Rinderknech, Withrow Earn All-America Honors after Advancing at NCAAs

TULSA, Okla. – Texas A&M Men’s Tennis’ Jackson Withrow and Arthur Rinderknech topped Texas Tech’s No. 12 Hugo Dojas and Felipe Soares at the 2016 NCAA Doubles Championship Friday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla.

The singles and doubles competition is being held May 25-30 at the Case Tennis Center, hosted by the University of Tulsa.

No. 8 Rinderknech and Withrow advanced to face No. 13 Skander Monsouri and Christian Seraphim of Wake Forest on Saturday. The Maroon & White clad duo improved to 14-5 on the season following Thursday’s 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (11) victory and are now a team-best 7-5 against ranked foes. The win was the second-straight ranked victory following their highest-ranked career triumph Thursday afternoon, having defeated No. 4 Lucas Conrinteli and Ryan Shane of Virginia in the opening round.

The duo earned All-America status for advancing to the NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals. The honor is the first of the career for Rinderknech and the third for Withrow. The Nebraskan earned doubles honors alongside Junior Ore during his sophomore and junior campaigns.

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

Complete NCAA tournament brackets, schedules, results and links to live scoring and video are available on the Championship Central page: http://tulsahurricane.com/sports/2016/3/25/2016-ncaa-mens-and-womens-tennis-championships-schedule.aspx

2016 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships Results
Singles First Round
No. 52 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. No. 7 Christopher Eubanks (GT), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Singles Second Round
No. 16 Jaren Hiltzik (ILL) def. No. 52 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles First Round
No. 8 Jackson Withrow & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. No. 4 Ryan Shane & Luca Corinteli (UVA) 6-2, 6-4

Doubles Second Round
No. 8 Jackson Withrow & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. No 12 Hugo Dojas & Felipe Soared (TT) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (11)

Doubles Third Round
No. 8 Jackson Withrow & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. No. 13 Skander Monsouri & Christian Seraphim (WF)

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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No. 2 Aggies run-rule No. 6 Vanderbilt, 13-3 in Seven Innings

HOOVER, Alabama – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies pounded out 14 hits in a seven-inning ‘run-rule’ win over the No. 6 Vanderbilt Commodores, 13-3, in SEC Baseball Tournament action Friday afternoon at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The victory sends the Aggies to a semifinal contest against No. 10 Ole Miss at noon on Saturday.

Michael Barash led the Aggie hit parade, going 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Austin Homan batted 2-for-3 with one double, one run and three RBI. Nick Banksbatted 2-for-4 with two runs, one home run and one RBI.Ryne Birk batted 2-for-4 with one double, two runs and one RBI.

Kyle Simonds (9-3) earned the win for Texas A&M. He yielded three runs, just one earned, on six hits while logging a career-high with 10 strikeouts. He pitched his third complete-game of the season, the most for an Aggie since Ross Stripling logged five in 2012.

The Commodores pounced on the Aggies for a run in the top of the first inning. With one out, Jeren Kendall poked a single to right field and stole second base. After Bryan Reynolds swung and missed at strike three for the second out of the inning, Alonzo Jones gapped a double to right-center, knocking in Kendall for the 1-0 lead.

The Aggies responded with their largest first-inning haul of the season, putting up seven runs in the home half of the frame. J.B. Moss and Banks started the inning with singles. After Boomer White flied out for the first out of the inning, Birk broke the scoring seal by slapping a single to leftfield. Barash followed by bouncing a single up the middle to score Banks, handing the Aggies a 2-1 lead. After Jonathan Moroneyswung and missed at strike three for the second out of the inning, Joel Davis laced a single through the left side of the infield, knocking in Birk. Hunter Melton followed with a wall-banger to right-center for a two-run double and Homan dropped a double down the rightfield line as Texas A&M’s lead ballooned to 6-1. The scoring in the frame was capped off when Homan moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when the catcher’s throw sailed down the leftfield line.

Texas A&M (43-14) tacked on two more runs in the third. Barash knocked a single back up the middle and Moroney reached on an infield single to start the inning.  After Davis pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Barash scored on a wild pitch. Homan faked a squeeze bunt and slapped a ball down the leftfield line. Walker Gristanti made a heroic diving catch to rob Homan of an extra-base hit, but Moroney pranced home on the sacrifice fly to stake the Maroon and White to a 9-1 lead.

The Aggies mounted a two-out rally in the fourth. After two Texas A&M strikeouts, Birk roped a double to left-center and Barash followed with an RBI single to left as the gulf widened to 10-1.

Vanderbilt took advantage of an Aggie error to score two unearned runs in the top of the sixth. Jason Delay was hit by a pitch and Ethan Paul struck out swinging. First baseman Melton pounced on a grounder in the hole hit by Kendall, but his throw to second base sailed past the glove of shortstop Homan for an error. Reynolds made the Aggies pay for the miscue with a single through the right side to plate Delay and put Kendall on third. Jones knocked in Kendall with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Texas A&M lead to 10-3.

Banks hit a leadoff home run in the home half of the sixth, his seventh dinger of the year, to stretch the Texas A&M lead to 11-3.

The game ended in less than suspenseful walk-off fashion when the Aggies scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to invoke the tournament 10-run rule. Moroney reached on a throwing error by shortstop Connor Kaiser to start the inning and Walker Pennington followed with a single through the left side of the infield. Moroney moved to third on a fly out by Melton and scored on an infield single by Homan. An ill-advised throw to first by the Kaiser after the ball caromed off the pitcher allowed Homan to move to second and Pennington advanced to third. The game ended on a fielding error by leftfielder Ro Coleman on a liner by Moss, who was credited with a sacrifice fly.

