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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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Aggies drop Mother’s Day rubber match

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Freshman LHP Justin Lamkin (33) throws a pitch from the mound during Texas A&M’s game against UTRGV at Olsen Field on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.”
A common phrase uttered by mothers everywhere, along with Texas A&M baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle as he attempted to manage the slew of pitchers he placed on the mound in a series of half-hearted attempts to stave off Alabama’s offense.
However, when it rains, it pours — a phrase symbolizing not only the four hour weather delay that Aggieland endured, but also the continuous and deadly swing of the Crimson Tide’s bats at Olsen Field.
A&M’s Mother’s Day rubber match, originally slated at 3 p.m., then 12 p.m., then postponed indefinitely due to the rain, finally began at 7 p.m.
“They [the field staff] worked their rear ends off,” Schlossnagle said. “They were digging holes, pumping water, putting it over the fence …”
Sophomore LHP Troy Wansing started on the mound for the maroon and white, but a quick-hit solo home run from Alabama and back-to-back walks to load the bases finished his night early.
His replacement, freshman LHP Justin Lamkin, was able to escape the inning without allowing another run to score.
Lamkin ran into trouble of his own in the second inning when he loaded the bases with no outs. A hard-hit grand slam would score four runs, and the Aggies were faced with an early 5-0 deficit.
“The game still begins and ends with starting pitching,” Schlossnagle said. “If you’re constantly playing from behind, it’s really hard to do.”
For the Fightin’ Farmers, playing from behind would prove to be detrimental to their chances of taking the series.
The Crimson Tide, led by graduate RHP Jacob McNairy on the mound, put on a masterful display of defensive power throughout the entirety of the matchup, shutting down the Aggies’ offense in each of the game’s nine innings.
“Alabama out-toughed us today,” Schlossnagle said. “McNairy was unbelievable, like really good.”
Apart from a few well-hit baseballs from Aggies such as junior SS Hunter Haas and junior 1B Jack Moss, the home team’s offensive opportunities were few, and its power was even less.
With a shutout loss on Sunday night and only scoring one run in Saturday’s loss, A&M scored a single run in 18 innings of play, an issue that, Schlossnagle said, starts on the mound.
Following Wansing’s brief time on the mound and the grand slam given up by Lamkin, junior LHP Brandyn Garcia entered the game to pitch in the fourth inning.
Garcia would find momentary success against Alabama’s bats, but an RBI groundout in the seventh would send him back to the dugout, with junior LHP Evan Aschenbeck leaving the bullpen for his second appearance of the weekend.
Now facing a 6-0 deficit, Aschenbeck fought to shut down the opposing team’s offensive attacks to give the Aggies the opportunity to rally.
However, with the Crimson Tide’s defense running like a well-oiled machine, many of the maroon and white’s at-bats ended in the walk back to the dugout.
The ninth inning saw a quick appearance from sophomore RHP Robert Hogan, who allowed two more runs to score.
Sophomore RHP Josh Stewart would then enter the game, allowing two more runs – both of which were credited back to Hogan.
The Aggies entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 11-0 and finished the game with the same score.
“We have some pitchers that need to check what’s in their heart and figure out how competitive they’re going to be,” Schlossnagle said.
The series against Alabama served as A&M’s final home stand of the year, meaning it was the last home game day for players graduating or otherwise leaving the team at the end of season.
“You got a lot of older players in there and they’re pretty hurt because they don’t want that to be their last game at Olsen Field,” Schlossnagle said.
The last series of the regular season will begin on Thursday, May 18, at 6 p.m. in Starkville, Mississippi. A&M will face off against SEC competitor Mississippi State in a three-game matchup before the SEC Tournament begins on Tuesday, May 23, in Hoover, Alabama.

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