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

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)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies survive close-call series opener against Mississippi State

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior C Troy Claunch (12) is congratulated by senior Rody Barker (2) who was warming up to pinch hit for graduate SS Kole Kaler (1) in the bottom of the seventh inning at Olsen FIeld on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Friday the 13th. An infamous day of nerve-wracking feelings, screams and blood. In Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, a true maroon-blooded matchup followed suit. No. 16 Texas A&M baseball escaped the firepower of another SEC foe to add to its already successful resume.
The Aggies faced the reigning national champions, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, to open the final regular-season series at Olsen Field.
As soon as the Aggies stepped up to the plate, they were hot. The first inning started with a sacrifice fly by graduate left fielder Dylan Rock to score sophomore third baseman Trevor Werner. The train did not stop rolling as junior designated hitter Austin Bost nailed an RBI triple to add another run, and junior right fielder Brett Minnich’s RBI single scored Bost.
In the second inning, Werner knocked a home run out of Blue Bell Park to advance the Aggies’ lead to 4-0.
The Bulldogs struck back as graduate second baseman RJ Yeager launched a two-run homer over the wall, cutting A&M’s lead in half. Mississippi State tacked on another run due to an RBI double. The Aggies escaped the inning, leaving three on base.
Sophomore righty Nathan Dettmer took his 12th start on the mound and pitched 4.2 innings for the Aggies before junior lefty Joseph Menefee relieved him in the fifth. Dettmer allowed seven hits and three runs during Friday night’s game.
“Nathan [Dettmer] started out great,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He had a bad blister on his foot that developed during the game. It’s been an issue before. [I] hate to use that as an excuse, but at the same time it’s a real thing.”
On Menefee’s fifth pitch of the night, Bulldog senior center fielder Brad Cumbest rocketed a three-run moonshot to steal the lead 6-4. In the next inning, junior third baseman Kamren James added some cushion to the Bulldogs’ lead with a solo home run while the Aggies’ bats got cold.
“There’s no quit in us,” graduate catcher Troy Claunch said. “There’s a lot of fight. No matter if we’re down early, or we have a lead and give it up, it doesn’t matter we just got to keep plugging away and keep going.”
Mississippi State’s senior righty Brandon Smith pitched 6.1 innings, allowing six hits and four runs, shutting down A&M’s offensive efforts in the middle innings. Junior righty KC Hunt stepped in to relieve.
The Aggies began to gain momentum in the seventh, planting runners on all bases due to back-to-back-to-back walks. Hunt threw another ball and walked Bost, allowing graduate shortstop Kole Kaler to stroll home.
Just when some Olsen magic was needed, Claunch hit a lead-stealing three-RBI double to clear the bases. The three-run hit gave the Aggies the 8-7 lead they needed to top the Bulldogs.
“Just another day,” Claunch said. “I’m just doing what I can for these guys. I’m not really trying to be the hero everyday. It’s just a team effort.”
Graduate lefty Jacob Palisch hopped on the mound to close out the battle until the Aggies needed one more out. Junior righty Micah Dallas took the reins, but he walked a batter to load the bases. Sophomore lefty Will Johnston entered as A&M’s fifth pitcher of the game and recorded the solo out, sealing the win and giving the Bulldogs a .500 record.
“Feels great that coach has the confidence in me to come in there and just do my job,” Johnston said. “I can’t tell you how resilient this team is offensively and just all around. That’s just what we’re about.”
A&M sits behind Arkansas in the SEC West with a record of 15-10, needing one more win to move up to first. The series at Blue Bell Park resumes on Saturday, May 14 with sophomore righty Wyatt Tucker making his first career start for the Aggies. First pitch is slated for 2:02 p.m.

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