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Texas A&M Baseball

Jim Schlossnagle talks possible schedule changes ahead of Penn series

February 24, 2022

Off to a perfect 4-0 start to 2022, Jim Schlossnagle and the Aggies turn their attention to the Penn Quackers this weekend in what should be a frigid three-game set. Schlossnagle joined Thursday's radio show to discuss what he has seen from his team through four games.

Key notes from Jim Schlossnagle interview

  • I knew of Gary Blair a long time ago and followed his career before having the opportunity to have limited time with him. We’re neighbors in town. What a great example from a coach in running a comprehensive program. His connection with his athletes is what sticks out to me. He’s a championship coach in everywhere he has been. I’ve always been a fan of coaches like Gary Blair, who have run a comprehensive program.
  • I’m always looking at the weather, whether for practice or games. It’ll be announced here in the next hour or so, and we expect tomorrow’s game to be moved up to play in the warmest part of the day, around 2 p.m. or so. If we cannot play on Saturday, we can play a doubleheader on Sunday because Penn does not fly out until Monday. As for now, we’re planning to move tomorrow’s game up for a businessman’s special. (Editor’s Note: Texas A&M’s series-opener with Penn has since been officially moved to 2 p.m. on Friday.)
  • We’re happy with the results. I’ll take the four wins, but you have to gauge your excitement on everything until we play more games. You have to see what happens over time. Four games in baseball does not make a season. Except for one or two innings, we’ve thrown strikes and caught the baseball. If you’re gauging your team’s success on doing the hardest thing in sports — hitting a round ball with a round bat square — you’re not going to have much success. I want to be a good pitching and defensive team.
  • I’m proud of the way we’ve swung the bats. We showed some depth on Tuesday with Trevor Werner being out and Ryan Targac stepping in.
  • Everyone needs to keep improving. Nathan Dettmer needs to go out there and keep getting better. Penn will have better pitching, at least stronger arms, than we saw from Fordham.
  • Throwing strikes calms my nerves. It’s always good to pay from ahead. If we had scored five runs in the game on Tuesday night with the wind blowing, that would’ve fired me up. If you give up free bases on a night like that, shame on you. Khristian Curtis got out of the inning OK. It was huge for him in his first career start to have a cushion. It was great for him.
  • Austin Bost didn’t get off to a great start in his first couple of games, but the guy is going to hit. He showed us that when we first got here. He has off-and-on injuries with his back. He’s the only returning .300 hitter with double-digit home runs in the SEC on this team. He’s using the entire field. The fact that he’s doing a better job tells that Michael Earley, our hitting coach, is doing a great job with him. Most of Bost’s hits last year were to the pull-side. We stress that we want them to use the entire field. With the weather this weekend, we will be careful with him because we need him to be healthy.
  • For Curtis, knocking that first one out of the way is big. He scattered some things. He did a nice job, but he will have to be better for us to become the team that we want to become. He has to land his offspeed pitches. He has to throw those pitches. If he pitches on those Tuesday nights, he’ll face some really good teams. You’re also just one injury away from him moving into the weekend rotation. We also think he can challenge those guys on the weekends. He works his tail off, and he’s growing in his confidence. We’re banking on him getting better.
  • Troy Claunch is getting better. His interaction with the pitchers and with Nate Yeskie is impressive. Anybody who has ever played baseball, that bond and interaction between pitcher, catcher and pitching coach is so important. When that’s not good, it challenges the pitcher and the team. Troy is a steady force. Taylor Smith caught well on Tuesday, and Chanden Scamardo is coming. With Curtis starting, he needed Claunch behind the plate. I want to wrap Troy in bubble wrap every day to make sure he comes back safe.
  • This sounds simple, but you swing at strikes and take balls. We strive for perfection and arrive at excellence. Our opponents just swing. I don’t want to be part of a team like that. Your goal is not to draw a walk but to get a good pitch to hit. The best hitters have on-base percentages 80 to 100 points higher than their batting averages. Scoring runs begins with getting on base. That’s something we’re constantly looking at. Kole Kaler got his first hit, but he has been on base with six walks. He’s going to get better, but he’s getting on.
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Jim Schlossnagle talks possible schedule changes ahead of Penn series

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