Previewing Texas A&M baseball’s showdown vs Longhorns; can Aggies KO middling Horns?

Texas A&M baseball has an important rivalry matchup on the diamond tonight.

Mar 3, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; The Arizona State Sun Devils plays against the Texas A&M Aggies
Mar 3, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; The Arizona State Sun Devils plays against the Texas A&M Aggies / Brett Patzke-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M baseball faces off with Longhorns tonight; can Aggies take advantage of down stretch for Horns?

Tonight’s matchup between Texas A&M baseball and the rival Longhorns is a big one. Of course, no matter what sport it is in, it always feels like a big game when these two schools square off. Baseball, however, has a special and particular place in the annals of the rivalry between these two institutions.

The Aggies come into this matchup currently undefeated and riding high; this past weekend saw the Ags sweep two games against Arizona State and one against USC up in Arlington. The Longhorns, however, are struggling: the games against LSU and Vanderbilt this past weekend were always going to be tough, but sandwiched between them was a game against Texas State that the Horns also dropped. The contests against the Bobcats and Commodores were two blown leads, as well, adding insult to injury.

Still, though, this is an undeniably talented Texas roster. The question that Longhorns have been asking is whether manager David Pierce can harness that talent effectively. The pitching, supposed to be a strength for the Horns coming into the year, has particularly disappointed in these past few games, surrendering 6 runs to LSU, 11 runs to Texas State, and 14 runs to Vanderbilt—all in losses.

Meanwhile, the pitching for the Aggies—initially thought to be a weakness coming into the season—has seen quite the turnaround under new pitching coach Max Weiner. The Aggies have surrendered more than 3 runs in only one of their 11 games this season, a slate including ASU and USC squads who boast several power hitters each.

The real strength for the Aggies lies in their hitting, however. Jace LaViolette and Braden Montgomery are the headliners, of course, but don’t count out freshman Gavin Grahovec either. Even the guys who don’t bring as much name recognition, such as Hayden Schott, can really make life tough on opposing pitchers.

Chris Cortez is the presumed starter for the Aggies tonight. He had an up and down season last year, but Aggie fans hope he will bring his best stuff tonight.