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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies grind out 3-1 win over UIC

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

John Doxakis only allowed one hit in 7 innings.

Texas A&M took advantage of five errors by Illinois-Chicago to etch a 3-1 win over the Flames on a chilly, misty Friday night at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
“Our pitching and defense has been outstanding and tonight in a ‘Friday Night Fight’ that was the difference in the game,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We took care of the baseball a little bit better than they did.”
Left-handed pitcher John Doxakis didn’t have his sharpest start, going 6.0 innings. The junior only allowed one run, which was unearned, on three hits and struck out eight, but was much more sporadic after a stellar start last Friday.
Doxakis walked two batters, hit two more and had several wild pitches, one of which allowed UIC to score its only run of the game in the top of the third. Doxakis said he didn’t have great command over any of his pitches.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel my best today,” Doxakis said. “[The pitches] were moving and had good movement, but it just wasn’t going where I wanted it to go. Sometimes I got it there, but other times it just didn’t get where it needed to go.”
Still, Doxakis never let any situation get out of control and retired the last five batters he faced. The Flames left eight runners on base, including four in scoring position.
“That’s probably one of the best feelings when you leave runners on base because you don’t want them touching home,” Doxakis said. “It definitely gives you a boost of energy and just more motivation to get back out there and build off of that inning and carry that momentum of getting out of an inning into the next.”
As poorly as the third inning went for A&M, it was worse for UIC. The Flames committed four errors in the bottom half of the frame allowing the Aggies to retake the lead, 2-1, thanks to a pair of unearned runs. The Aggies added another run in the fourth for insurance.
Nonetheless, it was another cold night for the Aggies at the plate as the team went 4-for-31 (.129). No batter had more than one hit for A&M.
“He’s been really emphasizing to say through the ball,” first baseman Aaron Walters said hitting coach Will Bolt’s message was to the hitters. “We had a lot of weak, pulled ground balls that are not going to be good later on.”
Even with Doxakis not pitching his best, nor the Aggies having an overwhelming night at the plate, A&M continued to play solid defense. Relief pitchers Chandler Jozwiak and Kasey Kalich tossed a combined 3.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out five.
“Very competitive and was in the strike zone, did exactly what we needed him to do to get us through the lefty in the five-hole,” Childress said of Jozwiak. “And then we were able to hand it off to Kalich with the rights coming back.”
The Aggies and Flames will continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. The game will be aired on SEC Network Plus.

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