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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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Aggies, Cardinals to clash in super regional

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Graduate SS Kole Kaler (1) takes the field to stretch before the start of the Aggies’ game against TCU at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

Fueled by Pringles and the guidance of first year head coach Jim Schlossnagle, Texas A&M baseball is making a run in the postseason. 

At the beginning of the 2021 season, A&M was predicted to finish second to last in the SEC West. Now, the Aggies are hosting a super regional.

The A&M baseball team started the season as a group of 14 transfers, 12 returners and 13 true freshmen. The SEC preseason predictions were not in favor of the Aggies, but they have flipped those odds like a bat flip from senior outfielder Dylan Rock.
Aggie fans expected big changes to come when Schlossnagle was hired from TCU, but no one expected changes so soon. In his first year, No. 5 A&M won the SEC West, claimed the College Station Regional crown, and for the first time since 2017, will be playing in the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament.

Last weekend, to grasp the program’s 10th time winning a regional, the Aggies maneuvered past Oral Roberts, Louisiana and TCU to claim one of 16 remaining spots in the super regional. Of those 16 squads left, there are five SEC teams, the most of any conference, and four teams that A&M has beaten this season including Texas, Ole Miss, Auburn and Arkansas.

“We just keep fighting,” Rock said. “Never give up. Just keep going. Winning pitches. Just do what we do. We’ve been in that situation the whole year, and nothing changes.”

Because A&M was selected as a top-8 seed, the Aggies will host No. 12 Louisville in the College Station Super Regional starting on Friday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. in a best-of-three series format. 

“I’m just super grateful for the opportunity to still play,” sophomore first baseman Jack Moss said. “I think that’s what it’s all about. I know how hard this team has worked. I know the adversity that everyone on this team has faced, whether that was in the transfer portal, fighting through injuries, or whatever the case may be. It was just kind of a moment of relief, I guess you could say that. We still have work to do, and we’re not done.”

The Aggies and Cardinals have only met once before in 2017, when the Cardinals defeated the Aggies 8-4 in the 2017 College World Series opener. Louisville has appeared in seven super regionals since 2013, while A&M is making its first appearance since 2017.

This season, the trio of Rock, Moss and junior designated hitter Austin Bost are the heart of the batting order, with a combined batting average of .365. Defensively, right-handers junior Micah Dallas and sophomore Nathan Dettmer are Schlossnagle’s go-to starting pitchers with a combined 5.02 ERA, along with a handful of relievers and closers to help finish the job. 

As for the Cardinals, their top three batters average a .342 BA, but the pitching rotation of aces will give A&M a hard time in the batter’s box.

Postseason A&M has proved its resiliency, however, ahead of SEC play, the Aggies lacked fight. Against Houston, Schlossnagle challenged the team’s competitive grit, comparing wins and runs to the Pringles chip.

“When you win a game, you should want to win two,” Schlossnagle said. “When you want to win two, you should want to win three. It’s like Pringles. Who ever opens a can of pringles and eats just one?”

Dallas brought a can of Pringles to A&M’s following game, handing out chips after every run scored. Since then, the team has adopted the motto and after a long awaited season, A&M has surprises planned with the company. Although an NIL deal has not been confirmed, Pringles shipped an over 70 pound box to the team and has made it known on social media they fully support Aggie baseball.

The series against Louisville begins on Friday, and will continue on Saturday at 2 p.m. rolling over to Sunday if-needed. With two wins, the Aggies will claim the series and head to Ohama, Neb., for their chance to compete for a College World Series title.

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