Kyle Wright (8-4) was saddled with the loss for Vanderbilt. He allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on 11 hits and one walk while striking out seven over 5.0 innings.

Coach Rob Childress, Michael Barash & Kyle Simonds


Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Odor’s suspension reduced to 7 games, starts Friday

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Rougned Odor’s suspension for punching Toronto’s Jose Bautista has been reduced from eight to seven games, and the Texas second baseman will begin serving it in Friday night’s series opener against Pittsburgh.

The Rangers promoted former top prospect Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock, and he was in the lineup against the Pirates as the leadoff hitter playing second base. Odor has been leading off for Texas.

Odor’s penalty was cut by Major League Baseball executive vice president John McHale. The appeal over Odor’s role in a May 15 brawl between the Rangers and Blue Jays was heard Tuesday. The league disciplined 14 players and staff over the melee in Arlington.

The team has also placed right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson on MLB’s Family Medical Emergency List.

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Texas A&M’s Gavrilovska Falls in NCAA Second Round

TULSA, Okla. – Texas A&M’s Saska Gavrilovska (pronounced saush-ka gav-ril-ov-ska) saw her run in the NCAA Division I Women’s Singles Championship come to an end in the second round as she fell to 33rd-ranked Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 today at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Gavrilovska, a junior from Serbia who is only the second player in Texas A&M history to compete in the prestigious tournament each of the first three years of her career, won a no-ad point to break Hartono and take a 4-2 lead in the opening set. Both players held serve for the remainder of the frame as Gavrilovska, ranked a career-high 24th in the ITA singles rankings, went on to win, 6-3.

Both players struggled to hold serve in the second set. Hartono, a sophomore from the Netherlands, was the first to hold and then broke Gavrilovska once again to go up, 4-2. Gavrilovska, however, would win the next three games to go up 5-4. Hartono broke back to put the set back on serve at 5-5, but Gavrilovska won a no-ad point to break Hartono to go up 6-5. Gavrilovska, who entered the match 17-1 this season when winning the first set, was then serving for the match, but Hartono broke for her fifth time in the frame to tie the score at 6-6 and force a tiebreaker.

Gavrilovska, Texas A&M’s lone representative in the NCAA individual tournament, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the tiebreaker, but Hartono won the next two points to tie the score. Gavrilovska then built a 4-2 lead, but Hartono countered by winning three consecutive points to take her first lead, 5-4. Gavrilovska tied the score at 5-5, but Hartono went on to win the next two points to take the tiebreaker, 7-5, and force a third set.

Hartono, who had lost to Gavrilovska, 6-2, 6-1, in a regular-season Southeastern Conference matchup on March 13 in College Station, raced to a 5-0 third-set lead and went on to win the final set, 6-1, to advance to the Round of 16, thereby automatically earning All-America status.

Gavrilovska, who upset No. 9-16 seed and ninth-ranked Stephanie Wagner of the University of Miami, 7-6 (8), 6-4, in the first round on Wednesday and would have become only the second two-time All- American in the history of the Texas A&M women’s tennis program had she reached the Round of 16, finishes her season 20-11.

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

NCAA Singles Championship – Texas A&M results:
64           #24 Saska Gavrilovska (Texas A&M) def. #9 Stephanie Wagner [9-16] (Miami), 7-6 (8), 6-4
32           #33 Arianne Hartono (Ole Miss) def. #24 Saska Gavrilovska (Texas A&M), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Rockets, D’Antoni agree on 4-year deal

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) _A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Houston Rockets have agreed to terms with Mike D’Antoni on a four-year deal to make him their new head coach.

The two sides came to agreement on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the hiring.

The 65-year-old D’Antoni has long been thought of as one of the most innovative offensive minds in basketball. He led the Phoenix Suns to two Western Conference finals appearances in five seasons and also coached the Knicks, Lakers and Nuggets.

In Houston, D’Antoni will team with James Harden to form a formidable offensive tandem. D’Antoni replaces interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who took over for the fired Kevin McHale early in the season.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the hiring.


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Weather suspends first day of NCAA West Preliminary rounds in Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Action was limited on the first day of the NCAA West Preliminary rounds at Rock Chalk Park as a series of lightning and thunderstorm delays eventually suspended the competition.

Plans call for the women’s 10,000 meters to start at 8 a.m. on Friday morning followed by the men’s 10,000 meters at 8:40 a.m. Karis Jochen will compete in the women’s 10,000 meters for Texas A&M.

The men’s and women’s pole vault will be moved indoors, with the men scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. and the women competing at 5 p.m. Texas A&M has four vaulters in the men’s field and two in the women’s.

Only the first two flights of the women’s javelin and men’s hammer were completed today. Each event had one attempt made from the third flight before another lightning delay occurred.

Texas A&M’s Madalaine Stulce produced a mark of 162 feet, 1 inch during the second flight of the javelin, missing her career best by an inch. She is currently in third place while the third flight of 16 throwers still needs to be completed. Stulce ranked 20th heading into the meet with a season best of 162-2.

The Aggies have four throwers in the third flight of the javelin, including Texas A&M school record holder Maggie Malone (198-0) and her sister, Audrey (179-0), along with Kristen Clark (165-3) and Krystyn Bradley (163-7). They ranked second, seventh, 14th and 16th among West region throwers heading into the meet.

Other field events scheduled for Thursday included the men’s and women’s long jump, women’s hammer, and men’s pole vault. Track events for Thursday included the 400m hurdles, 1,500m, 100m, 800m and the 10,000m.

