2012 Record: 43-18, 16-8 Big 12
2012 Finish: Second Big 12
2012 Postseason: Eliminated in College Station Regional
Texas A&M had been part of the upper echelon of the Big 12 during its final years in the Big 12, but its status may have dropped just a bit simply by switching to the SEC.
The Aggies were upset in the College Station Regional last season, so there is a chip on their shoulder entering both the 2013 season and a new conference.
But coach Rob Childress’ squad took a huge hit by losing its top two pitchers who totaled 19 of the team’s 43 wins — Michael Wacha, who had a 9-1 record and 2.06 ERA, and Ross Stripling, who led the team with 10 wins and 120 strikeouts while posting a 3.08 ERA.
The only returning regular starter is junior Rafael Pineda. In 15 starts last season, he posted a 5-1 record and 2.71 ERA.
The Aggies also lost their leading hitter in outfielder Tyler Naquin and leading run producer in infielder Jacob House.
If Texas A&M can find ways to replace those key spots in the starting rotation and in the lineup, then it can make a run.
The Aggies are a quality team — they just crack Chasing Omaha’s Top 25 poll at No. 25 — and should be able to give some SEC teams fits. The usual SEC Omaha contenders know Texas A&M’s recent track record, so you know this new conference foe cannot be taken lightly.
Key Series: @ Ole Miss, March 22-24 — This series will be Texas A&M’s first road series during conference play, and it comes right before traveling to Columbia, S.C. So, the Ole Miss series will be a tough and important one to have in the win column. The Aggies may be able to afford to drop both of these series, but that definitely is not a good way to start two of their first three conference series. If Texas A&M can take the Ole Miss series, it can use it as momentum heading into a very tough place for any conference foe to play.