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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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Thorpe returns to play after suspension

For many little league players, the ultimate baseball dream is to play Major League Baseball. In June 2008, freshman outfielder Randall Thorpe had a chance to fulfill that dream when he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox.
However, Thorpe declined the opportunity and played for Texas A&M instead.
“I felt like I had some more things to work on before going into the pros,” Thorpe said. “I had a real special bond with the coaches when I came on my recruiting visit and I loved the guys on the team.”
In high school, Thorpe was well known for his defensive play and speed around the base paths. Twice during his four-year career at Colleyville Heritage High School, Thorpe was awarded the District 5-5A Defensive Player of the Year award. In his final two seasons as a Panther, Thorpe stole a total of 50 bases, going a perfect 20-20 during his junior season.
“He is a speed and defensive guy,” Childress said. “He can run and create pressure when he is on the bases, but his big tool is his outfield abilities.”
After being suspended the first 23 games of the season for violation of NCAA rules, Thorpe is coming off the bench for the Aggies and providing a spark in the outfield and at the plate.
“It feels great to be back,” Thorpe said. “I sat down for 23 games, so I got to sit back and watch everyone else and learn from them. I knew that once I got my shot I needed to make the most of it.”
In his first game as an Aggie, Thorpe blasted a three-run homerun helping A&M to a 6-5 win against Missouri. Thorpe also used his defensive play to help hold off a Tiger comeback.
“He had the big homerun on Sunday, but what didn’t show up in the box score was two defensive plays he made that probably saved us five runs,” Childress said. “Having him back is more important in that area than expecting offense out of him.”
For the remainder of the 2009 season, Thorpe will battle for a starting position in the outfield, but said he mainly wants to help the team with his speed.
“I am going to keep battling for a position, but I think I can help the defense with my speed,” Thorpe said. “I think I can help this team in a lot of areas, but mainly the speed.”
Thorpe and the rest of the Aggies are coming off a road trip to Missouri in which A&M escaped with one of the three games. The Aggies will look to defend Olsen Field this weekend against Kansas, the only undefeated team in Big 12 play.
The Jayhawks entered Big 12 play on a three game losing streak, but swept No. 1 Texas in three one-run ball games. They then handed Western Illinois back-to-back losses.
“Kansas is a good program,” Childress said. “They are very similar to us; they hang their hat on pitching and defense.”
Childress said the series against Kansas is important because the weekend will start to separate a conference that has five teams, including the Aggies, with 3-3 records. Childress said protecting the home field is important.
“We need to definitely take care of business at Olsen Field. I think the team that can establish consistency over the course of the next month will create some separation from the other teams.”

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