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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 hold off Longhorns for 6-5 win at Olsen Field

Junior+right-handed+pitcher+Nolan+Hoffman%26%23160%3Bearned+the+save+in+Tuesday+nights+6-5+victory+over+the+University+of+Texas.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior right-handed pitcher Nolan Hoffman earned the save in Tuesday night’s 6-5 victory over the University of Texas.

Tuesday night, an instant classic was added to the long list of iconic matchups between No. 19 Texas A&M and the University of Texas as the two teams dueled it out on the diamond. The Aggies defeated the Longhorns 6-5 in a nearly four hour game at Olsen Field.

 This was the third meeting between the two teams in the last three years. A&M and UT first renewed the baseball rivalry in 2015 after not playing one another for two years after A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC. 

 The latest chapter in the storied rivalry between the two schools fought to the end, with each team out dueling each other on the mound, using a total of 13 pitchers in front of the largest crowd at Olsen Field since 2012. 

 Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said the crowd and environment was a driving factor for the team throughout the game. 

 “Just a super environment, as good as you can ask for,” Childress said. “Grateful, thankful, appreciative of the 12th Man showing up in full force tonight. Great energy from the word ‘go.’”

 Childress said while the score was decided by one run, the game was a hard-fought battle. 

 “Maybe the score says it was a little bit easier than you think,” Childress said. “But Division-I wins don’t come easy, they’re a dog fight. A lot of things got to go your way and we certainly had a lot of things go our way tonight.”

 According to Childress, sophomore Hunter Coleman had one of the most — if not the most — important at bats of the game. 

 “Probably one of the biggest at bats of the night, turns out, was Hunter Coleman’s nine-pitch at bat,” Childress said. “[He] just stayed in the fight and finally got a ball out over the plate and got a big hit.”

 In the bottom of the sixth inning, with two runners on and two outs, Coleman powered through a nine pitch at bat, fouling off seven pitches, with five of those coming with two strikes against him. Coleman then singled to left field, allowing for sophomore Logan Foster and junior Michael Helman both to score, extending A&M’s lead, 6-3.

 “I was locked in,” Coleman said. “I was going to compete no matter what. The guys in front of me kind of set that up and were able to get on base. There were a lot of opportunities for us to get some big hits and for me to cash in, that was big.”

 Coleman’s at bat was a crucial part of the game, because in the top of the fifth inning the Texas offense had gained momentum and scored three runs to make the score 4-3. 

UT was led offensively by Kody Clemens, son of Roger Clemens, former MLB pitcher who played for the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays throughout his 24 year career.  Kody Clemens went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI, Tuesday night at Olsen.

 A&M didn’t score after Coleman’s hit, however Texas added one more run in the top of the eighth inning off of junior right-hander Nolan Hoffman. 

 With the bases loaded and two outs, Hoffman was able to get off the jam after he forced redshirt junior outfielder Ryan Reynolds to ground out to shortstop. 

 Hoffman’s 1.2 innings pitched outing gave him the save, while senior Cason Sherrod earned the win for the Aggies after striking out two of the nine batters he faced giving up three hits and one earned run in two innings of work.

 After the game, Hoffman said the adrenaline was pumping through his body a little faster than any other game, which he attributed to the rush of playing Texas. 

 “For a non-conference game, that was probably the most exciting game we’ve had so far,” Hoffman said. “I was a little more hyped up, I think just cause of the crowd or maybe just cause it was Texas, but I was a little more hyped up but I’m glad it worked out.”

 A&M jumped to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning and chased away Texas’ starting pitcher Nico O’Donnell, after he gave up four runs on two back to back hits off the bats of freshman Will Frizzell and junior catcher Cole Bedford. 

 With 7,537 people in attendance for the Tuesday match up, Childress said he hopes to continue the rivalry, but for now it will remain a single game home and home series. 

 “It’s been a long-standing rivalry and [Texas’ head] coach Peirce and his staff do a great job, I have the utmost respect for them,” Childress said. “We’ll continue to play home and home, each year in the middle of the week, unless something were to change and we do something early in the season, but I don’t see that happening.”

 A&M returns to Olsen on Thursday as they host Alabama for a three-game series. First pitch is set for 8 p.m. 

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