Rinderknech Claims Third SEC Player of the Week Honor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the third time this season and fourth time in his career, senior Arthur Rinderknech was named the SEC Player of the Week, announced Wednesday morning by the league office. Rinderknech, the No. 10 player in the country according to the ITA, picked up a pair of ranked singles wins over the weekend to help the No. 5 Aggies clinch the 2018 SEC Championship.

Rinderknech ended the regular season on a four match win streak to help the Aggies clinch their first ever outright SEC Championship after completing the program’s first undefeated conference season since 2001. Each of the four wins have been over ranked foes. His win against No. 19 Giovanni Oradini of Mississippi State pushed the Aggies ahead 3-1 to set up teammate Juan Carlos Aguilar for the clinch victory. His win against the Tigers on Sunday was again the third point for the Maroon & White, topping No. 86 De Vincentis of Auburn in straight sets.

The Paris, France native, stands at 12-2 this spring against ranked foes and 19-3 overall, his 12 ranked wins this spring leads the league. The 2-0 singles weekend moved him into a tie for 16th on Texas A&M’s all-time singles victories list (64), passing Robbie Krause (’94-’97) and Steve Kennedy (’87-’91). Just two wins from reaching the top-10. His 60 doubles victories in his career tie for 13th on the A&M all-time list and his combined dual wins total of 124 ranks 12th on the all-time A&M ledger.

Alex Diaz of Georgia earned Freshman of the Week honors.

The Maroon & White earned the top seed in the SEC Tournament, April 25-29 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Texas A&M received a double bye and will await the winner of No. 19 Georgia and Arkansas on Friday, April 27 at 4:00 p.m. on the Crimson Tide campus. The Aggies have advanced to at least the semifinals in every SEC Tournament that they have participated in since joining the league for the 2013 season and won both the 2014 and 2015 trophy.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMensTennis.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article Rinderknech Claims Third SEC Player of the Week Honor at WTAW.

Houston’s big seventh inning dooms Mariners, 7-1

By TODD MILLES

SEATTLE (AP) _ Gerrit Cole pitched seven strong innings and the Houston Astros scored six runs in the seventh to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-1 on Wednesday night.

Cole (2-0) struck out five, ending a string of double-digit strikeout games at three. He gave up just an unearned run.

The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in their biggest-scoring inning of the season off Mariners starter Mike Leake and relievers Nick Vincent and James Pazos.

The first five Houston batters reached against Leake (2-1), starting with Josh Reddick’s leadoff walk. After Yuli Gurriel hit a double in the left-field corner, Marwin Gonzalez followed by lining Leake’s first pitch to center field for a two-run single that gave the Astros a 3-1 lead.

Brian McCann doubled to deep right center, and Houston grabbed a 4-1 lead on a fielding error by right fielder Mitch Haniger, who got a late jump on Evan Gattis’ shallow fly ball.

Two batters later, George Springer hit a two-run double off Vincent that caromed off the right-center wall, and Houston had a 6-1 lead.

The Astros grabbed an early 1-0 lead on McCann’s RBI double to left field in the second inning, scoring Gonzalez.

Seattle tied it 1-1 in the third on Robinson Cano’s run-scoring single to center field.

IN AND OUT OF LINEUP

Astros: Third baseman Alex Bregman (three hits in past 21 at-bats) and outfielder Jake Marisnick (10 strikeouts in past 13 hitless at-bats) were out of
the starting lineup Wednesday. Manager A.J. Hinch said he will get more of his regulars days off in the coming weeks.

Mariners: To make room for outfielder Ben Gamel (strained right oblique) on Wednesday, LHP Ariel Miranda was sent to Triple-A Tacoma. Gamel batted seventh in his first game back, and will get the most time against right-handed pitching, manager Scott Servais said.

When Seattle needs a fifth starter Sunday in Texas, is will be RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who will make his season debut.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: McCann (right hand) felt a little sore the day after being hit on the knuckles by a Wade LeBlanc pitch Tuesday night, but was back behind the plate Wednesday, batting seventh.

Mariners: Catcher Mike Zunino (oblique) made his final rehab appearance Wednesday at Single-A Modesto. He is expected to join the big club Friday in Texas. . First baseman Ryon Healy (sprained ankle) is finishing up a running program, and is expected to go out on rehab assignment after the Mariners go on the road Friday.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (2-0, 1.00 ERA) has logged six innings in each of his first three starts, all at home. This is his first road start of 2018. He
pitched last April at Safeco Field (five innings pitched, three earns runs), taking a loss. In fact, he went 1-2 in four starts against Seattle last season.

Mariners: After winning his first start in San Francisco on April 3, LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1, 8.25 ERA) has not gotten past the fourth inning in either one of his past two starts.

Read the full article Houston’s big seventh inning dooms Mariners, 7-1 at WTAW.

Faria gets 1st win since July, Rays beat Rangers 4-2

By MARK DIDTLER

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Jake Faria won for the first time since last July 25, allowing one run over six innings to lead the Tampa Bay Rays over the Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Wednesday.

Faria (1-1) struck out six and walked one. He had been 0-4 in eight starts and two relief appearances since beating Baltimore.

Hamels (1-3) gave up two hits through five scoreless innings before the Rays rallied to take a 3-1 in the sixth on Daniel Robertson’s RBI double, C.J Cron’s run-scoring single and Adeiny Hechavarria’s sacrifice fly.

Denard Span’s RBI double with one out in the seventh chased Hamels, who allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Chaz Rowe struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh, and Jose Alvarado fanned one during a perfect eighth. Alex Colome got his fourth save despite allowing Drew Robinson’s RBI single in the ninth.

Texas’ Shin-Soo Choo homered for the second straight game, an opposite-field solo shot to left-center in the third.

A fan in a Rays jersey and with a baseball glove reached over the right-field wall to catch a drive by the Rangers’ Renato Nunez in the fifth. The right-handed fan reached into a pocket immediately after the grab and threw a different ball back onto the field. The on-field call of a double due to fan
interference was upheld in a video review, and the fan was given a warning and relocated to another section by security.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: SS Jurickson Profar took grounders but remains in a concussion protocol after hitting the right side of his head on the infield after a
collision at second base Monday. A decision on whether he will go on the 7-day DL is expected Thursday. … OF Delino DeShields (broken left hamate bone) took on-field batting practice and is ready to start a rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco.

Rays: INF Brad Miller (strained left groin) could be reinstated from the 10-day DL Friday.

