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Texas A&M Baseball

Jim Schlossnagle & Co. back in Omaha for second time in three seasons

June 13, 2024

As he did in his first year, head coach Jim Schlossnagle brought the Fightin' Texas Aggies back to Omaha, Neb. Ahead of A&M's MCWS opener against Florida on Saturday, Schlossnagle discussed his club, provided updates on Braden Montgomery and more.

Key notes from Jim Schlossnagle interview

  • It’s a good morning, and it’s great to talk to you from Omaha, that’s for sure!
  • Most teams that have made it this far in the season are able to overcome adversity, and Florida has done that. They had a young pitching staff to start the year. We caught them at the beginning of the year when we were still trying to figure ourselves out. The young guys have figured it out for Florida, and they’ve had big injuries that they’ve had to overcome.
  • They have Ashton Wilson in the middle of their lineup now, and he pinch-hit against us. When we left Gainesville, the talent and power was impressive. Jac Caglianone is a game-changing player, and they all went through a lot. As Kevin O’Sullivan teams usually do, they’re here at the end. They're talented and overcome a lot. We’re the exact same. We’ve dealt with injuries and have guys get better over the course of the season. We’ll see how it goes on Saturday night.
  • For the players, when you’ve seen a guy before, that helps, but the Gators have also seen our pitchers. Whatever is true for us is the same for them, so there’s no advantage. From a coaching standpoint, the familiarity helps save us some a little bit of time.
  • The other option would be to leave Gavin Grahovac at the leadoff spot and then move Jackson Appel to third. We want to have balance, produce the most and then protect Jace LaViolette. That was one game, and we won’t play enough games the rest of the year to see if the lineup construction matters. The only thing that matters is that we win. For someone to say Grahovac didn’t have a good game because he was batting third once, pick another sport to study.
  • You have more things to look at in how you attack Caglianone, and we were talking about it with Max Weiner. When we got here yesterday, the wind was blowing hard from the South, which is in. That could play a role in it all. I just want Caglianone hitting with the bases empty. The key to the first inning will be getting whoever hits in front of him out. I’m not sure we’ll use the four-outfielder thing against him because if he hits the ball in the air, it’s a homer. The key is making sure he hits with the bases empty.
  • Kaiden Wilson took some confidence from the inning he got us out of vs. Oregon. All of their hitters had great looks on our pitching. We were trying to change the look for a couple of batters. Brock Peery changes the look. I need to give Wilson a chance to start an inning clean so he can not feel the pressure of traffic on the bases. Wilson won’t be Shane Sdao this year, but he could be at some point this year. Sdao was a massive loss.
  • The Braden Montgomery thing still hurts. His dad sent me photos of him in the hospital bed when he got out of surgery, and I’m so happy that the surgery went well. The doctors are confident he will make a 110-percent recovery, but it makes me throw up down my shirt to think about not having him playing with us in Omaha.
  • There are different things that Kaeden Kent brings to the lineup that allow us to be a different club.
  • Tanner Jones’ role in Omaha will be massive. They changed the format last year, and it’s very condensed. All of your pitchers will be important. I challenged the pitching staff. Who will be the Kent of the pitching staff? Who plays a role and gives us four or five innings when they haven’t given us that much? Maybe it’s Zane Badmaev. Jones is experienced, so it could be him. We brought more pitchers with us for the 27-man roster, which caused some tough conversations and decisions to leave certain guys at home.
  • We’re not ready to announce starters yet. As soon as Florida is ready to do that, we’ll do that. We’re trying to win this thing, and Chris Cortez has been super effective. He has strengths and weaknesses, so we’re going to try and match that up with what Florida does as well as what Kentucky and NC State do.
  • I’m a college baseball fan, but I don’t know if I’ll go over to the ballpark tomorrow. We’re in the Hilton, which allows me to look right into the stadium from my balcony. I can walk over to watch a few innings if I want. You can get more done from a scouting standpoint by watching it at home. I’m a fan and love the pageantry of the Men’s College World Series, so I’ll probably end up going to the ballpark for a little when we’re not playing.
  • I don’t know if the transfers have signed yet. All they sign is a scholarship, so I shouldn’t mention them by name. We’re excited about who we have coming, for sure. People think that when you go to Omaha, it gives you a chance to get more players from the portal, but it’s actually the opposite. My responsibility is to this team and Texas A&M. I’m going to give every ounce of me to this team, but when we’re not practicing, it’s endless communication through phone calls, texts, Zoom and talking to players, parents and agents.
  • If there are 50 players in the portal that we’ve identified as a fit, there are also 70 schools trying to recruit those players. Those guys get crushed and pressured to make a decision. Most of the players don’t want to wait until the Men’s College World Series is done to make a decision. Our coaching staff is working their tails off in the portal right now because we want to get back here next year.
  • We believe that mental skills and mental toughness is a learned skill. It can be practiced. When you come to our program, that is something we value more than the baseball skill. Ask our hitters what we did the first day we got together in August. We went over your routine at home plate when you get punched in the mouth, get a bad call from an umpire or take a bad swing. We practice all of those things so that when we get into tough moments, the guys can just do what they do. You’re always going to face adrenaline and adversity, so just go back to the mental skills. That will allow us to be just fine. We take pride in practicing that on a daily basis.
  • Our players got to see the ballpark when we finally got here yesterday. It’s a huge park, and there is a ton of foul ground. We’re playing in the Midwest, so it’s a thicker grass than we’re used to. If you put down a bunt, the pitcher has to really get off the mound. In terms of cuts and relays, we’ll keep those the same. If a guy hits a deep fly ball to right- or left-center field with a man at second base, that will become a double cut because the tagging runner could score from second base. We will practice that today. You have to be ready to double-cut a fly ball like you would a true double in that particular situation.
Discussion from...

Jim Schlossnagle & Co. back in Omaha for second time in three seasons

4,727 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by you moran
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Good discussion. Starting with Appel, but also Camarillo and Chestnut, it's critical for those guys to hit line drives and keep the ball out of the air. Chestnut can really impact the game by getting walks and dropping down a bunt or 2. The size of the ball bark means that guys are in scoring position on 1B. Really want to see guys driving gaps.

On the mound, lots of options, and lots of questions. My biggest concern is that with runs likely at a premium, we wait too long to play the Cortez card. You have a guy who potentially gives you 4 innings of untouchable. When do you deploy it? If you told me we could get one guaranteed win going with Cortez for 5 and Ash for 4, I'd probably take it and let the chips fall where they may wrt availability.
That, sir, was the greatest post in the history of TexAgs. I salute you. -- Dough
AWP 97
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I never thought about roster limits for Omaha. Is there somewhere to find the 27 guys we brought. Also, if a player was injured (God forbid), are we able to fly up a replacement for him?
Randy Rhodes
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Under Schloss, this should be a yearly thing
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AWP 97 said:

I never thought about roster limits for Omaha. Is there somewhere to find the 27 guys we brought. Also, if a player was injured (God forbid), are we able to fly up a replacement for him?
Apparently it's a state secret. I'm guessing the opposing coach knows, but for some reason there is no published list. Bill Snyder would approve.
That, sir, was the greatest post in the history of TexAgs. I salute you. -- Dough
you moran
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I think Jones and Lamkin are critical. I think they are both capable of quality outings in Omaha. Just a gut feeling that at least one will step up with a quality start along the way. I think Prager bounces back as well.

Chestnut had around a .473 ob% in the regionals and supers. Will be big if he keeps doing that in Omaha. He scored about 2/3 of the time he got on base.

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