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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Razorbacks take Game 2 over Aggies behind solid bullpen performance

Photo by CJ Smith
Texas A&M infielder Ted Burton (27) and catcher Jackson Appel (20) collide during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Friday, May 17, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

In Thursday’s game against No. 3 Arkansas, it took 11 innings in a historic pitcher’s duel between junior LHP Hagen Smith and sophomore LHP Ryan Prager for a single run to cross the plate: a bases-loaded walk to senior 1B Ted Burton to walk off the Razorbacks in a 1-0 victory.

To take the SEC West, the Aggies had to sweep the series, but after A&M’s early lead in Friday, May 17’s contest, the Razorbacks used a late-inning home run to pull in front, winning 6-3 to tie the series.

In Game 2, the 7,980 in attendance did not have to wait 11 innings for a run. In the bottom of the first, junior RF Braden Montgomery belted a two-run shot to left to double last night’s total runs with one swing.

Montgomery, considered the nation’s best transfer by many last offseason, has lived up to the hype for the majority of the season. However, the Madison, Mississippi native has been in a hitting slump to close the season, hitting .105 in the last nine games with 15 strikeouts, including four in Game 1.

After Prager’s seven-inning, scoreless performance on Thursday, junior RHP Brad Rudis was tasked with taking the mound on Friday. The Madisonville native has not started a game since his freshman season, also against Arkansas. As a reliever this season, Rudis has pitched 28.2 innings with a 1.26 ERA.

With an out in the second, Arkansas responded with a run of its own, as freshman RF Peyton Holt singled to left to cut into A&M’s early lead.

The Razorbacks responded again in the top of the third to tie the game at 2, hitting a solo shot to deep left center off the bat of sophomore SS Wehiwa Aloy.

Despite grabbing the lead back in the bottom of the inning after sophomore CF Jace LaViolette singled to right to send freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac home, this was all from the Aggies’ offense for the rest of the evening. Arkansas’ pitching staff of sophomore RHP Gage Wood and junior LHP Mason Molina combined for eight innings pitched with just two earned runs.

Molina, who came out of the bullpen for the first time this season, closed the final three innings without allowing a hit while striking out two.

After tying the game in the sixth, the Razorbacks were able to deliver the final blow of the evening, as junior C Hudson White sent a towering three-run blast to left field, putting Arkansas ahead for the final time.

With Georgia’s loss this afternoon to Florida, the Maroon and White have locked a top-four seed in the SEC Tournament, no matter the outcome of the series.

The Aggies and Razorbacks will battle for the series victory Saturday, May 18, with first pitch set for 2 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Hunter Mitchell, Associate Sports Editor
Hunter Mitchell is a sport management senior minoring in journalism. Hunter has covered football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, hockey, cross country, track and field, along with swim and dive. Hunter's favorite sport is college basketball, and he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association. Hunter also hosts weekly episodes of the Home Turf sports podcast.
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