LOST AND FOUND

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli turned to social media after finding a lost dog following Tuesday night’s game with the Rangers. The 14-year old dog named Charlotte was reunited with her owner Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Mike Minor (1-1) faces Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2) in the opener of a three-game series Friday night. Hernandez is 19-24 in 54 starts against Texas.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (1-1) will face Minnesota RHP Lance Lynn (0-1) Friday night to start a three-game set. Archer is 6-1 with an 1.84 ERA in seven starts against the Twins.

Read the full article Faria gets 1st win since July, Rays beat Rangers 4-2 at WTAW.

Paul, Green help Rockets rout Timberwolves 102-82 in Game 2

By KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUSTON (AP) _ Chris Paul had 27 points and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 21 as the Houston Rockets used a huge second quarter to cruise to a 102-82 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night that gave them a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Houston fell behind early, but went on top for good with a 37-point second quarter, powered by four 3-pointers from Green, and the Wolves didn’t threaten again.

The top-seeded Rockets won the opener by three behind a 44-point performance from James Harden on a night when most of the team struggled offensively. Things were much different on Wednesday when Harden had just 12 points as one of four Rockets who finished in double figures.

Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns had another disappointing game, scoring all of his five points in the first quarter, after being criticized for finishing with eight in the series opener. The All-Star big man went to the bench with about seven minutes left in the third quarter and didn’t return. Jamal Crawford scored 16 points for the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

Harden said Tuesday that he knew Paul would have a big Game 2 after the nine-time All-Star scored 14 points and tied a season high with six turnovers in the first game. Early on, it was clear that Harden was right, as Paul had 15 points, three assists, two steals and a block by halftime.

Paul, who joined the Rockets in an offseason trade from the Clippers, finished with eight assists and three steals.

Houston was up by 22 points with about nine minutes left when Paul made two quick baskets to make it 91-65. The second came on a twirling off-balance layup over Nemanja Bjelica that earned him a standing ovation from the home crowd.

The Rockets were up by 15 at halftime and opened the second half with a 10-2 run to make it 65-42 with about nine minutes left in the third. Harden made his first 3-pointer to get things going after missing all six attempts in the first half, and P.J. Tucker added another one after two free throws by Jimmy Butler.

The Timberwolves had scored seven straight points later in the third when Green, the hometown player who was signed off the street in December, hit his fifth 3-pointer to leave the Rockets up 74-53 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.

The Timberwolves led by as many as nine early and the game was tied with about eight minutes left in the second quarter before Houston scored 16 straight points, highlighted by three 3-pointers from Green, to take a 46-30 lead with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Minnesota missed six straight shots, including three that were blocked, and had committed two turnovers as the Rockets built the lead.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Justin Patton sat out with a sore left foot. … Butler finished with 11 points. … Andrew Wiggins had 13 points and eight rebounds. … Minnesota shot 5 of 18 from 3-point range.

Rockets: Ryan Anderson, who returned to practice Tuesday, didn’t play after also sitting out in Game 1. D’Antoni said Anderson, who has a sprained left ankle, is likely to play Saturday. … Trevor Ariza had 15 points. … Houston made 16 of 52 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Saturday.

Read the full article Paul, Green help Rockets rout Timberwolves 102-82 in Game 2 at WTAW.

Wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dies

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ The wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has died. She was 67.

The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich’s death Wednesday. The team didn’t provide further details.

“We mourn the loss of Erin,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a team statement. “She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us.”

The Popovichs have two children and two grandchildren. They met at the Air Force Academy in 1970s when he was an assistant coach for the Falcons. Erin’s father, Jim Conboy, was Air Force’s head athletic trainer.

Gregg Popovich has coach San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five NBA titles. San Antonio will face Golden State on Thursday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

Popovich ran the Spurs’ practice Wednesday. They Warriors lead the series 2-0.

Read the full article Wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dies at WTAW.

Hillsman Signs Training Camp Contract With WNBA Seattle Storm

SEATTLE, Wash.- Former Texas A&M center Khaalia Hillsman signed a training camp contract with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm on Wednesday. The Storm’s pre-season begins on May 8.
 
Hillsman, who helped the Aggies to a 26-10 record and a trip to the Sweet 16 in the 2017-18 season, closed her Texas A&M career in the school’s top 10 for career points (9th, 1,472), rebounds (5th, 880), blocks (3rd, 149), field goals made (6th, 600), field goal percentage (1st, 59.3) and double doubles (2nd, 23). She earned Second Team All-SEC honors for the second consecutive year, and was named the team’s co-Miss Offense in 2018 after averaging 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds.
 
Hillsman joins Kelsey Bone and Sydney Colson of Las Vegas, and Adaora Elonu of Atlanta, as Aggies in WNBA Training Camps for the 2018 season.

Read the full article Hillsman Signs Training Camp Contract With WNBA Seattle Storm at WTAW.

McCullers strikes out 11 as Astros shut down Mariners 4-1

By TIM BOOTH

SEATTLE (AP) _ Lance McCullers Jr. matched his career high with 11 strikeouts over seven innings of one-hit ball, Brian McCann hit a tiebreaking two-run home run and the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 4-1 on Tuesday night.

McCullers was outstanding in a bounce-back effort after allowing a career-high eight earned runs in his last start against Minnesota. His only mistake was a 0-2 curveball that Robinson Cano hit for a solo homer in the first inning. Otherwise, the Mariners were left guessing at McCullers’ mix of breaking pitches and a good fastball. McCullers also had 11 strikeouts in a 2015 game against Baltimore.

McCullers (2-1) retired 12 straight following Cano’s homer before walking Daniel Vogelbach with two outs in the fifth inning. That was his only blip. McCullers retired the final seven he faced, including strikeouts of Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager to end the seventh. He left after throwing 102 pitches.

Will Harris pitched the eighth and Chris Devenski worked the ninth for his second save.

McCann’s home run in the sixth snapped a 1-1 tie and was his first of the season. Reliever Dan Altavilla (1-2) struggled to get into a rhythm taking over in the sixth, walking Evan Gattis to start the inning then leaving a 97 mph fastball in the middle of the plate for McCann.

Seattle starter Ariel Miranda was called up from Triple-A Tacoma to make the start and pitched well holding the Astros to one run in five innings, but skirted trouble throughout his first outing of the season.

The only run Miranda allowed was due to defensive mistakes and likely would not have scored if first baseman Vogelbach threw home after fielding Josh Reddick’s ground ball instead of attempting to start a double play. Houston left the bases loaded twice against Miranda, the most egregious coming in the second inning when Jake Marisnick struck out looking and George Springer went down swinging to end the threat. Miranda ended his night getting Reddick to fly out to center field with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Houston manager A.J. Hinch said the club expected to make a decision about the status of reliever Tony Sipp (oblique strain) sometime in the next couple of days. Sipp has been out since April 8.

