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Aggies Commence 2013 Season on Friday

February 14, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The 24th-ranked Texas A&M Baseball team opens up the 2013 schedule with a three-game series against the UIC Flames on Friday.

The Aggies host the Flames in a 6:35 pm contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Friday. The Saturday game is slated for 2:05pm  and the series wraps up with a 1:05 pm game on Sunday.

A&M returns to the field following a 43-18 campaign in which they made it to the NCAA Championship for a sixth consecutive season.

No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies (0-0) vs. UIC Flames (0-0)

Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (6,100) College Station, Texas
SCHEDULE - Friday, 6:35 PM • Saturday, 2:05 PM • Sunday, 1:05 PM  
RADIO - WTAW-AM 1620  Dave South, play-by-play
LIVE VIDEO - 12thMan.TV (premium subscription required)
LIVE AUDIO - aggieathletics.com  •  radioaggieland.com
LIVE STATS - aggieathletics.com
RANKINGS - Texas A&M - 24th (NCBWA), 24th (USAT), 26th (CollBB)
SERIES HISTORY - Texas A&M leads 4-0
SERIES STREAKS - Texas A&M has won two straight

WEEKEND PROMOTIONS

  • FRIDAY - Game sponsored by Moore Feed
    - First Pitch will be thrown by Donna Bachmann
  • SATURDAY - Have-A-Catch Saturday ... fans are invited to play catch in rightfield for 30 minutes following the game.
  • SUNDAY - Kids Run the Bases ... Kids are invited to run the bases following the conclusion of the game (sponsored by Pool Guy)
    - Junior Aggie Club Members admitted free
    - Take Me Out to the Ballgame Ticket Promotion ... Four kids (under 12) are admitted free of charge in General Admission with the purchase of an adult ticket

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (2012 Stats)

  • FRIDAY: #32 Kyle Martin (Sr., RHP, 6-5, 3.20) vs. #24 Tomas Michelson (So., RHP, 1-2, 4.24)
  • SATURDAY: #15 Daniel Mengden (So., RHP, 3-4, 3.83) vs. #12 Jack Andersen (Fr., RHP, first year)
  • SUNDAY: #55 Rafael Pineda (Jr., RHP, 5-1, 2.71) vs. #52 Joey Begel (Sr., RHP, 7-7, 5.38)

LEADING OFF
Texas A&M Baseball returns to the diamond this weekend when it kicks off the 2013 season and christens their first season in the Southeastern Conference by hosting UIC in a three-game series ... The Aggies are coming off a 43-18 campaign in which they finished second in the Big 12 Conference with a 16-8 record ... A&M has advanced to the NCAA Championship each of the last six years, the longest string in school history.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • RADIO - Fans can listen locally on WTAW-AM 1620 ... Dave South (play-by-play) and selected commentators will call the action ... pregame show begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
  • INTERNET - aggieathletics.com will offer live play-by-play and statistics ... fans can watch all non-televised games on 12thMan.TV.
  • MOBILE PHONE - listen to the game on your iPhone, Blackberry or PDA free of charge ... log on to radioaggieland.com for more information.

TEXAS A&M/UIC SERIES NOTABLES
The Aggies and Flames have met on the diamond on four prior occasions with Texas A&M leading 4-0 ... The first meeting came on May 30, 2008, during the NCAA College Station Regional at Olsen Field ... Texas A&M emerged the winner on that day by a score of 15-1, led by first baseman Luke Anders, who went 4-for-4 with a home run and five runs scored, and designated hitter Darby Brown, who also homered and drove in five runs during the win ... Last season, the Aggies swept a three-game series as Tyler Naquin batted .545 with eight runs, Matt Juengel hit .500 with five runs and five RBI and Jacob House hit two home runs.

MORE ON UIC
The Flames are coming off a 23-34 campaign in 2012 that saw them come up one game shy of an NCAA Championship berth. UIC advanced to the championship game of the Horizon League Tournament, but lost a 14-5 decision to the Valparaiso Crusaders... The Flames finished 12-17 in Horizon League action, fourth place in the league standings... UIC has won a share of the Horizon League regular-season title 10 of the last 13 seasons and the Flames have made NCAA Championship appearances since 2003... UIC won one game in NCAA Regional play in both 2007 (#16 Long Beach State, 4-1, at Long Beach Regional) and 2008 (Dallas Baptist, 9-5, at College Station Regional)... UIC returns 22 letterwinners from last season's squad ... The team is led by head coach Mike Dee, who is in his 15th year at the helm of the program and has a career record of 443-336-1 (.569)... The Flames most prolific alum is three-time MLB All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson.

NOTES AND NOTABLES

  • Head coach Rob Childress enters his eighth season at the helm of the Texas A&M baseball program, beginning the year with a 289-153-2 record. Last season, he lead the Aggies to the postseason for a school-record sixth-consecutive season.
  • Texas A&M welcomes back 17 letterwinners, including five positional starters, from last season's 43-18 team that advanced to the NCAA Championship. The Aggies return two All-Big 12 Second Team performers in Troy Stein (C) and Mikey Reynolds. They are joined by Blake Allemand (INF) and Kyle Martin (RHP) who garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention a year ago. Allemand and Chance Bolcerek were Big 12 All-Freshman selections.
  • The Aggies enter the season ranked in the Top 25 in two of the four major college baseball polls, earning the No. 24 ranking in both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

GRUELING SCHEDULE
The Aggies schedule features eight teams in the Baseball America Preseason Top 25 for a total of 20 games. The slate also highlights seven games against three teams in the BA Preseason Top 5 and 13 games against five teams in the BA Preseason Top 10. The Aggies play preseason No. 1 North Carolina and No. 18 Rice at the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park. They have a non-conference road series at No. 22 Cal State Fullerton. They have SEC series at No. 13 Ole Miss, No. 7 South Carolina and No. 3 Arkansas and SEC home series against No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 10 LSU.

