The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 12, 1993, Image 4

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Page 4 The Battalion Friday, March 12,1993
One last chance for A&M A gs ie baseball team is
ready to open road show
Aggies looking to parlay role as conference spoiler
into berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament
The Battalion
Aggies Brett Murry (center). Chuck Henderson (left), and David Edwards scramble for a
loose ball earlier this season against South Alabama. A&M plays Houston today at noon.
The Battalion
At the beginning of the Southwest
Conference season Texas A&M just
wanted to be competitive and maybe
play the spoiler in this year's champi
onship race.
It accomplished both by going 5-9 in
SWC play and beating Rice at Autry
Court to deny the Owls a part of the
SWC championship.
The Aggies will once again try to play
the role of spoiler in the first round of
the SWC classic against the Houston
Cougars today at noon in Reunion Arena
in Dallas.
The Cougars took both games earlier
in the season by scores of 81-69 and 78-
"Houston is a very physical team,"
Head Coach Tony Barone. "In both
games this year we were only down by
five at the half, we just couldn't get over
the hump."
Forward Damon Johnson, who scored
23 points in the first game but was held
scoreless in the second, said that the Ag
gies would have to play differently
against the Cougars to be successful.
"This time around we are just going to
have play them like we played Rice,"
Johnson said. "Controlling (Charles)
Outlaw like we did (Rice's) Brent Scott is
going to be key."
This will be the third straight game in
which the Aggies have played a dominat
ing center.
"Against Texas Tech we shut down Will
Flemons then we shut down Scott,"
Barone said. "We need to do the same
against Outlaw by taking the ball to him
and trying to get him in foul trouble."
Outlaw, the SWC player of the year,
recorded a triple-double the last time he
faced A&M, scoring 10 points, grabbing
14 rebounds, and blocking ten shots.
David Diaz is scoring 18.3 points a
game followed by Anthony Goldwire
with 15. Goldwire is also third in the con
ference in assists handing out six a game.
"We have to execute our game plan
perfectly," Point Guard David Edwards
said. "We can't allow Outlaw to intimi
date us. Their starting five is awesome
but I don't think they have that great of a
bench. We just have to come out playing
with great enthusiasm or they will just rip
us apart."
A&M ended its regular season last Sat
urday with an 82-76 upset of Rice, pre
venting the Owls from tying SMU for the
SWC title.
"We knew we were going to be playing
Houston in the tournament no matter
what happened against Rice," Barone
said. "So we told our guys to treat this
game as a championship and they went
out and did it."
Their performance did not surprise Ed
wards though.
"I knew we could beat them, I mean
they only beat us at home on a last second
shot. So I knew if we contained their
shooters we would have a chance to win."
Edwards also likes the Aggies chances
against Houston.
"We are due against Houston because
we've suffered too long. We've just start
ed to play really well and I don't see any
thing stopping us."
The Battalion
There will be no spring break for the
20-2 A&M baseball team, which begins an
eight-day road trip through Louisiana be
fore coming back in-state to Fort Worth to
finish the stretch with its first Southwest
Conference series against Texas Christian.
The Aggies, ranked third, fifth or
eighth in the nation - depending on
which poll you favor - open with three
games against the University of New Or
leans, then one game against Southeast
ern Louisiana, one at Tulane, and then fin
ishing with three at TCU.
A&M baseball coach Mark Johnson
said the team is looking forward to its
first extended road trip of the season that
could help solidify the team and give
them added experience before they get in
the thick of the conference race.
Johnson said that the trip would be tax
ing on the team's pitching staff, with
some teams laying in wait to throw their
number one pitchers at the Aggies' re
serve starters. However, he said, the trip
will prove to be a good preparation over
all for their SWC opponents.
"It's time to get on the road," Johnson
"It's something that sometimes can re
ally help a team come together - we can
see how well we can adjust to different
playing surfaces and different facilities, so
that will be a good experience for us."
Johnson said that his pitching staff has
proved the strength of the team as expect
ed and the team was generally hitting the
ball well, averaging almost a home run a
game with 21 dingers in 22 games. The
Aggie sluggers are on track to easily out
pace last year's long ball total of 23 home
runs in their 61-game season. However,
Johnson said his crew has still looked
rough and needs to polish their game.
"We're making some mistakes that we
won't get away with when we play con
ference games, but we're also doing some
things very well," he said.