An updated schedule for the remainder of the meet should be available this evening.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Weather washes Bombers Opening Weekend; Home opener moved to next Thursday June 2nd


Bryan-College Station, TX (May 26, 2016) – The Brazos Valley Bombers games, against Acadiana Cane Cutters, on Friday, May 27th, and Saturday, May 28th, have been postponed due to weather conditions.

The Friday night firework show, sponsored by TEEX, will be moved to August 7th. The children’s Art Show, sponsored by Painting with a Twist, will be moved to Friday, June 3rd.

The Bombers new opening day will be June 2nd. The national traveling act BBoy McCoy will be making his stop at Nutrabolt Stadium on Thirsty Thursday presented by WB Liquors. The Oscar & Son’s Body Shop Car Show has also been rescheduled to June 2nd. The Bombers will take the field on May 31st on the road vs. the Woodlands Strykers.

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No. 2 Texas A&M defeats No. 9 South Carolina, 4-1 in Second Round of SEC Tournament

HOOVER, Alabama – For the second time in 13 days, Brigham Hillstymied South Carolina hitters as he led the No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies to a 4-1 win over the No. 9 Gamecocks in an SEC Baseball Tournament elimination game Thursday morning at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Just under two weeks after pitching 7.0 innings in the Aggies’ 3-0 shutout of the Gamecocks in Columbia, Hill (8-1) yielded just one unearned run on five hits and three walks while striking out eight in 7.0 innings to improve to 8-1 on the season. Hill, who was overlooked for all-league pitching honors, lowered his ERA to 1.88 on the year.

In his last three starts, Hill has allowed two runs, one earned, on 14 hits and six walks while striking out 22 in 20.0 innings. He is 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA and .189 opponent batting average in the span that includes three wins over Top 10 opponents.

Mitchell Kilkenny and Mark Ecker retired all three batters they faced in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the win. Ecker fanned two batters to pick up his fifth save of the season.

Jonathan Moroney continues to be in the groove for Texas A&M. He went 3-for-4 on the day with one run and one RBI. The senior is 10-for-18 (.556) with four runs, two doubles, one home run and seven RBI over the last five games.

Texas A&M (42-14) did most of their damage in the top of the second inning. Leadoff batter Ryne Birk started the rally by drawing a four-pitch walk and advancing to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Nick Banks singled through the left side of the infield to knock in Birk. Michael Barash slapped a double to left-center to plate Banks and Moroney capped off the rally with a single to rightfield, pushing Barash across for the 3-0 lead.

South Carolina (42-15) mustered their lone run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Gene Cone drew an eight-pitch walk. Marcus Mooney followed with a single to rightfield. With Cone charging to third base, Bank misplayed the ball allowing him to round the bag and head home. The Gamecocks would eventually get the tying run to second base in the inning, but first baseman Hunter Melton pounced on a Jonah Bride knock deep into the hole and wheeled to throw to Hill covering at the bag to end the inning and rob Bride of a two-run single.

The Aggies mounted a two-out rally in the ninth to tack on an insurance run. Moroney slapped a two-out single to left-center and chugged to third on a two-base throwing error by relief pitcher Josh Reagan on failed pickoff attempt. Homan bounced a single up the middle, plating Moroney for the 4-1 lead.

Banks closed out the contest with a web gem for the Aggies. After Ecker fanned the first two batters he faced in the ninth, T.J. Tolbert launched a ball toward rightfield where Banks made a leaping grab with his glove a foot over the wall for the end game.

Webb (10-5) was saddled with the loss for South Carolina. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out eight in 6.2 innings.

Homan was 2-for-3 with one walk and one RBI.

Cone was the Gamecocks’ most effective hitter, going 1-for-2 with two walks and one run.

The Aggies return to action in an elimination game Friday at 3 pm. Texas A&M plays the loser of Thursday’s game between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.


Coach Rob Childress, Brigham Hill & Jonathan Moroney


Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Baylor Football Coach Art Briles to be Terminated; AD Ian McCaw Placed on Probation

AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty

AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty

May 26, 2016

Board of Regents apologizes to Baylor Nation; Dr. David Garland named interim University President; Ken Starr transitions to role of Chancellor and remains professor at Baylor University Law School; Head Football Coach Art Briles suspended with intent to terminate; Athletic Director Ian McCaw sanctioned and placed on probation; University self-reports to NCAA; Task Force responsible for implementing recommendations formed and operative; Findings of Fact and Recommendations made available

WACO, Texas (May 26, 2016) – In Fall 2015, Baylor University’s Board of Regents engaged outside counselPepper Hamilton, LLP (Pepper) to conduct an independent and external review of Baylor’s institutional response to Title IX and related compliance issues through the lens of specific cases.

Key findings of the investigation reflect a fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). The findings include:

  • The University’s student conduct processes were wholly inadequate to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response under Title IX; Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures; and in some cases, the University failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects.
  • Actions by University administrators directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.
  • In addition to broader University failings, Pepper found specific failings within both the football program and Athletics department leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player and to a report of dating violence.
  • There are significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of student athlete misconduct.
  • Over the course of their review, Pepper investigated the University’s response to reports of a sexual assault involving multiple football players. The football program and Athletics department leadership failed to take appropriate action in response to these reports.

“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” said Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”

Pepper’s review was detailed, thorough and rigorous. Pepper had unfettered access to Baylor faculty, staff and administration. Pepper also spoke with students who have been impacted by interpersonal violence. Pepper Hamilton examined more than a million pieces of information – from correspondence to interviews to reports. The experiences of students impacted by interpersonal violence played a significant role in the investigation into the University’s response. While those experiences informed the findings, the details of individual cases are protected by Federal law and will not be referenced in any document made public by the University.

