Over the weekend, the Texas Aggie baseball team accomplished something that we haven’t seen since all the way back in 2022 against Penn: lose a series they shouldn’t in week two against an opponent they conceivably should have swept. That’s a markedly improved opening sentence to what I was almost forced to use. And until Jace LaViolette’s two-out, two-strike, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, would have included phrases such as “swept in non-conference” and “first time since 1986”. Both sentences are bad, but one decidedly worse. Avoiding disaster, that sort of thing.
The Portland Pilots came into College Station and flat out beat the Aggies down. Their bats came up with some of the most timely hitting I’ve ever seen across the entire weekend. Their pitching staff continually kept Aggie hitters totally off-balance, exploiting the top of the strikezone over and over. There were some who felt the Pilots may have benefitted from some friendly umpiring, but in reality, the Ags simply couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities. They stranded at least one baserunner in 20 of the 27 innings played over the three games. Of the 29 total runners left on base, 15 of them were stranded in scoring position. Huge credit to Portland. Whatever their gameplan was, it worked very well.
Now we’ve seen this before from Jim Schlossnagle’s Aggies. Just last year, in fact. And I’d venture to say that all turned out alright. So I’d probably hold off on throwing in the towel altogether. But they have to get it going at the plate. Austin Bost, Trevor Werner, Ryan Targac, and Jordan Thompson are all hitting below the Mendoza line. Werner and LaViolette both sport K rates at or above 30%. Hell, even Jack Moss is only hitting .269. They’ve definitely got some work to do.
There were a few bright spots for the Aggies, fortunately. Hunter Haas had a huge weekend at the top of the lineup, going 6-for-9 with six walks. His slash line is up to .391/.576/.478 through seven games. Dirty Dett was excellent on Friday, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks in 6.1 innings, while striking out seven. Troy Wansing was much better in his second start as an Aggie, allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out nine in 5.1 innings. And finally, we have LaViolence’s walk-off, series-salvaging double on Sunday, pushing the Ags to merely down bad, instead of down catastrophic.
- Friday, Portland 10, Texas A&M 3: in which a handful of walks and the BABIP gods sent the Aggies straight to the seventh circle of hell in the ninth inning
- Saturday, Portland 4, Texas A&M 1: Aggies brought the tying-run to the plate with one out in the ninth, but couldn’t capitalize
- Sunday, Texas A&M 5, Portland 4: the Aggies wore their snazzy new Corps of Cadets uniforms, the Cav brought the cannon(!!!), and LaViolence saved us all from having to deal with being swept by an early season non-conference opponent! Enjoy:
Next up, the Aggies will host Houston
Baptist Christian University tonight at 6:00pm. The Huskies, led by the Big Puma, himself, Lance Berkman, are 0-7 to start the season, and have been outscored 73-35.
This will be the final game before the Ags head down to Minute Maid Park for the 2023 Shriner’s College Classic, where the level of competition will probably be a little bit higher than we’ve seen thus far. Tonight would be the perfect time for the Aggies to get it together! See y’all at Olsen.