A&M pitcher Jeff Granger, an early
nominee for "Player of the Year" by the
National Collegiate Baseball Writers As
sociation along with Aggie center fielder
Brian Thomas, said the trip was an oppor
tunity to bring out the Aggies' potential.
"The main thing we want to do is to get
confidence, not only with the record, but
with ourselves. That's what this trip to
Louisiana is all about, we're going to try
to get it fine-tuned and keep winning,’
Granger said.
Granger said that the team is improv
ing gradually, citing his improvement in
control and the middle infield's better
fielding as examples.
"I'm on the road to getting to where 1
want to be," said Granger, who has
amassed a 4-1 record with a 3.34 earned
run average while holding the A&M ca
reer strike out record with 281 K's.
"I'm not there yet, but I'm making
progress and that's the main thing. My
strikeout percentage is not as high as it
was in previous years, but I feel I'm a bet
ter pitcner overall," he said. "We've got
to go into these games like we're playing
Texas or anybody else, we've got to go in
there thinking that they're the best team
in the nation. We can't just go out there
and play around with them."
Aggie outfielder Scott Smith said the
team is beginning to become more consis
tent throughout the line-up and is expect
ing to keep winning on the road.
Smith said TCU is not to be underesti
mated in a conference that has gone 111-
25, to force TCU's lofty 21-4 mark into
sixth place.
"Look at our records - every team is a
legitimate, real challenge," Smith said.
Johnson agreed, saying there is no
tougher conference to be found.
"The conference has got to be ranked
the number one conference in the nation
in baseball. Everyone is doing well;
everyone has started off strong, (but) I
don't see anybody just totally dominating
it right now, there is too many good teams
out there." Johnson said.
"TCU has certainly beat some very out
standing opponents. They (TCU) lost 2-1
on games up in Arizona State in Tempe,
they beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma State,
and they're just rolling by everybody."
The Louisiana teams hatfe plenty of ere
dentials, too. Southeastern Louisiana is
14-3, and was an NCAA playoff team last
year, and Tulane was ranked in the pre
season as high as 16th in the nation, fea
turing a preseason All-American pitcher,
Mike Romano.
Aggie Sports Briefs
'gp-iy Men's Tennis :
The Texas A&M men's tennis team will
host the University of Illinois in a dual
match at the Omar Smith Tennis Center
this afternoon at 1:30.
The Aggies, ranked 24th in the nation
will be looking to get a fast start against
the UHni in the hopes that it will carry
Over during a tough spring break road
A&M will face Virginia Tech in Blacks
burg, Va. next Wednesday, March 17, and
then the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volun
teers on Friday, March 19, in Winston-
Salem, N.C. The Aggies will wrap up the
road swing against Wake Forest on Satur
day, March20, also in Winston-Salem.
A&M coach David Kent thinks that a
good match against Illinois might be the
key to success on the road.
"We want to start the road trip with a
good head of steam," Kent said.
Kent said that he expects Illinois should
prove to be a tough match.
"This will be a tough match and that's
exactly what we need before the tough
road trip," Kent said.
Women's Softball
The Texas A&M Lady Aggie softball
team swept a twin-bill from me Universi
ty of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 9-0 and 6-2
last night at Bee Creek Park in College
Station.: •*
The first game was run-ruled in the
fifth liming with the Aggies ahead by nine
runs after pitcher Kim Gonzalez had al
lowed Tulsa only one hit while posting
three strikeouts. Lady Aggie Jennifer Mc~
Falls was the hitting star of game one af
ter going 3 for 3 with two triples, a run
batted in, and two runs scored. .
The Golden Hurricane proved to be a
scrappy opponent in game two as the
score was tied 2-2 into the fifth inning
when A&M scored six runs on five hits. |||
Gonzalez again pitched in the second
game, holding Tulsa without a hit over
the final four innings. Gonzalez got the
victory to improve her record to 9-1. .
The Lady Aggies improved their record
to 11-3 on the season while Tulsa fell to 0-
8. A&M resumes play this evening at 5:00
as it plays host to Indiana at College Sta
tion’s Central Park.
ifVdp 1993 ^
**[/•': .Th' V./u/p l l . maicf; ttooAA l\-' ; j 1 q yiV;-}
Be careful, and come back
jAfc and sound/
Applications Available: March 1
Application Deadline: March 26
Information Sessions:
March 10, 410 Rudder, 7 p.m. and March 23, 410 Rudder, 7 p.m.
figgie Invitational 2
March 12,13,14
Heather Turnbow #13
Hewitt, Texas
fill games at Central Park
One of the Lady figgies