The Aggies compiled a 45-14 record while spending time as the top ranked team in the country during the 2015 season. With the tournament field decided, the road to Omaha begins with the College Station regional.
How they got here
Dominant pitching – It’s hard to believe this staff could have been even stronger, considering what it lost over the offseason. Grayson Long chose to enter the MLB draft early while junior lefty and MLB prospect Tyler Stubblefield was dismissed from the team. With what the staff has still accomplished, it’s interesting to consider just how much better it could have been. Senior Kyle Simonds compiled a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts to claim a 9-3 record while working a team-high 87 innings. Brigham Hill trails shortly behind in the workload with 86.1 innings. He’s earned a strike-three call against batters 87 times this season to lead the team.
Mark Ecker has been one of the most dominant arms out of the bullpen in college baseball this season. Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, the junior owns a microscopic 0.43 ERA across 41.2 innings of work. He has allowed just a single home run all season with hitters batting .164 against him.
Hitting top to bottom – The Aggies have a knack for putting the bat on the ball. Eight players on the Maroon and White boast an average of .300 or higher, led by the hit machine Boomer White. The infielder hit an eye-popping .471 during SEC play, a conference which has seven regional hosts, underscoring just how impressive of a feat he achieved.
Senior first baseman Hunter Melton has anchored down the other corner infield spot for coach Rob Childress this season, leading the conference with 33 RBI.
As a team, Texas A&M finished first in the SEC in average, slugging percentage, hits, runs scored, RBI, total bases and home runs. They have scored 37 runs in their last three games.
Veteran leadership – Guys like Melton have been the lifeblood of the clubhouse for the Aggies this season, helping to keep players focused on the end goal. The team lost just a single game at home all season, a midweek loss to Sam Houston following being swept on the road by Florida. The stretch created a season high four-game losing streak before the Aggies bounced back with a series sweep against No. 6 Ole Miss rather than falling further in a funk.
The veterans play all 27 outs and expect nothing less from the younger members of the roster. Of course, when the “younger members” feature players such as SEC Tournament MVP and likely first-round MLB draft pick Nick Banks, there’s much less for the older members of the club to worry about.
Giving his best impression of the A&M defense that shutout Vanderbilt in football in 2015, Simonds no-hit the Commodores on the diamond this season to give the Aggies a 3-0 victory over the then-No. 5 team in the nation. The victory was the second consecutive complete game for the senior after never going the distance previously in his career.
This is the 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships for the Aggies, a school-record. The Aggies arrive to regional play after claiming their first SEC Tournament championship and the fourth conference tournament championship under coach Childress. The team last made it to Omaha in the 2011 season.
Opponent to watch
Texas A&M’s first round opponent, the Binghamton Bearcats, have no issue with putting up runs either. The team scored nine runs in the 9th inning against Hartford in the America East conference tournament en route to winning the entire bracket with a 6-3 win over Stony Brook. Should the Aggies advance to the Super Regionals, a rematch with TCU likely awaits. The Horned Frogs bounced the Aggies from postseason play in extra innings last season, and the school is also the former home of A&M transfer Boomer White.