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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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Searching for answers

Aggies drop second-straight road series to Ole Miss
Sophomore+OF+Jace+LaViolette+%2817%29+talks+to+Assistant+Head+Coach+Nolan+Cain+during+A%26amp%3BMs+games+against+Houston+Christian+University+on+Tuesday%2C+March+26%2C+2024%2C+at+Olsen+Field.+%28CJ+Smith%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by CJ Smith
Sophomore OF Jace LaViolette (17) talks to Assistant Head Coach Nolan Cain during A&M’s games against Houston Christian University on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

Just a little over two weeks ago, Texas A&M baseball seemed to have everything going just right. Sitting at No. 1 in the country, the only questions the Aggies had were, “If they keep winning, could they pull away with an SEC title?” and “Who is going to be in their regional as the top seed?”

Now the narrative has shifted to, “Will A&M win another SEC series before the season is over?”

Since reaching the top spot in the rankings, the Maroon and White have now lost two-straight series to teams in the bottom three of the conference, this time to the Ole Miss Rebels after dropping Game 2, 10-2, on Saturday, May 11 at Swayze Field.

In the four losses A&M has suffered in the last two weeks, the offense that has been the calling card all season has failed to produce. Despite being ranked No. 10 in hits, No. 4 in home runs and No. 8 in scoring, the bats have fallen silent as of late.

The trio of freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac, sophomore CF Jace LaViolette and junior RF Braden Montgomery has been heralded as possibly the best one-two-three hitters in the country, but have fallen short of expectations recently.

The trio only tallied one hit to six strikeouts in Game 1 and only fared marginally better in Game 2, tallying three hits with a home run on four strikeouts. As a team, the Aggies against Ole Miss have racked up 25 strikeouts to just seven walks.

Game 2 got out of hand quickly for the Maroon and White, as in the second inning, the Rebels got on the board with a two-run blast from senior 2B Reagan Burford to put Ole Miss up two.

Ole Miss continued to pour it on in the inning, as back-to-back singles put two runners on, and sophomore SS Luke Hill brought one home, hitting a single to center field to drive the score up to three.

The final blow in the second frame came after A&M’s starting pitcher, sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin, was relieved by junior RHP Chris Cortez, looking to close out the inning with no further damage. However, sophomore 3B Andrew Fischer made A&M pay for the three singles, ripping a double into the left-center field gap to drive home two more and push Ole Miss’ lead to five. Every run the Rebels scored in the second inning came with two outs.

A&M did get on the board in the top of the next inning, as LaViolette ripped a solo home run to right field to cut the Rebels’ lead to four. However, this would be the Aggies’ only run of the game until the ninth inning.

Sophomore Rebel LHP Liam Doyle dominated A&M through six innings, only allowing four hits and a run with seven strikeouts. Junior RHP Josh Mallitz came in for relief and picked up right where Doyle left off, closing the game allowing only one hit and one run with four strikeouts of his own.

Ole Miss continued to add onto its lead throughout the rest of the game, adding one in the third, two in the fourth and one more insurance run in the eighth to seal A&M’s fate. The Aggies were out-hit 11 to five and only had a runner on third base twice.

For A&M, it will look to salvage Game 3 tomorrow at 5 p.m. The Maroon and White will then be home for conference play for the first time in three weeks to close the season against No. 5 Arkansas.

 

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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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