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

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

The Battalion

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Aggies hope to continue red-hot start in Kubota College Baseball Series

Photo by Chris Swann
Texas A&M infielder Kaeden Kent (3) runs to home during Texas A&M’s game against Lamar on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

After a perfect 8-0 homestand to start the season, the No. 7 Texas A&M baseball team travels to Arlington from March 1-3 to play Arizona State and USC in the Kubota College Baseball Series at Globe Life Field.

The season simply could not have started better for the Aggies with their offense humming to the tune of a .500 on-base percentage and a .372 batting average that ranks fourth in the nation.

Having scored 10 or more runs in five of their eight games, the Maroon and White look to continue their success with the trio of sophomore CF Jace LaViolette, senior DH Ted Burton and junior RF Braden Montgomery seemingly unable to cool down.

Ranked second and 10th in the nation with six home runs and 1.167 slugging percentage, respectively, LaViolette has been making games look like batting practice by routinely hitting balls out of the park.

Burton currently has a team-leading .593 on-base percentage while Montgomery has been a run-scoring machine with his 12 runs batted in only behind LaViolette’s 18. He also got to show off his two-way prowess, getting his first A&M strikeout with a blazing fastball against Incarnate Word.

With how hot the bats are, it’s easy to forget just how dominant the pitching staff has been. Ranked first in the nation with an impressive 0.95 ERA and second in the nation with a 0.88 WHIP, opposing offenses have been left looking for answers. Redshirt sophomore LHP Ryan Prager and sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin have been anchoring the rotation, having let up a grand total of zero runs in each of their two starts.

Arizona State presents a challenge for the Aggies, having an offense that can hit for both contact and power. Redshirt freshman Brandon Compton, normally a LHP, has been playing DH as he recovers from Tommy John surgery and has been putting on a clinic in the batter’s box with a team-leading .480 average and 1.447 OPS to start the season.

Sophomore OF Isaiah Jackson has been the team’s source of power, hitting four home runs and 15 RBI. The Sun Devils’ leading pitcher, freshman RHP Thomas Burns, hasn’t let the college transition get to him, holding opponents to a .156 BA with 14.46 strikeouts per nine innings.

USC looks to be an easier matchup having started 2-5, but shouldn’t be overlooked. While the offense has been a disappointment with its 3.5 runs per game ranked 273rd in the nation, sophomore C Jacob Galloway has been a bright spot. As a catcher, a position not known for its offensive output, Galloway has hit to the tune of a .391 average and his 1.239 OPS and .739 slugging percentage are nearly double that of his next closest teammate.

The Trojans’ pitching has been middle of the pack, but senior RHP Tyler Stromsborg has shown promise by leading his team with a 1.40 WHIP.

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About the Contributor
Eric Liu
Eric Liu, Sports Writer
Eric is a sophomore computer science major from Houston, TX. He is also double minoring in English and statistics. While at The Battalion, Eric has covered football, men's basketball, baseball, tennis, swim & dive and equestrian.
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