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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies complete series sweep of Samford with Saturday wins

Photo by Photo by Megan Cusick

Redshirt freshman pitcher Jonathan Childress pitches left handed.

Texas A&M baseball entered Saturday night having won the first two games against Samford on Friday and Saturday afternoon. A win would give the Aggies their 10th consecutive win and second straight series sweep.
Following quality starts from Dustin Saenz and Bryce Miller, Game 3’s starting pitcher and redshirt freshman Jonathan Childress looked to continue a 10-game streak of not allowing an opponent to score more than four runs in one game. In his previous outing against New Mexico State, Childress recorded double-digit strikeouts with an even 10, allowed five hits and walked just one in six innings of work.
A&M got to Samford’s starter Zach Hester in the early innings to give Childress some early breathing room. In the second inning Mikey Hoehner dropped in a single to left field to score Ty Coleman for the Aggies’ first run.
In the next inning, Samford’s fielding mistakes continued to show, and A&M caught a break when the Bulldog left fielder’s drop on a Coleman fly ball allowed two Aggies to cross home plate, growing the lead to 3-0.
As the game progressed to and through the middle innings both teams’ offenses got a bit cold as no runs were scored again until the sixth frame. Through five innings Childress struck out eight men and allowed no Samford runs. He also picked up his ninth and 10th strikeouts to end the top half of the sixth inning. It one-upped his first season appearance against Xavier in which he sent down nine for a new season high.
A&M coach Rob Childress said with Jonathan Childress having a long day with the doubleheader and having to wait, it was remarkable that he pitched as well as he did.
“To sit around all day for him to come out and be so on attack and so efficient and so in control of the game; it was just a masterful performance,” Rob Childress said. “I would say it was the best performance of his career.”
Scoring resumed in the bottom of the fifth when the Aggies extended their lead to 4-0 thanks to a Ray Alejo solo home run off of the Samford reliever’s first pitch. The home run represented his first of the year and gave him seven straight games with a hit.
Mikey Hoehner homered to left field an inning later with two outs for A&M’s fifth run of the night. It was Hoehner’s second of the season and the Aggie offense’s 11th in the three-game series.
Jonathan Childress left the game in the eighth inning after allowing his third man to reach base in the game. He tossed 101 pitches for 7.2 innings, allowed three hits and struck out 13. Childress’ 13 victims were part of 27 total over Saturday’s doubleheader.
Jonathan Childress said the coaches and their instruction are the reason he performed so well.
“It’s just a product of Coach Childress and what he nails into us all fall and all spring,” Jonathan Childress said. “We’re going to fill it up and whatever happens happens, but we’re not going to give up any free bases.”
Rob Childress said they both threw strikes and limited free bases against Samford which was the main key.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our pitching staff,” Rob Childress said. “Throwing a ton of strikes and not giving up free baserunners – that to me is the difference in a weekend.”
Samford crossed the plate once in the top of the eighth after stringing a couple hits together off of A&M’s bullpen, and found the plate for their second run as Joseph Menefee came in in the top of the ninth.
A hit batter put the tying run on the plate with two men on base with two outs. After working the count to 1-2, Menefee struck out the last Samford batter to end the game with a final score of 5-2.
The Aggies travel to Houston to take on the Cougars on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+ before starting SEC play against the talented Florida Gators in Gainesville starting on March 18 at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.

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