It's finally here! Opening Weekend gets underway for Aggie Baseball against Holy Cross. In case you missed the full 2015 Season Preview, be sure to check that out right here. In the meantime, here's what to expect this weekend as the Ags take on the Crusaders.
A.J. Minter (3-0, 1.85) vs Phil Reese (2-4, 4.43)
Minter will make his first career start for Texas A&M; he has 52 appearances for the Aggies in his career, all coming out of the bullpen. He was one of the most reliable options out of the bullpen for the maroon and white in 2014, not allowing an earned run in SEC play. His longest career outing prior to this weekend's start was 2.2 innings of work against Florida last year. Minter struck out 24 batters, walked 12 and opponents hit .241 against him in 2014.
The Crusaders will give the Friday night starting nod to 6'4, 225lb sophomore Phil Reese, who led the team in starts in 2014 with 10. He tossed 44.2 innings on the season, allowing opponents to hit .284 against him while striking out 22 batters and walking 21. His first career start came last season against Mississippi State in which he lasted just 2 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 3 hits to go with 3 walks.
Grayson Long (6-2, 3.12) vs Donny Murray (2-6, 6.55)
Grayson comes into 2015 with the most wins, innings pitched and strikeouts of anyone on the Texas A&M roster. He went 5-2 in SEC play last year, including a stellar outing against Auburn to help the Aggies avoid a sweep. He also picked up wins over Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Mississippi State. Long struck out 55 batters, walked 28 and opponents had a .284 average against him.
Murray earned probably the most impressive win for Holy Cross in 2014, taking down Mississippi State in the final game of that series to begin the year. The 6'2" senior tossed 7 innings and allowed just 1 run, walking 2 and striking out 4 in the victory. He worked 44 innings over his 9 starts, striking out 33 batters and walking 10 but allowing opponents to hit .322 against him. Murray was also named to the Second Team All-Patriot League in the 2013 season.
Matt Kent (3-1, 3.15) vs Ben White (0-5, 3.18)
Getting the nod for the first Sunday start this season is junior southpaw Matt Kent, who will be making his third career weekend start for the Aggies. Kent started 4 games in 2014, sporting a 1-0 record and a 2.77 ERA, but both of his prior weekend starts came in 2013 and were losses to Arkansas and LSU. Kent struck out 32 batters last season while walking only 8, and opponents hit .284 against him.
White was the Crusaders' best pitcher on paper in 2014, leading the team in strikeouts (42) and leading any pitchers who started a game in ERA (3.18). The 6'2" sophomore made 11 appearances (9 starts) for Holy Cross in his freshman season, walking 20 batters to go with his 42 strikeouts and opponents hit just .225 against him. He was a tough-luck zero game winner last season, but he went 6.1 scoreless innings with 2 strikeouts in his first career start against Charleston Southern.
How to Watch/Listen
TV: SEC Network+ (via WatchESPN)
Radio: 1150AM The Zone
Other Audio: 12thman.com, radioaggieland.com