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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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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

End with a win

HOUSTON – Senior centerfielder Kyle Colligan ended a 3-for-33 slump with a statement Sunday night at the Houston College Classic.
With No. 1 Texas A&M tied with University of Houston 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Colligan sent the first pitch he saw into the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park. The two-run home run gave A&M a 5-3 lead that the Aggies held onto for the win.
“When I hit it, it didn’t feel good, but the way it took off I knew it had a chance to go,” Colligan said. “It was a good thing I hit it to that part of the field because of that short porch. When I hit it, it was definitely a relief.”
The Crawford Boxes are 315 feet from home plate, and Colligan’s hit landed five rows into the seats above the National League scoreboard.
During the slump, Colligan started in all nine of A&M’s games and led off in all but two of the games. He had struck out 10 times and had not had an extra base hit.
“Hopefully we’ll have 65 games this year,” Colligan said. “If my bad eight games are done now, then I think we’ll be OK. That’s what the coaches say and that’s why I haven’t moved from the spot in the lineup where I am.”
The Aggies fell behind 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning. With a 1-0 lead, Cougars’ designated hitter Matt Murphy hit a single through the right side of the infield to score two runs.
A&M responded in the bottom of the inning when junior left fielder Dylan Petrich and sophomore designated hitter Nick Fleece scored from third and second base on freshman shortstop Adam Smith’s single to left field. The Aggies scored another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game.
“We had to come out and be aggressive in the beginning,” Smith said. “We came out kind of lazy and we had to get that confidence back and definitely get the aggression and the attitude back.”
A&M Head Coach Rob Childress used five pitchers in the game. Sophomore Barrett Loux started the final game of the tournament, throwing five innings and giving up three runs. Freshman Ross Hales and senior Kyle Thebeau were used to bridge the gap to junior closer Travis Starling, who recorded the save.
The Aggies improved to 7-2 overall and were 2-1 in the Houston College Classic.
“We treated this tournament like a regional,” Colligan said. “When you lose in a regional, you’ve got to win the next day, so this is big for us.”
The win against Houston ended a tough tournament for the Aggies. After beating No. 5 UC Irvine 9-2 on the first day of the tournament, A&M lost to No. 10 Rice 2-0 in a dramatic pitcher’s duel between rivals.
The shutout was the Aggies’ first in 156 games. The previous shutout was April 15, 2006, at Nebraska.
“Anytime we play them, that’s the team we’ve got to beat,” Colligan said about Rice. “I guarantee you they are going to be the team that we have to go through to get to Omaha. I know it’s going to happen. You pour so much into the game and when it doesn’t go your way, you’re mentally exhausted and disgusted with the outcome.”

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