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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Baseball team overcomes UTSA surge for win

After four innings of shutout baseball which looked like a pitcher’s duel in the making, the Aggie baseball team lit up the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth with five runs on three hits.
That was more than enough run support for junior right-hander Matt Farnum, who shut down the University of Texas — San Antonio (4-8) for seven innings and led the Aggies (11-4) to an 8-5 win in front of 3,790 fans at Olsen Field Tuesday night.
Farnum said he was aware of the strong performance that UTSA’s senior left-hander Trey Rice began the game with but stayed focused on his game.
“I don’t pitch based on what the other guy is doing,” Farnum said. “I just try to go out there and shut them down.”
UTSA Head Coach Sherman Corbett, who played for the Aggies in 1982-84, said that Farnum was the key for the Aggies.
“(A&M) did a good job of mixing it up on us at the plate,” Corbett said. “(Farnum) did a great job of getting his breaking pitches over the plate and that kept us off balance. He pitched a great ballgame.”
Farnum did not walk a batter and struck out four in his seven-inning shutout. With the win Farnum improves to 3-0 and his ERA is now 0.92 for the season after the shutout.
Farnum said he did not worry about getting run support from his teammates.
“I knew we would score some runs. When they come is not up to me,” Farnum said.
After four silent innings, the Aggie offense finally came alive.
Junior center fielder Justin Ruggiano started the five-run offensive explosion with a one-out single up the middle to center field. An RBI single by junior infielder Scott Beerer was followed by two walks and a hit batter with the bases loaded.
Junior catcher Justin Pouk scored from third on a wild pitch by Rice and freshman third baseman Cliff Pennington finished off the inning with a two-run single. The Aggies scored four runs in the inning with two outs before Pennington was picked off at first base.
Pennington would redeem himself in his next at bat in the bottom of the seventh with a shot over the right-center field wall for a two-run home run, his first home run as an Aggie, giving the freshman four RBI in the game.
“I hit it well but the wind carried it out of here,” Pennington said. “It felt really good (to hit it at Olsen). It was a great feeling and it was hard to keep a smile off my face.”
The Aggies would add another run in the sixth inning after back to back triples from junior Cory Patton and Ruggiano.
The Roadrunners didn’t go down without a fight. UTSA rallied against A&M’s junior right-hander Brian Finch who came in for Farnum in the eighth inning.
Finch gave up five runs on four hits in the inning as UTSA batted around.
UTSA senior leftfielder Cory Horton led the way for the Roadrunners in the eighth with two RBI.
A&M Head Coach Mark Johnson said he thought Finch was throwing the ball well and that UTSA was just getting good hits off of him.
The Aggies improved to 7-1 at Olsen Field this season.
A&M will travel to Round Rock today to face Southwest Texas State at Dell Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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