Thursday, June 07, 2007

Super Regional Preview: Texas AM at Rice Texas A&M is making its first super regional appearance since the 1999 campaign after the Aggies hosted and won the College Station Regional, coming through the loser‘s bracket after falling to Louisiana-Lafayette. A&M won the regional with 4-1 and 5-2 wins over the Ragin‘ Cajuns. Rice, the national #2 seed, is the highest national seed remaining in the field. The Owls swept through their home Houston Regional with a win over Prairie View and two over TCU to book their third super in a row.

Starting Pitching
Texas A&M’s two guaranteed starting pitchers this weekend should be David Newmann and Kyle Nicholson. Rice has a quartet to choose from, with Ryan Berry, Ryne Tacker, Matt Langwell, and Joe Savery. Newmann and Nicholson are two outstanding arms, but Rice has the advantage with their four All-American quality arms.

It’s going to be a tall task for Texas A&M to go into Reckling Park and take two off of the Owls. The last time Rice lost two in a row at home was last March against Cal State-Fullerton and Texas. But the Aggies won’t be a pushover, and they’ll give the Owls their best shot and then some.
With a clear advantage overall and the home field in their favor, there’s no reason why Rice shouldn’t advance to their third CWS appearance in the last five seasons. They and Arizona State are the two best teams left in the field. But as Vanderbilt and four other national seeds proved, talent and home field advantage don’t always mean a win. Rob Childress is going to have his team ready to play, and they’ll go in with an attitude that they can win the series, and send A&M back to Omaha for the first time since ’99. While the team hasn’t been there, Childress was a part of several successful Nebraska teams, and his experience no doubt rubs off on his players, which is a big reason why Texas A&M is where they are now. It won’t be a surprise if they do pull off the upset, but it’s going to take a lot to overcome the Owls, who are one of the hottest teams in the land.

HoustonChronicle article

Texas A&M Game Notes

Rice Owls Game Notes

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