OSU in Review

It was a hard fought week, but the Aggies managed to steal another series from a highly ranked conference foe over the weekend, overcoming Oklahoma State 2-1. Websider's Lanny Hayes takes a look at the series and what this means for Texas A&M baseball.

The Result: The Aggies did what they haven't done in over five seasons, which was lose on Friday night and win both Saturday and Sunday's contests to clinch a Big 12 series. Friday's loss was especially hard to swallow, given that Brooks Raley threw perhaps his best game ever, but Oklahoma State's Andrew Oliver threw just as well and the Cowboys kicked the door down in the 9th against Alex Wilson. Ross Hales and Barret Loux (though pulled after 2.1 IP on Sunday due to injury) gave quality starts, and the bullpen bent but didn't break to secure the weekend victories.

Big 12 and RPI Standings: Events elsewhere in the league, specifically Texas going 0-2-1 against Kansas State, put the Aggies in first place in the Big 12 at 13-8 – at least for the moment. The wins over OSU accelerated A&M's RPI all the way up to #22, and the math following to the end of the year suggests that, if A&M can do enough to win the Big 12 regular season title, they will have raised their RPI to the Top 16 level. It would be challenging for someone to find the league champion, with an RPI of 16 or higher, from a Top 3 RPI conference not be given a top seed in the league tournament. The Aggies, however, don't fully control their destiny – even two sweeps (highly unlikely against Texas and Oklahoma) still requires at least one KSU loss in their final three series.

Big Flies – Olsen Field is lovingly referred to as a launching pad this time of year, thanks to the weather and strong winds, but both A&M and OSU found the other side of the fence on plenty of balls that would also be gone in February. Adam Smith let the south wind help him to a Saturday round tripper, but Kyle Colligan and Joe Patterson both hit a pair of no-doubters to lead the weekend charge. Oklahoma State also hit three homers, one each day of the weekend.

Say It's So, Joe – Patterson hasn't seen many at-bats against left-handed hitters this season, but to steal a quote from Rob Childress, he's making a very strong case that he can't be taken out of the lineup. Patterson hit .375 on the weekend (3-for-8), driving runs home with each hit. His two run shot on Saturday started the big eighth inning, and his solo shot on Sunday finished off the three-run third. Starting with the Friday Nebraska game, the platooning Patterson has hit 8-for-14 (.571) with six runs scored and ten RBIs. On the year, Patterson is hitting .347-5-25 with an OPS of 1.026 – in just 72 at bats (exactly one half of the ABs from Raley and Brodie Greene, and even more less than Colligan and Luke Anders). In 40 Big 12 at-bats (55% of the playing time of the average consistent starter), he leads the club with a .450 average and 18 RBI, plus his 4 HRs trail Colligan by just one for the team lead.

Stat Lines – Another fantastic Raley start (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) has lowered his season ERA to 1.92 and league mark to 1.72…opponents are hitting just .184 against the sure-fire 1st team All Big 12 pitcher and potential player of the year…Greene hit .385 for the weekend, especially remarkable after an 0-for-5 Friday…Anders failed to drive in a run this weekend, but hit .625 and reached base at a .769 clip (5 BB)…Anders has raised his batting average back over .300 after dipping into the .240s just over three weeks ago…The Aggies continue to lead the Big 12 in fielding with an amazing .987 league mark...A&M is now 24-4 when they score at least 6 runs…despite perceived bullpen shakiness, A&M is 25-1 when they lead after 6 innings.

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