Mariners: OF Ben Gamel (oblique) is expected to rejoin the Mariners in the next couple of days _ likely before the homestand with Houston ends _ after being on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. … C Mike Zunino (oblique) was expected to be the designated hitter for Class A Modesto on Tuesday and will play at least one more game in the minors before the Mariners consider bringing him of the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Astros: Gerrit Cole (1-0) tries to replicate his last start where he struck out a career-high 14 in seven innings. Cole has recorded at least 11 strikeouts in each of his three starts.

Mariners: Mike Leake (2-0) looks to remain perfect on the season after getting a no decision in his last start despite allowing three runs in six innings against Oakland.

Read the full article McCullers strikes out 11 as Astros shut down Mariners 4-1 at WTAW.

Moore goes 7 strong innings, Rangers beat Rays 7-2

By MARK DIDTLER

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Matt Moore allowed an unearned run over seven innings in his first start against his former team and the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Moore (1-3), who went 39-28 with Tampa Bay before being dealt to San Francisco in 2016, struck out six with five hits and two walks. The Rangers acquired the left-hander from the Giants in December.

Daniel Robertson had the lone run off Moore, scoring on shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s throwing error in the third.

Adrian Beltre, Ronald Guzman and Shin-Soo Choo had two RBIs each for the Rangers. Kiner-Falefa had four hits, including a double.

Beltre hit his second sacrifice fly of the game and Guzman had a two-run double off Yonny Chirinos (0-1) as the Rangers went ahead 5-1 in the fifth.

Guzman has hit safely in his first four big league games since being recalled Friday from Triple-A Round Rock.

Beltre drove in Texas’ first run with a first-inning sacrifice fly, and Choo made it 2-0 on a sac fly during the second.

Choo added a solo homer in the sixth.

Beltre played in his 2,832nd major league game, moving past Rafael Palmeiro for 18th place on the career list. He has 1,647 RBIs, which is five away from tying Tony Perez for 27th since 1920.

Rays right fielder Carlos Gomez attempted to throw out Beltre at first after fielding a liner on the bounce in the seventh, but the Rangers star crossed the base safely for his 3,067th hit.

Chirinos gave up six runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. The rookie right-hander entered with a 14 1/3 inning scoreless streak.

Wilson Ramos hit a solo homer in the ninth for the Rays.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: INF Jurickson Profar, who hit the right side of his head on the infield dirt after a collision at second base Monday, remains in concussion
protocol. … Reliever Tony Barnette (right shoulder tightness) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. … OF Delino DeShields (broken left hamate bone) has resumed full baseball activities.

Rays: 3B Matt Duffy went on the 10-day DL with a strained right hamstring. . 1B Brad Miller (strained left groin) played seven innings and went 1 for 4 in his first game with Class A Charlotte.

BAT TOSS

Robertson lost control of his bat twice on swings leading off in the first, with the bat both times hitting the protective netting behind the Rangers’ dugout. Two batters later, Gomez slammed his bat on the ground and broke it after hitting an infield pop-up.

UP NEXT

Rangers LHP Cole Hamels (1-2) and Rays RHP Jake Faria (0-1) are the starting pitchers in the series finale Wednesday.

Read the full article Moore goes 7 strong innings, Rangers beat Rays 7-2 at WTAW.

Aggie Baseball Caps Successful Home Stand with 7-5 Win over Texas State

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies notched a 7-5 victory over the Texas State Bobcats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday to end their eight-game home stand on a seven-game win streak.

The improved the Aggies to 28-9 overall while the Bobcats dropped to 20-16-1 on the year.

Texas A&M’s first four hitters in the order combined to bat 9-for-14 with two walks, two doubles, one triple, five runs and two RBI. Cleanup man, Hunter Coleman was 3-for-4 with one double, one triple, one run and two RBI. Braden Shewmake hit 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs. Michael Helman and Logan Foster were both 2-for-4 with one run with Helman leading off the first with a double.

The Aggies used seven pitchers on the evening. Cason Sherrod (4-1), the fifth man to the mound, earned the win, yielding one run on three hits while striking out two in 2.2 innings. Asa Lacy retired all three batters he faced in the eighth for the hold and Nolan Hoffmanpicked up his seventh save of the year, striking out two of the four batters he faced in a scoreless ninth.

NEXT UP
The Aggies begin a three-game series against the Tennessee Volunteers with a 5:32 p.m. contest on Friday evening.

SCORING SUMMARY
T1 | Texas State needed just two batters to snap the Aggies’ string of 17 consecutive games without yielding a run in the first inning. Derek Scheible reached first when he was hit by a 1-2 pitch. Jonathan Ortega hit the next pitch over the wall in left-center for his second home run of the season. TXST 2, A&M 0.

B1| The Aggies wasted no time answering back. Helman hit a leadoff and he moved to third on Foster’s fly out to deep rightfield. After Shewmake drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on the corners, Coleman doubled to left field, sending Helman home. With two outs, Chandler Morris bounced a single up the middle to plate two runs. A&M 3, TX ST 2.

T2 | The Bobcats knotted the game in the top of the second. Dalton Shuffield tight-roped a double down the leftfield line, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Jared Huber. A&M 3, TXST 3.

B3 | The Aggies reclaimed the lead in the home half of the third. With one out, Logan Foster and Braden Shewmake both knocked singles through the right side of the infield. Hunter Coleman‘s infield single got an extra base on a throwing error by Bobcats’ third baseman Jaylen Hubbard, bringing Foster home for the go-ahead run. A&M 4, TXST 3.

T4 | The Bobcats tied the game again in the next half inning. Dylan Paul hit a wall-banger to left-center for leadoff triple and scored when Ryan Newman poked a single to leftfield. A&M 4, TXST 4.

B6 | George Janca launched a 405 shot on a 1-0 offering to clear the leftfield fence for a solo dinger. A&M 5, TXST 4.

T7 | Texas State continued to claw back. With one out, Scheible gapped a single to left-center and stole second base. He came around to score when Luke Sherly singled to leftfield. A&M 5, TXST 5

B7 | With one out, Shewmake drove a single to leftfield and came around to score when Coleman punched a triple over the head of the Texas State centerfielder. A&M 6, TXST 5.

B8 | With one out, Zach DeLoach drew a four-pitch walk and he scored on Allonte Wingate‘s two-out double to centerfield. A&M 7, TXST

 

Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress

RChildress_0417.mp3

 

Aggie short stop Braden Shewmake

BShewmake_0417.mp3

 

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article Aggie Baseball Caps Successful Home Stand with 7-5 Win over Texas State at WTAW.

