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The Battalion

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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A&M baseball tries to make it four in a row

After opening the season with a three-game sweep over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the No. 21 Texas A&M baseball team will travel to Huntsville Tuesday to square off against Sam Houston State, which is looking to improve on last year’s disappointing 9-18 record.
The Bearkats opened their season in the UTPA/Al Ogletree Classic in Edinburg, Texas, two weeks ago. They played three games in the tournament, each producing a different result: a win, a loss and a tie.
SHSU started off the tournament with a 7-2 victory over Texas-Pan American in which senior Ryan Raferty and freshman Chris Gresset combined to pitch a four-hitter.
The loss came at the hands of Southland Conference foe Lamar University. The Bearkats gave up seven straight runs as Lamar was able to rally from a 4-0 deficit to win 7-4.
However, in the consolation game against Kansas with the score knotted up at 8-8 after the eighth inning, the game was called due to a curfew rule in order for KU to make a 4:20 p.m. flight back to Kansas City, Mo.
“I’ve never been involved in a baseball tie other than maybe Little League and certainly not on this high of a level,” said Bearkats assistant coach Phillip Gutzman. “There was an agreement before the game that we couldn’t start an inning after a certain time because they had a plane to catch, so that’s just kind of the way it went. It was tied and we reached that limit, so there was nothing we could really do about it.”
While the Bearkats have already felt the after-effects of these three contrasting results, the Aggies have only felt the joy of winning this season. The Aggies are hoping to carry their winning momentum into Tuesday’s game.
“Definitely, to start off 3-0 and sweep our first series, that’s big for us,” said sophomore first baseman Coby Mavroulis. “And we’ll carry some of that momentum into (Sam Houston State).”
Aggie head coach Mark Johnson said he was happy with his team’s play against Corpus Christi, but that he still sees room for improvement and hopes to see more out of his club with each passing game.
“It’s not going to get any easier, so we’re going to have to get better and improve,” Johnson said. “But we’re learning more about our ballclub and I think our guys will be better the second time out. The hitters will be better and learn some (situational things).”
While the Bearkats are not highly regarded by their peers – they were picked to finish seventh in the Southland Conference – the Aggies know from experience that traveling to Huntsville is no easy task.
“(Sam Houston State) will be good. They always are,” Johnson said. “And going over there, we have a history of struggling and having ballgames over there that are really tough, so I’m sure that they’ll be waiting for us.”
With the history of a good rivalry, both teams are anxious to get out on the field and play.
“I think our guys are up to the challenge,” Gutzman said. “We know there’s a program with a great tradition coming in here, but I think our guys are always ready to go and certainly eager to get that first home game underneath their belt.”

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