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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies win three of last five entering series with No. 5 Tennessee

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Photo by Meredith Seaver

Second baseman Bryce Blaum notes the importance of confidence as the Aggie baseball team heads into the weekend series against Tennessee. 

Texas A&M baseball heads into a weekend series against a top-five opponent in Tennessee after winning one of three against top-ranked Arkansas. The Aggies also won their last two midweek games against Texas Southern and Texas State to help boost their confidence as No. 4 Mississippi State and No. 10 Ole Miss loom ahead in the coming weekends after they travel to Knoxville and face the Volunteers.
Tennessee is riding high with a 30-8 record and a 21-5 record at home this year while sitting behind Vanderbilt in second place in the SEC East. They just hosted the Commodores in a three-game series this past weekend and went 1-2, having lost games one and three. However, Tennessee is still 14-4 over its last 18 games with series wins against No. 9 Florida, Alabama and LSU.
The last time the Aggies and Volunteers met on the diamond was April 22, 2018, in Knoxville where Tennessee won 6-4. A&M has been 1-3 against them since 2017 and owns the all-time series 9-4.
A&M coach Rob Childress said after the team’s performances over the last seven days, the players do have some of their confidence back to where it was when they were winning several games in a row.
“I do [think we have some of our confidence back],” Childress said. “Losing a heartbreaker on Saturday to Arkansas like we did and having enough gumption to come out of Sunday and do what it takes to win says a lot about the glue of our team.”
Senior infielder Bryce Blaum said the confidence of the team is at a good place right now after coming out of Fayetteville with a win in which the team scored 11 runs.
“We showed that when we play our brand of baseball, we can hang with [Arkansas] and win,” Blaum said. “I think that [game three] win was a huge confidence boost for us after the rough patch in conference play.”
Junior infielder Ty Coleman said Game 2 actually helped out the team a lot, and he could see things starting to click, especially after another midweek win.
“I’d say we’re moving in the right direction,” Coleman said. “Things are starting to click for us, and we showed our potential of what we could do in that Saturday game — just fell short, unfortunately.”
Childress said the importance of playing well at home over the rest of the year is crucial, and the Aggies will have to stack wins together if they want to make it to the postseason.
“Three of our last five SEC series [of the season] are here at home, and we must take care of business here at home if we’re going to have any sort of shot at the postseason,” Childress said. “We need to have a strong run this second half, and our guys know that.”
Blaum will be a key player for Childress over the rest of the year as the infielder has gotten hot in his last two games, going 4-of-7 with two runs scored, two RBIs and a double.
He said looking back on the team’s win-loss record won’t help them much at all, so they have to look ahead and realize that each day and each game is a new one as they control their own path.
“I think we still control our own destiny, which is the beauty of baseball,” Blaum said. “Anybody can win on any given day. We are where we are [in the standings], and we can’t change that. We can just look forward and dominate the second half.”
Coleman said the Volunteers will be ready to go after a series loss to a rival, and the Aggies have to make big plays when it matters the most this weekend.
“Tennessee’s very talented, and they’re coming off a series loss to Vanderbilt, so they’ll be hungry,” Coleman said. “We have to make every win matter.”
The three-game set against the Volunteers begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 23, from Blue Bell Park on SEC Network+ with Game 2 on Saturday at 5 p.m.. The series wraps up on Sunday at noon on SEC Network before the team hosts Texas State on April 27.

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