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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A&M baseball sees exodus of players to transfer portal after Schlossnagle’s departure

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+infielder+Ali+Camarillo+%282%29+high-fives+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+utility+Gavin+Grahovac+%289%29+after+an+out+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BM%E2%80%99s+game+against+Florida+at+the+NCAA+Men%E2%80%99s+College+World+Series+semifinal+at+Charles+Schwab+Field+in+Omaha%2C+Nebraska+on+Sunday%2C+June+19%2C+2024.+%28Hannah+Harrison%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Hannah Harrison
Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) high-fives Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) after an out during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series semifinal at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 19, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

Note: This article will be updated as players enter or withdraw from the portal or commit to schools. It was updated to reflect Texas A&M’s hiring of Michael Earley as head coach on June 30.

Less than 24 hours after competing for a national championship, Texas A&M baseball is back to square one.

After leading the Aggies to the biggest stage in college baseball, coach Jim Schlossnagle is heading down Highway 21 to become the head coach at Texas. The Longhorns parted ways with coach David Pierce after eight seasons on Monday and announced their hiring of Schlossnagle the next day.

Schlossnagle won’t be alone in his transition to Austin. He’ll be joined by A&M’s crew of assistants in associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Nolan Cain, and pitching coach Max Weiner.

Along with the exodus of the entire coaching staff came a number of key contributors to the Aggies’ recent success entering their names in college baseball’s transfer portal. There is a 30-day window for A&M players to enter the portal and they have the ability to withdraw from it at any time.

Sophomore OF Jace LaViolette marked the most significant player to enter the portal given his status as a potential top pick in the 2025 MLB Draft. He has been a starter in the outfield since stepping foot on campus and set a then-A&M freshman home run record with 21 long balls in 2023. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team with a .287 average, 63 runs batted in and 18 stolen bases.

LaViolette built on his impressive freshman season with an even better 2024, again leading the team in home runs with 29, second-most in A&M history. The Katy product hit at a .305 clip with 78 runs batted in and perfect defense in right field. His 50 career home runs are tied for second in program history.

Cain initially recruited the first team NCBWA All-American to LSU while in high school, but LaViolette followed the coach when he took the job at A&M in 2022.

On July 2, LaViolette announced his return to A&M via X.

LaViolette’s freshman home run record didn’t last long as Gavin Grahovac mashed 23 long balls this season en route to SEC Freshman of the Year honors. The California native entered the portal after posting a .298 batting average and 66 runs batted in. Grahovac started all but one game at third base but also found himself playing left field in the College World Series. On July 2, Grahovac withdrew from the transfer protal to return to A&M.

Junior SS Ali Camarillo joined Grahovac on the left side of the infield and in the portal. Camarillo transferred to A&M after two seasons at Cal State Northridge, where he was named to the 2023 All-Big West First Team. He displayed slick defense at shortstop while hitting an efficient .288 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.

Other players entering the portal include sophomore UTIL Kaeden Kent, who was used in a backup role for much of the season until an injury to junior RF Braden Montgomery in the NCAA Super Regional saw him step into a starting role. Kent took off from there, batting 14-for-33 with 14 runs batted in. He has been a Swiss Army Knife for the Aggies with appearances at second base, third base and the outfield.

On July 3, Kent withdrew from the transfer portal to return to A&M, per an Instagram post.

Freshman LF Caden Sorrell didn’t take on a consistent starting role until A&M’s series with Auburn in late March, but his defense and effective hitting kept him in the lineup. The true freshman was a weapon in the outfield with acrobatic catches and sneaky power at the plate. Sorrell clobbered 11 home runs with 43 RBIs and a .275 average.

Sorrell withdrew from the portal to rejoin the Aggies on July 3, per an Instagram post.

Before Sorrell was manning left field, graduate Hayden Schott was patrolling the outfield following four seasons at Columbia. Schott transitioned to a designated hitter role and shone with a team-high .335 average, 63 RBIs and eight homers. Beyond his on-field production, Schott was the team jokester that could be counted on to keep things loose in the dugout.

