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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 give Sun Devils a second baptism with 10-5 victory

No. 7 A&M remains undefeated on the season after an early offensive explosion
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  • The Aggies huddle up before their game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle calling the coin toss during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • The field crew preparing for play before Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M catcher Hank Bard (48) reacts after hitting a double during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery (6) swinging during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery (6) reacts after hitting a grand slam during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery (6) after his home run during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M players celebrating Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery’s (6) grand slam during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M infielder Ted Burton (27) sliding into home plate during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M pitcher Justin Lamkin (33) throws a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M fans chanting “ball seven” during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M catcher Hank Bard (48) hits the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M infielder Ted Burton (27) fielding the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State University on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M pitcher Zane Badmaev (55) throws a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

  • The Aggies sing the War Hymn after Texas A&M’s win against Arizona State on Sunday, March. 3, 2024 at Globe Life Field. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

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Through 11 games in the 2023 season, Texas A&M baseball sat with a disappointing 7-4 record that included a three-game losing streak.

However, the script has flipped dramatically for the No. 7 Aggies.

Headlined by elite pitching and batting, the Maroon and White showcased it all during their 10-5 win against Arizona State on Sunday, March 3. For the first time since 2020, A&M now boasts a double-digit win streak of 11.

The first matchup between the two ball clubs two days earlier was headlined by junior RF Braden Montgomery being speared twice by Arizona State freshman RHP Thomas Burns following an early home run.

In the second and last matchup of the season, the All-American sent a fiery message to the Sun Devils’ bullpen as he hammered in a grand slam in the second inning.

“[The grand slam] felt great,” Montgomery said. “Being able to play against the Pac-12 and play against the team that gave me a couple of boo-boos the other day, it felt awesome.”

With a dangerous batting lineup and ranked fourth in the country in batting average, A&M’s offensive prowess made an early appearance as it picked apart ASU sophomore LHP Tyler Meyer.

In just the first inning and in his first appearance of the weekend, senior C Hank Bard doubled down the left field line for a three-run triple.

“Hank does a great job,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He puts together good at-bats. He hit the double-play ball hard. He swung the bat all fall and all spring, as long as he catches enough, we’ll look for opportunities to get him in there.”

As the story has gone for ASU pitchers this weekend, Meyer’s day was done early after a series of walks and giving up Montgomery’s grand slam as junior LHP Matt Cornelius relieved the sophomore.

Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, the Maroon and White continued to let it fly with a multitude of RBIs, led first by junior SS Ali Camarillo with a single and RBI team-leader sophomore CF Jace LaViolette’s two-run double.

With the early scoring outburst to put the Aggies up 10-1, A&M’s bullpen took over for the rest of the day, led by sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin. The offseason addition of pitching coach Max Weiner has continued to pay off as the lefty picked up where sophomore LHP Ryan Prager and senior LHP Evan Aschenbeck left off on Friday.

Under Weiner’s stewardship, A&M is leading the country in ERA with 1.45 and Lamkin gave ASU early fits with one run given up and five strikeouts. The Aggies’ early scoring output gave him a large cushion to work with.

“[Getting early runs from the offense] is the best feeling for a pitcher ever,” Lamkin said. “It really calms you down like, ‘get out there and do what you do,’ knowing your offense is going to provide for you. It’s such a great feeling.”

Though both teams went through the fourth and fifth innings without a score, ASU mounted a mini-comeback with junior C Ryan Campos scoring on a fielding error. Keeping A&M scoreless after the third inning, the Sun Devils scored their highest output in the eighth as sophomore CF Isaiah Jackson hit an RBI sacrifice fly and redshirt freshman PH Brandon Compton hit an RBI single.

In a last attempt, sophomore LF Kien Vu scored the game’s final run on an RBI single to first base.

Despite ASU outhitting A&M by two, the Aggies’ capitalization on free bases led the way for the early offensive explosion.

“We didn’t get that many hits in the game,” Schlossnagle said. “[ASU] had just as many, if not more. The difference in the game was timely hits and the free bases.”

Next up on the agenda, the Maroon and White will travel down to Austin to face-off against rival Texas at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5.

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About the Contributor
Justin Chen
Justin Chen, Sports Writer
Justin Chen is a journalism senior minoring in sport management and communication. Justin has covered football, men's basketball, volleyball, baseball and swim & dive. Justin also writes feature NBA pieces and covered the Miami Heat for Sir Charles In Charge. When not writing, he likes to frequent the gym, support Arsenal and watch anime.
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