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Texas A&M Baseball

Diamond Notes: Aggies looking for answers after being swept by Bama

April 12, 2021
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At this point, there is not really much more that I can add week-to-week that you don’t already know. I always want to be honest, and these situations are always tough to write about and tough to talk about. I have so many great working relationships with people I’ve covered for coming up on two decades. And when it starts going south and looks like a dead end is in sight, it’s very difficult for everyone involved. And in my situation, you want to handle everything with class and the utmost respect for people who have been so good to you for so many years. At the same time, my primary obligation as the guy who brought baseball content to TexAgs 14 seasons ago is to write and say what I think and to be honest with you, the longtime and avid Aggie baseball reader.

With that said, at this point, the writing is on the wall and clear as day when it comes to Aggie Baseball and the state of the program. The head coach is without a contract at the end of this year, and what that meant coming into the 2021 season is that it was going to take a miraculous run to — and through — the postseason for Rob Childress to be asked to return as head coach for a 17th season. And as of Monday, April 12 — with the Aggies sitting at a hapless and helpless 19-15 overall and 3-9 in SEC play and having dropped six straight games and three in a row to unranked SEC West foe Alabama — I think we all can agree that it’s plain as day what will be happening at the end of the season, barring some miraculous and turnaround.

Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Childress and his team have been unable to maintain consistency at the plate or on the mound this season.

This weekend was ugly. There really isn’t much more you can say. Almost nothing went right, and it felt like A&M was playing hoping to win and not out there with an intensity and a belief that they will win. The lineup continues to be a turnstile around the Alejo-Frizzell-Bost trio, and the pitching continues to let the team down in the mid-to-late portion of games. Really, outside of Will Frizzell, there isn’t much at all that you can hang your hat on right now when it comes to this team. They have had their moment and bright spots here and there — namely the series win over Georgia and its dominance against old Big 12 rivals, including a win over No. 5 Texas at Olsen — but this is not a good baseball team. There isn’t the high-end talent that we’ll see going in the upper rounds of the MLB Draft. A&M very well might be the 13th most talented team in the SEC, and team number 14 (Missouri) put it on the Ags last weekend in games 2 and 3 to win the series with heart and fights and guts.

In an effort to not bang my head against this computer any more than I already have throughout most of the ’21 campaign, we’ll keep this pretty short. Here goes...

Each week, we look back on the week that was with a “Good, Bad and Ugly” spin-off and breaking it down in four categories: Good, Average, Bad, Excellent.

Here is this week’s G.A.B.E. looking specifically at the 0-3 showing in the three-game series at home vs. Alabama.

Good

Austin Bost. The third-year sophomore went 6-for-13 (.462) on the weekend. The only reason why Bost wasn’t in the “Excellent” category is that he was just 2-for-9 in the first two games before going 4-for-5 in game three. Bost is now hitting .333 on the season and has 5 homers and 21 RBI, just 6 behind Frizzell.

Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Jozwiak has been a bright spot for the Aggies on the mound, posting his best season with an 8.1 K/BB ratio.

Chandler Jozwiak. The fourth-year junior got two relief stints vs. the Crimson Tide and fared well in both occasions. On Friday, Jozwiak relieved Dustin Saenz and worked the final 3 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits with a walk and a strikeout. On Sunday, Joz came in for a struggling Chris Weber and worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a couple of hits in a walk-less and K-less late-inning appearance. The Brenham native is in the middle of by far his best season, boasting a 3.44 ERA and a ridiculous 8.1 K/BB ratio (57 strikeouts vs. 7 walks) in 36.2 innings of work (14.0 Ks per 9 innings).

Average

Ty Coleman. The third-year sophomore did some nice things, namely the homer and two-hit effort on Sunday. But he went 3-for-12 overall in the series and started 1-for-8 in the first two games. A&M needs the hot Ty Coleman to re-emerge to his fullest to lengthen out that lineup after Frizzell and Bost.

Bad

Leadoff spot. The Alejo-Blaum combo went 1-for-13 (.077) in three games in the one-hole. Need I say more? Bad. Can’t win with the lack of table-setting production to that level.

Starting pitching. By far the worst weekend mound effort from the starters this season. Dustin Saenz punched out 9 and walked just 1 on Friday, but he allowed 4 earned runs in 6 innings. That’s not good enough if you’re going to take on the role of an ace. The Aggies finally got Bryce Miller back from a two-week layoff, but he was dreadful in his return, tossing just 2.1 innings and hitting 4 times more batters than hits allowed (4 vs. 1). He, too, gave up 4 ER. Nathan Dettmer got his first start on the weekend and did some nice things but also gave up 4 earned runs and walked 4 guys in 5 innings. That’s 12 combined ER from your weekend rotation against the Crimson Tide. No bueno.

Excellent

(For Frizzell) to boast an OPS of 1.144 without much help in the lineup — against SEC pitching — is ridiculous and commendable. Too bad the best offensive season since Boomer White is being wasted in a year where the Aggies have next to nothing going as a team.

Will Frizzell. The fourth-year junior went 6-for-12 (.500) against the Crimson Tide, including home runs number 10 and 11 on the season. He’s the lay-down MVP of this team and is among the top of the SEC in all three numbers in the slashline (.365 / .454 / .690) as well as homers (11) and hits (46). To boast an OPS of 1.144 without much help in the lineup — against SEC pitching — is ridiculous and commendable. Too bad the best offensive season since Boomer White is being wasted in a year where the Aggies have next to nothing going as a team.

