Texas A&M Baseball: Aggies rising up the polls after perfect week

(Photo by Steven Freeman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Freeman/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M Baseball (27-9) is on a six game win streak. The streak and first SEC series sweep comes at a great time, let’s hope the momentum continues.

The Aggies are finally starting to gain some momentum as we inch closer to the postseason. With some exciting, close wins they might be on the right track again.

In the midweek contest, Texas A&M welcomed the boys from Austin. Just like the prior two years, this game was decided by one run. Chandler Jozwiak got the start and pitched well despite walking three and giving up two hits in three innings. Five other Aggie pitchers closed out the game while the offense scored four in the first to get game going.

In front of the largest crowd since 2012, the Aggies beat the Longhorns 6-5. A&M never trailed, but had to hold off a rally by Texas over the final five innings. Will Frizzell, Cole Bedford and Cam Blake each had two hits. Cason Sherrod got the win while Nolan Hoffman registered his fifth save of the season.

In the conference series, the Aggies welcomed Alabama to Blue Bell Park. The Aggies and starter John Doxakis got the first win to open a conference series after failing to win the opening game of an SEC series four times in a row.

The Tide jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Aggies took the lead 4-3 after four. Bama would strike for three more in the top of the sixth, but the Aggies would respond this time by scoring eight times over the next three innings to cruise to a 12-6 win.

Sherrod got the win and Hoffman was credited with the save as he came into the game with the Aggies leading by just one. At the plate, Cole Bedford led the Aggies with four hits and five RBI. All five of those runs batted in came on a solo shot in the sixth, a two-run double in the seventh and a two-run single in the eighth. Logan Foster and Braden Shewmake also drove in two runs.

In the second game, the offense jumped on Alabama starter Jake Walters for a five-spot in the second. That would be all the offense that Aggie starter Mitchell Kilkenny would need to improve his record to 8-0. Kilkenny would go five-plus innings before reliever Asa Lacy came in to pitch the final three-plus innings. Of the six runs that Alabama would score, only one was earned. The defense will definitely need to play better if they want the streak to continue.

On offense, Michael Helman delivered the big blow with a three-run home run to spark the offense in that five-run second inning. Frizzell had three hits and Blake had two to help the Aggies win game two 9-6.

In the final game of the series, Stephen Kolek was back on the mound after losing his Friday night post. I believe he showed Manager Rob Childress and the rest of the conference that he’s still deserving of that spot. Kolek would pitch into the eighth, giving up only one run on three hits. One of those hits was a solo shot by Chandler Taylor to bring the Tide within a run of the Aggies.

Hoffman was brought in to close it out. He got the final out of the eighth and was three outs away from the sweep. After retiring the first two hitters on four pitches, Bama tied the game at two with a double by Chandler Avant. Hoffman would get out of the inning and with the game tied, the Aggies would go into extra innings for only the third time this year. The first was a 7-6 win over Northwestern State and the other was the dramatic 18 inning affair with UT-Arlington.

This time the Aggie offense would do enough to score the run they could not get against UTA. Thanks to a fielder’s choice, a stolen base and a walk, this gave Shewmake a chance to win the game. He would deliver with a single up the middle which would score Helman to secure the win and the sweep 3-2.

The win pushed the conference record above .500 for the first time all year. Hopefully the Aggies will ride this momentum with Tennessee and Mississippi State up next. Both teams reside at the bottom of their respective divisions.

In the Perfect Game/Rawlings poll, the Aggies moved up a spot to No. 17. In the Coaches poll, the Aggies moved up five spots to No. 14.

In the Baseball America poll, A&M remained at No. 22, which is questionable to say the least.

In the D1Baseball and Collegiate Baseball polls, the Aggies moved up to No. 16 and No. 19 respectively.

The NCBWA poll has yet to be released, but expect A&M to move up into the Top 15. The Aggies were No. 19 in the poll last week.

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This week, the Aggies welcome Texas State to Blue Bell Park for the midweek contest. The SEC series will be in Knoxville to face Tennessee. The Vols come in limping with a 1-8 conference record since their sweep of Alabama four weeks ago. A&M should take advantage as the end of the regular season is looming.