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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 slip to 3-3 with second loss to Pilots

Photo by Kalena Agpasan

Junior 1B Jack Moss (9) swings at ball during Texas A&M’s game against Portland at Olsen Field on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

After a 10-3 loss on Friday in Game 1 from a ninth-inning run party by the Portland Pilots, Texas A&M baseball returned to Olsen Field for a Game 2 revenge match on Saturday, Feb. 25. However, the Aggies were unable to turn the tides as Portland, once again, took home the win. The loss moves the maroon and white to 3-3, putting their previous No. 5 ranking in jeopardy.
“It’s still the same story,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “When you’re not scoring a ton of runs, every single pitch, every single at bat is so magnified.”
The first inning started off strong for the Aggies, with sophomore pitcher Troy Wansing notching two strikeouts in the first, both struck out swinging. In the bottom, the very first at-bat by junior shortstop Hunter Haas ended in a walk to get the first Aggie on base. A grounder between first and second by junior designated hitter Jack Moss allowed Haas to move to second and a sac-fly from senior second baseman Austin Bost moved him to third. But a grounder from freshman right fielder Jace LaViolette straight to Portland’s first baseman cut the inning short and left Haas on base.
The top of the second moved quickly on a one-two-three sequence highlighted by Wansing’s third strikeout. The bottom began with a 4-0 walk on junior third baseman Trevor Werner and began the “Ball Five” chants from the 12th Man. Senior center fielder Jordan Thompson got a hit to get him on base and Werner to second, but Werner over shot the base leading to a tag-out. By the end of the inning another Aggie, Thompson, was left on base.
The third inning continued Wansing’s dominance with two strikeouts and a foul out to sweep the Pilots off the field. At the bottom, Haas was the only one to get on base as the maroon and white continued to struggle to find momentum on offense.
Portland graduate catcher Nich Klemp knocked a hit to far right field to snatch a double, before a sac-fly and a hit over second brought him home for the first run of the night. Pilot junior designated hitter Christian Cooney pulled a bunt to move runners on base, but a quick throw from junior catcher JD Gregson saved the maroon and white.
In the bottom of the fourth, A&M found some momentum to counter Portland after Werner was walked for a second time. With two outs, Thompson slammed a grounder between second and third that slipped by both Pilots allowing Werner to round the bases home and Thompson to stay safe at first. Freshman left fielder Kaeden Kent got a hit that dropped in between center and right field allowing Thompson to move to second and for Kent to get on base, but Gregson struck out swinging to leave them on base.
In the fifth, Wansing remained dominant with three back-to-back strikeouts after two hits to bring the Aggies on field. However, even with two walks, A&M was unable to get anyone home.
Wansing was relieved in the sixth inning after his first walk of the night with nine strikeouts to his name; Redshirt freshman pitcher Ty Sexton came in to replace him. Immediately, Sexton sends Cooney to first with a hit-by-pitch. Another hit from Portland left all the bases loaded and a double from sophomore third baseman Spencer Scott sent two Pilots home and gave them a 3-1 lead. Sexton was retired and sophomore pitcher Brad Rudis replaced him. Two pop-ups saved the Aggies from any more runs, but A&M faced a one-two-three bottom inning to leave Portland with the lead.
“I think for me it was just all about controlling the nerves,” Wansing said. “Last year, where I was, we didn’t get crowds like this.”
The seventh inning stayed quiet for both teams as no one was able to dig up any offense. In the eighth, Cooney advanced to first on another hit-by-pitch and stole second unhindered by a wild throw from freshman catcher Max Kaufer. The Aggies intentionally walked a Pilot, but put the crowd on its feet when Kaufer tagged a runner out at home. Despite the defensive performance, A&M still had nothing to show on offense in the bottom of the inning.
Like the night before, the ninth inning had the Pilots making moves on offense. Senior pitcher Carson Lambert came in to pitch and on the first at bat, Portland knocked a hit just inside the first-base foul line for a double. A wild pitch from Lambert allowed Portland to get another run on the board and for the maroon and white to put in its fifth pitcher of the day. A strikeout from junior pitcher Brandyn Garcia closed out the game for the Pilots at the plate. For the Aggies, hope stirred as Kaufer Haas both hit grounders to get on base. Bost came up to hit as thunderous bangs rang out from the maroon and white crowd but he struck out looking to end the game and list another mark in the loss column for A&M.
The Aggie lineup continues to be a problem for A&M, with Game 2 being the fifth time it has been outhit. Haas and Thompson were the few to find their footing, with Haas getting on base at all five at bats.
“I think guys are just trying to do a little too much,” Haas said. “We got a lot of guys that care and they want to do well for the team, they want to do well for the fans and everybody because they work really hard to be out in this situation. But I’m not worried, we’re gonna get it rolling, it’s going to be fun to watch and I can’t wait until we get it rolling but it’s coming soon.”
The maroon and white will close out the series against Portland on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Olsen Field where they will unveil their new Corps of Cadets inspired uniforms. The game is set to start at 1 p.m.

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