Bryan, Rudder Head Coaches Join Bombers Staff

Bryan/College Station, Texas – April 16, 2018 – The Brazos Valley Bombers are excited to announce the remainder of this season’s coaching staff. Manager Brian Nelson will be assisted by James Dillard, who will act as the team’s pitching coach, Chase Sanford, who will act as the bench coach, and Jake Nash, who will have the role of first base coach for the 2018 Bombers.
Pitching Coach James Dillard is no stranger to Texas Collegiate League play as he has experience as an assistant for the Denton Outlaws, in addition to being the Head Coach of the Woodlands Strykers, leading the Strykers to their first playoff berth in 2016. Coach Dillard has been very successful in the Texas High School baseball ranks as well, experiencing championship levels of success at Magnolia West, Rusk, O’Donnell, Normangee, Waco Reicher, and Navasota High School through his career. Dillard currently serves as the Head Coach for Bryan High School, his first season coaching the team. “Adding Coach Dillard was an absolute no-brainer for us. James brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the staff that I believe will give us a real competitive advantage on the mound this summer,” said Bombers Head Coach Brian Nelson.
Bench Coach Chase Sanford will oversee the defense for the Bombers, as well as work with the bullpen. Coach Sanford is currently the Head Coach for Rudder High School, where he is in his second season after leading Rudder to the playoffs in his first year. Prior to Rudder, Sanford served as the Head Coach at Rosebud Lott High School, where he led the team to the playoffs in 2016. Coach Nelson is very excited to add Coach Sanford to the staff, saying, “When I had the opportunity to add Coach Sanford, I jumped all over it. His strong reputation for developing local talent and his ties to the community can only make the Bombers better.” During his tenor as both a head coach and as an assistant, Sanford has coached multiple players who have gone on to play college baseball, including some who have played with the Bombers.
First Base Coach Jake Nash, comes to Brazos Valley following a strong playing career at Lamar University. Nash currently serves as a Graduate Manager for Lamar, where he coaches several current and former Bomber players. During his playing career, Nash was both strong with the bat and the glove, ranking as the team leader in fielding percentage and consistently ranking in the top five in batting average, hits, RBI, and runs scored. He will look to bring his knowledge to the Bombers, as he will be assisting with the offense as well as helping to make sure the Bombers are strong on the base paths. Coach Nelson also believes that Nash’s energy could provide the Bombers an edge in 2018, “Coach Nash is going to be instrumental in our team’s ability to score runs this summer. Jake had a tenacious, blue-collar attitude as a ball player that will translate well for us this summer. His leadership and energy on the field is a huge plus for our staff.”
For tickets and information on how to see the Bombers 2018 season, please call (979) 779-PLAY, or go to www.bvbombers.com. To follow all upcoming news and developments for the Brazos Valley Bombers, follow or like us on facebook.com/bvbombers, and follow us on Twitter: @BV_Bombers and Instagram: bvbombersbaseball. A special thanks to our franchise partners Cognizant, Sterling Auto, Jones & Associates, and Baylor Scott & White.
Story courtesy of Brazos Valley Bombers

Read the full article Bryan, Rudder Head Coaches Join Bombers Staff at WTAW.

Durant, Thompson lead Warriors to a 2-0 series lead on Spurs

By JANIE McCAULEY

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Kevin Durant sparked a decisive third-quarter run on the way to 32 points, Klay Thompson added 31 points and five assists in another superb playoff performance and the Golden State Warriors rallied in the second half to beat the San Antonio Spurs 116-101 on Monday night for a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

As Stephen Curry remains out likely for the entire series nursing a sprained left knee, the defending champions used all the offensive power they had to take both home games in the best-of-seven series. Wearing a dark checkered sport coat, Curry was all smiles watching another lopsided win without him.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 for the Spurs and Rudy Gay moved into the starting lineup and scored 12 points.

Game 3 is Thursday as the series shifts to San Antonio.

Read the full article Durant, Thompson lead Warriors to a 2-0 series lead on Spurs at WTAW.

Paxton, Mariners win 2-1, snap six-game skid vs Houston

By TODD MILLES

SEATTLE (AP) _ James Paxton delivered six strong innings, Nelson Cruz took Dallas Keuchel deep and the Seattle Mariners beat the Houston Astros 2-1 on Monday night to end a six-game skid against the defending World Series champions.

Paxton (1-1) allowed a leadoff homer to George Springer in the first inning but was solid after that, striking out seven over six innings.

Dee Gordon’s RBI double off Keuchel (0-3) made it 2-1 in the sixth, putting Paxton in line for the win.

Nick Vincent and Juan Nicasio got the ball to closer Edwin Diaz, and he pitched a scoreless ninth for his AL-leading seventh save.

Nelson Cruz hit his third home run in five games with his tying solo blast off Keuchel with two outs in the fourth.

Springer, the only Astros regular to hit a home run off Paxton in his career, led off the game with a solo shot to left field estimated at 455 feet. It was his 19th career home run off Seattle pitching.

After that, Paxton gave up just two more hits and walked three.

Catcher David Freitas led off the sixth for Seattle with a double. Gordon followed with a soft line drive to right that Springer was slow to after losing
his footing and slipping on the grass.

Houston has now scored one or fewer run in back-to-back losses. That never happened in the Astros’ run to the World Series title last season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: LHP Tony Sipp (calf) threw a bullpen session Monday, but the team isn’t sure if he will go out on a rehab assignment or be activated to the big club when eligible Wednesday.

Mariners: C Mike Zunino (left oblique) began his three-day rehab stint in Class A Modesto on Monday. He is expected to play two games at catcher before being activated. … OF Ben Gamel (right oblique) will play at least one more minor league game Tuesday with Triple-A Tacoma. … RHP Erasmo Ramirez (strained lat) is also scheduled to make a rehab start Tuesday in Tacoma. … RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder), who signed a minor-league deal with Seattle last November, will likely throw one more bullpen session Tuesday before being sent off on a minor league assignment.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 7.71 ERA) is coming off one of his worst career starts in Minnesota on Wednesday (career-worst eight earned runs in three-plus innings), but is 5-2 with a 2.96 ERA lifetime against Seattle.

Mariners: The Mariners will likely tab LHP Ariel Miranda to make his season debut against the Astros. This will be his seventh career start against Houston, and he is 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA against the World Series champions.

Read the full article Paxton, Mariners win 2-1, snap six-game skid vs Houston at WTAW.

Rays beat Rangers 8-4 to end 4-game losing streak

By DICK SCANLON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Mallex Smith had four hits and Blake Snell struck out nine Monday night to help the Tampa Bay Rays stop a four-game losing streak with an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

Smith bunted for a single against starter Martin Perez (1-2) in a four-run second inning that gave the Rays a 5-0 lead. He doubled and scored in the third on his way to a second four-hit game in eight days.

