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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 will battle for top spot in SEC

The Texas A&M baseball team gathers in the dugout to discuss tactics against Prairie View A&M.  
Cody Franklin

The Texas A&M baseball team gathers in the dugout to discuss tactics against Prairie View A&M.  

A&M baseball returns to Olsen Field this weekend to continue SEC competition against the Missouri Tigers.

The Aggies (25-1, 5-1 SEC) are off to the hottest start in the country. Their success propelled them to a No. 1 ranking in the polls this week, the second best start in school history. After losing its first game of the season last weekend, A&M rebounded with an 11-1 win over UTSA on Tuesday. 

Missouri (19-7) comes into the game 5-1 in SEC play. The key player offensively for the Tigers is Josh Lester, who is batting .289 with 21 RBIs on the season. Brett Peel is also another player to look for in the game. Peel gives the Tigers position on the bases, as he has stolen 15 bases in 20 attempts this season.

A&M features eight players in its lineup who have each hit over 15 RBIs this season, led by Ronnie Gideon (21). As a team, the Aggies have hit 22 home runs this season, led by Logan Taylor (5).

On the mound, A&M leads the SEC with a 1.76 ERA, followed by the Tigers who enter with a 2.28 ERA this year. On Friday, junior Grayson Long will be on the hill for A&M. Long is 5-0 this season with a 2.08 ERA, tallying 43 strikeouts along the way. The Tigers will send Reggie McClain to the mound. 

Saturday will provide a new face starting on the mound for A&M. Kyle Simonds will move from bullpen buzz saw to making his first career start for the Aggies. Simonds has not allowed an earned run of any sort in the last 20.2 innings of work. He is 2-0 this season with a 0.00 ERA, while adding 18 strikeouts to his name. Missouri will send Tanner Houck to the hill.

 Sunday, A&M junior Matt Kent will make his seventh start this season. Kent is 5-0 with a 3.20 ERA on the year with 34 strikeouts. The Tigers will start Peter Fairbanks on the mound Sunday afternoon.

 Texas A&M owns the all-time series against Missouri by a 47-32-1 mark, with A&M winning the last three meetings between the two programs. The series begins at 6:35 p.m. Friday night at Olsen Field.

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