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Texas A&M Baseball

Schlossnagle grateful for 900th career win as head coach, ready for 901

February 26, 2024

Jim Schlossnagle and the seventh-ranked Aggies swept Wagner in dominant fashion to stay undefeated through two weekends. The head coach of the ballclub joined Monday's edition of TexAgs Radio to discuss what he has liked about the Maroon & White's perfect start.

Key notes from Jim Schlossnagle interview

  • 900 is a lot of ball games, but I’m just looking for 901 now. I was planning on giving Ryan Targac the lineup card, as long as I got a ball from the deal. That’s a little memento for me and my family.
  • I’m super happy for Targac. What an awesome human being, and I'm glad he had a great day. You could see the weight of the world come off his shoulders when he hit that home run.
  • What happened was Billy Liucci was playing good catch with me in front of the dugout, and I think he said to me, “Hey, dad, do you want to have a catch?” so I said, “Sure, son.” He was playing a good catch before the game but what spooked him was section 203. Ball 5 spooked him. I tried to get him in the strike zone.
  • Anytime this time of year, you gotta win the games. In college baseball, you’re kind of always in the playoffs. Every game means so much and will mean so much down the road.
  • Getting the opportunity to get the young players at-bats is important. Especially because if someone goes down or if somebody cools down a little bit. Guys like Caden Sorrell, Jack Bell and Jett Johnston. Also a lot of pitchers like Jason Bodin. Those innings are hard to come by. I just want them to know how much we think of them.
  • I think they're feeling pretty good. I think the overall health of the team is solid. You’ve got some guys banged up here and there. Troy Wansing is still pretty banged up. We’re trying to get some more answers on his situation. It’s not his arm, but just trying to get him healthier if it’s possible.
  • We’re healthy for the most part, other than Weston Moss rolling his ankle playing hacky sack before the game, but he's fine.
  • The catching, Hank Bard, you can’t fault what he’s done since he’s come back. He hit .450 in the fall and led our team in hitting. He’s catching better, both by the eye test and by the analytics.
  • Jackson Appel is ahead of the other two catchers, but Bard is catching up. He’s experienced, he’s a son of a coach, and he’s going to get more playing time.
  • In regards to second base, first base, and designated hitter, Hayden Schott’s gonna stay in the lineup, Ted Burton, Kaeden Kent, and at first base, we’ll give Targac opportunities there. We’ll give Blake Binderup opportunities there. Now and then maybe Burton.
  • In the long-term view of our program, we would like Binderup to win that first base job. I evaluate a first basemen’s defense by the lack of throwing errors of the other infielders. Because there aren't that many groundballs hit over to first, they aren't hard to field.
  • It’s the balls that are in the dirt or a little bit wide. I think we had two or three in the first weekend, and you’re not going to catch them all, but those short ones, we call it a 100 percent play. You gotta be pretty close to 100 percent.
  • You know who was pretty good at that? Jack Moss. He didn’t throw well. He was a pretty good first baseman, and he has played first base his entire life. People discount what an art it is to play around the base at first, and it’s not like you can just stick someone over there because unless everyone throws the ball perfectly. It is a very challenging position.
  • The saying you can’t have a great in-field defense without a good first baseman is 100 percent true. Those guys know that. We are working on it constantly. They’re working on it constantly, and I hope we look up a month from now, and you ask me that question, and we can say, “Wow, we’ve really improved in that area.”
  • You have to rely on pitching and defense. Hitting is sexy, but it's not a consistent thing. The hardest thing to do in sports is hit a round ball with a round bat, square. If you count on the success of your team on the hardest thing in sports, I don't think that is a good formula. It’s about throwing strikes and making routine plays.
  • On Saturday, we had a few base running things. We didn’t get a timely hit, but we pitched well.
  • When we get into SEC play, the one constant I hope that we can keep is just throwing strikes. The level of player that is putting the swing on the ball will change but if you just keep filling that strike zone up, that gives you a great chance to win games.
  • When Shane Sdao pitches out of the bullpen, he pitchers like his rear is on fire. I think there’s a lot of intent. He’s learning on the job as a starter. He’s a strike thrower so he will always give you a chance.
  • If Tanner Jones and Chris Cortez can continue to do what they’re doing, Sdao can be used at least once a weekend out of the bullpen. Now we’re getting closer to that upper-echelon elite pitching like Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Florida. Getting that level of pitching is what we’re trying to get to.
  • We have to get Isaac Morton and Kaiden Wilson going because those are super-talented young players. This is the challenge, the travel roster is going to change. You can only have 27 or 30 available players. Who do you pick? You can’t pick them all even though I love them all. We’ll let the games tell us who that is and try to get guys innings in the mid-week games.
  • We do spend a lot more time than anyone in the country, in my opinion, on mental skills, which can be practiced. They’re good players. The level of competition is going to change. We just need competitive at-bats, stay healthy, and throw strikes.
  • Usually, the head coach is the guy who knows the least. As far as I can tell, they’ve been great, but what happens when you release that first travel roster? That’ll be the challenge, but that’s today’s college athletics. So far, so good, but there are a lot of big tests of egos coming up.
  • When you punch the batter’s box that much, sometimes you are going to get bloodied, and that’s okay. What we can’t live with is a walk, error, hit batter, walk and then a homer. You’re beating yourself that way and hopefully, we’re saying the same thing a month from now that we are saying today.
  • What the Texas Rangers are doing is investing in college baseball. They’ve decided to get as many baseball games in there as they can. Originally, we were going to play Mississippi State, but we both felt like it didn’t make sense to play a conference series. In November, Mississippi State dropped out, and TCU came in. So, now it’s set up that we play USC and Arizona State.
  • Lamar is really good. They've given us some fits in the past. It will be another big night. Cortez showed us his best college outing. Can he be 80 percent of that? Tomorrow night will be another big one as we move forward.
  • Let’s see how long Cortez pitches, and how well he pitches. Do we need him to win a ball game this weekend? The best teams that I've ever coached put together the most consistent season by having a legit fourth pitcher. You kind of just leave him there and let him do his thing the whole season. Ideally, we would like to do that, whether it be Cortez or somebody else the rest of the days.
Discussion from...

Schlossnagle grateful for 900th career win as head coach, ready for 901

3,496 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by RaggedConverge
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Always candid. You either produce or you don't play. Guys always respect that, as long as they don't get buried unfairly.
That, sir, was the greatest post in the history of TexAgs. I salute you. -- Dough
The Marksman
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Best coach in Aggieland
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Great weekend for Coach and the team!

Awesome to hear the shout out to the young guys on First Pitch. Both of them are great kids. The 5 year old (he's 6) is my son - very proud of his effort to throw a strike from the mound! The staff and team were awesome to him and his brother (Play Ball Kid) on Sunday!
Ag in ATL
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I'm kinda reading between the lines here, but I think he's saying that it's important for the pitchers to throw strikes.
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Congrats coach!
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