Series Preview: Ole Miss

WTAW 1620 94.5 Aggie Baseball Featured

Credit to Ben Rikard | Assistant Director, Athletics Communications –

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies will be in search of their first series win in SEC play this season this weekend when they host the defending national champion Ole Miss Rebels on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Both the Aggies and Rebels enter the weekend in need of wins after having started a combined 1-11 in SEC play against a quartet of teams currently ranked among the top 11 teams in the nation.

TV/STREAMING: Friday and Sunday’s game will each be aired on SEC Network+ with Will Johnson and Boomer White in the booth calling the action… they will make way for Mike Ferrin and Chris Burke for Saturday’s game, which will be aired nationally on the SEC Network.

RADIO: On Friday and Sunday the games can be heard locally on SportsRadio 1150 AM/93.7 FM The Zone… the game will shift to WTAW 1620 AM/94.5 FM for Saturday’s contest…. Andrew Monaco will be on the call for with John Scheschuk providing in-game analysis on Friday and Scott Clendenin stepping into the booth on Saturday and Sunday… additionally, Will Johnson will be at field level… the pregame show begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.

SOCIAL: Fans can get in-game updates on social media by following @AggieBaseball on Twitter.

Friday’s series opener will include the Friday Night Postgame Fireworks, scheduled for each Friday night home game during SEC play.

It is Sunday Funday for the finale vs the Rebels with fans able to purchase one full-price adult ticket and bring up to four (4) kids for free. Kids can also run the bases and get autographs from players following the conclusion of the game.

12th Man Rewards is the free program that appreciates fans for standing with the 12th Man and attending Texas A&M Athletics events in support of creating a home-court advantage for our student-athletes and coaches.

The more events you attend, the more your points will increase. Those points can be redeemed via the online giveaway store for a variety of items.

– The Aggies are 17-18 all-time against Ole Miss, including 9-8 in Bryan-College Station
– The Aggies have won two of three games in each of the last two series vs the Rebels
– The Aggies clinched the outright SEC West title with its win in the finale in Oxford in 2022
– The Aggies are 2-2 in series played at Blue Bell Park vs Ole Miss since joining the SEC

The Aggies were in Omaha a year ago, but it was this weekend’s opponent who walked away with hardware at the end of 2022 when Ole Miss knocked off Oklahoma for the school’s first College World Series title. It will mark the second straight year the Aggies have hosted a reigning champion, each being from the State of Mississippi. Last year the Aggies swept defending champion Mississippi State in late May, one weekend before going to Oxford and taking two of three from the Rebels.

Prior to last year the Aggies had not hosted a reigning national champion since 2007 when they bookended a weekend of the Aggie Baseball Classic with wins over then No. 7 Oregon State. The Beavers would go on to win their second national title later that season.

The Aggies will need a series win this weekend to avoid dropping three straight series to kick off league play, something they have only done once since joining the league in 2013. The only other time it has happened was in the 2018 season when Texas A&M dropped two of three games each to Auburn, Ole Miss and Georgia. The Aggies have dropped consecutive home series in SEC play only five times since 2013, the last coming in 2021 vs Alabama and Tennessee.

Freshman Jace LaViolette was one of the more highly touted freshman position players in the country entering 2023 but was hitting .209 with 25 strikeouts after the conclusion of the LSU series to open SEC play. However, he has followed that with a breakout five-game spurt that the Aggies are hoping carries over into the weekend vs Ole Miss. He had not hit safely in more than three straight games until last week but has done so in his last five games. He has at least one RBI in four of those five games and is 8-for-18 in that stretch with two doubles, a triple and a homer, two walks and a pair of stolen bases.

Aggie shortstop Hunter Haas has been stellar for Texas A&M this year and enters Friday having hit safely in each of his last 12 games, the longest active streak on the roster. He is hitting .451 (23-for-51) during that stretch with an inside-the-park homer at Houston, four doubles and a triple.

The former Arizona State infielder has been everything you could ask for of a top-of-the-order hitter and has reached base in 24 of 25 games this year. He currently leads the team and ranks in the top 10 of the SEC with a .404 average and .508 on-base percentage.

Former Arizona State roommates, Hunter Haas and Jack Moss are now manning the top of the Aggie order with Haas hitting in front of Moss in each game this year. Not only is Haas on fire with a 12-game hit streak, but Moss has raised his average from .264 on March 8 to .347 entering the weekend after a red-hot weekend at Tennessee that saw him homer in each of the final two games of the series and finish with six RBI. He had two more hits on Tuesday vs Texas and is on an 11-game hit streak of his own with six multi-hit games during that stretch.

Junior Trevor Werner and senior Brett Minnich were each preseason second team All-SEC choices but have been riddled by injury mishaps in the first half of the season. Werner missed seven straight games before a pinch-hit appearance late in the series finale vs LSU and returned to third base last weekend at Tennessee. Minnich, meanwhile, was injured on his first at-bat of 2023 vs Seattle U and had been out of the lineup each game since before returning and starting in right field on Tuesday vs No. 21 Texas.

Werner missed time early in the year due to injury in 2022 and had only 14 at-bats through 25 games, but Minnich was one of two returning Aggies who played in all 64 games on last year’s squad and thru 25 games in 2022 had posted a slash line of .319/.425/.511 with six doubles, four homers and 22 RBI in 94 at-bats.