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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 take Sunday stroll in series sweep over Seattle

The+Aggie+Baseball+Team+cheering+their+teammates+on+from+the+dugout%26%23160%3Bduring+the+game+vs.+Seattle+U+at+Blue+Bell+Park+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+19%2C+2023.
Photo by Connor May

The Aggie Baseball Team cheering their teammates on from the dugout during the game vs. Seattle U at Blue Bell Park on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023.

With Seattle University’s travel accommodations in mind, Game 3 of the Aggies’ series against the Redhawks took an early 10:30 a.m. start Sunday, Feb. 19.
A&M enjoyed the beautiful Sunday morning weather, as the Aggies drew 12 walks and stole seven bases en route to a 14-2 run-rule victory to sweep Seattle and give No.5 A&M a 3-0 start to the season.
The 12 walks and seven stolen bases tied both highs from last season, both of which coincidentally were set in the same game as well, that being the Feb. 27 matchup against the University of Pennsylvania.
“They gave us a lot of free bases and we ran the bases really well,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “[We] had a lot of stolen bases, a lot of first to third. The goal of an offense is not necessarily to get hits, it’s to score runs.”
Sophomore pitcher Chris Cortez made his first start of the season, coming off of a 2022 campaign where he pitched a 4.91 ERA in 25 appearances. The right-hander had a solid outing for only his second career start, going five innings and giving up two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts.
“The highlight of the day to me is Cortez,” Schlossnagle said. “He looked like a real starting pitcher. He threw his off-speed pitches in and out of the strike zone. He needs to continue to improve as the competition level rise but that was a really good sign for us.”
Contrary to Saturday’s game, the Aggie’s offense came alive early in the second inning. Junior infielder Ryan Targac started the inning with a four-pitch walk, followed up by another four-pitch walk drawn by senior outfielder Jordan Thompson to get the Aggie fans loud and on their feet with a “ball nine” chant. Junior outfielder Stanley Tucker, who was seeing his first action of the weekend, took a strike to break the chant, but did still manage to draw the third consecutive walk to start the inning.
The first hit of the inning came off of the bat of junior catcher JD Gregson to start the scoring for A&M at 1-0. Yet another walk drawn by junior Hunter Haas would force in another run, and two singles and a fielder’s choice from junior first baseman Jack Moss, freshman outfielder Jace LaViolette and junior third baseman Trevor Werner stretched the Aggies’ lead to 6-0.
The bats cooled from then on for A&M, as the Redhawks did manage to scratch two runs in the third and fifth, but the Aggies countered with two one-run innings of their own to keep their lead at 8-2 going into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Finally, Seattle’s depleted bullpen, who were on their sixth pitcher of the game, finally gave in to A&M’s pesky offense in the eighth. After walking LaViolette to start the inning, Werner blasted a two-run shot 404 feet to right-center field for not only his first homerun of the year, but his first hit as well.
“That’s just a part of baseball,” Schlossnagle said. “We know we have a good offense, but you have to go out and do what we do, which is staying in the middle of the field. You saw Trevor, not too many right-handed hitters can hit the ball that far to that part of the ballpark.”
Not to be outdone, Targac, who drew three walks on the day, answered Werner’s homerun with one of his own, hitting the train tracks behind right field to tack on yet another run for the Aggies.
“[The pitch] was a fastball inside,” Targac said. “Actually, my at-bat started before, it was when Trevor took two sliders in the dirt. Trevor got a hold of one, it was a fastball. So I went up there thinking, ‘You know, it would be cool if I went up there swinging at the first pitch.’ Then I thought, ‘No, I should probably see one.’ and I did and he threw the same one. You know, you throw the same pitch twice I better hit it, and it went a long way.”
The extra-base hits continued as sophomore outfielder Tab Tracy hit a double next, followed by freshman outfielder Kason Wells reaching base on a throwing error. A walk from junior catcher Hank Bard would load the bases, and the last hit of the game would come from freshman shortstop Kaeden Kent on a bases-clearing triple to end the game.
The Aggies play again next Tuesday, Feb. 21, against Lamar at 5 p.m. at Olsen Field.

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