Wilson Ramos had three hits for the Rays and drove in two runs.

Snell (2-1) gave up one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, the third time this season a Tampa Bay starter has pitched at least six innings.

Joey Gallo hit his sixth home run to get Texas on the board in the fourth. It was the first home run by a left-handed hitter against Snell, who has made 47 career starts.

Nomar Mazara added a three-run shot in the eighth off reliever Chih-Wei Hu.

C.J. Cron hit his second homer and Daniel Robertson connected for his first off Perez, who gave up seven runs and 10 hits in four innings.

Rays third baseman Matt Duffy and Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar left the game early with injuries.

Profar was in concussion protocol after being upended by Smith’s slide in the second inning. Profar came down on the side of his head after making a throw toward first base.

Duffy left in the first inning with right hamstring tightness.

MOVING DAY

INF-OF Renato Nunez, claimed by Texas on waivers Sunday from Oakland, was added to the 25-man roster and OF Ryan Rua was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. …The Rangers acquired C Tony Sanchez from Cincinnati for a player to be named or cash and assigned him to Round Rock.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF Delino DeSheilds (broken left hamate bone) is hitting off a tee.

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier, who tore a ligament in his right thumb sliding into second base Sunday, will have surgery Friday and be out two to three months. …
1B Brad Miller (strained left groin) could start a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Charlotte.

UP NEXT

Rangers LHP Matt Moore, who pitched his first 5 1/2 seasons for Tampa Bay, will make his first start at Tropicana Field as a visiting pitcher. The Rays’ starter is to be determined.

Read the full article Rays beat Rangers 8-4 to end 4-game losing streak at WTAW.

No. 9 Texas A&M Falls in Series Finale to No. 20 Kentucky, 3-2

COLLEGE STATION – The No. 9 Texas A&M softball team fell to No. 20 Kentucky, 3-2, Sunday afternoon in the last game at the Aggie Softball Complex.

Kentucky (26-13, 4-10 SEC) struck first in the second before the Aggies took a 2-1 lead in the third on a Sarah Hudek single up the middle and back-to-back doubles from Tori Vidales and Ashley Walters.

A solo shot from Mallory Peyton in the fifth allowed the Wildcats to even the game at two before taking the lead in the sixth inning on a walk and an RBI double.

The Maroon & White (36-10, 9-6 SEC) loaded the bases in the bottom half of the sixth but a double play on a line drive to the pitcher ended the threat.

Trinity Harrington earned the start for the Aggies in the circle and threw five innings, allowing four hits, two runs and fanning three. Lexi Smith threw two innings in relief and was saddled with the loss to move to 7-2 on the season. The Temple, Texas, native struck out five while allowing three hits, one walk and one run.

Ashley Walters went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a double. The senior recorded her 48th double in her career and is tied for first all-time with Jennifer McFalls (1991-94) and Megan Gibson (2005-08).

Kentucky’s Autumn Humes (8-5) earned the win as she allowed five hits in five innings of work. Grace Baalman, who earned the start for the Wildcats, allowed three hits, two walks and two runs and struck out one in two innings.

KEY INNINGS

T2 | Brooklin Hinz led off the inning with a single up the middle and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before coming around to score on an Abbey Cheek single. UK 1, A&M 0

B3 | Hudek singled up the middle followed by a double from Vidales. Walters delivered a two-RBI double to left, plating Hudek and Vidales. A&M 2, UK 1

T5 | Mallory Peyton hit a solo shot to right to tie the game at two. A&M 2, UK 2

T6 | Hinz earned a walk in the sixth followed by a double to left from Alex Martens to give Kentucky the lead. UK 3, A&M 2

Top Offensive Players:
Ashley Walters | 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Pitching Breakdown:
Trinity Harrington | 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
Lexi Smith | 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB
AGGIE NOTES

· Sarah Hudek extended her hitting streak to 10 and has reached base in 11-consecutive games
· Ashley Walters’ two RBI give her 156 for her career, moving her past Rhi Kliesing (2008-11) forseventh all-time
· Ashley Walters is tied for first-all time in doubles in her career with 48

WHAT THEY SAID

Texas A&M Head Coach Jo Evans

On the game overall…
“I thought our pitchers did a good job of holding them to three runs on day three when they are a team that makes really good adjustments. There were a couple of little things that could have gone differently, and it would have been a totally different ball game. We have to catch that ball in left field because that was the winning run, so that is disappointing. We loaded the bases with nobody out and had every opportunity to win the ball game in the sixth inning, but we just didn’t get it done. I see opportunities that we just didn’t take advantage of. I thought Kentucky stepped up and made some really big plays when they needed to. They hit it out for the tying run, and that ball squeaked in fair. It is a game of inches, and today just wasn’t our day.”

On Lexi Smith…
“I thought Lexi did well. She did a great job in the seventh inning with the bases loaded. They had an opportunity to score with the bases loaded and only one out, and she gets two huge strikeouts to end the inning. I thought she did a really good job. She’s a kid that is going to throw a bunch of pitches, but we know that. I thought she went out there and kept us in the game and gave us a chance.”

On what the team should take away from today’s game…
“We just need to keep fighting and keep competing. That’s the way the game goes sometimes. It is not always going to be easy or go our way, but if we didn’t set the table or get those opportunities then I wouldn’t be getting a lot of sleep at night. We had those opportunities though, and almost every time we play we take advantage of those. It is disappointing not to win that one today, but that is part of dealing with it. It’s hard to beat a team three days in a row. It is not easy.”

On final game at the Aggie Softball Complex…
“I just want to thank all the fans for coming. We had a great crowd today. I wish we could’ve sent them home with a win, but I want to thank them. They have come out here to our beloved stadium and field. I appreciate the fans knowing that they sit on some hard bleachers with no chair backs and not a lot of room, but they still come day in and day out. I really appreciate them. It has been a great run here, and we are ready to start a new run at Davis Diamond.”

ON DECK
The Aggies travel to Baton Rouge, La., for a three-game series against LSU. Action begins Friday at 6:00 p.m. on SEC Network+.

STAY CONNECTED
Fans can follow the Aggies wherever they go by following @AggieSoftball on Instagram and Twitter or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TAMUSoftball.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article No. 9 Texas A&M Falls in Series Finale to No. 20 Kentucky, 3-2 at WTAW.

Jimbo Fisher Era Opens with Maroon & White Game

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Jimbo Fisher era of Texas A&M football kicked off as the White team claimed a 30-24 victory in the 2018 Maroon & White Game in front of a record crowd of 48,129 at Kyle Field on Saturday afternoon. The previous best crowd at the Texas A&M spring game was 45,212 in 2013.

