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

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Alabama quiets Aggie bats, evens series with 7-4 win

Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun

After some dramatics on Friday, the Aggies fell to the Crimson Tide 7-4 Saturday.

With the Aggie bats ablaze as of late and a walk-off win to open the series Friday night, the Aggies entered Saturday looking to take their third consecutive SEC series.
Alabama would have something to say about that, however. The Crimson Tide pounded out 13 hits and a late Aggie rally was not enough as Alabama tied up the series with a 7-4 win Saturday afternoon.
“We were outplayed in every facet of the game and out coached as well. Give Alabama all the credit,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We gave up the first run…we gave away two runs in the sixth via a wild pitch…we were outpitched, out defended and they out hit us and out coached us.”
Alabama (24-17, 9-8 SEC) got on the board early thanks to an Aggie blunder in the second inning. With two on, Crimson Tide hitter Will Haynie legged out an infield single but the throw from Aggie shortstop Austin Homan went in the dirt and a run crossed the plate on the throwing error. Alabama led 1-0 after two innings.
A&M loaded the bases with no outs in the second. However, the Aggie bats fell off a cliff and a great diving stop by Alabama second baseman Cobie Vance ended any potential Aggie threat.
In the fourth, the Tide would strike once again. After putting up a one out single, Cody Henry lifted an RBI double to center field and helped Alabama extend their lead to 2-0 after four.
The Crimson Tide added to their lead in a big way in the sixth inning. After a one out double, Henry ripped his second RBI double of the day to make it a 3-0 Alabama lead. With the bases loaded, a wild pitch allowed one run to score then a throwing error on Michael Barash brought another across. Alabama took a 5-0 lead with them to the seventh inning.  
Even when the Aggies (31-8, 11-6 SEC) put runners on base, they struggled mightily to bring them home. A&M stranded 12 runners throughout the day, going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and 6-for-17 with runners on base.
Alabama starting pitching Jake Walters was brilliant. The sophomore hurled 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed five hits. All day, he had Aggie hitters looking off kilter.
“He was locating. He was throwing a fastball for a strike to both sides of the plate, using a changeup and curveball after that,” Hunter Melton said. “Basically, he was dominating us with a fastball and that is not who we are…credit him, he did a good job keeping us off balance.”
Behind him, freshman Sam Finnerty and junior closer Thomas Burrows finished off the Aggies, allowing four runs (all in the ninth) on just four hits while striking out three.
Aggie starter Jace Vines was tagged for four runs (three earned) on 10 hits with five strikeouts. Behind him, the Aggie bullpen gave up two earned runs on just three hits.
“I did not get the job done today,” Vines said. “I did not put us in a good position to win. Hats off to them, they hit the ball very well today…just got out competed the whole day.”
Coming into the series, A&M had committed just two errors in their previous eight games. After two big errors Saturday, both of which led to runs, A&M has committed five in the last two games alone.
A&M did their best to rally late in the game. They loaded the bases quickly and RBI from Boomer White and Melton made it a 7-2 game. Barash knocked in two more with a single to make it a 7-4 game but the rally fell short on a groundout by Jonathan Moroney.
The loss snaps A&M’s nine game win streak. The rubber match of the series takes place Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m.
“We had a lot of opportunities,” Childress said. “[We need] a better approach from top to bottom and if we can do that, I like our chances.”

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