“We, as the governing Board of this University, offer our apologies to the many who sought help from the University.  We are deeply sorry for the harm that survivors have endured,” said Ron Murff, chair-elect of the Baylor Board of Regents. “Baylor’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community remains our primary imperative. The Board has taken decisive action to ensure the University’s priorities are aligned with our unyielding commitment to that mission.”


Following Pepper’s comprehensive briefing, the Board charted a course of action that it believes is in the best interest of students and the long-term wellbeing of the University.

“We were asked to provide a thorough and candid assessment. Baylor allowed us to follow the facts, without influence or interference, wherever they led, and Baylor’s Board of Regents openly received sobering findings of failure within football, the Athletics Department and the University as a whole,” said Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie M. Gomez, partners with Pepper Hamilton, LLP. “We believe the choice to share these findings of fact publicly and acknowledge past failures is an important step for the University as it implements the recommendations derived from these findings.”


The Pepper findings revealed a lack of strong institutional management and control on a number of levels. The Board’s actions reflect a focus on the points at which the most significant levels of accountability and obligation should have been exercised.

“We have made these decisions, because, above all, we must safeguard our students and our campus,” said Willis. “We must set a new course to ensure the leaders of the University place a premium on responding effectively and with sensitivity to those impacted by the tragedy of interpersonal violence.”

The following personnel changes are effective immediately.

  • Ken Starr will no longer serve in the role of President of Baylor University effective May 31. David Garland, former dean and professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim President of Baylor University while the University initiates a search for its next President. Garland previously served as Baylor’s interim President from August 2008 to May 2010. Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor’s Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.
  • Effective immediately, Head Football Coach Art Briles has been suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate according to contractual procedures.
  • Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. McCaw will work with University leadership and the Board of Regents to implement the recommendations as they relate to the restoration of a tone of accountability within the football program, to effective oversight and controls of the Athletics department, and to critically needed changes that will re-align the Athletics program with the University mission.
  • Additional members of the Administration and Athletics program have also been dismissed. Neither these individuals nor the disciplinary actions will be identified publicly.
  • Greg Jones, as Executive Vice President and Provost, serves as second in command and will continue to have responsibility for the academic enterprise and fulfillment of the University’s Christian mission.
  • The roles of members of several University departments will be clarified and staff will be engaged in continuing and robust training before the start of the Fall 2016 semester.
  • The overall business operations of the University, including Athletics, will be executed primarily through Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • The Board of Regents has created the full-time position of Chief Compliance Officer that will report directly to the Office of the President.


In addition to personnel changes, it is imperative the University leverages the investigation’s findings to institute improvements to better strengthen its ability to prevent, investigate and respond to acts of interpersonal violence and care for those who are affected by these acts. The University has retained the services of Rick Evrard, of Bond, Schoenech & King, PLLC, and has made contact with the NCAA to initially discuss potential infractions and to offer full cooperation with any resulting investigation.

Pepper provided recommendations to address deficiencies and process failures as outlined in the Findings of Fact. Among the areas of focus where improvements have been recommended:

  • Remedial and Restorative Remedies: Baylor will review all cases of interpersonal violence over the past three academic years, to offer remedies, identify any current need for investigation, or isolate any broad pattern or cultural implications. Consistent with Title IX, Baylor will contact victims and offer specific remedies to the individuals identified in Pepper’s review.
  • Title IX: The work of the Title IX office, established in November 2014, provides prevention training, engages student advocates and supports those who experience interpersonal violence. Improvements call for clarifying roles and responsibilities within the office, better utilizing case management tools to coordinate care and support, and providing leadership to coordinate information across University functions. In addition, standardized protocols will be established to balance individual requests for anonymity with broader campus safety obligations. Other recommendations include committing sufficient infrastructure and resources to the Title IX office and support from senior leadership to ensure appropriate and informed administrative oversight.
  • Athletics: A wide range of changes will be implemented in Baylor’s Athletics policies and procedures. The overall operations of the Athletics department will be integrated into the mainstream operations of the University. Significant attention will be given to ensuring policies are consistent across all students and student-athletes alike with consistent protocols that eliminate any appearance of preferential treatment. The University will create and maintain a culture of high moral standards among student-athletes and leadership to ensure Baylor Athletics places paramount importance on student welfare and abides by Title IX reporting obligations. The University will review policies and protocols regarding transfers and recruits as well as opportunities for Athletics personnel to integrate across non-athletics programs within the University.    
  • Engagement & Education: The role of training, education and engagement of the entire Baylor community is vital to the successful transformation of our campus culture. A renewed emphasis on our faith commitment will permeate the work we do in this area over the coming months and years. Annual training will be required for all students, faculty, employees and contractors, with additional trauma-informed training for implementers, investigators and adjudicators. Additional focus will be given to establishing expectations for student organizations and interest groups as well as greater community engagement within campus residence halls. Additionally, the University will evaluate the climate on campus and undertake a more concerted effort to openly discuss prevention of and response to interpersonal violence.
  • Centralized Reporting and Resolution: A centralized hub of student conduct information will provide a level of “early warning” for those students who are at risk or who may place others at risk. The University will ensure the accountability of employees by making clear the violation of reporting obligations could be cause for discharge. Additionally, processes will be put in place to ensure all instances of interpersonal violence, regardless of where they originate, will be evaluated under the Title IX office.
  • Public Safety: Baylor has placed a priority on improving its professional public safety office with the hiring of new leadership and additional experienced officers. Continued training, the establishment of community partnerships and stronger collaboration among area law enforcement will be a focus of improvement. Improvements will also focus on establishing clear protocols for supporting the needs of individuals who have experienced interpersonal violence and establishing partnerships with advocacy organizations. The University will also revisit its protocol for sharing information between Waco Police Department and Baylor University Police Department.
  • Counseling and Advocacy: With more than $5 million allocated to improvements and staffing in the Baylor Counseling Center in the coming year, efforts are already underway to improve services, support, and access to this vital resource. Additional work will be done to enhance after-hours access and emergency crisis availability and coordination with Title IX staff. The University will establish dedicated victim-advocacy services for students who need help navigating recovery and continued pursuit of their education after an incident of assault.

