Photo by Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Texas A&M Baseball

Back on the field, Bryce Blaum making huge impact for Texas A&M

March 7, 2019
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Heading into the Shriners College Classic last Friday, the Aggies were in need of a spark. They were coming off a disappointing loss to Incarnate Word, the offense was still searching for its identity and three talented opponents were on deck.

Bryce Blaum didn’t wait long to provide that spark, sending the first pitch of the game from Baylor starter Hayden Kettler into the Crawford Boxes of Minute Maid Park, igniting an A&M team that dispatched the Bears Friday night and then TCU and Houston in the next two days to capture the tournament championship.

“Nothing like starting off with a leadoff homer,” says sophomore outfielder Zach DeLoach. “I really think that set the tone for the whole tournament. It got us going on the right foot.”

That was Blaum’s second leadoff home run of the season, and through 15 games he has been the team’s best hitter. Blaum, a redshirt sophomore from Ole Miss, is hitting a team-leading .321 and also paces the Aggies in homers, runs scored, stolen bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He relishes hitting in the leadoff spot, where his aggressive approach can shine.

“I love leading off the game because I know I’m going to get a first-pitch fastball,” Blaum says. “Our team motto is to dominate fastball strikes, and I just love knowing a fastball is probably going to be coming.”

Tarah Cochran, TexAgs
Blaum has set a tone for the Aggies not just at the plate, but on the field as well.

The Aggies pursued Blaum hard in the recruiting process out of Clements High School in Sugar Land, but he chose Ole Miss instead. However, after one season, he decided to return to his home state and take up the A&M coaching staff on their offer to let him wear the maroon and white.

“I’m so thankful they gave me an opportunity to come back here,” says Blaum, who played in 12 games for the Rebels as a freshman. “This really is the best university in the country. I made a mistake by choosing somewhere else, and I’m glad the coaches allowed me to come back here and be a part of this program.”

Per NCAA rules, Blaum had to sit out last year as a transfer. He could practice with the team and take batting practice on the field before home games, but he could not dress for games or even be in the dugout for the entirety of last season.

“As a competitor, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to experience, but it was awesome from the standpoint of learning the culture,” Blaum says. “Our coaches do a great job of preaching culture, and the guys in the locker room make it really easy to have fun and show up to the yard every day and play.

“Being able to play the game I love again is a lot of fun, and playing with the guys on the team we have is fun. This is the closest team I’ve ever been a part of, and I know a lot of other guys will say that too. It’s so much more rewarding to win for the teammates that we have.”

Blaum also impressed with his glove this past weekend, making huge defensive plays in each of the Aggies’ last two wins of the tournament. Against TCU, he climbed the ladder to snare a line drive for the final out of a 1-0 victory. And in the Aggies’ 3-2 win over Houston, Blaum made a highlight reel sliding stop on a ground ball that kept the tying run off the bases.

“He gives you everything he has on every pitch of every play...We’re very thankful he’s in our program.”
- Rob Childress

“He gives you everything he has on every pitch of every play,” said head coach Rob Childress. “He gets on and off the field the right way, he runs the bases the right way, and I would hope my son grows up to play the game the way he does. That’s how you want it to be done – that’s how you want your son to get off and on the field, run the bases, and be a great teammate. He’s on a mission every day he wakes up, and he prepares the right way in every area. We’re very thankful he’s in our program.”

As the Aggie offense struggled to find its footing early in the season, Blaum was one of the few consistent hitters who kept the unit afloat. He has gotten a hit in 11 of the team’s 15 games this season, including 6 multi-hit games.

“He’s a great leadoff hitter,” DeLoach says. “He sets the tone well for games, and he always finds ways to get on base.”

Two weeks ago, Blaum went hitless in three straight games to drop his average to .276, but since then he has gone 10-for-27 (.370) at the plate and led the Aggies to five consecutive wins.

“I think as a team we all feel more comfortable,” Blaum says. “Knowing the guys I have behind me are going to get the job done makes it a lot easier on me. It’s a good feeling knowing someone else will if I don’t.”

Blaum will try to continue his hot hitting this weekend when Gonzaga comes to town. John Doxakis will try to keep the Aggies’ win streak alive when he toes the rubber for the first game of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Discussion from...

Back on the field, Bryce Blaum making huge impact for Texas A&M

aggiewhoop1
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AG
Met him through my girlfriend. Can confirm he's a real solid dude.
ConLaw
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AG
Very well written piece! Much better written than most of the more prominent Texags personalities (OlIn and Luicci specifically).
Foxo
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AG
I saw a prediction where someone said he would be better than Michael Helman. That's high expectations for sure. Not sure he will exceed Helman with the bat, but he's doing damn good.
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