A tale of two streaks

Luke Anders saw his average drop from nearly .400 during the Aggies' winning streak to below .200 over the last six games of the season. But he's not the only one. Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp takes a look at the drop in offensive production, comparing the numbers from the 16-game conference winning streak to those of the six-game losing streak to end the season.

So how does a conference championship, top-10-caliber team go from winning 16 straight conference games to losing the last six games of the year?

That's simple—its hitters quit hitting.

Over the Aggies' 16-game winning streak, which set a school and Big 12 Conference record, the team's top seven hitters combined to hit .359 with 120 RBI in 16 games (7.5/game). Over the last six games of the season, those same seven batters were hitting a measly .252, with 24 RBI (4.0/game). If you take Big 12 Player of the Year Jose Duran out of the equation, the batting average of the other six leading hitters on the roster drops all the way to .222 (30-of-135), and they managed just 12 RBI (2.0/game) over the last six games.

During the winning streak, each of the Aggies' seven leading hitters were batting at least .314. If Duran is excluded once again, the next highest batting average in the group over the last six games is Kyle Colligan's .280.

The power numbers have been even worse.

The Aggies hit 24 homers during the 16-game winning streak, averaging 1.5 homers per game. But the same seven batters have managed just one long ball in the final six games of the season, thanks in large part to first baseman and first-team All-Big 12 selection Luke Anders, who led the team with 8 winning-streak homers and has failed to go yard during the recent skid.

The only constant is Duran, who was hitting .413 during the 16-game win streak. Over the last six games, he's actually improved to .450, which is why he's the Big 12 Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. But the shortstop can't get any help from the other hitters around him as of late.

Dane Carter, who was among the top hitters in the nation at one point this season has really dropped off in front of Duran. He was hitting .338 for the Aggies during the Big 12 record winning streak, but has hit a dismal .182.

Anders and Brian Ruggiano have taken the biggest tumbles though.

Anders has seen his average plummet .220 points from .393 over the course of the win streak to just .173 in the final six games.

Ruggiano is hitting just .150 (3-of-20) in the last six games of the regular season after hitting .353 during the Aggies' win streak. He's also the only one of the top seven hitters who hasn't scored a run, driven in a run, or hit at least one extra-base hit over the last six games as well.

Blake Stouffer's power numbers and extra-base hits haven't really dropped off much from one streak to the next, but his batting average has dropped form .319 to .261.

Designated hitter Darby Brown has dropped off across the board. The slugger hit .387 during the winning streak, with 13 RBI off of three doubles and three homers. But his bat has gone silent down the stretch, hitting just.273 in the final six games of the season with just two RBI and no long balls.

Whether opponents' pitching played a part in the demise of the Aggie lineup or not is probably the biggest question mark facing this team heading into the postseason, which begins today with a first-round match up against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

But it really won't matter.

If the Aggies are going to reach their goal of making it to Omaha—and being the last team standing—they're going to have to find a way to get more production out of their offensive leaders.

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