On Wednesday, Schott posted on X, “HIRE MICHAEL EARLY [sic] OR NOLAN CAIN.” It was reposted by Camarillo. On June 30, Earley was hired as the Aggies’ head coach and Schott withdrew from the portal shortly after.

Sophomore C Max Kaufer saw a drop in his playing time this season, starting just seven games compared to his 36 starts in 2023. In 20 at-bats, he picked up five hits, eight walks and five RBIs with a home run. Kaufer, a product of New Jersey, graduated high school a semester early to join the Aggies for the 2023 campaign. He committed to South Carolina on July 3 with a post on X.

Freshman 2B Jack Bell made three starts across 19 appearances, collecting four hits in 16 at-bats, one of which was a home run. He drew eight walks while knocking in four runs. On June 30, Bell committed to TCU via X.

Redshirt freshman 2B Justin Vossos appeared in seven games with one start, tallying two hits in eighth at-bats. He redshirted in the 2023 season. On June 26, Vossos announced his commitment to Texas State on X.

Freshman UTIL and RHP Jett Johnston hails from Nederland but attended high school in Tennessee for two years. At the plate, he had three hits in 16 at-bats with three starts over 13 games played. On the mound, he logged two innings over two appearances, allowing six runs on five hits, two walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts. Johnston committed to Auburn on June 30 on X.

Another East Texas native, freshman RHP Jason Bodin totaled one inning in two appearances with two unearned runs on one hit, three walks and a punchout.

California native freshman INF Carl Schmidt entered the portal after redshirting this season.

Freshman LHP Kaiden Wilson showed promise as the season went on but finished with an 0-2 record and a 9.82 ERA. He pitched two hitless innings against Tarleton on April 30 and two scoreless frames in a Super Regional win over Oregon. The Missouri product logged 2 1/3 innings versus Tennessee in Game 2 of the College World Series finals, allowing four runs on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts.

Wilson announced his return to A&M with a post on X on July 5.

On June 27, freshman RHP Isaac Morton took to the portal with a 1-0 record and a 2.87 ERA. The Minnesota native appeared in 10 games, including the season opener, with four starts in midweek matchups. In 15 2/3 innings, he allowed five earned runs and five unearned runs with 22 strikeouts and 17 walks. Morton withdrew from the transfer portal with a post on X on July 15.

Freshman RHP Brett Antolick put his name in the transfer portal on June 28. The Pennsylvania product amassed 4 2/3 innings over four appearances with one start versus Houston on April 23. This season, he allowed five earned runs with one unearned run on nine hits, two walks and a strikeout.

Junior CF Tab Tracy entered the transfer portal on July 9 after redshirting the second of two seasons at A&M. He has two years of eligibility remaining after spending his freshman campaign at Houston. Over 24 games and eight starts in 2023, Tracy batted .326 with two runs batted in and two stolen bases. Four of his 14 hits were doubles.

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About the Contributors
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a senior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
Hannah Harrison
Hannah Harrison, Photographer
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  • R

    Randolph ScottJun 29, 2024 at 1:03 pm

    Message to the Aggies in the transfer portal – integrity is more important than money . There is no 12th man at any other school . You will reflect on your decision the rest of your life ,and have to explain it to your kids and grandkids . Gig em !

    Reply
    • J

      JCJul 7, 2024 at 9:50 pm

      A&M knows nothing about integrity. Every athlete they convince to stay is by way of the all mighty $Dollar& so please stop acting like yalls feelings are burt because someone out spent yall and your biggest rival stuffed yall in a locker lol.

      Reply
  • O

    OldAg 76Jun 27, 2024 at 10:06 am

    Author needs to understand why players put their name in portal in this situation and actually read/report on what several of them posted on Twitter about their thoughts. Otherwise article comes across as clickbait.

    Reply
    • T

      TexAg97Jun 28, 2024 at 9:07 am

      They are entering the portal because their own coach made it clear that A&M is Texas’ little brother no matter what.

      Reply