A&M hammers SHSU; South Alabama up next

"We've played a lot of ballgames here and we seem to have battles. A lot of times we come over here, we just can't get things going."

RECORD: 4-0, 0-0 (Big 12)
RANK: 21st (BB America), 25th (NCBWA)
NEXT UP: South Alabama, Fri Feb 20, 3pm, Olsen Field
LAST ACTION: W 15-1, Sam Houston State

In their first road trip of the season, the Texas A&M baseball team throttled Sam Houston 15-1 in Huntsville on Tuesday. A&M leadoff hitter Erik Schindewolf homered the first pitch of the game, and Cory Patton went 3-for-5 with five RBI in the Aggies' rout of the in-state rival Bearkats. The Ags were able to utilize five pitchers in the game, including A&M starter Dan Donaldson who pitched three scoreless innings before reliever Jason Meyer took the hill for the middle innings. Meyer (2-0) recorded the win.

In a press conference Tuesday, Texas A&M Head Coach Mark Johnson discussed the game against Sam Houston, as well as the upcoming series with South Alabama.

On the overall game: "We've played a lot of ballgames here and we seem to have battles. A lot of times we come over here, we just can't get things going. It's a different ballpark, as it's a little bit shallower and it's not as deep behind the plate so everything looks a little different. But I was pleased. We got a lot of guys in the game and they helped us some. Their pitchers worked behind the count a little bit, but we did too on them. I thought Dan [Donaldson] worked behind the count a little bit. But we got a lot of pitchers in, and for their first time out there. We got to play quite a few guys. And I thought we had some hitters have a pretty good day. I kind of like the way Wolf (Erik Schindewolf) started the ballgame. I'd like to do that more often. That's always spectacular when the first pitch is soloed and you're one up. I was pleased."

On Aggie pitching: "I think they're staying within themselves pretty good. You see guys, and it's their first time out and they're a little bit tentative on some of their pitches, and a little bit careful. And they end up working behind the count and it catches up with them. I thought Dan did ok. I thought he worked behind the count too much. He's got to be a strike thrower. He's not a major strike out guy, but he's got to set up his off-speed stuff, because that's what works. It's not his fastball, so he's got to get ahead in the count.

I liked Meyer Saturday, and I thought he threw some good pitches. I didn't think he stayed in the zone as much as he was on Saturday, but of course he only stayed out there a little while on Saturday. So he ate up some innings, and I really wanted to see him work. And then it was fun to get [Kyle] Marlatt out there, and I thought he did fine. All three of the pitchers that came in had problems with their breaking pitches. They got their fastball over, and they're fastball pitchers. So that was good. But I thought Marlatt threw pretty good. It was the first time Doug [Frame] had been out there, so it was good to see him. And Kevin Whelan was really impressive. He finally got a breaking pitch in there. But they hit one of his breaking pitches hard, and they hit one of his splits pretty hard. But they didn't get on his fastball at all. And he rode that thing up the ladder and really, it was pretty impressive. It was good to get him out there. It was good to get the whole pitching staff out there. Of course when we play our tournament, they're all going to get to pitch. Every little inning you get should pay dividends for you."

Comments on the top of the lineup: "Cory [Patton] had a great day. I like the top of our order. Mav (Coby Mavroulis) didn't have as good of a day as he's had, but he hit the ball hard a couple of times. The thing that was interesting this last weekend, the bottom of the order contributed quite a few runs for us against Corpus. And I think they'll continue to do it. [Austin] Boggs had another pretty good day. He got a couple of key hits for us: One big RBI and then the homerun, which of course the game was out of reach then. But that's still big. When you can do that in the bottom of the order, then you've really got something special going. But I like the top of our order. We can run, we can do some things."

On preparing for South Alabama, a team that has yet to play a game this season: "We'll have a lot of respect. We're getting some reports on how they played last year, but they lost some guys. I know they're picked in Baseball America to win their conference, so I assume they've got a pretty good ball club. But really, right now, early in the season, we do get scouting reports, but they're pretty tentative. The big thing is to work on our game. Start doing some things a little bit better. I thought we did a couple of things better today, but we've just got to keep working on our game. So early in the season, scouting reports aren't the critical thing. It's how we're going to play, and how we work the counts, and whether we're getting the sign system, and whether we're comfortable in our positioning out there on holding runners. Those type of things are more critical to us."

Texas A&M returns home to Olsen Field to face South Alabama on Friday, February 20. First pitch is scheduled for 3pm.


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