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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Photo by Chris Swann
Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery (6) hits a home run during Texas A&M’s game against Louisiana at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Regional Final at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

Ahead of Texas A&M baseball’s NCAA Regional meeting with Louisiana on Sunday, June 2, coach Jim Schlossnagle organized a meeting amongst the team’s hitters during batting practice.

The Aggies had performed well in their previous two games, a pair of wins that put them in the driver’s seat of the NCAA Bryan-College Station Regional. Yet they mustered up just five hits over 11 innings in a Saturday night win over Texas, a far cry from the offense the team had grown accustomed to during much of the regular season.

The meeting served to remind players of A&M’s success this season while reinforcing its offensive philosophy of playing for each other, waiting for good pitches to hit and controlling the strike zone.

Later that evening, the Aggies took that mentality to heart as they banged out 13 hits, eight walks and five home runs in a 9-4 victory over Louisiana at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The win completed A&M’s clean sweep of the regional and secured its second Super Regional hosting in three seasons.

“If you hit a little bit of a rough spot, sometimes you try to swing your way out of it, chasing balls out of the strike zone,” Schlossnagle said. “When we are at our best, we’re laying off those pitches and therefore trusting the guy behind you to get the big hit when you don’t get your pitch.”

The Maroon and White saw plenty of those big hits, with all but one run scored via the long ball. Junior SS Ali Camarillo’s seventh inning blast to Section 12 put the 2024 A&M squad in its own company with 129 home runs this season, a program record.

In the ninth, freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac made history of his own with his 22nd big fly of the season, putting him atop the record books for single-season home runs by a freshman. The two-run blast gave each A&M starter a hit while taking the record set last season by his teammate, sophomore CF Jace LaViolette.

“Just excited to see Jace feel good about it for Gavin,” Schlossnagle said. “These guys truly love each other. What Jace did last year was incredible, what Gavin did this year was incredible, but it’s also helped by the guys that hit behind them. … I just love how these guys interact with each other. They care about each other a lot and there’s no jealousy in that.”

Junior RF Braden Montgomery broke the ice in the third with an RBI single before the Ragin’ Cajuns evened it in the bottom of the frame behind a pair of doubles. It was the only time Louisiana could reach home against sophomore LHP Shane Sdao, turning in 5 ⅓ innings with six hits and six strikeouts.

“I always measure a pitcher by, ‘What’s my heart rate like when he pitches?’” Schlossnagle said. “When [senior LHP Evan] Aschenbeck pitches, it’s low. When Shane pitches, it’s really low, because they’re competitive and they’re gonna throw strikes.”

Junior RHP Chris Cortez picked up where Sdao left off and didn’t offer any breathing room to the Ragin’ Cajuns. Touching 101 miles per hour on the radar gun, he let up just one walk while punching out six batters across 2 ⅔ frames.

“That was big-league stuff,” Louisiana coach Matt Deggs said. “I would assume I’d be seeing him on national TV here in the next year.”

While the Ragin Cajuns’ bats were kept at bay, the Aggies responded with two home runs in the fourth to take the lead for good. After a game-tying solo home run against Texas, freshman LF Caden Sorrell put A&M ahead with a 430-foot blast to the train tracks beyond right field.

Junior RF Braden Montgomery followed his lead with a two-out homer short of the railroad at 379 feet, plating three runs after senior 2B Travis Chestnut and LaViolette singled. Montgomery’s home run helped pave the way for his selection as the regional’s most outstanding player, going 6-for-15 with six runs batted in over the weekend.

“Our guys bounced back from playing a little bit out of who we are as hitters last night,” Montgomery said. “It was good to see us bounce back and get back to executing the plan.”

As Montgomery built upon a terrific weekend, graduate DH Hayden Schott’s fifth inning solo shot proved cathartic in the midst of a 1-for-11 funk. He displayed his emotion and excitement as he rounded the bases to push the Aggies’ lead to 6-1.

“There was just a lot of frustration, and then he hits his homer and I think there was a lot of frustration that came off those guys,” Schlossnagle said. “Hopefully, we can really build on that this week leading into the Super Regionals.”

A&M will welcome Oregon to College Station for a best-of-3 series next weekend. The Ducks swept through the Santa Barbara Regional this weekend by taking down San Diego in 11 innings before earning back-to-back wins over host UC Santa Barbara by a combined four runs. The winner of the set will advance to the College World Series.

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About the Contributors
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a senior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
Chris Swann
Chris Swann, Photo Chief
Chris is a Journalism junior from Winnsboro, TX. Chris served as the Social Media Manager and Assistant Photo Chief prior to becoming Photo Chief for The Battalion’s photo desk. Before transferring to A&M in the Fall of 2023, Chris spent two years at Tyler Junior College, where he was Photo and Design editor for their student media, The DrumBeat. He is expected to graduate in May of 2026.
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