Tech Series in Review

The stay above the Big 12 race was not long for the Aggies, who dropped yet another series to Tech in Lubbock. Websider's Lanny Hayes takes a look at what went wrong this weekend against the Red Raiders.

The Result – The Aggies dropped yet another series in Lubbock, running Tech's home series winning streak against the Aggies to six. A&M certainly had their opportunities in the two losses, 4-3 on Friday and 10-6 on Sunday, which were wrapped around a convincing 13-6 victory. Despite the series loss, A&M remains in second place in the Big 12 standings, where they're tied with Baylor but hold the season tiebreaker. Just four league teams are above .500 for the season, and just two games separate first place Oklahoma (6-3) and 7th/8th place Oklahoma State and Kansas (4-5).

A&M would've won the series if… A clutch at bat could've been found on Friday night. They stranded 12 runners on base on that night, and did not get a single hit with runners in scoring position. Brooks Raley took his first loss of the year, but was masterful after the first inning. The Ags even loaded the bases in the 9th inning, but Kevin Gonzales was unable to beat out a double play ball after the shortstop initially booted the ball. The result would've at least tied the score and, knowing Matt Deggs, may have even allowed A&M to take the lead.

You can blame the bats…but really, other than the "lack of clutch," they performed slightly above their season level this weekend. The team hit .295, about 10 points above their average leading into the weekend, but the hits didn't always come at the most opportunistic times. The Ags did hit eight homers this weekend, including two by Adam Smith and another pair of moonshots by Luke Anders, but half of those bombs came with no one on base.

A Telling Stat and Starting Pitching – Aggie fans knew that they'd have a fantastic starting rotation this year, but maybe no one knew exactly how much they'd lean on how well those starters do in comparison to their opposition. The Aggies are a perfect 19-0 this year when leading after six innings, but just 1-11 if they're behind after the sixth frame. No starting pitcher had their best in Lubbock this weekend; Raley's performance was his worst of the year (though not terrible), Alex Wilson's final line was gritty but far from a pure shutdown, and Barret Loux went just an inning (giving up two runs) before leaving with tightness in his arm. Clayton Ehlert, who was penciled as the fourth starter entering the year, gave up five runs to Tech in Sunday's second inning after relieving Loux.

Around the League – Kansas State, A&M's next opponent, swept Nebraska in Lincoln and sent the Huskers to the league's cellar. The weekend's marquee series saw Texas win on Friday and Sunday to take the series with Oklahoma State, while Baylor took two games in Kansas. Missouri's "throw everyone one inning" strategy scratched out a win in Sunday's weekend endcap against the red hot Sooners. The Aggies and Wildcats kick off their series on Thursday night in Manhatthan, and what was once on paper as a ho-hum road series will now have the eyes of the league affixed to it.




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