The Texas A&M Aggies baseball team rounds out the side of the 2011 College World Series bracket starring Virginia and South Carolina and featuring upstart Cal. Texas A&M is probably not favored to win anything and needed a do-or-die game against Florida State to advance, but they will be a formidable foe for any team to deal with, particularly their first opponent (the Gamecocks).
The Aggies once had perhaps the best pitching rotation in college baseball, but John Stilson tore his labrum and is out for the season. The remaining two pitchers have held up their end of the bargain--Michael Wacha and Ross Stripling have posted ERAs under 2.3, although they have given up their share of hits. Their bullpen is quite thin though (only Nick Fleece has proven to be a reliable). If their opponent can chase their starters early, A&M will be in a pretty disadvantageous situation.
As for hitting, A&M has had only six regular starters stay healthy, but almost all their men can hit. Tyler Naquin is a premier hitter, notching the most hits in college baseball this season. They are not a power team, but they are patient at drawing walks and getting on base on a consistent basis, so they will work the opposing pitcher.
This is probably the most advantageous matchup for Cal, but it's not like they can take the Aggies lightly. The Bears will probably be underdogs in all of their games, so they'll just have to grit it through to keep on advancing.
How far do you see the Texas A&M Aggies going in the 2011 College World Series? Give us your prediction in the comments!
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