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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 use second-inning offensive outburst, quality relief pitching to beat Brown 6-4

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Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Junior pitcher Brigham Hill earned his fourth win of the season Friday night against Brown. 

Brigham Hill didn’t have his usual pinpoint control for Texas A&M in Friday night’s series opener against Brown, but the Aggies used 12 hits and an impressive display of relief pitching to defeat visiting Brown 6-4 in front of 4,279 fans at Olsen Field.
“I’m very proud of our team,” head coach Rob Childress said after the game. “Brown has a very good club. They ran out three very good arms and played great defense. From an offensive standpoint, they had us on our heels early.”
Brown (0-4) leadoff hitter Rob Henry gave Hill a warm welcome in the top of the first inning, punishing a Hill offering off the wall in left center field for a double. Hill experienced some uncharacteristic control problems early in the game, which ran up his pitch count and kept him from pitching deep into the game.
In all, the junior righty allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings of work, striking out three and walking three. The Bears’ first-inning run was the first blemish on Hill’s season, ending his scoreless streak at 21 innings. Brown exhibited an aggressive approach at the plate, swinging early in the count and squaring up balls all game long.
“I didn’t have my best stuff tonight,” said Hill, who improved to 4-0 on the season. “I give some credit to Brown, too, they had a great approach and played well. I didn’t expect them to come out swinging like they were swinging all night. Even when I was getting some outs, they were hard-hit outs.”
Brown jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Logan Foster answered right back in the Aggies’ half of the inning. The freshman designated hitter crushed an opposite-field home run off a hanging curveball from Bears starter Christian Taugner.
“That was big,” said Foster, who went 3-5 at the plate. “Coming back and getting things ready to go with the top of our lineup was huge for us.”
After Hill retired the side in the top of the second, the Aggies (12-3) scored the rest of their runs on the night with a five-spot in the bottom of the inning. Hunter Coleman led off the frame with a single and Blake Kopetsky followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run play. Coleman took off for second on the pitch and Kopetsky singled sharply through the hole the shortstop left open by going to cover second base.
Moments later Walker Pennington singled to left to drive in Coleman, and then Austin Homan doubled to right to score Kopetsky and Pennington. Later in the inning Foster reached on an RBI infield single and, after advancing all the way to third on a throwing error, scored on an RBI single by Braden Shewmake.
The Aggies did not score another run in the contest, stranding nine runners, but the A&M bullpen made the lead stand up. Kaylor Chafin and Cason Sherrod bridged the gap to freshman Landon Miner with three scoreless innings, and Miner locked down his first save of his career with a scoreless ninth.
“I can’t say enough about our bullpen, they were fabulous,” Childress said. “We’re just going to mix and match. We got Sherrod back on the horse — I thought he was awesome tonight, he threw strikes — and Miner did a nice job even after a hit batter. To not let it get away from him, very nice job for a freshman.”
The fact that the relievers were able to put up zeroes even after Hill’s outing was cut short is a welcoming sign to the Aggies, whose bullpen has been a major question mark since getting knocked around in last weekend’s Shriners Classic.
“We all met as a staff and got a lot of things put together,” said Chafin, who struck out four in two innings. “We realized we just need to attack the zone and trust our stuff.”
As a team, the Aggies racked up 12 hits and only struck out three times. Even though they did not score in the final seven innings, they put together several rallies and hit the ball well even if they didn’t have much to show for it.
“Our offense tonight was unbelievable,” Foster said. “We had a lot of guys square balls up and I thought it was huge for us. A lot of them didn’t show — they were right at people — but we swung the bats really well.”
A&M suffered a scare in the seventh, when Shewmake was tagged out at home on a Kopetsky groundout. The freshman second baseman laid on the ground and had to be tended to by the training staff, but he eventually walked off the field and stayed in the game.
“We all held our breath,” Hill said. “He’s the heart and soul of our team at some points and I’m glad he’s okay.”
Taugner fell to 0-1 on the season and allowed nine hits and five earned runs in six innings. 
The series picks back up Saturday as the Aggies will try to grab the series win. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network +.

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