Aggie Websider's David Sandhop provides 10 major thoughts and storylines from this weekend's baseball sweep over Northeastern.
1. Daniel Mengden and Parker Ray labored in the early innings, but found a way to get outs and get the easy 11-2, 10-2 wins. Grayson Long on Sunday was the most impressive going 7 innings and giving up two hits officially (really only one hit...horrible scorer's call on an infield grounder that should have been an error), 7 strikeouts, and no runs. It was high stress pitching as well, with the Aggies failing to score in the first 8 innings and the defense made several costly mistakes along the way.
2. The strikeout has been a major deficiency in A&M's offense in recent years, but this weekend the team combined for only 12 strikeouts in the three game series which is quite good.
3. While the team didn't strikeout as much, they did pop up the ball way too many times. The team finished with 26 hits and 8 extra base hits.
4. Other than Jason Jester's mini-meltdown that almost cost A&M the Sunday game in the top of the ninth with a leadoff single and throw-away on a bunt attempt. Especially salty on the mound was freshman Ryan Hendrix who struck out two hitters on a nasty backdoor slider. Lefry Tyler Stubblefield also had a productive, scoreless two innings of work in game one while Andrew Vinson looks solid going in with the big lead.
5. The Aggies hit .274 as a team this weekend. It's been worse, but it's been better than in recent years. Leading the way is Temple JC transfer LOgan Nottebrok who not only blasted the walk-off homerun against NEastern on Sunday, but he finished with a team leading .444 average, team leading .643 on-base percentage, and three extra base hits. Not bad for a new No. 3-hole hitter.
6. Patrick McLendon struggled with his glove at SS on Sunday, but was otherwise solid in the leadoff position. Nothing flashy in terms of his bat or his glove. A healthy Logan Taylor will enhance the batting order.
7. Sophomore right fielder J.B. Moss put his name in the hat for a starting spot in right field after two circus catches over the small wall in right, and he hit the team's first HR of the season on Saturday.
8. After losing a game in the season opening home series against UIC in 2013, the Aggies are off to a nice 3-0 start. They face SFA on Tuesday and Sacramento State over the weekend before going on the road at Fresno State, so a 7-0 start is a distinct possibility.
9. After a great summer and fall, JUCO GR Hinsley has struggled in the spring so far. He got a start on Sunday and flew out twice before leaving the game for a pinch-hitter in the 8th. I still say Hinsley is too good to stay on the bench all season. He will be a big contributor once he settles in and gets some at-bats.
10. The A&M pitching staff finished the weekend with a sparkling 1.33 ERA and 33 strikeouts (11/game) to just 9 walks. That kind of production over the course of an entire season will get you to Omaha.
Hop's Ten Thoughts on Aggie Baseball
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