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

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

The Battalion

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A&M baseball receives host of recommitments to program after Earley hiring

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Photo by Hannah Harrison
Texas A&M outfielder Hayden Schott (5) celebrates a home-run with Texas A&M outfielder Jace LaViolette (17) during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 23, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

Just a week after the Texas A&M baseball roster took a major hit with a host of players entering the transfer portal, newly-hired coach Michael Earley has made College Station the place to be.

The departure of coach Jim Schlossnagle to Texas on June 25 was met with a number of Aggies with significant playing time hitting the portal. However, the beauty of the transfer portal — for some, at least — is that players can opt to withdraw and return to their original school.

A&M fans have to be thankful for that, as, following Earley’s hiring as head coach on June 30 after three seasons as the team’s hitting coach, the Aggies garnered a host of recommitments to the program from players that had previously put their names in the transfer portal.

Through a series of social media posts, infielders Gavin Grahovac, Ali Camarillo and Kaeden Kent announced their return along with outfielders Jace LaViolette, Caden Sorrell and Hayden Schott. Freshman LHP Kaiden Wilson will also be back in Aggieland for his sophomore season.

LaViolette, a sophomore, marked the most significant player to enter the portal given his status as a potential top pick in the 2025 MLB Draft. He has been a starter in the outfield since stepping foot on campus and set a then-A&M freshman home run record with 21 long balls in 2023. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

LaViolette built on his impressive freshman season with an even better 2024, again leading the team in home runs with 29, second-most in A&M history. The Katy product hit at a .305 clip with 78 runs batted in and perfect defense in right field. His 50 career home runs are tied for second in program history.

Grahovac mashed 23 long balls this season en route to SEC Freshman of the Year honors. The California native entered the portal after posting a .298 batting average and 66 runs batted in. Grahovac started all but one game at third base but also found himself playing left field in the College World Series.

“Staying where I belong…the show must go on,” Grahovac said in an Instagram post on July 2.

Junior SS Camarillo joined Grahovac on the left side of the infield. Camarillo transferred to A&M after two seasons at Cal State Northridge, where he was named to the 2023 All-Big West First Team. He displayed slick defense while hitting an efficient .288 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.

Sophomore UTIL Kent was used in a backup role for much of the season until an injury to junior RF Braden Montgomery in the NCAA Super Regional saw him step into a starting role. Kent took off from there, batting 14-for-33 with 14 runs batted in. He has been a Swiss Army Knife for the Aggies with appearances at second base, third base and the outfield.

“Like I said, nobody better,” Kent said in a post on Instagram on July 3.

Freshman Sorrell didn’t take on a consistent starting role until A&M’s series with Auburn in late March, but his defense and effective hitting kept him in the lineup. The true freshman was a weapon in left field with acrobatic catches and sneaky power at the plate. Sorrell clobbered 11 home runs with 43 RBIs and a .275 average.

Before Sorrell was manning left field, graduate Schott was patrolling the outfield following four seasons at Columbia. Schott transitioned to a designated hitter role and shone with a team-high .335 average, 63 RBIs and eight homers. Beyond his on-field production, Schott was the team jokester that could be counted on to keep things loose in the dugout.

Wilson showed promise as the season went on but finished with an 0-2 record and a 9.82 ERA. He pitched two hitless innings against Tarleton on April 30 and two scoreless frames in a Super Regional win over Oregon. The Missouri product logged 2 1/3 innings versus Tennessee in Game 2 of the College World Series finals, allowing four runs on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts. His fastball was up to 95 miles per hour.

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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.
Hannah Harrison
Hannah Harrison, Photographer
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