“Undergirding our work to implement the recommendations of Pepper Hamilton is a firm commitment to care for and develop the whole person – body, mind and spirit,” said Kevin Jackson, Vice President for Student Life. “We will continue to provide opportunities that help each student grow in their faith and become the person God has designed them to be. We commit to illustrate God’s love and grace and to help them grow their own deep roots that hold them firmly in God’s will for their lives.“


An Executive-Level Task Force on Implementation, established by the Baylor Board of Regents, will act promptly to address Pepper’s recommendations in the areas outlined above, Remedial and Restorative Remedies, Title IX, Athletics, Engagement and Education, Centralized Reporting and Resolution, Public Safety, and Counseling and Advocacy, as well as other areas across the University.

The Task Force, which is led by Dr. Ramsower, includes implementation groups comprised of members of Baylor’s faculty, staff and administration who share responsibility for identified areas and the holistic well-being of students in our campus community.

Within the coming weeks, the Task Force will identify areas where improvements are already underway, areas for immediate implementation and areas for more thorough consideration. The Task Force and implementation groups will assess best practices across other universities, implement more complex recommendations by Pepper Hamilton and continue to move Baylor forward along a path of improvement.

Periodic announcements will chronicle the work of the Task Force and implementation groups as they make improvements.


The Findings of Fact, developed by the Board with guidance from Pepper, is available on the University website. Within the Findings of Fact, readers will find detailed assessments of system failures and comprehensive list of recommendations. These recommendations provide a roadmap for next steps and are based on industry best practices and Pepper’s extensive experience helping universities nationwide establish systems to safeguard students, faculty and staff from sexual violence and take steps to ensure robust response and procedures.

Over the course of the investigation, a special committee of the Board of Regents was periodically updated on Pepper’s work. Additionally, in early May, Pepper presented their findings of fact and recommendations to Board leadership in Philadelphia and was onsite to brief the full Board during its May meeting in Waco. While no written report h

as been prepared, the Findings of Fact reflect the thorough briefings provided by Pepper and fully communicates the need for immediate action to remedy past harms, to provide accountability for University administrators and to make significant changes that can no longer wait.

“We believe these Findings of Fact are forthright and critical to rebuild trust in Baylor University,” said Murff. “The Board was adamant that Pepper Hamilton’s findings and recommendations be shared with the community with as much detail as possible.”

Story courtesy of Baylor University Athletics

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Texas A&M’s Gavrilovska, Vinsant Advance at NCAA Singles Championships

TULSA, Okla. – Texas A&M will be represented in the second round of both the women’s and men’s NCAA Division I Tennis Singles Championships as Saska Gavrilovska and Shane Vinsant both recorded first-round upsets today to advance. Texas A&M sophomore Arthur Rinderknech was not as fortunate, falling in his first-round match today at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

Gavrilovska, a junior from Serbia, opened the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship by upsetting No. 9-16 seed and ninth-ranked Stephanie Wagner of the University of Miami, 7-6 (8), 6-4. The victory, which equals Gavrilovska’s highest ranked win in 2015-16, avenges her Round of 16, three-set loss to the two-time All-American in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Gavrilovska, ranked a career-high No. 24 while making her third consecutive appearance in the prestigious tournament, improved to 20-10 and will face Southeastern Conference-foe and 33rd-ranked Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss in the second round on Thursday at 11 a.m. Gavrilovska defeated Hartono, 6-2, 6-1, during the regular season.

Vinsant, No. 52 in the ITA singles rankings, recorded his highest ranked win of the season and advanced by knocking off seventh-ranked Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship. The senior from Keller, Texas, improved to 23-16 and will face 16th-ranked Jared Hilzik of Illinois in the second round on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Vinsant is making his second appearance in the tournament, having reached the Round of 16 to earn All-America honors as a sophomore.

Rinderknech, a sophomore who was making his first appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, retired trailing 13th-ranked Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest, 3-0, in the third set. Although eliminated from singles competition, Rinderknech will return to the courts to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship. He and senior teammate Jackson Withrow will take on No. 4 Luca Corinteli and Ryan Shane of Virginia in the opening round on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Gavrilovska’s match was back on serve at 4-4 in the first set, and both players continued to hold serve to force a tiebreaker at 6-6. Neither player held more than a two-point lead in the tiebreaker, with Gavrilovska pulling away to win, 10-8.

Gavrilovska, who entered the match 16-1when winning a first set this season, won a no-ad point to break and go up 5-4 in the second set. Gavrilovska then held serve to win the second set, 6-4, and close out the straight-set victory.

Vinsant and Eubanks were on serve at 4-4 in the opening set before Vinsant broke to go up, 5-4. The Aggie then held serve to win, 6-4. It was Eubanks who broke away late in the second set. On serve at 5-4, Eubanks broke Vinsant to win the set, 6-4, and even the match. The third set remained on serve until Vinsant posted the only break of the frame to take a 5-4 lead. Vinsant then held to close out the 6-4 third-set victory to advance.

