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Texas A&M Baseball

Aggies, Longhorns meet Tuesday for last of 'meaningless' midweeks

March 4, 2024
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Fans have called the midweeks “meaningless.”

But there’s nothing meaningless when these rivals square off.

When No. 7 Texas A&M (11-0) travels to face No. 24 Texas (7-4) in Austin on Tuesday night, it will be the end of a brief nine-year period of midweek clashes as non-conference opponents.

First pitch of this final stanza of the short-lived, awkward chapter in the rivalry is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.

With Texas joining the Southeastern Conference next year, the one-off games will be replaced with a traditional three-game set.

But whether the meetings be one game or three, the hatred remains the same.

“There isn’t any one game, win or loss, that’s going to define our season, whether it be against Texas or Rhode Island,” A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle told TexAgs Radio on Monday. “Obviously, we want to win the ballgame. We want to win every game we play, and going over there and playing those guys in front of that crowd is going to be a lot of fun.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Since A&M moved to the SEC, the rivals have met in the NCAA Tournament five times. The Aggies took the series’ only Omaha matchup in 2022, 10-2.

That hatred remains consistent regardless of record.

The Maroon & White are riding an 11-game heater. Meanwhile, the Horns have lost three straight after being swept out of Houston by No. 3 LSU, Texas State and No. 9 Vanderbilt.

Aside from facing their first ranked opponent of the year, Tuesday represents a different and more intense test for Schlossnagle & Co.

“You can feel the electricity during batting practice,” Schlossnagle said. “It is what it is, man: Texas and Texas A&M. I’ve been preparing a couple of our guys, even Braden (Montgomery). I was like, ‘Buddy, you have no idea what you’re about to walk into.’

“Imagine next year when it’s a three-game SEC series. The freakin’ world may explode.”

Bragging rights are always highly sought after, and after a 5-2 loss at Blue Bell Park last year snapped a four-game winning streak vs. Texas, the Aggies will be anxious to resume their winning ways.

A&M tabs right-handed fireballer Chris Cortez (1-0, 1.86 ERA) with trusted relievers Evan Aschenbeck and Shane Sdao expected to be the early options out of UFCU Disch-Falk Field’s left-field bullpen.

“I have confidence in Chris. I have since day one,” Schlossnagle said. “This will be a great opportunity for him to showcase himself in that kind of environment.

“All I ask out of our starting pitcher is when I take the ball from you is just have us in the game, man. Just have us in the game, and I’ll manage the rest of it with the guys we have available in the bullpen.”

“I’ve been preparing a couple of our guys, even Braden (Montgomery). I was like, ‘Buddy, you have no idea what you’re about to walk into.’ Imagine next year when it’s a three-game SEC series. The freakin’ world may explode.”
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

While LHP Luke Harrison (1-0, 5.40 ERA) and RHP Max Grubbs (1-0, 5.40 ERA) started Texas’ first two Tuesday games, David Pierce gives the nod to RHP Tanner Witt, who has a 2.25 ERA in 4.0 innings across three appearances, including a start vs. San Diego on opening weekend.

Witt will be tasked with slowing A&M’s potent offense that’s slashing .336/.476/.608 as a club.

With All-Americans Montgomery and Jace LaViolette leading the way, the Aggies have clubbed 22 homers in 11 games.

“I've heard a lot about it, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they've got,” Montgomery said of the rivalry on Sunday. “I know what we've got, and we're going to bring it on Tuesday.”

But Texas also launched 22 bombs in their first 11 games and are hitting .320 as a club, which ranks No. 34. Third baseman Peyton Powell’s OPS is a balmy 1.338 with four homers and 18 RBIs as four Longhorns are hitting above .350, including Jalin Flores at .356.

It’s on the mound where A&M has the decided edge.

The Aggies lead the nation in ERA at 1.45, and with 124 punchouts, the staff ranks second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.96) and WHIP (0.91).

In those same categories, Texas is 31st in ERA (3.69), 89th in K/BB (2.21) and 79th in WHIP (1.41).

But when it comes to actually playing the game, A&M’s statistical advantages are just that.

Meaningless.

Discussion from...

Aggies, Longhorns meet Tuesday for last of 'meaningless' midweeks

9,386 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Iraq2xVeteran
KT 90
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Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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whoop that ass.
RaggedConverge
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AG
BTHO TU!
texag0928
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BTHOtu
Maroon Flash
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AG
Time to smash some balls
Iraq2xVeteran
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BTHO Texas in Austin!
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