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Texas A&M Baseball

Jim Schlossnagle's No. 7 Aggies take their perfect 8-0 start to Arlington

February 29, 2024

No. 7 Texas A&M leaves the friendly confines of Blue Bell Park for the first time this weekend as the Aggies head to Arlington to face Arizona State and USC. On Thursday morning, Jim Schlossnagle joined TexAgs Radio to discuss this weekend's ramp-up in competition.

Key notes from Jim Schlossnagle interview

  • I’m looking forward to getting up to Arlington. I’m sure we’ll have a good following. The 12th Man always shows up. Road trips are always a good time with your team. That’s where you form the camaraderie of your club. I’m looking forward to playing some good teams. We’ve done well with the schedule we’ve played. Arizona State can really hit, and they’re getting one of their best hitters back. We’re getting a good test this weekend.
  • It's an awesome life experience to play at Globe Life Field. The World Series was just played there. I’ve been in many of those stadiums, but it never gets old. It definitely changes the heart rate a little bit, and that’s good preparation for conference play. The ballpark is unique. It’s really big in the middle of the field. You better hammer it. The gaps are huge, and you better play good outfield defense.
  • We’ll throw Tanner Jones on Saturday and Justin Lamkin on Sunday. We’ll get Jonesr in that middle game, and Ryan Prager in the first game. Jones felt really good, so I think he’ll have around 45 to 50 pitches, depending on how it's going. We’re excited to get him out there.
  • We knew we wanted to eventually get Jones in the middle game. That’s kind of the way we like to attack a weekend, and we felt now is the time to do it. I hadn’t looked at Arizona State before we made that decision. They stay on the baseball. When you’re doing that as a lefty, with left on left, that just tells you what great hitters they have. Prager will have his work cut out for him. The challenge for our pitching staff is to keep throwing strikes. Can you get right back in the strike zone? Don’t let contact keep you from continually being a strike thrower.
  • Up until a couple of years ago, launch angle sounded like something the space shuttle would do. Jace LaViolette is a big, strong guy. I don’t know how much the wind helped that ball. I haven’t seen that before.
  • LaViolette plays hard, and he can run. The job of the baserunner is to run until the defense stops you. We watch the arm strength of their outfielders during warmups. Going first to third is the decision of the player, so when a guy gets thrown out, don’t yell at Nolan Cain. We’re trying to develop winning players, and part of that is making winning decisions. If the outfielders are playing deep, that means on any ball you can go first to third. A lot of things go into that decision, and certainly, LaViolette can run and keep running. You saw it in that first at-bat on Tuesday.
  • I see LaViolette being more comfortable. Normally, the biggest growth for a player is freshmen to sophomore year because they’ve got an idea of everything and can settle in and get more comfortable. He plays with a lower heart rate than he did last year. He’s off to a better start this year. He’s staying on the baseball. The home runs will take care of themselves. We’ve got to take care of him and keep him healthy.
  • Ryan Targac is having better at-bats. Blake Binderup is working through some things, and I’d like to get him a start. I’d like to get Ted Burton out there to mix in some other guys. Caden Sorrell had an unbelievable day yesterday in our simulated game. I’d love to get Jack Bell some time coming up. We should get some opportunities to do that. You’ve got to remember that Binderup is a freshman. Targac has proven it, so we’ll ride his streaks. I’d love to get Targac some right-handed at-bats. We’ll play it day by day and see what the matchup looks like.
  • I thought Chris Cortez was great. He had two really good pitches and was commanding both of them. A sign of a good pitcher is when he can keep his team in the game when he doesn’t have his best stuff. The ability to get back in the count on the next hitter after a walk is big. Other than that, any time you can keep your team in the ballgame is the sign of a great pitcher, so it was a great night for Cortez.
  • I thought Braden Montgomery did great on the mound on Tuesday. Frankly, that was the best he has pitched since he has been here. He was in control of himself. That was great for him. He earned more time for sure. He threw strikes. The strike throwers pitch. He and Jett Johnston threw yesterday. When you get into a 27-man travel squad, you can’t take 16 pitchers. You get maybe 12 or 13, so to have Montgomery and Johnston on that roster, they can suck up those innings. Montgomery did great, and he’ll continue to do great.
  • Luke Jackson was awesome in his last appearance. Weston Moss was great too. Zane Badmaev too. Peyton Smith will be a guy we need to get on the mound more. He has some unique stuff, and we have to find out if he can pitch when it counts. We’ve got to keep running out Isaac Morton. He has some good stuff too.
  • I try to balance the lineup out and make it challenging on the other team, so as long as those guys can get on base, it’s a huge help. Ali Camarillo smoked the ball to right field. That ball this weekend would be at least a double. Those guys at the bottom have done a great job getting on base because we’ve got some force coming behind them that can do some damage.
  • I’m looking for more of the same this weekend. When you have five games in six days, you need to have good starting pitching to stretch things out and not get to that bullpen too early. The lowest ERA in SEC-only games last year was around 5.50, so it’s really tough to pitch. We need as much as we can get out of that starter. That will help elevate the pressure on the bullpen.
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Jim Schlossnagle's No. 7 Aggies take their perfect 8-0 start to Arlington

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