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Texas A&M Baseball

Schlossnagle's fifth-ranked Aggies are healthy ahead of series vs. Hogs

May 16, 2024
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Blue Bell Park is the center of the college baseball world this weekend as No. 5 Texas A&M battles No. 3 Arkansas with the SEC West still up for grabs. Ahead of Thursday's series opener, Jim Schlossnagle joined TexAgs Radio to discuss how his Aggies matchup with the Razorbacks.



Key notes from Jim Schlossnagle interview

  • I am super excited for softball. I have only coached a few places that have softball. Coach Trisha Ford is tough. No disrespect to coach Mike Elko or Buzz Williams. Joni Taylor and Trisha may be the two toughest coaches in this department. 
     
  • Two great programs. Arkansas is more established because Dave Van Horn has been there for 20-plus years. They have stacked recruiting classes. Arkansas is so impressive cause they play really good baseball even when they have injuries. They find a way, and that helps when you don't let the other teams score with great pitching.
     
  • We are excited. I hate that the weather could impact this thing. The 12th Man is an advantage. I know it will be a great crowd. I hope the weather doesn't dampen that.
     
  • Sunday is only available on this last weekend. That would be if you had one game to play, and you had to get it in. Rain is supposed to come in 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. The earlier it gets out, maybe we can start a game at 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.
     
  • Per the SEC rules, we cannot start a game past 10:00 p.m., and we can't resume a game after midnight. The biggest issue is once the rain gets out, there is still lightning to deal with. Within reason, we will wait as long as we can.
     
  • Gavin Grahovac was pretty banged up over the weekend. He was fighting through it, but it's the same thing he's dealt with all year, his left shoulder. He was able to get it addressed, and he's 100 percent. It's behind us now for the foreseeable future, barring some collision. He's good. He's ready to go.
     
  • As far as I know, Ted Burton is 100 percent. I checked on everyone yesterday, and he said, "Coach, I'm ready to steal base." He's not Travis Chestnut, but he can move on the bases. I think baserunning will play a big role this weekend, especially against Hagen Smith.
     
  • I'm not sure we will have the winds blowing out. Weirdest year ever. We played with a North wind at South Carolina and Ole Miss. We will have one day here with that. That's part of our game. We will have to play very complete baseball, and Burton will be a part of that. 
     
  • I hope Hagen Smith wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, man. He is Paul Skenes from the left side with similar dominant numbers. If you are coming to the game, wait until you see how big and strong this guy is. He holds runners and fields his position. Early in the year, he would give you more opportunities with walks, but now, he is throwing more strikes. He is sure fire first-round pick.
     
  • We have to pitch with him. Arkansas has a reliever, Gabe Gaeckle, who we tried really hard to get. He's as impressive a pitcher as you can find in the country. We will be smothered by that, but we will compete. Hopefully, Ryan Prager can have a good night, keep us close and find a scrap for a few runs.
     
  • Let me see Smith in person first before I put him in my Mount Rushmore of college pitchers. No disrespect to Mark Prior or Stephen Strasberg, but Skenes is generational. Hagen is up there with him.
     
  • The players are different now. There are more guys who play college baseball who should be playing professional baseball. I don't like to compare generations because they are all different. This is the golden age of college baseball. 
     
  • The pitching staff is very well coached. They are left-handed and right-handed. There are power arms. Their reliever, Will McEntire, is kind of their Evan Aschenbeck. They manage it how I like to do it.
     
  • Their starting pitching after Smith hasn't had the best couple of weeks, kind of like ours. They are human, too. Mississippi State scored some runs on them last week. I think our offense can play with anybody. We're excited.
     
  • We need everyone to pack the ballpark. If we were going to Arkansas and one game got rained out and we had to play a day-game doubleheader, I would be excited because there is no question it lessens the crowd.
     
  • The 12th Man always steps up, and we will need them to step up this weekend. 
     
  • Shane Sdao provides strikes and competitiveness. Arkansas has power, but they are a disciplined offensive team. They are tough to pitch to. They will bunt when the situation calls for it and you better be able to field your position. 
     
  • The middle-game pitcher remains to be seen. A lot of that has to do with weather. If we play tonight, you could bring someone back out of the bullpen. We have multiple guys ready to pitch. 
     
  • We haven't played horribly, but haven't played great the last two weekends. We have been out of character in many ways. They are aware of that. Every team has a story. I believe in this team. We know what we are playing for. 
     
  • If you are another school and A&M is coming to your regional, you would be concerned with that. Hopefully, we will get to play at home in the postseason for at least one round. Hopefully, two, but we have to play well.
     
  • Do I want to win this weekend? Of course. Do I want to win next week? Yeah, we are playing for a championship. I think we have earned the right to be in the NCAA Tournament. The only way to get to Omaha is to play in regional.
     
  • Gig 'Em.
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Schlossnagle's fifth-ranked Aggies are healthy ahead of series vs. Hogs

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