Heading into the last month of the regular season, Texas A&M looked to be in very good shape to earn a national seed in the NCAA Tournament and the right to host both a regional and possible super regional at Olsen Field. Unfortunately, the strain that losing the top 2 pitchers on the A&M staff early in the season put on the team's pitching staff finally caught up to the Aggies down the stretch. A&M dropped 3 of their final 5 series, with the final one ending as a 1-1 series split with Ole Miss after the final game was cancelled due to rain. The Aggies' RPI has dropped from #2 down to #7 as well. As a result, the Aggies are likely going to need to make a run in the SEC Tournament in order to feel confident about earning a national seed heading into selection day. Up first in the double elimination portion of the SEC Tournament is the Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that handed A&M their first loss of the season back in March.
Texas A&M vs Alabama
Date: Wednesday 5/20; Time: 9:30am Central
Pitching Matchup: Grayson Long (9-0, 2.59) vs Jake Walters (4-4, 3.15)
TV: SEC Network; Radio: 1150AM, 102.7FM
Long's last 3 starts:
@ Ole Miss: W, 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 12 K
vs South Carolina: ND, 5.1 IP, 4 R (1 ER), 2 H, 5 BB, 2 K
@ Tennessee: ND, 5.1 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 9 H, 1 BB, 6 K
Walters' last 3 starts:
vs Vanderbilt: L, 1.1 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 0 BB, 3 K
@ Auburn: ND, 5.2 IP, 3 R (0 ER), 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K
vs Arkansas: L, 4.1 IP, 6 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 5 K
In their single-elimination game to begin the SEC Tournament on Tuesday, Alabama eliminated Ole Miss 6-1 thanks to an outstanding pitching performance by Geoffrey Bramblett, who tossed a complete game and allowed just 1 run on 9 hits while striking out 10. That allowed Alabama to avoid having to use their bullpen at all, which will certainly be a benefit coming into Wednesday morning's game against A&M. The Tide were led offensively by RF Casey Hughston (2-5, R, 2 RBI) and SS Mikey White (2-5, R, RBI) as they cruised into the double-elimination round.
Here's how the Aggies and Tide match up across some of the primary statistical categories.
|Texas A&M (43-10, 18-10)||Alabama (31-26, 12-18)|
DH Mitchell Nau (.377, 14 2B, 4 HR, 45 RBI)
LF Logan Taylor (.355, 10 HR, 45 RBI)
SS Mikey White (.341, 6 3B, 4 HR, 33 RBI)
|Batting Avg Against||.255||.252|
As mentioned, the portion of the SEC Tournament that starts with the game between A&M and Alabama on Wednesday morning is double-elimination format until the Championship game. The winner between the Aggies and Tide will advance to the Winners' Bracket to face either LSU or Auburn on Thursday afternoon, while the losers of those 2 games will square off early Thursday morning in an elimination game. If you're a visual learner, see if this helps.
Tune in to the SEC Network early on Wednesday morning and BTHO Alabama!