Will the bats heat up? - We're just six games deep, but the Aggie baseball offense has seemed to borrow from the one over at Reed Arena; when they're hot, they're blazing...but when the droughts come, they're deep. The Aggies will face considerably better pitching than they've seen thus far, and to be the last team standing in Omaha, the Ags have to find ways to produce runs against quality hurlers.
Who Will Childress Turn To? - The bullpen depth is well documented, and the past six games have been as much about seeing different people in different places as it has been about putting together the perfect lineup. Though he'll undoubtedly work match-ups at the plate, you should have a very good idea of Childress' take on his current team by seeing who scratches the lineup today and tomorrow. For the bullpen, the pecking order can be somewhat derived from his decision making this weekend. We'll have a much better idea on Monday of who he trusts, at least today, in key situations.
Blitzkrieg Bop - Baseball America described Matt Deggs' offense as a "blitzkrieg," but those who follow the team know that the 2008 club was a much more station-to-station type of offense than 2007...at least until the Rice Super-Regional, when the offense coordinator started rolling the dice. What will we see this weekend? Reckless abandon on the basepaths and intense motion to help get balls through the infield, or a more "American League" style of offense.
Shaking off Centenary - Baseball is a funny game, and good teams losing to marginal teams just happens - especially in the college game. The loss to Centenary doesn't happen nine times out of ten, but it did happen. The psyche of the team on Friday will be interesting to watch; do they shake the loss off easily, or did the high morale of being #1 in the country fade away? The loss in and of itself isn't that big of a deal, and it will have a negligible impact on the team's 2009 goals...so long as that loss remains just one loss. Letting it compound would be the biggest possible disaster. As for that #1 ranking? If A&M gets an unlikely sweep this weekend, they'll likely remain in the top spot.
Find Ways to Win - What if the bats don't show up in force? What if the arms have an off day? Rob Childress' clubs are known for their scrapiness, and finding a a way to win will be of extreme importance if one facet of the team doesn't have its best day. The Cal-Irvine and Rice games are hugely important; these are two teams A&M will be judged against for national seeding. Many factors go into that decision, but don't discount the head-to-head matchup as a breaking point. This is even more important with Rice, who A&M also shares locality with.
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