By Greg DeVries
No. 6 Baylor baseball will take its program-record 21-game winning streak to College Station at 7 p.m. today to take on the Texas A&M Aggies.
The series will start with an away game for the Bears, but the final two games of the series will be played at Baylor Ballpark in Waco.
Junior right-handed pitcher Josh Turley will get the start in the first game against the Aggies.
Head coach Steve Smith said he isn’t going to rely on the momentum to carry his team.
“Momentum is as good as Josh Turley will be on Friday night,” Smith said. “There were a lot a lot of positives that went on [against Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi]. Hopefully that will carry over.”
Baylor is sitting atop the Big 12 standings at 15-0 in conference play. Right behind the first-place Bears is the Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies are 9-3 in Big 12, which ties them with the Texas Longhorns, but a better overall record gives them the tiebreaker.
Nine of the conference wins have come at home for the Bears compared to seven for the Aggies. Both teams have played mostly home games thus far.
The Bears are riding a 15-game conference-winning streak and are the hottest team in the country.
Despite being in second place in the Big 12, Texas A&M has lost two games in a row and three of its last five. This marked the third time this season that the Aggies have lost back-to-back games, but they have yet to lose three in a row.
“Definitely excited, definitely ready, definitely have something to prove every game,” sophomore left-handed pitcher Brad Kuntz said. “[We] are just going to take it one game at a time and just keep rolling.”
The Aggies dropped a game at home to University of Texas–Arlington, won two of three at the University of Kansas and lost to Rice University in College Station on Tuesday. The recent miniature slump has dropped the Aggies to No. 13 in the rankings.
Aggie outfielder Tyler Naquin led the nation in hits last season. He earned All-American honors and was named the Big 12 Player of the Year. He has started all 37 games for the Aggies and is batting .403 with 58 hits.
Texas A&M’s best hitting infielder is first baseman Jacob House. Last season, House led the Aggies in RBI’s. This season is more of the same. House leads the team with 36 RBI’s and 5 homeruns. He is batting .336, and he has also started every game this season.
Pitching has also been strong for the Aggies this season. Texas A&M is ranked No. 18 in the country in team ERA at 2.87
In the preseason poll, Baseball America picked Texas A&M to finish first in the Big 12. It had the Aggies listed at No. 7 in the nation, with Texas at No. 13 and Oklahoma at No. 19. Baylor was not in the preseason top 25.
Baylor Basketball’s Quincy Acy will be throwing out the first pitch for Saturday’s game.