Rinderknech, ranked 18th in singles, lost a no-ad point to open his match against Mansouri before reeling off seven consecutive games to win the first set, 6-1, and take a 1-0 lead in the second set. The second set remained on serve until Mansouri won a no-ad point to go up a break, 5-4. Mansouri then held serve to close out the frame and even the match at a set apiece.

Mansouri, who automatically garnered All-America status by being a No. 9-16 seed in the 64-player field, broke Rinderknech to open the third set and then held serve to go up 2-0. Mansouri would break Rinderknech again, winning a controversial no-ad point to take a 3-0 lead before Rinderknech retired.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s and women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the Texas A&M tennis teams on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN and @AggieWTEN.

Complete NCAA tournament brackets, schedules, results and links to live scoring and video are available on the Championship Central page: http://tulsahurricane.com/sports/2016/3/25/2016-ncaa-mens-and-womens-tennis-championships-schedule.aspx

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Mazara hits long homer as Rangers beat Angels 15-9


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Rangers rookie Nomar Mazara hit the longest home run in the major leagues this season, Rougned Odor drove in three runs in likely his last game before a suspension and Texas beat the Los Angeles Angels 15-9 Wednesday.

Mazara led off the second with a drive into the second deck of the right-seat seats that would have traveled 491 feet had it landed unimpeded, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast program. Along with his eighth homer of the season, he had a two-run single during a four-run sixth that made it 11-6.

Los Angeles had leads of 1-0 and 4-1 after its first two at-bats, but Hector Santiago (3-3) quickly gave those up each time. It was 4-4 when Texas started the third with consecutive hits off the lefty before Ryan Rua greeted Mike Morin with a two-run single that put the Rangers ahead to stay.

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Aggies Lose Late Lead to Vanderbilt

HOOVER, Alabama – The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies gave up single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to let a 5-4 lead slip away, sending the No. 6 Vanderbilt Commodores to a 6-5 win Wednesday morning at the SEC Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met.

Texas A&M (41-14) entered the contest 34-0 when leading after seven innings, but couldn’t make the lead stand on Wednesday.

Vanderbilt (43-15) tied the game in the eighth. Alonzo Jones hit a leadoff single off the glove of Aggie relieverJace Vines and Julian Infante followed with a single up the middle. Texas A&M closer Mark Ecker tried to snuff out the rally, but he fell down when trying to field a bunt back to the mound by Will Toffey, loading the bases. Connor Kaiser sent a fly ball to deep rightfield, tying the game at 4-4 with the sacrifice fly.

The Commodores caught lightning in a bottle to take the lead in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Walker Grisanti, who had just 36 at-bats on the season, launched a 0-1 pitch from Ecker over the rightfield fence for his first home run of the season and the 6-5 lead. The dinger snapped Ecker’s streak of 32.1 innings without yielding an earned run.

Texas A&M got the leadoff man aboard in the bottom of the ninth when Jonathan Moroney worked a six-pitch walk, but Austin Homan struck out on his third attempt to get a sacrifice bunt down and Nick Choruby bounced into a game-ending 3-6-1 double play.

The Aggies pounced on the Commodores for three runs in the bottom of the second. With one out, Ryne Birk punched a 3-1 offering up the middle for a single. With two outs, Nick Banks stroked a single to leftfield and Moroney hit a gapper to left-center for a two-run double. Homan followed with a wall-banger to triple, knocking in Moroney for the 3-0 lead.

Vanderbilt took advantage of a costly Texas A&M error in the top of the third to tie the game at 3-3. Ethan Paul started the frame with a single up the middle. Andrew Vinson then sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a walk to Bryan Reynolds. The Aggies appeared to be out of the frame with no damage, when Infante grounded to shortstop Homan, but his throw to second pulled Birk off the bag, loading the bases with two outs. The Commodores followed with a two-run single by Toffey and an RBI single by Kaiser.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Infante drove a 1-2 pitch into the visitors bullpen in leftfield for a solo home run, giving Vanderbilt a 4-3 advantage.

The Aggies reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Michael Barash slapped a single to left-center and moved to third after a couple of wild pitches. Nick Banks slashed a double to left field to plate Barash for the tying run and Homan slipped a single through the right side to push Banks across for the go-ahead run.

Andrew Vinson made his 101st appearance on the mound for the Aggies, but just his third start. He worked 6.0 innings, allowing four runs, one earned, on seven hits and one walk while striking out three. Ecker (4-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing one run on two hits while striking out one in 2.0 innings.

Matt Ruppenthal earned the win in relief for Vanderbilt. He pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, scattering one hit and two walks while striking out three.

The bottom third of the Aggies’ order batted 6-for-10 with three runs and five RBI. The first six hitters went 3-for-25 with two runs. Banks, Moroney and Homan logged two hits apiece and they each had one extra-base hit.

The Commodores 5-6-7 hitters combined to go 7-for-11 with two runs and five RBI. The rest of the order batted 4-for-22. Toffey led Vanderbilt with three hits and two RBI.

Texas A&M returns to action Thursday as the play the loser of Wednesday’s Ole Miss-South Carolina game. The game is slated for 9:30 a.m.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Don Maestri Joins Aggie Basketball Staff

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Legendary Troy basketball coach Don Maestri has joined the Aggie basketball staff as a special assistant to head coach Billy Kennedy.