Sophomore wide receiver Kendrick Rogers hauled in a four-yard touchdown from sophomore Kellen Mond with 39 seconds to play to break a 24-24 tie and secure the victory.

Statistical Leaders
Rushing
WHITE:
Kwame Etwi – 11 carries, 83 yards, 1 touchdowns, long rush of 55 yards
MAROON:
Jacob Kibodi – 9 carries, 45 yards, long rush of 14 yards
Passing
WHITE:
Kellen Mond – 19-of-26 attempts, 180 yards, 0 interceptions, 3 touchdowns
MAROON:
Nick Starkel – 26-of-42, 373 yards, 1 interception, 2 touchdowns
Receiving
WHITE:
Kendrick Rogers — 8 catches for 90 yards, 1 touchdown, long catch of 32 yards
MAROON:
Jace Sternberger — 8 catches for 147 yards, 2 touchdowns, long catch of 65 yards
Jhamon Ausbon — 6 catches for 124 yards, 0 touchdowns, long catch of 58 yards
Tackles
WHITE:
Buddy Johnson — 7 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss (-3)
MAROON:
Tyrel Dodson — 7 tackles

The Legends Game presented by the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association
At halftime the fans were treated to the Legends Game presented by the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association, a flag football exhibition. The game featured some of the greatest names in Aggie football history like Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Famers Jacob Green, Quentin Coryatt, Dat Nguyen, Ray Mickens and Bucky Richardson and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel as “all-time quarterback.” Coaches for the Legends Game were Nguyen and Mickens serving as head coaches. Richardson and Coryatt served as assistant coaches for Nguyen’s “Team Pickard” (honoring longtime Texas A&M athletic staffer Billy Pickard), while Terrence Murphy and Derrick Frazier helped coach Mickens’ “Team Crow” (honoring 1957 Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow).

Texas A&M Post-Spring Football Awards
Community Service Award

Keldrick Carper
Klyde Chriss
Tyrel Dodson
Kendall Bussey
Kemah Siverand

Top Academic Award
Dan Moore Jr.
Keldrick Carper
Keeath Magee
Erik McCoy
Braden Mann

Offensive Most Improved Player
Colton Prater

Defensive Most Improved Player
Micheal Clemons

Special Teams MVP
Braden Mann

Offensive MVP
Trayveon Williams

Defensive MVP
Justin Madubuike

Team MVP
Jace Sternberger

 

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

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Aggie DL Landis Durham

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Aggie QB Nick Starkel

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Aggie QB Kellen Mond

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Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article Jimbo Fisher Era Opens with Maroon & White Game at WTAW.

11th Inning Walk-off Win Caps the Series Sweep versus Alabama

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Braden Shewmake punched an 0-1 pitch up the middle to score Michael Helman from second base in the 11th inning, giving the No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies the 3-2 win and series sweep over the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies let a 2-0 run lead slip away with the Tide scoring single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.

Stephen Kolek was stellar on the mound as the A&M starter. He worked 7.2 innings, yielding one run on three hits and three walks while striking out three. After allowing the tying run, Nolan Hoffman (4-1) rebounded to pick up the win, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out four in 3.1 innings.

Shewmake accounted for both of Texas A&M’s RBI, going 2-for-4 with two walks. Foster hit 3-for-3 with a double and walk. Allonte Wingate batted 2-for-3 off the bench. Helman scored all three runs, going 1-for-3 with one walk and one HBP.

Texas A&M rattled off their sixth consecutive win to improve to 27-9 overall and 8-7 in the SEC. Alabama dropped to 21-16 overall and 5-10 in league play.

NEXT UP
The Aggies return to action Tuesday when they host the Texas State Bobcats in a 6:32 p.m. contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

SCORING SUMMARY
B3 | The Aggies drew first blood in the third inning. With one out, Helman drew a walk off as the first batter reliever Kyle Cameron faced. Logan Foster threaded a single through the left side to put runners on the corners and Shewmake followed with a single down the leftfield line to plate Helman. A&M 1, UA 0.

B5 | Helman served as a rally catalyst again, this time getting hit by a pitch as the leadoff man. Helman moved to second on a single up the middle by Foster. After Shewmake flied out to leftfield, Helman and Foster pulled off the double steal to put two in scoring position. The Aggies scored when Cameron threw the ball wide of third base trying to retire Helman on a bouncer back to the mound by Hunter Coleman.

T8 | The last batter Kolek faced in the game hit a full-count offering over the rightfield fence for a solo home run. A&M 2, UA 1.

T9 | Alabama sent the game to extra innings with a two-out rally. Matt Malkin slapped a first pitch offering through the right side for a single and he was replaced at first base by the speedier Connor Stutts. Pinch-hitter Chandler Avant sent a 1-0 offering over the head of centerfielder Zach DeLoach for a double, knocking in Malkin with the equalizer. A&M 2, UA 2.

B11 | Cam Blake reached base to start the frame on an error by Alabama shortstop Jett Manning. Blake moved to second on a passed ball, but was retired on the base path when Michael Helman bounced a ball back to the mound. Helman stole second base and Will Frizzell drew a six-pitch walk to bring Shewmake to bat. With an 0-1 count, Shewmake drove a ball up the middle for the walkoff win. A&M 3, UA 2.

TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Assistant Coach Will Bolt
On the sweep and win…
“It was a gut-check win for us. It was a stressful game, but they are all pretty stressful in the SEC. It was really nothing different. When you have a guy like Stephen Kolek on the mound that was filling up the zone the way that he was. He did a great job attacking the strike zone with the wind the way it was.”

On the game…
“It’s all about playing good baseball. We handled the ball well defensively. It was far from perfect but we made a couple base running mistakes that cost us. We weren’t great with runners in scoring position, but it’s the sign of a good team when we can find a way to win. Runs were going to be at a premium today. We got a tough break at the beginning. We just have to keep playing good baseball.”

Sophomore SS Braden Shewmake
On the win…
“It’s always nice to win a conference game and sweep the series. If we go all the way back to the first inning, it started with Stephen (Kolek). He was pounding the zone and didn’t leave much over the plate. Then (Nolan) Hoffman came in and Hoff dealt. He’s an imposing pitcher. We know when he’s on the mound we got a good chance.”

Junior RHP Stephen Kolek
On the outing…
“It felt good to finally have a good outing again. When the wind was blowing in, it’s an ease in your mind. You can throw it over the middle of the plate and say ‘good luck’ to the guys who are trying to hit it out of the ballpark. Tip of the hat to the one guy who did. The whole game, I was just trying to fill up the strike zone and rely on the wind to knock the balls down, let our defense work, That’s exactly what they did. The defense was amazing and I can’t ask for anything more.”