MORE ON THE 2013 SCHEDULE
Fourteen teams on Texas A&M's 2013 schedule will be coming off NCAA tournament campaigns.

Of the 14 squads who earned a berth in the field of 64 in '13, four hosted regionals and Arkansas and South Carolina both advanced to the College World Series in Omaha where the Gamecocks finished as national runner-up to Arizona. Eight of the Aggies' opponents racked up 40 or more wins.

The Aggies will play a total of 31 games against 2012 NCAA tourney teams this spring.

AGGIES ON THE 'NET
For the 10th straight season, 12th Man TV will bring Aggies around the globe live video of Texas A&M baseball.

Fans will be able to watch all non-televised Aggie home games, along with selected road games, through the all-new 12th Man TV. Subscription packages start at $11.95/month and include exclusive live and on-demand content not found anywhere else. For more information log on to aggieathletics.com.

LISTEN AROUND THE WORLD
Free live audio of every pitch of the 2013 season is also available online at aggieathletics.com. In addition, listen to streaming audio of the two stations that carry A&M baseball-News/Talk 1620 WTAW and SportsRadio 1150 The Zone-along with several sister stations free of charge on your iPhone, Blackberry and other selected PDAs and cell phones through the Radio Aggieland app. To check availability or to set up your device to listen to Aggie baseball all season long wherever you go, visit radioaggieland.com.

POSTSEASON STREAK CONTINUES INTO 2013
Prior to the arrival of head coach Rob Childress, Texas A&M had never appeared in the NCAA Tournament more than four consecutive years. Hosting an NCAA Regional in 2012 extended the Aggies current string to six consecutive years, something that had never happened before in the program's 112 year history.

Childress has led the Aggies to the postseason each of the last six seasons, topping the previous-high water mark of four-straight trips, a feat that had happened only twice before at Texas A&M. Former head coach Tom Chandler led his squad to the NCAA Regionals each season from 1975 to 1978 and 11 years later the Aggies enjoyed a similar four-year run from 1986-89 under the direction of head coach Mark Johnson.

MARTIN NOW APPEARING
Now the Aggies' Friday night starter, Kyle Martin spent his first three seasons as a stalwart in the bullpen. He currently ranks seventh on A&M's career list with 77 appearances. It will be a harder record to reach as a starter, but he's chasing Kyle Thebeau's record of 103 appearances between 2006-09.

BRATSEN STEALING THE SHOW
Junior Krey Bratsen is flying up the Aggies career stolen bases charts with 52 which ranks eighth. He is just four steals from fourth place, trailing No. 4 Blake Stouffer (56 - 2005-08), No. 5 Brian Thomas (55 - 1990-93), t-No. 6 Cliff Pennington (53 - 2003-05) and t-No. 6 Billy Harlan (53 - 1991-94). Jason Tyner owns the school record with 118 from 1996-98.

Bratsen stole 31 bases as a freshman, the seventh-best season in school history. Last season, Bratsen racked up 21 stolen bases

AGGIES ON THE TUBE
No stranger to the national spotlight, the Aggies have had 55 of their games televised either regionally or nationally over the last six years. Texas A&M is scheduled to make eight regular-season TV appearances during the 2013 regular season as part of the SEC TV package.

The entire SEC broadcast package will include over 70 contests. In addition, all games from the 2013 SEC Tournament will continue to be televised, with the championship game airing again nationally on ESPN2. The semifinals will also air nationally for the first time, which will be broadcast on ESPNEWS.

The Aggies had previously been announced for two games as part of the Thursday Night Baseball package for ESPN, including a road game on March 28 at South Carolina and a home game on May 9 against LSU.

Texas A&M will have four home games as part of the package. All three games against LSU will be on TV. In addition to the Thursday night game, the Aggies will play the Tigers on CSS on May 10 and ESPN on May 11. A&M will host Mississippi State on Fox Sports Net on April 13.

In addition to the road game at South Carolina, Aggies will be featured at Ole Miss on ESPNU (March 23) and at Arkansas on ESPNU (April 20) and ESPN2 (April 21).

NKOTB
Texas A&M is in the midst of its first season in the Southeastern Conference. After 16 seasons in the Big 12 Conference, the Aggies will meet a new set of league mates. This year, A&M will face 10 of 13 possible conference opponents in the regular season, with no series scheduled against Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt this season.

The Aggies are 122-84-3 (.591) against current members of the SEC, including 3-0 vs. Alabama, 38-29-1 vs. Arkansas, 6-1 vs. Florida, 3-1 vs. Kentucky, 15-12-1 vs. LSU, 4-2 vs. Ole Miss, 8-6 vs. Mississippi State, 44-32-1 vs. Missouri, 0-1 vs. South Carolina, 1-0 vs. Tennessee. With long-time Big 12 companion Missouri out of the equation, A&M enters 2012 campaign with a 78-52-2 (.595) mark against the old guard.  Texas A&M has never faced Auburn, Georgia and Vanderbilt.

UP NEXT
Texas A&M will host games on Tuesday and Wednesday against Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern, respectively... Last season, the Aggies defeated SFA, 4-3, and did not play against Texas Southern.

Aggies Host No. 17 Kentucky in Pivotal SEC Weekend
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