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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Texas A&M baseball enters the 2018 season ranked No. 10 overall by

It’s baseball season in Aggieland, and No. 10 Texas A&M has their eyes set on a return to the College World Series. The Aggies will kick off their season with a three game homestand against Rhode Island. First pitch for the games will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.
The Aggies will roll out a lineup that includes preseason sophomore All-American Braden Shewmake, who is making his debut at the shortstop position after playing second base last season for the first time in his career.
“It’s going about as good as I think it can go,” Shewmake said. “I feel a lot better than I did in the fall. If we just get better everyday then we’re going to be in a good position once the season rolls around.”
Shewmake made the move to allow junior Michael Helman to play second base. This will be Helman’s first season with the Aggies, as he transferred from Hutchinson Community College. On the other side of second base is preseason All-SEC third baseman George Janca, who finished last season batting .261.
“Our infield has been a strong point for us all fall,” Shewmake said. “Playing alongside George is a lot of fun, he keeps it loose but he gets his business done.”
The Aggie bullpen will look to be a strong point of the team with the surprising return of senior pitchers Kaylor Chafin and Cason Sherrod, both of whom were drafted in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Head coach Rob Childress announced that junior pitcher Stephen Kolek will take the bump on Friday, freshman Chandler Jozwiak will get it on Saturday and junior Mitchell Kilkenny gets the nod on Sunday.
“They’ve done an amazing job for us,” Childress said. “They’ve been very consistent, I feel like they really give us the best chance to get off to a good start.”
Childress said the return of Chafin and Sherrod, who will

come out of the bullpen in relief, gives A&M the ‘luxury’ of limiting the amount of pitches the starters, helping preserve the rotation. 

Rhode Island opens the season after a strong 2017 campaign that saw them finish second in the Atlantic 10 regular season play. Rhode Island returns a stellar pitching staff, including the pitchers who made 51 of their 52 starts last year. 

“They have a kid [Tyler Wilson] that was a sophomore All-American back healthy now that will throw on Friday that’s a left hander that can present problems for anybody in the country,” Childress said. 

Rhode Island also returns a veteran staff of pitchers that includes senior RHP Matt Murphy, sophomore RHP Vitaly Jangois and senior Tyler Barss. Barss is a dynamic closer out of the bullpen that holds the Rhode Island record for most saves. 

Offensively, Rhode Island has a big bat in senior Jordan Powell, who finished last season hitting .352 and 27 RBIs. 

“They play with an incredible chip on their shoulder, they had a great season last season,” Childress said. “We’re going to play at a very high level and have a chance to win every game.” 

The Aggies’ season will begin on Friday at 6:30 p.m and all three games will be televised on SEC Network +. 

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  • Junior Stephen Kolek will throw the first pitch of the 2018 season.

    Photo by File

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