Junior RHP Nolan Hoffman
On clinching the sweep…
“Yeah it is really big, Stephen Kolek came out and pitched a great game. You could tell that he really wanted this one and he just wanted to prove that he is still the guy we know he is. To get the sweep was big for us. Getting over .500 now is really big in conference.

On pitching a lot these last couple of days…
“I’m just ready to go every day and if they call upon me, I’ll be ready to go. It is nice pitching a lot.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article 11th Inning Walk-off Win Caps the Series Sweep versus Alabama at WTAW.

No. 9 Aggies Rally to Defeat No. 20 Kentucky, 4-3

COLLEGE STATION – The No. 9 Texas A&M softball rallied to defeat No. 20 Kentucky, 4-3, on a walk-off single from Kaitlyn Alderink Saturday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Texas A&M’s  (36-9, 9-5 SEC) Erica Russell tied the game with a RBI single to center, before Alderink provided the late-game heroics in the seventh with a two-out walk-off single to left center, scoring Sarah Hudek.

Lexi Smith earned the seventh win of her senior campaign as she held Kentucky (25-13, 3-10 SEC) to four hits and only allowed two walks while recording a season high 10 strikeouts in 5.1 innings of relief. Kayla Poynter threw the first 1.2 innings of the game as she allowed four hits and struck out two.

Offensively, Russell led the Aggies with two hits, while Ashley Walters drove in the Aggies’ first runs of the game on a two-run homer to right. Alderink reached base three times on a single and two walks.

Kentucky’s Erin Rethlake suffered the loss to move to 7-4 on the season. The southpaw allowed two walks and two hits as she tossed two innings in relief. Grace Baalman, who earned the start for the Wildcats, allowed four hits, four walks and two runs as she struck out one.


KEY INNINGS

T2 | Brooklin Hinz led off the second with a single down the left field line before Abbey Cheek blasted a two-run homer to right. Mallory Peyton doubled down the left field line and was plated by a single from Bailey Vick. UK 3, A&M 0

B3 | Tori Vidales reached base via a walk and came around to touch home as Ashley Walters delivered a two-run shot over the right field wall, her fourth of the season. UK 3, A&M 2

B6 | Kaitlyn Alderink led off the sixth with a walk and was moved into scoring position by a sacrifice bunt from Kristen Cuyos. Erica Russell recorded an RBI on a single to center to plate Alderink. A&M 3, UK 3

B7 | Sarah Hudek earned a walk to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tori Vidales. With two outs, Alderink delivered the game-winning hit, plating Hudek. A&M 4, UK 3


Top Offensive Players:
Kaitlyn Alderink | 1-for-2, GW RBI, R, 2 BB
Erica Russell | 2-for-3, RBI
Ashley Walters | 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R

Pitching Breakdown:
Kayla Poynter | ND, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K
Lexi Smith | W, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 10 K


AGGIE NOTES

  • Sarah Hudek extended her hitting streak to nine and has reached base in 10 consecutive games
  • Lexi Smith tied her season high in strikeouts, matching her performance against Marist (3/16)
  • Ashley Walters‘ two RBI give her 154 for her career, tying Rhi Kliesing (2008-11) for seventh all-time

WHAT THEY SAID

Texas A&M Head Coach Jo Evans

On Lexi Smith…
“She was terrific. She went out there with great confidence. We know she is going to walk some kids. That’s just her MO. It’s going to happen, but when she needed to throw strikes and get big outs, she got them. There were some key strikeouts that she had out there. She gave us a chance to stay in the game. When we give up three runs early like that, we needed someone to stop the bleeding, and she did a great job of that. Everyone roots for her because she’s the one that does that for everyone else. She is the spirit of our dugout. She is in and ready to play. She has come back and been so good. When she attacks the strike zone, she is tough to beat.”

On Erica Russell and her game-tying RBI in the sixth…
“That kid has been nails. She has been so good at the plate. She’s the kid on our team that gets multiple hits in the game. She was the only one. She was huge for us with that RBI in the bottom of our order in the sixth. I am thinking in the fifth and sixth that we have to turn this thing over and get the top of our order up there, and she made that happen. She got a big RBI. I am really excited about what she was doing out there today.”

On Kaitlyn Alderink and her game-winning hit…
“I love that kid so much. We have always had her in the two spot in the lineup, and we moved her way down in the order when she was struggling. Then we put her in the five and it feels weird every time I put her name in the five. What she has done is get herself on base. She has drawn a ton of walks and is seeing the ball really well. She really stepped up in that situation and was looking to hit. I love that. She got up there looking to hit and drive the ball. There is not one kid on that 21-person roster that does not absolutely love Kaitlyn Alderink. The fact that it was her, I guarantee it makes it that much more special for everybody. That kid is a lovable, unselfish die-hard Aggie. She is all in, and it is spectacular to see her get the walk-off.”

On Ashley Walter’s two-run homerun in the third…
“It is really nice to see Ashley getting more and more comfortable at the plate. We needed her to come around, and she is doing that. To go opposite on a day like today when you aren’t going to get anything over the wall in left or center because of the way the wind was blowing, Ashley just got all of it and stayed in it. I think her swing looks really good right now. It was really clutch and a clutch time for us because we needed to break the ice and score a run there. To me, it made all of the difference in the world for our offense to not go too late into the game without scoring any runs.”

On an exciting win…
“I tell our kids all the time to go out there and have fun and have fun playing ball with your friends. It is supposed to be fun. It is not supposed to feel like stress. If someone is going to be stressed, let it be me. Don’t let it be them because they are out there playing the game they love with opportunities to celebrate so many times like today.”


ON DECK 
The Aggies go for the sweep against Kentucky Sunday at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on the SEC Network.


STAY CONNECTED
Fans can follow the Aggies wherever they go by following @AggieSoftball on Instagram and Twitter or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TAMUSoftball.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article No. 9 Aggies Rally to Defeat No. 20 Kentucky, 4-3 at WTAW.

Texas A&M Men’s Tennis Wins Second Straight SEC Championship

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 5 Texas A&M men’s tennis team claimed its second straight SEC Championship with a 5-2 win over No. 7 Mississippi State Friday evening at the George P Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. With the win the Aggies improved to 19-4 on the season and 11-0 in SEC play and clinched at least a share of the 2018 trophy, the Bulldogs fell to 16-2 on the season and 10-1 in league play.

Freshman Juan Carlos Aguilar clinched for the second straight time against a top-10 opponent with a thrilling three-set triumph on court five over Florian Broska. Aguilar, ranked No. 105 in the country, ground out a 6-4 first set win before dropping the second set 6-3. With the Aggies leading 3-2 and nearly everyone in the building crowded around court five, the right-hander picked up a break at two-all and held on for the 6-3 triumph in the third set.