“I am excited to have Coach Maestri join my staff,” Kennedy said. “He has been a mentor to me since the eighth grade at Holy Cross School. I am a coach today in part because of the impact he made on me years ago. To add a coach of his experience and knowledge will help our program immensely.”

During an impressive 31-season tenure at Troy (1982-2013), Maestri guided the Trojan program to 501 victories, eight 20-win seasons and seven conference championships, most recently the 2010 Sun Belt regular season title, while developing three All-Americans and 39 all-conference players. At the Division II level, Maestri guided the program to the Final Four in 1988 and 1993.

A seven-time coach of the year honoree in five different conferences, he stands out as Troy’s all-time winningest coach with a career record of 501-403 (.554) and led the Trojans to eight postseason tournament appearances, including the program’s lone NCAA Tournament appearance at the Division I level in 2003. He was inducted into Troy’s Sports Hall of Fame in August 2013 and the court at Trojan Arena is named in his honor.

“I’m excited to join the Aggie Basketball staff and look at my role as trying to help the program be successful in any way I can,” Maestri said. “I look forward to working with this talented coaching staff as well as this group of players. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Billy Kennedy who, in addition to being an outstanding coach and teacher, is a great embodiment of Texas A&M’s core values.”

During Troy’s first season at the Division I level, 1993-94, Maestri’s run-and-gun style earned the Trojans a conference title, going undefeated in the East Coast Conference. Troy also gained national recognition by leading the nation in three-pointers made per game while averaging 97.6 points per contest. For his efforts, Maestri was named East Coast Conference Coach of the Year.

On Jan. 12, 1992, Maestri’s Trojans, then competing at the Division II level, set an NCAA record by scoring 258 points in a win over DeVry.

Prior to taking his position at Troy, Maestri spent three seasons as an assistant in the SEC during stints at Alabama (1980-82) and Mississippi State (1979-80) as well as coaching at Holy Cross High School from 1970-79 in his hometown of New Orleans.


Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy


Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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College Station Gets a Hockey Team, as Sugar Land Imperials Are Purchased and Relocated


FRISCO, TEXAS – The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced that it has approved the transfer of membership, purchase and relocation of the Sugar Land Imperials by the Exceed Hockey Group, LLC, ownership group.

The team will be relocated from Sugar Land, Texas to College Station, Texas for the 2016-17 season and will be known as the College Station Spirit. The College Station Spirit will assume the playing rights to those players that were rostered with the Sugar Land Imperials during the 2015-16 season.

The new ownership group consists of Scott Meyer and Joe Pankratz, who also own the Minnesota Magicians in the NAHL, as well as, the NA3HL’s Chicago Bulldogs. The Spirit will compete in the NA3HL’s South Division and will be based out of Spirit Ice Arena in College Station, Texas, which is also home to Texas A&M University.

The Spirit have also announced that Nick Bydal has also been named the new head coach of the team.

“We are excited to have Nick Bydal as the first head coach of the College Station team. Nick has been a great asset to our Minnesota Magicians NAHL franchise over the last two years. He is a bright, young coach and we are looking forward to establishing a great relationship between both teams in the NAHL and NA3HL,” stated Meyer.

Following a high school career in which he captained East Grand Forks High School to two Minnesota State Tournament appearances (2001 & 2002), Bydal spent three seasons with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  He then continued his career as a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). Upon graduation from Stevens Point, he spent time in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) playing parts of two seasons with the Fayetteville FireAntz, Louisiana Ice Gators, and Augusta RiverHawks.

More recently, Bydal has been the Assistant Coach for the Minnesota Magicians in the NAHL the past two seasons. Bydal also has experience coaching at the high school level in various capacities.  In 2012, he became an assistant coach at East Grand Forks High School with both the varsity and junior varsity squads. In 2013, he was an assistant coach for the Crookston varsity hockey team while also serving as an evaluator at the Minnesota Reebok High Performance Select 15 Festival.


About the NA3HL

Entering its seventh season, the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), one of eight USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues, serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification.  The primary mission of the NA3HL, which is managed organizationally by the North American Hockey League (NAHL), is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes whose youth options are limited but are still reaching their potential and have aspirations of playing in the NAHL or United States Hockey League and eventually the NCAA or American College Hockey Association.  For more information, visit www.na3hl.com

Story courtesy of The North American 3 Hockey League

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Rangers Youngsters Perez, Mazara Key 4-1 Win Over Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Martin Perez finally got a win after another strong May
start and rookie Nomar Mazara homered in his home park for the first time,
leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on
Tuesday night.

Perez (2-4) was winless for the month despite a 2.59 ERA in four starts coming
in, and the left-hander dropped that number to 2.08 with six strikeouts in six
shutout innings.

Mazara pulled his seventh homer into the upper deck in right field off Jhoulys
Chacin (0-1) in the sixth inning. Mazara had three hits and reached base all
four times.

The 21-year-old’s two-run shot put Texas ahead 3-0 after Perez escaped the top
of the sixth by getting through the middle of the order after putting runners at
first and third with no outs.

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Correa’s RBI Single in 13th Lifts Astros Over Orioles 3-2

HOUSTON (AP) _ Carlos Correa’s tiebreaking RBI single in the 13th inning lifted
the Houston Astros to a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

Rookie Tony Kemp hit his first career triple off Dylan Bundy (0-1) with no outs
in the 13th inning. The Orioles then intentionally walked George Springer and
Jose Altuve to bring last year’s rookie of the year Correa to the plate.

Correa snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a single into shallow center that scored
Kemp and ended a four-game losing streak for the Astros.

Michael Feliz (2-1) struck out the side in the 13th for the win.