The Five Factors: Offense

Here’s a look at what the Aggie bats did in five critical situational areas in the loss to Sam Houston State:

  • Two-outs: .308 (4-for-13)
  • Runners on: .214 (3-for-14)
  • Runners in scoring position: .222 (2-for-9)
  • Leadoff OBP: .333 (3-for-9)
  • Two-out RBI: 2

Here are the five key split stats in the series sweep at the hands of Alabama:

  • Two-outs: .235 (8-for-34)
  • Runners on: .208 (10-for-48)
  • Runners in scoring position: .227 (5-for-22)
  • Leadoff OBP: .296 (8-for-27)
  • Two-out RBI: 1.0 PG (3 total)

Here are A&M’s updated season totals to this point in all five areas:

  • Two-outs: .263 (99-for-377)
  • Runners on: .282 (161-for-570)
  • Runners in scoring position: .286 (102-for-357)
  • Leadoff OBP: .371 (108-for-291)
  • Two-out RBI: 2.3 PG (79 total)

The Five Factors: Pitching

Here are the raw numbers from what the Aggie pitching staff did in five critical situational areas vs. Sam:

  • Two outs: .200 (2-for-10)
  • Runners on: .357 (5-for-14)
  • Runners in scoring position: .222 (2-for-9)
  • Leadoff OBP: .125 (1-for-8)
  • Two-out RBI: 3

Here are the five key split stats vs. ‘Bama:

  • Two-outs: .297 (11-for-37)
  • Runners on: .264 (14-for-53)
  • Runners in scoring position: .333 (9-for-27)
  • Leadoff OBP: .444 (12-for-27)
  • Two-out RBI: 1.7 PG (5 total)

Here are the updated season totals for Aggie pitching to this point in all five areas:

  • Two outs: .228 (85-for-373)
  • Runners on: .238 (126-for-529)
  • Runners in scoring position: .233 (76-for-326)
  • Leadoff OBP: .385 (115-for-299)
  • Two-out RBI: 1.5 PG (51 total)

That’s about it this go-around. We’ll have full coverage throughout and following A&M’s four-game road swing this week. It starts with a trip to San Marcos on Tuesday vs. Texas State and continues with a tough trip to Arkansas this weekend.



Key notes from Justin Seely interview on TexAgs Radio

  • Offensively, it's not that we're not getting hits. We had the same amount of hits as Alabama. We out-slugged them and stole a similar number of bases. They had more hit by pitches. We would get our extra-base hits but weren't getting them in bunches to put up a crooked number. They were able to do that. Those big innings ended up being the games, and that's the common denominator. Something similar happened to us against Missouri.
     
  • Baseball is a tough game. It's fun, but it's tough. It will wear on you mentally more than it will physically, and that's probably where we are. As a coach, you have to look at the big and small pictures as well as the whole picture. Eight days ago, we beat Georgia two out of three, beat Texas at home and beat Missouri 16-2. We're the same team as that, but we're also the team that fell on our face. Trying to get back to the team we were prior is our goal right now.
     
  • Personnel-wise, to shake it up, we'll get a different look. Maybe that'll give us a bit of energy. We have to look at this from all sides, especially after having a week like we did.
     
  • Rob Childress is not going to let up on these players regarding COVID-19 protocols. He will not let up on what it takes to be a great person, citizen and student. None of us. We will not allow our guys to break protocols despite going this losing streak, and I am confident about that.
     
  • Bryce Blaum is really good against left-handed pitching. We wanted to get off to a good start in the leadoff spot on Sunday. Giving Ray Alejo a different look on Sunday wasn't a difficult decision. The week before, Alejo was our best hitter. To have him in the leadoff spot the first two games was smart. Is he better suited in a different spot? Possibly, but I like getting him up to the plate a lot and allowing Will Frizzell and Austin Bost to have a chance to drive in runs.
     
  • Bost was good on Sunday. He was hitting line drives and not making it more than that. What else can I say about Frizzell? He brings a professional at-bat and a threat of leaving the yard every time he comes up. He's doing it all, and it's a sign of a very mature, good hitter. He's doing his part, but we need to get guys on so he can drive in runs. That's our job from a managerial standpoint.
     
  • Getting to 20 home runs is going to be about the pitches Frizzell gets to hit and who is hitting behind him. If we can have production around him, it'll allow him to relax and do what he needs to do. It's difficult to do that and hasn't happened in about 20 years.
     
  • People have a genuine interest in Frizzell right now. The draft is a different entity in itself, and I won't bore people with all that goes into it. If teams love a player, they will love to buy low. Frizzell getting what he likely deserves is not likely, but he is certainly going to get his chance.
     
  • We have Texas State on the road, and it has always been a hostile environment when we go down there. That's a fun place to play, and if you can't get your juices flowing with people right on top of you, you probably don't have a pulse.
     
  • Going to Arkansas, we have them right where we want them. Maybe we're catching them a little overconfident. We hope to give Arkansas all they can handle this weekend. Hopefully, we can give Dave Van Horn some humble pie, and I say that jokingly because I love that man.
Discussion from...

Diamond Notes: Aggies looking for answers after being swept by Bama

2,513 Views | 1 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by Txgott
fieldtrailer
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AG
Curious about the strikeouts this team has this year. You would hope they would try strategies RC not known for to try to shake it up. Let Caillet do what he wants for next few games. See what happens.
Txgott
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Thank you Gabe. It's past time that people with clout started shedding the light on the state of our baseball program. It's starts with Childress. Hire a proven coach who consistently has his team in the top ten., "we have a good team" Childress just said after getting swept by an average Bama team.
TXGOTT
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