COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies begin play in their 33rd NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Friday as they battle the Baylor Bears in Houston Regional play at Schroeder Park. First pitch is slated for 2:04 pm.
With the appearance, the Aggies extend their school-record string of consecutive NCAA Championships to 11. Texas A&M is one of only six schools to appear in each of the last 11 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships. The Maroon and White’s 11-season NCAA postseason string is the second-longest in the SEC trailing only Vanderbilt (12 years). It’s also the second-longest active string among Texas schools, trailing only Rice (23 years).
It marks the Aggies’ third trip to the city of Houston for a Regional, but the first time they travel to the University of Houston for a Regional. In 2004, the Aggies claimed the Regional hosted by Rice and in 2014 Texas A&M fell to Texas in the seventh game of the Regional at Reckling Park.
Brigham Hill gets the start for the Aggies on the mound. He owns a 7-3 record with a 2.96 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 85.0 innings. He enters the game ranked 16th on the Aggies’ all-time career strikeout list with 217.
Braden Shewmake, a Collegiate Baseball All-America First Team honoree and the SEC Freshman of the Year, is hitting .343 (83-for-242) with 40 runs, 17 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 65 RBI. Shewmake ranks 22nd in the nation in RBI (65) and 42nd in the nation in hits (83). He leads all Division I freshmen in hits, total bases and RBI.
The Aggies are 78-73 all-time in NCAA Championship play, including a 67-46 mark in regional action. Texas A&M has won regionals in 1993, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016. They also captured a district playoff in 1951 before regional play began.
The game will be televised on the ESPN2 with Lowell Galindo (play-by-play) and Keith Moreland (color) handling the call. The contest will be available for viewing on ESPN3. ESPN3 provides 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 SportsRadio 1150/102.7 The Zone.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (36-21, 16-14 SEC) vs. BAYLOR BEARS (34-21, 12-12 BIG 12)
Schroeder Park (3,500) • Houston, Texas
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
• FRIDAY: #15 Brigham Hill (Jr., RHP, 7-3, 2.96 ERA) vs. #30 Montana Parsons (Jr., RHP, 5-3, 2.81 ERA)
ESPN2 • Lowell Galindo (play-by-play), Keith Moreland (color analyst)
SportsRadio 1150/102.7 The Zone • Dave South (play-by-play)
ESPN3 (WatchESPN credentials required through cable provider)
Texas A&M – unranked; Baylor – unranked
Texas A&M leads 181-135-4
2017 NCAA Lubbock Regional
Friday, June 2 – Monday, June 5 • Lubbock, Texas • Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park
Arizona (37-19) vs. Sam Houston State (40-20) • 6 p.m. Friday • Game Notes
NCAA Regional Bracket • KSAM 101.7 (online) • ESPN3 • @BearkatsBSB on Twitter
LUBBOCK – Sam Houston is making its 11th NCAA Regional appearance including eighth in the last 11 seasons and fifth in the last six years. The three-seed Bearkats open the 2017 NCAA Lubbock Regional on Friday at 6 p.m. against two-seed Arizona.
For a second-straight season, Sam Houston is paired with Arizona in NCAA Regional play. The two-seed Wildcats defeated the three-seed Bearkats in the 2016 NCAA Lafayette Regional opener, 7-3 before sending Sam Houston packing with a 6-5 elimination-game win.
With a win in the Southland Tournament championship game, Sam Houston not only locked up a berth in the NCAA Tournament but also eclipsed the 40-win plateau for a second-straight season. The victory marked the first time in Division I program history that the team had accomplished the feat in consecutive years.
The Kats enter the NCAA Lubbock Regional on an eight-game winning streak, matching the longest of the season. During the stretch, the team is hitting .361 and averaging 9.12 runs per game. The pitching staff has been equally as impressive, posting a 1.67 ERA while limiting opponents to a .185 batting average.
Head coach Matt Deggs on facing Arizona in the opener…
“We have a ton of respect for those guys. Jay Johnson does an incredible job. They are a very formidable opponent as is everyone in the regional. I thought we matched up and playing well against them a year ago. They will come in their hungry. Texas Tech has been in Omaha the last two years and Delaware can really swing the bat. We're not a mid-major school that's happy to be here. We're a program that this has been part of our mission and vision from day one. We want to pick up where we left off.”
Catcher Robie Rojas on familiarity with the regional field …
“My freshman year I was at Oklahoma State and we had a three-game with Tech that year. We played them three times last year. So, with Tech we are familiar and then Arizona as well after playing them twice in the regional last year. We are familiar with two of the three teams, which makes it fun.”
Catcher Robie Rojas on the team's eight-game winning streak…
“We feel really good and our bats are showing what we are capable of doing. Our pitching has been really good and attacking hitters, but we are going to have our hands full with these two teams who are both very good.”
Heath Donica on the mindset entering the regional…
“We are really excited. Coming into this time of the year, it's the most exciting time of year for us. We are playing really good baseball right now, which all of these teams are, but we are looking forward to playing and having some fun.”
Bryce Johnson on having the experience of last year's regional…
“Last year our whole lineup was full of freshman. Everyone was getting their first shot at a regional, and I was too even though I was a sophomore. Now we have a bunch of guys that have that experience and have matured from last year and throughout this year and that can only be beneficial for us.”