Texas A&M Baseball: Aggies move up slightly after 3-1 week

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M Baseball (32-12) won a big series in Starkville. The next two weeks against Florida and Arkansas are critical for any shot at hosting in the tournament.

After another solid week performance, Texas A&M’s baseball team saw their rankings increase ever so slightly, improving their chances of hosting during the NCAA tournament.

In the midweek contest, Texas A&M welcomed the boys from Abilene. Kaylor Chafin got the start for the first time in 2018. He pitched extremely well giving up only one hit in three innings. Dustin Saenz came in and pitched the next three innings only giving up two hits. Five other Aggie pitchers would finish the game.

At the plate, Cole Bedford gave the Aggies the lead for good with a three-run shot in the second. A&M would score one more in the third and put the game away with four in the seventh. The Aggies would beat the Panthers 8-2.

In the conference series, the Aggies traveled to Starkville to play Mississippi State. The Aggies and starter Mitchell Kilkenny got off to a slow start finding themselves behind 3-1 heading to the sixth. Kilkenny did enough to keep his team in game going six innings allowing six hits and three earned runs. Chafin would pitch two innings and Nolan Hoffman would come in to pitch the ninth.

On offense, the slow start was evident with only two hits heading to the sixth. From there, the A&M offense exploded for five runs on seven hits. Will Frizzell and George Janca were the big heros as they accounted for the five RBI down the stretch. The Aggies took game one 6-3.

In the second game, the Bulldogs got after the Aggies scoring six in the third inning and following up with two more in the fourth. Starter John Doxakis only pitched three innings giving up eight hits and all six runs were unearned. Saenz was the first out of the pen, but he could not keep State off the board in the fourth.

At the plate, the Aggies did not score its first run until the fifth. Michael Helman hit a three-run homer to jumpstart the offense. A&M scored two more in the seventh to pull within three, but Cason Sherrod could not keep State from scoring. The Bulldogs tacked on three in the bottom of the seventh and would go on to even the series with a 11-6 win.

In the rubber match, starter Stephen Kolek would pitch five giving up eight hits and three runs, two of which were earned. Chafin and Hoffman closed the door on the Bulldogs. Kolek got the win to even his record at 4-4. Hoffman picked up his ninth save of the season.

On offense, every starter but Janca recorded a hit in the game. The Aggies had 14 hits in the game which should be a good sign heading to the toughest stretch of the schedule coming. Zach DeLoach paced the offense with four hits. Five different Aggies drove in runs which is another good sign. A&M won the game 7-4 to take a very important series against State especially on the road.

In the Perfect Game/Rawlings poll, the Aggies moved up three spots to No. 17. In the Coaches poll, the Aggies remained at No. 18.

In the Baseball America poll, A&M remains unranked which is a surprise.

In the D1Baseball and Collegiate Baseball polls, the Aggies are No. 21 and No. 22 respectively.

The NCBWA poll has yet to be released, but expect A&M to move up a spot or two. The Aggies were No. 18 in the poll last week.

Next: People you didn't know went to Texas A&M

This week, the Aggies welcome our friends from Prairie View to Blue Bell Park for the midweek contest. The SEC series will be at home to face No. 1 (in four of the five polls) Florida. The Gators are 16-5 in conference play so this week will be a great measuring stick to see where A&M is against the best in the country.