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Weekend Preview: #9 Texas A&M

Tigers test their streak against the Aggies

Texas A&M Athletics/Russell James

A week ago, I had to talk you lot off the ledge and now I feel like I kind of have to pump the brakes. Granted, I did pick LSU to lose it’s series to Mississippi State but even I didn’t see the offenses lighting up like it did on Saturday and Sunday. Everything eventually came around and the Tigers found their hitting sticks and got a huge SEC series win. Now instead of losing four in a row, they’ve won four straight.

But as is life in the SEC, the rent is due weekly and the competition only gets harder. Texas A&M comes into town this weekend, and LSU is sure to have their hands full at best.

Times and Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Friday, 7:00 pm, SEC Network+, 98.1 FM

A&M: John Doxakis, JR LHP (2.38 ERA, 41.2 ERA, 17.67 K/BB [53/3])

LSU: Zack Hess, JR RHP (4.06 ERA, 37.2 IP, 2.17 K/BB [39/18])

Game 2: Saturday, 7:00, ESPN2, 2:00 pm, SEC Network+ 98.1

A&M: Asa Lacy, SO LHP (1.48 ERA, 42.2 IP, 4.25 K/BB [68/16])

LSU: Cole Henry, FR RHP (3.90 ERA, 30 IP, 3.40 K/BB [34/10])

Game 3: Sunday, Saturday 7:00 pm, espn2 , 98.1

A&M: Taco Bell Anderson

LSU: Eric Walker, SO RHP (4.60 ERA, 29.1 IP, 2.22 K/BB [20/9])

At A Glance

Record: 24-6-1

NC: 18-4

SEC: 6-2-1

RPI: 10

SOS: 4

RPI 50: 7-4-1

RPI 25: 3-1

That’s right, there are still ties in baseball. Last weekend Missouri’s travel curfew forced the game to end after 10 innings. That result came after the Aggies dropped a stunner to Mizzou a day earlier for their first loss since the conference opener against Vanderbilt. A&M responded by hammering Texas 9-6 in a highly-publicized midweek game in Austin.

The only notable result from A&M’s February/early March was their 3-0 showing in the Houston College Classic where they defeated #18 Baylor 5-2, #17 TCU 1-0, and Houston 3-2.

At The Plate

Notables

Braden Shewmake: .344/.508/.390, 44 H, 6 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 31 RBI, .910 K/BB (1011)

Mikey Hoehner: .320/.440/.438, 32 H, 6 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, .80 K/BB (16/20)

Logan Foster: .311/.396/.380, 33 H, 6 2B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 1.58 (19/12)

Bryce Blaum: .303/.471/.411, 36 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .88 K.BB (14/16)

A&M just has a lot of well-rounded hitters. They’re not stacked with bombers one through nine and they’re going to get you with death by 1,000 bloop singles. They can attack all fields well and hit gappers one through nine. That’s what really makes this Aggie team dangerous, a pitcher has to pitch to each batter with the same level of caution and can’t really pick out just one guy to feed fastballs and let the defense clean up.

On The Mound

Notables

Kasey Kalich: 1.93 ERA, .93 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 7. 00 K/BB (28/4), .186 BAA, 7 SV

Candler Jozwak: 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 3.31 K/BB (43/13), .225 BAA

Chris Weber: 4.44 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 26.1 IP, 3.10 K/BB (34/11), .265 BAA

Joseph Menefee: 2.70 ERA, .99 WHIP, 16.2 IP, 5.50 K/BB (22/4), .190

Kasey Kalich isn’t the only Aggie who has locked up a save, but he is the most established pitcher in the back of the bullpen. I’d definitely expect to see him either game on Saturday.

As far as Sunday Game 3 starter goes, I’d like Menefee if he’s not called into action in the first two games of the series. He hasn’t thrown more than 3.1 innings this season, but he has great command in the limited action he’s seen.

As a whole, outside of the starters A&M is pretty middle of the road when it comes to their pitching staff. They’re not setting the world on the fire, but they’re not Georgia bad either, If LSU can match their output from the last weekend, I can see LSU getting to them.

Prediction

LSU 2-1. Tigers drop a close one Friday night and wins both games Saturday.