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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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A&M baseball proves worth in Round Rock Classic

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Photo by Megan Cusick

Senior infielder Logan Sartori went 3-of-5 against Auburn on Saturday.

After three season-opening losses, the Texas A&M baseball team rebounded to knock off two Big 12 opponents over the weekend. It’s a trajectory coach Rob Childress said he hopes the Aggies will continue Tuesday and Wednesday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
First pitch is 6:32 p.m. both nights for the midweek games against the Houston Baptist Huskies and Incarnate Word Cardinals. The Aggies started to turn things around with a 2-1 weekend at the Round Rock Classic, soundly defeating Baylor (12-4) and Oklahoma (8-1) before falling to the Auburn Tigers 6-1. The wins came on the heels of season-opening doubleheader losses to Xavier followed by a loss to mid-major Abilene Christian.
Childress said the team would continue to build momentum after a disappointing season start. At 4-4, the Aggies already have one more in the loss column for 2021 than the 18-game 2020 season.
Childress said he thought the team would improve its trajectory soon.
“The morale will get high [Tuesday] night at 6:30 when the bell rings, and we get to play again,” Childress said. “There is enough talent, you know, one-two in that locker room, and it’s going to happen. We’re going to get this thing headed in the right direction sooner rather than later, I promise you that.”
Junior infielder Will Frizzell led A&M’s offensive production heading into Round Rock. With a .387 batting average, four home runs and seven RBI, Frizzell tallied two RBI and three hits against Baylor, including a home run, to help A&M pull ahead to a 12-4 win in the tournament opener.
“It was just gritty at-bats up and down the lineup,” Frizzell said after the victory over Baylor. “It really speaks to what we have been trying to preach all fall and spring. That some wins are not going to be the prettiest wins, some are going to have to be ugly. That one today had a lot of two-out runs and that really was the difference.”
The bullpen had given up 25 runs through five games in the runup to Round Rock. Through eight games, seven true freshmen have taken the mound for the Aggies, but consistency looks to be on the horizon after the 6-1 loss to Auburn on Sunday.
Junior Dustin Saenz got the start against Baylor and is now 1-1 on the season. Saenz struck out 13 batters in 10.2 innings pitched while giving up 12 hits and 5 runs.
“Our pitching staff was outstanding,” Childress said. “All three guys went out [Sunday] and were on the attack. They minimized all the damage from Baylor and kept the momentum in our dugout the entire nine innings.”
Bullpen talent was on display when junior Bryce Miller shut out Oklahoma through five innings and sophomore Joseph Menefee closed the game with five strikeouts.
“[Miller] was a little bit more consistent tonight,” Childress said after the 8-1 win over Oklahoma. “His command has been so much better, and I think it will be moving forward, but again it was a step forward from last week. He got us through five innings, and each time they did get an opportunity to get the momentum back in Oklahoma’s dugout he was able to make pitches and get us out off the field, which is incredibly important.
“So did Alex Magers and Joseph Menefee as well. Oklahoma had a chance for a big hit and grab the momentum, but none of those guys gave it up. Bryce Miller was very good tonight, five innings, one hit, and didn’t score a run so you couldn’t ask for much more.”
Jonathan Childress showcased more pitching talent against Auburn. The redshirt freshman — no relation to Rob Childress — allowed four hits and one run through six innings.
“He had great command of the zone and got ahead in counts,” senior catcher Mikey Hoehner said after the 6-1 loss to Auburn. “Another thing he did well, he had runners on base a lot of times and let the lead off runner on, but he kept his composure and continued to work in the zone. He did a good job of keeping his composure and pounding the zone early.”
Sunday’s loss to Auburn fell on offense as A&M struggled for hits. The Aggies ultimately found four, with two from Frizzell.
“I thought [Round Rock] was a really good weekend for us,” Childress said. “I certainly would have liked to have won [Sunday] and gone 3-0, but it was a pitcher’s duel for six innings. Both pitchers went nose-to-nose. We made two mistakes and had few strikeouts, and they grabbed the lead. The difference today was that their bullpen was a lot better than ours.”
The start of a 10-game homestand, Houston Baptist Tuesday and Incarnate Word on Wednesday will tell whether A&M baseball has found a groove on the mound and at the plate.

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