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Surging Texas A&M Focused On Big Picture

The Aggies are in position to earn a high seed in the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens in Hoover this week

Texas A&M's Jim Schlossnagle said that if Florida were to beat South Carolina, it would be a long night putting together a scouting report. Here's hoping he can find a quick nap between games. 

The No. 5 Aggies (35-17, 19-11 SEC) will face No. 7 seed Florida in the second round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. on Wednesday. Game times are expected to change in similar fashion to Tuesday's action in large part due to inclement weather.

Rain drops and lighting delays might change the time, but it can't change the Aggies' approach at the plate. 

“Any time you make things bigger than what they really are, you’re asking for trouble,” Schlossnagle said. “We’ll just attack each day and that’s what this team has done a great job of all season long.”

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When the season began, the Aggies were projected to finish 13th in the SEC and miss the conference tournament. Thanks to a midseason surge, A&M won eight of its 10 series, thus claiming the regular season SEC West title. 

To win the whole shindig would be monumental for the Aggies, which finished with a mere nine conference wins in the final year under Rob Childress. It's a goal, but also not the end result Schlossnagle and A&M are hoping for. 

For now, the Aggies are the second-highest seed in the conference. They would to be one of the highest seeds nationally come next week at the start of the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re not going to put ourselves in any position to where we don’t give ourselves the best chance for success next weekend,” Schlossnagle said. “That’s at the forefront of what we’re doing while still trying to win games.” 

Right-hander Micah Dallas takes the mound for A&M against a Gators' offense that plated just two runs against the Gamecocks. Schlossnagle is hoping his veteran can go long against Florida, thus saving the bullpen for later in the week. 

Weekend starters Ryan Prager and Wyatt Tucker are likely a day or two from being back to full strength. Sophomore Nathan Dettmer is still dealing with a blister in his foot.  

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“It’s a delicate balance between giving him some rest and letting him get his foot right," Schlossnagle said. "Certainly, we can’t have him rusty next weekend.” 

Both Schlossnagle and A&M fans understand what it takes to make it to Omaha. Schloss managed to lead TCU to the College World Series five times, including four consecutive appearances from 2014-17. A&M has made three trips since 2000 under Childress and Rob Johnson. The Aggies are 0-6 in that span in double-elimination games. 

Schlossnagle has preached that the Aggies can only "control what they can control." Perhaps part of that is just staying the course and living in the moment. A&M followed that message following a series loss to Penn in February. 

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One thing the Aggies aren't worrying over is individual awards. Four A&M players earned All-SEC honors in some fashion, but a notable omission was first baseman Jack Moss, who ranks second in the conference with a .366 batting average. 

Like his teammates, Moss is looking for better results in the long-term. That means staying alive for a shot at Omaha. 

“I’m way more focused on the goals of the team. The fact that we won the SEC West this past weekend has been the only thing on my mind,” Moss said. “At the end of the day, we play this game for a national championship. We don’t play it to be on any particular list.”

First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. CT barring a weather delay. 


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