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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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One step away
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A&M baseball faced struggles to split opening matches in Frisco

Senior+catcher+Troy+Claunch+%2812%29+slides+into+first+base+after+an+attempted+pickoff+against+Houston+Baptist+in+Blue+Bell+Park+on+Tuesday%2C+Mar.+1%2C+2022.
Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior catcher Troy Claunch (12) slides into first base after an attempted pickoff against Houston Baptist in Blue Bell Park on Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2022.

Texas A&M baseball opened the Frisco College Baseball Classic by splitting its first two games, starting its season with a 7-3 record. Inconsistencies marred the first game of the series, but they seemed to be solved by the second.
On Friday, March 4, the Washington State Cougars were the Aggies’ first opponents of the classic, and the Aggies struggled early on defense. Most of the damage was done within the first four innings when the Cougars scored 11 runs off a trio of A&M pitchers in sophomore righty Nathan Dettmer, redshirt sophomore righty Xavier Lovett and sophomore lefty Will Johnston.
“For the first time all year, we didn’t get good starting pitching,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “I thought [Dettmer] battled early, but you have to give credit to Washington State.”
In the final five innings, the Aggies strung together a team effort attempting to surmount a comeback, but it was not enough and came far too late. Six different players recorded runs and four different athletes recorded RBIs, with junior catcher Taylor Smith and junior outfielder/infielder Austin Bost being the only two to record one of each.
“Obviously, whatever we’ve been doing isn’t working,” Schlossnagle said. “Sometimes, that just comes down to competitive grit.”
Whatever was holding the Aggies back against the Cougars, whether that be batting or fielding or pitching, however, seemed to dissipate in the second match of the event on Saturday, March 5 against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
In a 7-3 victory over Iowa, A&M seemed to click in all the right places at the right time.
“Pitching, defense, timely hitting,” Schlossngale said. “When you get all three, you win, and that’s what happened today.”
A&M found itself in a quick 2-0 lead in the second inning that was evened up by the fifth inning, but a five-run outing in the sixth gave the Aggies a comfortable lead they could use to cruise into a 7-3 victory.
Graduate infielder Kole Kaler hit 1-for-3 with one run and two RBIs, and graduate catcher Troy Claunch went 2-for-4 at-bat with a run and an RBI single that came in that valuable sixth inning.
“It feels good to finally get the timely hits when we need them,” Claunch said.
The Aggies round out their time in Frisco with a bout against Wichita State at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 6.

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