COLLEGE STATION, TX — The No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies host the No. 7 Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game, Thursday-Saturday series on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Start times for the soirees are 6:02, 6:32 and 2:02 p.m.
The top 20 series is pivotal for a Texas A&M squad that is 11-9-1 in league action heading into their final nine regular-season games, all scheduled against SEC foes. The Aggies enter the fray in fifth place in the SEC Western Division, 3.5 games behind first-place Arkansas (15-6). LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are tied in second place in the SEC West, two games behind the Razorbacks with 13-8 records.
The series features the top two strikeout duos in the nation. Mississippi State’s Ethan Small (114) and J.T. Ginn (75) lead the country with a combined 189 Ks. Asa Lacy (100) and John Doxakis (77) rank as the No. 2 strikeout combination in the nation through 11 weeks of play with 177. Entering the week, There are only five one-two combos in the nation who have combined for 170 or more strikeouts heading into the week’s action with Rice, Elon and UNC Greensboro joining the Aggies and Bulldogs.
The Thursday and Saturday contests air on the SEC Network. Clay Matvick handles the play-by-play chores while Chris Burke provides color analysis.
Every game of the series is available for viewing on SEC Network +. SEC Network + provides digital-only events to SEC Network subscribers through WatchESPN and the ESPN app on smartphones, computers, tablets and connected devices (Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One). All three games will air on the radio locally. All three games are broadcast in the Brazos Valley on SportsRadio 1150 and/or 93.7 The Zone with Dave South on the call.
The Texas A&M pitching staff is on pace to set a school record for strikeouts in 2019. With 507 strikeouts through 47 games, the Maroon & White are on pace to hang 604 Ks through the 56-game regular-season schedule. The school record for strikeouts in a season is 612 set by the 2010 squad, the only season the Aggies have ever reached the 600-K mark. With a sufficient run at the SEC Tournament and NCAA Championship, the Aggies could flirt with becoming just the second SEC team to post 700 strikeouts in a season, potentially joining Vanderbilt’s 2015 squad that recorded 703 strikeouts.
The Aggies rank in the top 25 in the nation in numerous pitching categories, including K-to-BB ratio (2nd - 3.40), strikeouts per nine Innings (3rd - 11.0), ERA (5th - 3.11), WHIP (9th - 1.19), shutouts (13th - 5), hits allowed per nine innings (17th - 7.47) and walks allowed per nine innings (21st - 3.21).
Individually, Lacy anks seventh in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (13.92), ninth in strikeouts (100) and 12th in hits allowed per nine innings (5.15). Doxakis ranks 24th in the nation in ERA (1.81) and 35th in K-to-BB ratio (1.29). Kasey Kalich ranks 11th in the nation in saves with 10.
With his next save, Kalich will move into a tie with Scott Centala (11 - 1988) for fourth place on the Texas A&M’s single-season saves chart. He is chasing the school record of 14 set by Jason Jester in 2013 and equaled by Nolan Hoffman in 2018.
Braden Shewmake enters the game in eighth place on the Aggies’ career RBI list. With 155 career ribbies, he needs two to tie Luke Anders (157 - 2006-09) for seventh place. Shewmake also moved into a tie for 10th place on Texas A&M’s career triples list with 10.