Each game of this weekend's series with Dallas Baptist carried with it a unique texture. Attendees found spurts of good and bad baseball, low and high scoring games, 450 foot homers and 25 foot RBI singles, and just about every other sway in baseball momentum you can imagine. In fact, there were only two real consistencies; the team in the win column and one slugger on a freakish streak.
It wasn't always easy to watch, but Texas A&M found a way to earn the much needed sweep, improving their record to 38-11 on the year. That start is good enough for the fifth best record in school history through 49 games, trailing the legendary 1989, 1993, and 1999 teams, along with the 1990 squad.
What was always easy to watch was A&M slugger Blake Stouffer. The San Antonio product furthered his recent hot streak by hitting a ridiculous .900 (nine-for-ten) on the weekend, jacking another homerun (his eighth) and knocking eight runs home. He also walked four times, was hit by a pitch, scored seven runs and slugged at a 1.500 rate.
Stouffer's hot weekend helps continue his assault on the A&M record book. At .414, he's now sitting in sixth for the single season batting title race, and his 69 RBI are good for tenth all-time in a single season. His 80 hits trail Jason Tyner's record of 107, and A&M still has a "guaranteed" twelve games remaining in the season, with more possibly to come.
Though Stouffer's Herculean play stole the show, his performance was far from the main attraction as three entertaining baseball games came through at Olsen Field. Offense was abounding on Friday night, and Olsen Magic had to make a pair of appearances that evening for the Aggies to secure an 11-10 win in 12 innings. Saturday began with a three run Aggie offensive flourish, but no runs would score for either side after the first frame. Big bats returned for a Sunday encore, but it was a much more one sided affair; A&M took the finale 14-6.
Thursday's contest had a little bit of everything for the casual baseball fan, but no one expected Kyle Nicholson to be missing his stuff for the first time all season. Though far from the statistical dominance that he's shown throughout the season, his performance lacked none of his trademarked bulldog attitude. The All-American candidate gave up two homers six runs, five of them earned, but still left with an 8-6 lead after eight innings.
Clayton Ehlert took his shot at a closer's audition in the ninth, but walked two batters after a leadoff single. Kyle Thebeau then entered his familiar closer's role, and promptly allowed a grand slam on the first pitch. There would be additional drama but no more runs in the top half, and DBU clung to a 10-8 lead heading to the final half-frame.
The Aggies had no give-up, though, with Brandon Hicks adding an RBI triple to his night (after a homer and double earlier) and Blake Stouffer driving in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. The teams traded goose-eggs until the bottom of the 12th, thanks in no small part to an outstanding pitching effort by Gary Campfield. He'd get the win in the boxscore,too, as a Luke Anders double plated Stouffer from first, giving A&M the victory.
A&M continued Thursday's quick offensive pace on Friday night, scoring three quick runs. Stouffer drove Hicks home with a double, Anders immediately followed with an RBI single of his own, and a Brodie Greene sac-fly would score Anders for the third run. Anders moved to third thanks to a Josh Stinson single.
That would be all for Friday's scoring, as freshman Scott Migl was masterful. He threw seven-plus innings, scattering just six hits and striking out three without walking a single batter. Matt Ueckert relieved him for a third of an inning, and Campfield return to throw the final one and two-thirds for his third save of the season.
Saturday's contest looked to be a slugfest early, with DBU scoring four in the top of the first, and A&M quickly responding with a pair of their own. DBU's lack of depth on the hill was quickly exposed, however, and the wheels fell off in the third inning.
A&M had just one hit that inning (by the third hitter), which usually isn't the recipe for many, if any, runs. However, eleven Aggies came to the plate for the six run pasting; seven of them walked their way to first, and the only RBIs were awarded on free passes with the bases loaded.
The Aggies duplicated that six run feat in the fifth, but this time in a slightly more conventional manner. A&M hit a trio of two-run homers, all with two outs in the inning. Stouffer hit his eighth of the season, scoring both he and Hicks. After an Anders walk, Craig Stinson tacked on his eighth, and a Kirkland Rivers walk would precede Dane Carter's first career homer. DBU tacked on a couple of meaningless runs in the eighth inning to wrap up the day's scoring.
Most of the top of A&M's order had a great weekend at the plate. Hicks led off with a 7-for-15 (.467), scoring six runs and driving in another four; his Thursday night homer was his ninth of the season. Anders tossed a 6-for-12 weekend into the mix, scoring three runs and driving in four. He also walked four times and was plunked another two, giving him a nice .667 OBP for the weekend from the clean-up spot.
Aggies sweep Dallas Baptist, improve RPI
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