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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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A&M baseball falls short of SEC-opening series sweep, loses to LSU

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Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

Santa Clara’s sophomore catcher/utility player Eamonn Lance (11) walks off first base at Olsen Field in Blue Bell Park on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

Nineteen games into the 2022 season for Texas A&M baseball, the Aggies are still finding their trajectory. A new coach at the helm and a largely reworked program surrounding him have led to disappointing losses and stunning victories — both of which were on display in A&M’s weekend series against No. 8 LSU.
After setting up an upset sweep to open SEC play with close wins on Friday and Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., the maroon and white were outdone by just one run on Sunday, March 20. The loss sets A&M at 12-7 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
A&M’s bats were hot throughout the three-game series, and Sunday was no exception. The Aggies put up six runs off three solo home runs to bring the weekend run total to 23 — LSU’s seven runs that all stayed in the park gave the Tigers the edge and salvation from the sweep.
“[I] challenged our team two weeks ago; talked about some things we’re doing well and some things that have to get better,” A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “No. 1 thing that had to get better out of our team is we had to show better competitive grit and spirit — I thought we showed that all weekend.”
A&M’s offense was led by junior right fielder Brett Minnich who batted 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBIs. Despite a high-powered day with 17 hits to LSU’s 11, A&M’s defense failed to fend off the Tigers.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Ryan Prager started for the Aggies and worked through 4 1-3 innings with four strikeouts, three walks, four hits allowed and four earned runs given. The Aggies brought in the bulk of their scoring in the early innings, reaching their six-run total by the top of the fifth. As Prager was relieved in the bottom of the fifth, the game was A&M’s to lose with a two-run lead.
Graduate left-handed pitcher Jacob Palisch finished off the fifth but gave up the two runs in the sixth to tie the score after hitting the first two batters of the inning. Knotted at 6-6, Palish was pulled with a runner on base in the bottom of the eighth after striking out one Tiger and giving up four hits.
“The baseball things, we gave up a lot of free bases,” Schlossnagle said. “We had walks in there, an error and we didn’t capitalize on even more opportunities that we had to extend the lead, but I think over the course of the weekend we learned a lot about our team, and that’s what I just told them.”
Freshman right-handed pitcher Chris Cortez closed the game and gave up two hits in the eighth, one of which scored LSU’s go-ahead run. In A&M’s second inning of the game without a runner reaching base, the Aggies were retired in order for the 7-6 loss.
The maroon and white return to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday, March 22 to host Rice at 7 p.m. After the midweek matchup, A&M will host Auburn for its second conference series beginning on Friday, March 25.
“Our competitive spirit for the rest of the year can’t be any less than this,” Schlossnagle said. “The baseball stuff is going to come and go; we are who we are as a team, but the competitive spirit is the best it’s been all year.”

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