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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A Lamar-velous night

Bats and bubbles were popping as the Aggies crushed Lamar in seven innings
Photo by Chris Swann
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts after hitting a home run during Texas A&M’s game against Lamar on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

Ninety-three to 10, that’s how many runs Texas A&M baseball has scored and given up so far this season, including its 13-2 victory over the Lamar Cardinals on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

The Cardinals found themselves tied 2-2 with the Aggies in the top of the third, but 5,161 attendees watched as A&M’s explosive offense came to life, while its pitching continued its dominance to lead the nation’s No. 7 team to another win at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

It’s been no secret how dangerous A&M’s offense is once the bats get going. Lamar was forced to cycle through eight pitchers as the Aggies had eight of their 11 batters finish with a hit. They finished with 14 hits as a team, including their explosive four-run third and six-run fifth innings.

Sophomore CF Jace LaViolette continued his hot start at the plate. He scored A&M’s first run of the game after doubling in the first and kickstarted the Aggies’ big third inning with his sixth home run of the year. The Preseason All-American finished his night with three hits and three RBIs in four ABs.

“I didn’t think I hit it out,” LaViolette said. “I hit it and immediately put my head down and started sprinting. I took a glance and saw the outfielder backing up. He got to the wall and jumped, and I thought no way he robs this. Luckily the wind was in my favor tonight.”

Senior C Jackson Appel added onto LaViolette’s home run with a three-run shot of his own for his first home run of the year while senior DH Ted Burton hit his second home run of the year in the second.

“I thought Appel’s two-out home run changed the game for me,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “[Lamar’s] starter did an awesome job, but we battled the guy and had quality at bats all night.”

While the bats have been humming this year, the Maroon and White’s pitching this season has been a far cry from last year. The Aggies came into the matchup surrendering just eight runs through their first seven games of the year — and not much changed tonight.

Junior RHP Chris Cortez earned his second start of the season and looked to continue the Aggies’ pitching dominance. Although Lamar snagged two runs off him in the third inning, Cortez struck out six batters in four innings of work to end his night.

“[Cortez] wasn’t as good as he was last weekend,” Schlossnagle said. “But he wasn’t as bad as he had been. To me, he looked like a starting pitcher that lost it for a little bit but circled it back. I thought he did a great job and he’ll stay in [the midweek] slot for now.”

A trio of freshman RHPs in Weston Moss, Luke Jackson and Jason Bodin relieved Cortez, and made quick work of the six batters they faced in the fifth and sixth innings.

Junior RHP Braden Montgomery made his debut on the mound for the Aggies in the top of the seventh and went three up, three down to end the game in a mercy rule.

“If [Braden] throws his fastball, breaking ball and change up for strikes, he’ll pitch,” Schlossnagle said. “Pretty soon we’re not going to have 40 guys in the dugout. We’re going to be playing SEC series with only 27 eligible players. A guy like Braden who can do two things, his value will be proved when we only have 27 guys.”

Outside of the two runs the Cardinals scored in the third, they were shut out in every other frame and finished their night with just four hits.

Next up for A&M is this weekend’s Globe Life Field Series in Arlington. The Aggies are slated to open up the series against Arizona State on Friday, March 1, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Eli Meschko
Eli Meschko, Sports Writer
Eli Meschko is a journalism senior from Boerne, Texas, and is minoring in communication and sports management. Eli has covered football, men's basketball, baseball, softball, hockey and track & field. Eli also writes for Dave Campbell's Texas Football as an intern. After graduation, Eli plans on pursuing a career in sports media or public relations.
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