Pedro Alvarez and Manny Machado hit solo home runs for the Orioles. Luis
Valbuena had a two-run homer for Houston in the fifth.

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Pujols hits 569th homer, Angels beat Rangers 2-0

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run, the 569th of his career, and Nick Tropeano threw 6 2/3 strong innings to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Monday night.

The Angels have won eight of their last 11 games.

Pujols’ homer in the third inning tied him for 12th in career homers with Rafael Palmeiro.

Tropeano (3-2) allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six. He has held opponents to two runs or fewer in seven of nine starts and lowered his ERA to 2.86.

Texas’ Derek Holland (3-4) pitched 6 2/3 innings, matching his longest outing of the season, and allowed two runs on seven hits.

Joe Smith earned his sixth save of the season. Angels relievers stranded two runners in the seventh inning, three in the eighth and one in the ninth.

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Aggie Duo Named Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M standouts Hunter Melton and Boomer White were among 43 players named Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association over the weekend. The award, given to the top player in collegiate baseball, is based on two rounds of national voting.

White is batting .411 on the year with 41 runs, 17 doubles, four home runs, 41 RBI and eight stolen bases. The junior third baseman set the SEC record for most hits in league play with his 57 knocks in 30 games. He topped the old record of 54 set by Tennessee’s Chris Burke in 2001 and equaled by Alabama’s Josh Rutledge in 2008 and LSU’s Micah Gibbs in 2010.

White’s .413 overall batting average ranks second in the SEC. He paced the league with a .486 on-base percentage and his 17 doubles ranked fourth.

In league action, White led the SEC in batting average (.473), on-base percentage (.524) and slugging percentage (.648). He also ranked second in doubles (13) and RBI (28).

Melton leads the SEC with 63 RBI and ranks fifth with 11 home runs. In league action, Melton’s 33 RBI were five more than the nearest players on the list and he ranked fourth in the league with seven home runs.

The Corsicana, Texas native is batting .321 on the season with a .549 slugging percentage and .387 on-base percentage. He ranks second on the squad with 47 runs, 12 doubles and two triples.

The Aggies return to action Wednesday when they play either Vanderbilt or Missouri in a 9:30 am contest at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

The finalists for the 30th Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Eason Foundations, will be announced on June 9. The 2016 award will be presented at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, home of the College World Series. The winner will be unveiled on MLB Network on Friday, June 17 and then a press conference with the winner will be held on Saturday, June 18, the opening day of the 2016 College World Series.

The Aggies return to action Wednesday when they play either Vanderbilt or Missouri in a 9:30 am contest at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Rangers Injuries; Choo back on DL, Hamilton to miss entire Season

Rangers put OF Choo back on DL after only 1 game in return

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Shin-Soo Choo is back on the disabled list after the right fielder played only one game in his return to the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers put Choo on the 15-day DL on Monday with a strained left hamstring.

Choo had been out since April 9 because of a strained right calf when he was activated before Friday’s game at Houston. He walked twice in his only at-bats before leaving the game with the hamstring issue. He didn’t play the rest of the series, so the DL move is retroactive to Saturday.

The team didn’t immediately make a corresponding roster move.

Outfielder Drew Stubbs was also hurt. He was dealing with a sprained left little toe he suffered while running the bases Sunday.

Josh Hamilton will miss all season with another knee surgery

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Josh Hamilton will miss the entire season after more surgery on his left knee.

The Rangers said Monday that Hamilton, who has been on the disabled list all season, will have surgery June 8 in Houston. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Walt Lowe, whom the slugger visited for another opinion on his knee.

Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP and a five-time All-Star, had surgery twice on the knee last year. The first was in September, and then he had another operation after the season after returning for the end of the regular season and for the playoffs.
He had soreness caused by an inflamed capsule behind his left knee after getting to spring training.

Hamilton, who turned 35 on Saturday, is signed through next season.


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Boomer White Named SEC Player of the Year

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies had four players earn spots on Southeastern Conference postseason awards teams, selected by the league’s coaches, the SEC announced on Monday.

Second baseman Ryne Birk and third baseman Boomer White were selected to the All-SEC First Team. Relief pitcher Mark Ecker was named to the All-SEC Second Team. Birk and pitcher Kyle Simonds were recognized on the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Birk is batting .321 with 41 runs, 11 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 39 RBI and eight stolen bases. He notched six doubles, six home runs and 23 RBI in league play. In the field, Birk owns a .990 fielding percentage with two errors in 202 chances.

White, also honored as the SEC Player of the Year, is batting .411 on the year with 41 runs, 17 doubles, four home runs, 41 RBI and eight stolen bases. His .411 overall batting average ranks second in the SEC. He paced the league with a .486 on-base percentage and his 17 doubles ranked fourth. In league action, White led the SEC in batting average (.467), on-base percentage (.524) and slugging percentage (.648).

Ecker has been a dominant presence on the mound. He has a 4-1 record, four saves and a 0.25 ERA on the season. He is holding opponents to a .154 on-base percentage on the year and has 43 strikeouts in 36.2 innings with just three walks. In conference play, Ecker is 3-1 with three saves, 34 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.  He held SEC batters to a .120 average with 11 hits and two walks over 29.0 innings.

Simonds is 8-3 on the season with a 2.92 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 80.0 innings of work. In the field, he was errorless with 20 chances. He drew national attention in his complete-game no-hitter against then-No. 5 Vanderbilt, when he made two Gold Glove-worthy plays in the ninth inning to seal the deal. In league play, opponents managed just one stolen base in five attempts.

The Aggies return to action Wednesday when they play either Vanderbilt or Missouri in a 9:30 am contest at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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