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Aggie baseball going for fifth straight series victory with South Carolina coming to town

The last four weekends the Aggies earned series wins against Kentucky, No. 10 Georgia, No. 3 Arkansas and No. 22 Vanderbilt.
Credit: SEC Network+

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies look to win their fifth consecutive weekend series when they welcome the South Carolina Gamecocks to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The series starts Friday at 6:32 pm and continues with games Saturday (2:02 pm) and Sunday (1:02 pm).

ABOUT THE AGGIES

The last four weekends the Aggies earned series wins against Kentucky, No. 10 Georgia, No. 3 Arkansas and No. 22 Vanderbilt. The last time the Maroon & White ripped off five consecutive SEC series wins was 2017 when they bested No. 6 LSU, No. 11 Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri.

Nathan Dettmer has yielded two runs or less in five consecutive starts. He is 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 32.1 innings over the span.

In April, Jacob Palisch allowed just one run in eight appearances, scattering 16 hits and two walks while striking out 27 over 18.2 innings for a 0.48 ERA.

Dylan Rock has reached base in 34 consecutive games and 41 of the 42 games he has played this season, three times reaching base with a pinch-hit in his only at-bat of the game. Through 21 league games, Rock leads the SEC with 28 runs. He ranks third in on-base percentage (.476), fourth in total bases (60) and walks (19), fifth in slugging percentage (.741) and RBI (23) and sixth in home runs (9).

In his five April relief outings, Brad Rudis worked 8.0 scoreless innings, scattering four hits and one walk while striking out 11. During the stretch, he earned a win at No. 10 Georgia, a save against Alabama and a hold at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS

The Gamecocks enter the fray with a 23-20 overall mark, including a 9-12 SEC ledger, but USC is riding a four-game win streak, including a three-game sweep of Alabama last weekend.

Carolina is slashing .266/.365/.405 with 43 home runs and 44 stolen bases in 43 games. A trio of boppers hitting over .300 lead the Gamecocks’ offense. Andrew Eyster leads the team with a .344 batting average, .429 on-base percentage, .563 slugging percentage, nine doubles and 42 RBI and his eight homers rank second on the team. Brandt Belk is hitting .340 with 34 runs, nine doubles, five home runs, 30 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Braylen Wimmer is batting .316 with 30 runs, eight doubles, five home runs, 30 RBI and 11 stolen bases.

Gamecocks’ pitchers own a 5.08 ERA, .263 opponent batting average and 401 strikeouts in 373.2 innings. Will Sanders leads the staff with a 6-2 record, 3.82 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 68.1 innings in 11 starts. Cade Austin is the top bullpen arm, posting a 4-1 record with two saves, a 2.85 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 41.0 innings.

SERIES NOTES

South Carolina leads the all-time series, 10-7. The Gamecocks won the first five games of the series, starting with a 5-4 victory at the 2011 College World Series, along with a three-game series sweep in their first meeting as SEC foe in Columbia during the 2013 season. South Carolina also won series in College Station in 2015 and 2018. The Maroon & White won 2-of-3 in each of their last two trips to Columbia in 2016 and 2019.

In the most recent series, the Aggies prevailed on the road. Texas A&M won the opener, 8-2, behind a solid starting performance on the mound by John Doxakis and four RBI by Logan Foster. After Saturday’s game was washed out, the teams split a pair of 7-inning games on Sunday with the Maroon & White claiming the rubber match, 6-3, behind home runs by Cam Blake and Bryce Blaum.

PROMOTIONS

FRIDAY

·        12th Man Centennial Celebration – SEC Friday Night Fireworks – Fans may enjoy a postgame pyrotechnical show after SEC Friday home games all season long.

·        T-shirt Giveaway– Black A&M tshirts to the first 300 fans (Marketing table behind section 104)

SATURDAY

·        Diamond Darlings 50th Anniversary Reunion – Olsen Magic shirts to the first 500 fans at the marketing tables behind section 104 and in Section 12.

·        Reveille Blanket Raffle – Fans have a chance to win a raffle drawing for a Reveille Blanket (Enter to win at the Guest Services window).

SUNDAY

·        Kids Sunday Funday – Face painting before the game by the playground.

o   Buy 1 full-price GA ticket ($10) and bring up to 4 kids for FREE. No advance sales.

o   Pregame Face Painting – Face painting before the game by the playground.

o   Pregame Raising Cane’s Anthem Buddies – Kids 12 & under may join the Aggies on the field for the National Anthem.

o   Postgame Kids Run the Bases/Team Autographs – Kids will have the opportunity to run the bases and get autographs from the team.

o   Little League Sundays – Kids 12 & under in their little league uniform may enter the venue two hours prior to First Pitch to watch batting practice.