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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 end regular season with a win and leave Starkville with momentum

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Junior INF Trevor Werner (28) walks toward the dugout after scoring his second home run during a game vs. Alabama on Friday, May 12, 2023.

The Texas A&M baseball team went toe to toe with Mississippi State University on Saturday, May 20. The Aggies looked to end the season on a win as coach Jim Schlossnagle’s men prepare for the upcoming SEC Tournament.
A&M and Mississippi State both come into game 3 of the series with a win. The Bulldogs won a slugfest in game 1, while the Aggies just eked out a win in game 2. Mississippi State will not be heading to the SEC Tournament, and thus looked to derail and slow down A&M’s momentum.
There was no offense to speak of from either side in the first inning as excellent pitching was on display. The Bulldogs’ freshman switch-pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje looked to outgun the Aggies’ junior LHP Will Johnston. Both pictures looked excellent on the mound early-on and looked to lead their team to victory.
Mississippi State kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the second inning as sophomore 3B Slate Alford hit his ninth home run of the season. The ball went just under 400 feet into the stands in left field, giving the Bulldogs the early 1-0 lead.
A&M responded fast in the top of the third inning. Junior SS Hunter Haas stepped up to the plate and smacked the pitch over the left field wall. His 2-run home run gave the Aggies their first lead on the day at 2-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, A&M would open the floodgates. Junior 3B Trevor Werner added his name to the home run list. He smacked a pitch over the center field wall to extend the Aggies’ lead. Cijntje was pulled from the mound later in the inning after loading the bases.
With sophomore LHP Cole Cheatham now on the mound, A&M senior DH Brett Minnich looked to lead in a run with just one out and the bases loaded. Minnich did more than deliver with a grand slam, smashing the ball over the right-field wall to silence the rowdy Bulldog fans.
A&M was not done scoring by any means, as Haas stepped up to the plate and delivered an RBI single. Then, Werner, who kicked off the inning, hit a sacrifice fly to give the Aggies an even bigger advantage. After four innings A&M led 9-1.
The Aggies piled on even more runs in the top of the sixth inning, as it was Werner again who delivered at the plate with his second home run of the day. With one man on base, he put A&M up 11-1.
With a run-rule loss looming, Mississippi State had to do something in the bottom of the sixth to not have this one end early. The Bulldogs barked back with five straight hits to kick off the inning. Alford began the scoring with a two-run single, then senior INF Will Hoyle followed suit with another 2-run single to edge the Bulldogs closer. After an RBI single by sophomore PH Bryce Chance, the Bulldogs trailed 11-6.
Come the seventh inning, both teams would add on to their score. The Aggies’ Minnich was the sole scorer for A&M with an RBI single, while Alford and Hoyle each hit RBI doubles for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the inning to make the score 12-8. What looked like a potential run-rule now saw Mississippi State rallying back.
The Aggies increased their lead in the top of the eighth with an interesting way of scoring. Senior CF Jordan Thompson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, plating the runner from third. After an RBI groundout and an error by the infield, the Aggies led 15-8 going into the bottom of the eighth.
The Bulldogs got a couple of runs back in the bottom of the inning when freshman LF Dakota Jordan bombed a 2-run home run over the center field wall. Thompson was left watching the ball as it traveled 407 feet. This was the Bulldogs’ only scoring in the inning, they still trailed the Aggies 15-10.
After a formidable effort in the previous innings, Mississippi State was held scoreless in the bottom of the ninth. This put their comeback hopes to rest and meant the final game in Starkville, Mississippi was a win for the Aggies.
A&M now looks forward to the upcoming SEC Tournament, where they’ll face Tennessee on Tuesday, May 23. The Aggies will need top performances from both the offense and pitching if they look to go far this postseason.

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Matthew Seaver
Matthew Seaver, Sports Reporter
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