The Aggies opened the match dropping the doubles point for just the eighth time in 23 matches this spring. Braun and Oradini topped Arconada and Kypson 6-2 followed by Foshey and Broska besting AJ Catanzariti and Vacherot 6-3 to secure the point for the Bulldogs.

No. 41 Jordi Arconada got the scoring started for the Maroon & White, the senior cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 78 Strahinja Rakic on court three to even the match score at one-all. The Buenos Aires, Argentina native, improved to 10-1 in SEC matches this season and an inconceivable 20-1 in the last two seasons against the league. Arconada, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, picked up his 11th win against a ranked foe and improved his team-leading win total to 26 matches.

Shortly after Arconada evened the match the Bulldogs edged back ahead, 2-1, as No. 3 Nuno Borges bested No. 6 Patrick Kypson, 6-3, 6-3, on court one. The visitor’s second advantage of the match did not last for long as No. 52 Valentin Vacherot earned a 6-4, 6-2 win over Niclas Braun on court four to even the match at 2-2. The A&M sophomore improved his league tally to 9-2 and 23-10 overall.

The Aggies gained their first advantage of the day, 3-2, as No. 10 Arthur Rinderknech bested No. 19 Giovanni Oradini, 7-6(0), 6-3 on court two. The sensational senior improved to 11-2 against ranked opponents and 9-2 in the SEC. Rinderknech climbed to 18th on A&M’s all-time wins list with the 63rd dual victory of his career. Rinderknech’s victory set the moment for the Aguilar, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, to clinch the Aggies third overall and second-straight SEC title.

Freshman Barnaby Smith made the final score 5-2 with a three-set win over Trevor Foshey on court six. The Englishman improved to 7-3 in the SEC with the 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4 win.

Texas A&M closes out the regular season with senior day scheduled for Sunday against Auburn at 12 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMensTennis.

Post Match Quotes
Steve Denton, Texas A&M Men’s Tennis Head Coach
On the match…
“Mississippi State is a really tough team you saw the match tonight they stuck it to us in the doubles, but our guys have been really resilient in singles. Nobody panicked and I think we won five first sets and that turned the momentum in our favor. It looked like we were going to close them out and then Barney gets into a third set and Carlos loses a second set so these matches are never easy, especially when you are playing for something like that against that good a team.”

On playing at home to clinch the title…
“There is comfort level, playing at home which we didn’t get to do much this year (8-1). I know the guys like playing here and handled the conditions pretty well with the swirling wind and it’s hard to play quality tennis in these conditions, but if we didn’t have the wind we wouldn’t have played because we would have had rain.”

On Sunday’s match against Auburn…
“We want to be a little greedy. We don’t want to share this title with anybody, we’ve worked hard this year. Any team after an emotional match its going to give us some trouble mentally hopefully we learned a lesson last week with emotional match against Florida on Friday because we came out flat against South Carolina on Sunday and we don’t want to repeat that. We want to come out and take care of business and honor our seniors in last regular season match here.”

Juan Carlos Aguilar, Texas A&M Freshman
On the match…
“It was a huge match for us, we knew the winner of the match was going to be the SEC champion, so I knew there was some pressure. We didn’t really start well losing the doubles point, but we overcame adversity and it was a tough day; tough conditions, very windy today but I found a way at the end of the match and my teammates needed me and I came up with the right shots at the right moment so I’m very happy.”

On clinching the win…
“This is the first time I’ve ever clinched and as you know this is my first season so it was an unbelievable feeling for me. I’m normally the one who finishes first because I’ve been playing good tennis, but today the second set didn’t go my way, so I knew I had to win it to get the win and the ring.”

Tennis Match Results
Mississippi State vs Texas A&M
4/13/2018 at College Station, TX
(George P Mitchell Tennis Center)

#5 Texas A&M 5, #7 Mississippi State 2

Singles competition
1. #3 Nuno Borges (MS) def. #6 Patrick Kypson (TAMU) 6-3, 6-3
2. #10 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. #19 Giovanni Oradini (MS) 7-6 (7-0), 6-3
3. #41 Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. #78 Strahinja Rakic (MS) 6-2, 6-2
4. #52 Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) def. Niclas Braun (MS) 6-4, 6-2
5. #105 Juan Carlos Aguilar (TAMU) def. Florian Broska (MS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Barnaby Smith (TAMU) def. Trevor Foshey (MS) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5

Doubles competition
1. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. #42 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MS) 4-5, unfinished
2. #44 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MS) def. Jordi Arconada/Patrick Kypson (TAMU) 6-2
3. Trevor Foshey/Florian Broska (MS) def. AJ Catanzariti/Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) 6-3

Match Notes:
Mississippi State 16-2, 10-1; National ranking #7
Texas A&M 19-4, 11-0; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3); Singles (3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 6)

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Read the full article Texas A&M Men’s Tennis Wins Second Straight SEC Championship at WTAW.

Cowboys release star WR Dez Bryant after 8 seasons

By SCHUYLER DIXON

FRISCO, Texas (AP) _ The Dallas Cowboys have released Dez Bryant, deciding salary cap relief with the star receiver’s declining production outweighs the risk of him returning to All-Pro form with another team.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement Friday it wasn’t an easy decision, but was what the organization believes is in its best interest.

Bryant never lived up to the $70 million, five-year contract he signed after leading the NFL with 16 touchdowns receiving in 2014. He helped the Cowboys win the NFC East that year, when they had only their second playoff game victory since the last of their five Super Bowl titles in the 1995 season.

Bryant sent a tweet late Friday morning addressing Cowboys fans to say he had met with Jones.

“Cowboy nation I need you to know this wasn’t my decision.. I will always love y’all… forever Dallas in my heart,” he tweeted.

That came only minutes after he tweeted, “lets start the process”

Read the full article Cowboys release star WR Dez Bryant after 8 seasons at WTAW.

Stars coach Hitchcock, 3rd in wins, retiring after 22 years

By SCHUYLER DIXON

Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock is retiring, ending a 22-year career as the third-winningest coach in NHL history.

Hitchcock will become a consultant for the team he led to its only Stanley Cup championship in 1999. The 66-year-old says it was “the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over.”

Hitchcock returned to Dallas this season after 15 years away, with stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. General manager Jim Nill hoped Hitchcock could get the Stars back to the playoffs, but a late-season slump kept them out for the second straight year and the eighth time in 10 seasons.

Hitchcock’s 823 wins are third all-time behind Scotty Bowman and Joel Quenneville. He’s fourth in games with 1,536.

Read the full article Stars coach Hitchcock, 3rd in wins, retiring after 22 years at WTAW.

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