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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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Aggie blunders too much to overcome, drop game one

Grayson+Long+pitched+Friday+night%2C+May+9th%2C+against+South+Carolina+at+Olsen+Field.
Timothy Lai

Grayson Long pitched Friday night, May 9th, against South Carolina at Olsen Field.

In their final SEC home series of the season, the Aggie baseball team needed a win on Friday night to keep pace with LSU in the SEC West. In a roller coaster of a game, the Aggies could not overcome their mistakes and dropped game one of the series 9-7 against South Carolina.
“It is awful hard to give up nine runs on eight hits,” said A&M head coach Rob Childress. “You have to create some opportunities for them and we certainly did that tonight. Very disappointing. We gave up six free base runners via walk, four errors, and give them credit, they made their eight hits count.”
A&M got the scoreboard working in the second inning. With two on, Ronnie Gideon smacked a two-run double to right center to help A&M gain a 2-0 lead. The Aggies are out scoring opponents 38-6 in the second inning of games this season.
South Carolina would come back with its own run in the top half of the third inning to cut the Aggie lead to 2-1.
Hunter Melton came up to bat in the fourth and unleashed on a ball to left center field for his fifth home run of the season. A&M led 3-1 after four innings of play. The Gamecocks would not go away however, scoring two runs off an Aggie throwing error and an RBI single to tie the game 3-3.
Aggie starter Grayson Long had another typical day at the office. The Aggie ace worked 5 1/3 innings, scattering two hits while four runs, one earned, crossed the plate. He exited with one runner on base in the sixth inning.
In relief, Andrew Vinson came on for Long. A third A&M error would help runners reach the corners, and after what looked to be strike three but was called a ball, a three run shot from Marcus Mooney would give South Carolina their first lead, 6-3.
Trailing at the seventh inning stretch, the Aggies came to bat in the bottom of the inning. After two straight hits put two runners on, Mitchell Nau blasted a ball into the night sky over the left field wall to tie the game 6-6, and sent the Aggie faithful into pandemonium. Nau went 2-for-4 with four RBI on the night, which moves hit current hitting streak to nine games.
Kyle Martin would break the deadlock in the ninth inning. After a runner reached first base, Martin hit a no-doubt two run bomb to the railroad tracks in right center field to give the Gamecocks an 8-6 lead. They would tack on one more for insurance for a 9-6 lead.
A&M would have their chance in the ninth, and it started off well with an RBI double form Nau to make it a 9-7 game. After that, the Aggies could not string anymore runs together.
The Aggies shot themselves in the foot all night, committing four vital errors that helped South Carolina eventually take the game over. A&M hit 5-for-23 with runners on base and only 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
“We did not play our best baseball tonight,” said Nau. “Something we really stressed during practice this week was taking care of the ball defensively, but that was the deciding factor in the game…the cards just did not fall in our favor tonight.”
The Aggies will look to tie the series up on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m.
“We just have to flush this one, one hundred percent,” said Nau about the rest of the series. “We can be mad about it tonight, but when we come to the ballpark tomorrow, it will be just like if we had won this game. It’s a new day, new challenges, we lost this one, but there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

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