, the school TCU fans felt had plagiarized their image, despite claiming “Lupton Magic” is a thing that’s original). OSU has since rattled off six straight wins, including a midweek win over No. 12 Arizona State in Phoenix on February 18.
A&M last participated in this event in 2018, when they dropped the opener to Louisiana Tech, before taking down Baylor and Cal. That year, the Aggies entered as the only team ranked in any of the major polls. It’s safe to say that this weekend should prove as an even tougher test.
- Friday: Asa Lacy (2-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. Ty Weber (2-0, 0.82 ERA)
- Saturday: Christian Roa (2-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Nick Nastrini (1-0, 2.08 ERA)
- Sunday: Chandler Jozwiak (1-0, 4.82 ERA) vs. Bryce Osmond (0-1, 7.50 ERA)
How to Watch
- Times: Friday, 7:00 pm | Saturday, 6:00 pm | Sunday, 3:00 pm
- Radio: Dave South and Scott Clendenin have the call on SportsRadio 1150 AM/The Zone 93.7 FM
- Live Video: Every game of the tournament can be streamed exclusively on FloBaseball.tv (subscription required *sigh*)
- Live Stats: tamu.statbroadcast.com (desktop); tamustats.com (mobile)