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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Opinion: Keeping pace


Despite dropping some tough matchups as of late, Texas A&M’s baseball team has provided spurts of offense that signal improvement as the season moves forward.
After starting the season winning seven of their first eight games, the Aggies enter the second half of the season with a winning percentage just above .500.
If Texas A&M is going to remain competitive in the SEC, its offense will have to continue performing at the high level it has displayed recently.
The Aggies exhibited their timely offense last weekend during their upset series win over the No. 7 Vanderbilt Commodores. A&M won two out of three games, handing the Commodores their first home series loss since April 2012. A&M scored more than five runs in all three games and averaged just under eight for the series.
A series win over a top-ranked conference opponent like Vanderbilt could take some pressure off the Aggie offense and be the boost needed to propel A&M throughout the rest of the season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on us at all,” said sophomore shortstop Logan Taylor. “I feel like as long as we keep our approach the same at the plate and everyone does their part, we’re going to be fine.”
Leading the offensive production has been junior infielder Cole Lankford, who is tied with Logan Nottebrok for the team lead in home runs with four and leads the team with 31 RBIs. He is second on the team with a .315 batting average.
Lankford propelled the Aggie offense with a walk-off double in the 11th inning to defeat Columbia 8-7 on March 18, and again against Vanderbilt when he went 4-for-10 with five RBIs for the series.
The most recent display of offense by the Aggies has come in response to their struggling start to conference play. After dropping its first SEC series against Auburn, questions arose about whether Texas A&M could maintain the level of offense it began the season with.
“We just got tired of [the criticism] as an offensive staff,” said junior catcher Mitchell Nau. “We didn’t have a good weekend at Auburn and the way the game started wasn’t good. We took it personally as a unit to put the game on our shoulders.”
Through 37 games, the offense is No. 7 in the SEC with a team batting average of .275 and has produced 81 extra base hits.
A&M has scored eight or more runs 12 times this season, but has also scored two or fewer runs in 11 games. The Aggies have the ability for tremendous offensive production if they can find some consistency in their run totals.
“We’re a click short,” said sophomore outfielder Jonathan Moroney. “We’re honestly just a click away. We have the talent and the depth. All it’s going to take is us to play baseball the way we can play.”
With five SEC series left, gaining momentum from their outburst of offense will be key to their success.
With only one of the SEC teams left on the schedule ranked in the nation’s top 20, A&M will have to find a way to improve upon its .275 SEC batting average and continue to improve its first two home runs hit in conference play this past weekend.

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