When creating a list of schools that don’t like each other very much, Texas and Texas A&M are at the very top.
The hatred between the two universities will be back on display Tuesday night when the Aggies make the trip from College Station to face the Longhorns at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
While the meeting with Texas A&M is just another game on the schedule, the added emotions are something that won’t be found against anyone else for the remainder of the year.
“It’s not just another game because of the opponent, but really it is,” second baseman Lance Ford said. “Coach (David Pierce) always talks about thinking inside-out rather than outside-in, and not letting the outside stuff affect us. We’re just going to stick to our game plan and just focus on pitch-by-pitch and out-by-out.”
Ford will be participating in his first Texas-Texas A&M rivalry game, but is well aware of the history between the two teams.
“I’ve always been a Texas fan and it’s always been a rivalry, so I’m really excited about that,” Ford said. “I have a lot of friends that play for A&M, some guys that went to my high school, so I’m excited to play them for the first time. The crowd will be great.”
Like Ford mentioned, the crowd at the Disch will be quite lively. The game has already sold out, according to a school spokesperson, with a fair amount of maroon behind the visiting third base dugout.
“It’s going to be electric like it has been this year with the LSU series, Tech series,” Pierce said following the series sweep against Xavier on Sunday. “It’s going to be one of those nights and it’s going to be fun for our team, fun for the fans and fun for both schools to be honest with you.”
The Aggies are coming off of an odd weekend where they went 1–1–1 against the unranked Missouri Tigers. Following the weekend, Texas A&M is now 23–6–1 on the season, which ranks the Aggies No. 9 in the country according to D1 Baseball.
Texas A&M will be short-handed against Texas on Tuesday, with catcher Mikey Hoehner suffering from a groin injury, first baseman Hunter Coleman dealing with a broken arm and second baseman Bryce Blaum working through a deep bone bruise in his foot.
With Texas looking to defend home turf, the secret is to not let the moment get too big, according to Pierce.
“Both teams want to win this game for pride,” Pierce said. “I think you approach it that way and approach it within what you need to do for a Tuesday game while also preparing for the weekend series.”