Texas A&M junior Barret Loux, a potential first-round pick, will get ball for the Aggies Friday when they face off against Florida International. Loux has gone 10-2 with a 2.53 ERA this season. A&M coach Rob Childress announced that and spoke about his team’s matchup with the Panthers.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Coach Rob Childress
“We’re excited to be here. It’s a very good regional. The University of Miami has a storied tradition and a very good tradition. I’ve had the opportunity to play them in the past on the road. I know Jim Morris and their team have had a very good year. Florida International has a very good team. Everybody in the country is talking about Wittels’ 54-game hitting streak. They’re much more than just one player. They’re hitting .339 as a team for a reason. And Dartmouth obviously won their league. It’s going to be a very good tournament. We’re excited to be here.
“Our starter for tomorrow will be Barret Loux.”
Q. Rob, have you ever been to a Regional or a Super Regional where the focus isn’t just on the bracket, but also on a player going for some sort of record?
CHILDRESS: “I think there’s an awful lot of storylines in this tournament. Obviously, Wittels has had a great season. Everybody asks, ‘Is that your focus?’ No, our focus is Florida International. If Garrett Wittels has four or five hits in the game, hopefully they’re not the big ones. That’s what we’re trying to do, just go win the game. Whether he gets two or three hits tomorrow is irrelevant to me. I know Florida International and Miami haven’t played in some time, and I know there’s an underlying story there too, as far as the local media goes.”
Q. Barret, what are your thoughts of facing a guy that has a hitting streak like this? Does it change your approach at all? What would you like to do to stop it?
LOUX: “No, not really. Like coach said, that’s not really our focus. My focus tomorrow is winning the game, and really, what he does is irrelevant. It would be nice to stop it, but it would be a consolation prize if it happens.”
Q. Have you got a scouting report on him at all? Do you know what his tendencies are?
LOUX: “No, not really. I’m sure we’ll have a scouting report tonight that you can look at and see some things, but it’s just going out there and making pitches.”
Q. Coach, can you talk about the way your team’s playing ball coming in?
CHILDRESS: “You know, I’m very proud of our team. We got off to a great start and went through a stretch in the middle of the season where a lot of people counted us out. But they stayed together, continued to work, and played the game we expect it to be played. We played extremely well for the last six weeks. I’m looking forward to playing again. After Sunday’s game, I wish we were playing on Monday. We have to wait for tomorrow to play.”
Q. Rob, FIU batted .385 in the Sun Belt Tournament. You’ve got a heck of a pitching staff. Do you see this as strength vs. strength?
CHILDRESS: “For Florida International, all anybody talks about is Wittels. They’re hitting .339 as a team. They can hit one through nine. Against them, you have to avoid the big inning, where they string five or six hits together, and that fifth or sixth hit is a home run. Turtle does a great job coaching hitters and there’s nine guys in that lineup is a home run.”