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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies head to Lubbock for three-game series

The Texas A&M baseball team has been looking to make a move in the Big 12 Conference ever since its last Big 12 championship in 1999. A series win over powerhouse University of Nebraska showed signs that the Aggies may be ready to contend in the Big 12, but now they must try to sustain that momentum on the road in Lubbock against No. 23 Texas Tech University.
The emotional high of opening Big 12 play at home against Nebraska seemed to cost the No. 19 Aggies (19-6, 2-1 Big12) when they lost to the University of Texas-San Antonio, 6-5, on Tuesday in San Antonio.
“We got our emotions so high (against Nebraska),” said A&M Head Coach Mark Johnson after Sunday’s win over Nebraska. “(UTSA) will be a real challenge for us.”
Now A&M travels to Lubbock, where the Aggies have won one game in their last six contests at Tech’s Dan Law Field.
One of A&M’s many strengths comes from its pitching staff, which owns a 3.42 ERA. Sophomore pitcher Logan Kensing (4-2) will start Friday night in Lubbock. Senior left-hander Zach Dixon (3-0) will start on the mound Saturday, and junior pitcher Matt Farnum (5-0) will get the nod on Sunday.
Before Big 12 play kicked off, the Aggie pitching rotation was perceived to be their largest problem, but so far that has not been the case.
“I think we were over-pitching a little bit (against Nebraska),” Johnson said. “I think we’re going to learn from it.”
Junior Scott Beerer, who has pitched 17.2 scoreless innings in the closer role, leads the Aggie bullpen.
Texas Tech (17-8, 1-2 Big 12) will start junior right-hander Steve Gooch (3-2) in the series’ first game Friday. Gooch owns a 3.32 ERA and leads the Red Raiders with 48.1 innings pitched. Saturday’s starter is junior Juan Razo (2-1). Razo has been pelted for 21 runs in just 34 innings of work, yet he leads the team with 25 strikeouts.
The strength of the Red Raiders lies at the plate, where senior outfielder Scooter Jordan leads the team with a .426 batting average. Jordan reaches base in 56.1 percent of his at bats. Tech relies on junior catcher Evan Shahak for power, as he has hit a season total of six home runs and boasts a .303 batting average.
The Aggies counter with a lineup that has all nine starters batting above .300.
The Aggie bats are led by junior Cory Patton, who added to his team high total of four home runs against UTSA. Behind Patton is Justin Ruggiano, hitting in the cleanup spot with a .337 batting average.
On paper the Aggies look to be head and shoulders above Texas Tech, but when these two schools lock up on the athletic fields, anything can happen.
“Our guys are ready to play every day,” said junior pitcher Kyle Parcus. “I think we’ll be able to match what Tech does (in Lubbock).”

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