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 beats LSU 3-1 to win first home SEC series

Senior+Boomer+White+scores+a+run+in+Saturdays+victory+over+LSU.
Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun

Senior Boomer White scores a run in Saturday’s victory over LSU.

Texas A&M’s rubber match against its first ranked opponent was a classic pitcher’s duel, and Kyle Simonds was up to the task as he helped the Aggies capture a 3-1 victory over No. 13 LSU Saturday afternoon.

Both teams were held in check offensively by valiant efforts by both starting pitchers, but in the end the Aggies were able to make the necessary adjustments in the second go-around in the order to get their bats going.

A&M head coach Rob Childress admired the effort by opposing pitcher Hunter Valek III and praised his team’s ability to jump on its rare opportunities in the second go-around.

“Their left-hander’s a senior who knows how to pitch,” Childress said. “We made some adjustments and worked deeper into some counts and got some pitches we could handle. Not too many but a few.”

A hit and an error in the first inning gave A&M starter Kyle Simonds some trouble, but he was able to strand runners on first and third. Simonds then was able to settle in after that, dealing six and two-thirds innings while giving up one run and falling one mistake pitch short of making it a shutout effort.

Simonds said that he was particularly good at spotting all his pitches, but his go-to pitch today was the changeup.

“I thought I commanded the ball really well on both sides of the plate and I just tried to mix it up as best as I could,” Simonds said. “My changeup was probably my best pitch today, I just kept it down and away to lefties and was able to keep hitters off balance.”

The A&M offense was quiet early as it was held hitless until the bottom of the third by Valek. The Aggies, however, were still able to get on the board first after an RBI single by Michael Barrash in the fourth inning opened up the scoring.

LSU quickly answered with a run of its own off a long home run to right field from Greg Dietchmann to even the score. But Simonds was able to work out of the inning without any more troube, and Nick Banks did not waste any time getting the lead back for the Aggies. It only took two pitches for him to rip a long ball to right field in the bottom of the inning to put the Aggies back in front.

For Banks, who had been struggling recently at the plate, a productive day at the plate could not have come soon enough. He took a little time to admire his long ball in the fifth as a mixture of excitement and relief came over him.

“It was exciting and I got a little emotional about it,” Banks said. “I was just trying to do whatever I could to get on base.”

The Aggies were able to get some insurance in the eighth off an RBI triple from Hunter Melton. The knock gave the bullpen the cushion it needed to finish off LSU as Brigham young recorded a scoreless inning and Ryan Hendrix secured the four-out save.
The Aggies get ready to travel to Houston to take on UH this coming Tuesday before gearing up for a weekend series against Florida.

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