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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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Former president to throw first pitch at Olsen Field

Photo by File

Nick Choruby is second on the team with a .429 batting average.

With former president George H. W. Bush set to throw the first pitch, the No. 4 Texas A&M baseball team returns to the field Friday to host Yale for a three-game series at Blue Bell Park.
President Bush, who was a captain of the two Yale squads that played in the first two College World Series in NCAA history in 1948 and 1949, presented the idea of the Aggies facing off against his alma mater. The Aggies will trade in their maroon and white uniforms for red, white and blue ones and the number 41 will be stitched inside the Texas outline on the uniform’s sleeves in honor of the 41st president.
The Aggies (8-1) are coming off of an exhilarating extra-inning 3-2 win over Houston Baptist on Tuesday, and they don’t plan to change their mentality moving forward.
“We’re just going to play Aggie baseball,” A&M senior catcher Michael Barash said Thursday. “We’re going to play hard, we’ll play fast and we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.”
Head coach Rob Childress has altered the starting rotation a bit for this series, and will open the series by sending Jace Vines to the mound for his first weekend start of the season on Friday, followed by Tyler Ivey on Saturday and Kyle Simonds on Sunday.
Ivey, the freshman righty who hasn’t allowed a run in his two starts, said the reason for the change is because the team wants to give the Bulldogs a different look each day.
“We’ve got two sinkerballers — [Vines] and Simonds — so [Childress] wants me, a power pitcher, in between the sinkerballers,” said Ivey, who was the Sunday starter for the team’s first two weekend series. “I think that’s the reason for [the change].”
The Aggies enter the series with six players hitting over .350 and four over .400, which is no small feat this far along in the season. Of the three starters this weekend, Simonds’ 1.50 ERA is the highest. Vines sports a miniscule 0.90 ERA while Ivey is still unscathed.
While the Aggies recognize their talent, Barash said for them to keep improving, they must evaluate themselves by how they execute and perform, not by the final score.
“We always play against ourselves,” Barash said. “We understand what kind of talent we have here and the most important day for us is today, and we understand that. We want to be the best team in the country and for us to do that, we have to play ourselves. If we play Aggie baseball, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
The last time the Aggies squared off against an Ivy League school on the diamond was last season when A&M swept Dartmouth in a three-game series.
The first pitch of the series is slated for 6:30 p.m. Friday, and all three games will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

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