From SFA Athletics
NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
In their third true road game of the young 2016 campaign, the Stephen F. Austin baseball team has its sights set on toppling another top-ten ranked program in three days when the ‘Jacks head to College Station to take on No. 4-ranked Texas A&M. SFA and the Aggies have been hooking up at least once a year since the 2007 campaign and the ‘Jacks are in search of their second win ever against their intrastate, Big 12 rivals.
• #15 Austin Nagy, SFA (Jr., RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. #38 Jace Vines, TA&M (So., RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Scouting the Aggies • Roster • Schedule • Statistics
2016: 3-0 (1.000)
Last Three Games: W, 5-2, vs. Hofstra (2/19) • W, 15-4, vs. Hofstra (2/20) • W, 5-0, vs. Hofstra (2/21)
Head Coach: Rob Childress • 11th season • 412-222-2 (.649)
Synopsis: Playing their first five games of 2016 at home, the Aggies opened up their latest campaign by sweeping a three-game series against Hofstra, outscoring the Pride 25-6 in the process. First baseman Hunter Melton and designated hitter Ronnie Gideon did the majority of the Aggies damage at the dish through the series. Melton is the owner of a team-best .600 batting average through the first three games and is also the team’s leader in hits (six), runs scored (seven), and home runs (two). While his batting average may be a bit more toward the normal side of things, Gideon is no slouch at the dish, either. He’s hitting .375 and has collected a team-bets seven RBIs on three hits - two of which left the park. Jace Vines will be making his first start of the season, but hurled a pair of scoreless innings in his 2016 debut. He fanned a pair of Hofstra batters and faced the minimum number of hitters through those two frames (six).
In the 23 all-time meetings between the ‘Jacks and Aggies, Texas A&M has been victorious in all but one of them. SFA has lost its last five in a row to the College Station crew, but their lone victory in the series came on February 24, 2010, when the ‘Jacks rolled into the Aggies’ home field and handed them a 7-6 defeat. Of those 23 games, all but one have been played in College Station. The only showdown between the ‘Jacks and Aggies in Nacogdoches took place on April 19, 1994, and the Aggies walked away with a 3-2 win. Nine of the 23 meetings between the two clubs have been decided by a single run.
The Week That Was
Two wins and an equal number of losses were what began the ‘Jacks 2016 campaign as SFA split with host UT Arlington and No. 7-ranked Oklahoma State at the Clay Gould Classic this past weekend. Backed by a solid start on the mound by junior Jarred Greene, SFA blasted UT Arlington 12-1, gaining the program’s biggest opening day margin of victory in the process. The following afternoon, SFA stood toe-to-toe with the No. 7-ranked Cowboys for over two-thirds of the game, but a six-run eighth inning by Oklahoma State led to an 8-2 SFA setback. The ‘Jacks started their two-game Sunday by registering an awe-inspiring, extra innings come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the No.7 Cowboys before falling 13-7 to UT Arlington to finish off their four-game stretch.
Although it’s a small sample size so far, two of the ‘Jacks top three hitters are newcomers asZach Michener and Tyler Kendrick turned heads in their opening week in SFA colors. Michener, a former Weatherford Junior College player, started each and every one of the ‘Jacks first four contests and went 6-for-14 (.429) at the plate to go along with team highs in runs (three) and doubles (two). Kendrick put up a .364/.417/.455 slash line in his first three games played and was the hero in SFA’s walk-off win over Oklahoma State on Sunday. His one-out, two-run single pushed the ‘Jacks winning runs across the plate in the bottom of the tenth inning and his three runs scored are tied for the team lead. Senior Garrett McMullen is hitting .400 in his first three games of 2016 and is the only SFA player to have a double, a triple and a home run to his credit this season.
Once things wrap up in College Station on Tuesday night, the ‘Jacks will hunker down at their home venue of Jaycees Field for four consecutive games, beginning with a three-game series against Sacred Heart on Friday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Those three tilts will be the first of the season for the Pioneers, who were selected to finish second in the 2016 Northeastern Conference Preseason Poll following a conference title a season ago. The series between the ‘Jacks and Pioneers will conclude with single games on Saturday, Feb. 27 (2:00 p.m.) and Sunday, Feb. 28 (1:00 p.m.). SFA concluded its four-game stretch of home games with a third meeting with non-conference foe UT Arlington at 4:00 p.m., on Tuesday, March 1.