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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 cages Golden Eagles in the first round of NCAA Regionals

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior CF Jordan Thompson (31) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a home run at Olsen Field on Friday, June 3, 2022.

The road to Omaha, Neb., goes through College Station.

In Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle’s first season with the Aggies, he coached the team to a 37-18 overall season, 19-11 record in the SEC and a first-place finish in the SEC West. 

Now, the No. 5 Aggies are hosting their first regional tournament since 2016, and they have ended victorious, advancing to the super-regional tournament.

On Friday, June 3, No.1-seeded A&M hosted Game 1 of the College Station Regional against No. 4-seeded Oral Roberts University. The Golden Eagles ended their season 38-18, 17-7 in the Summit League Conference. 

ORU and A&M have faced off eight times in both schools’ careers. Before today’s game, the Aggies led the all-time series 5-3.

Schlossnagle’s ol’ reliable, junior righty Micah Dallas, was given the go-ahead to start Game 1 of the regional tournament against Oral Roberts.

Despite not having the most beautiful stat line, the transfer pitcher from Texas Tech allowed only one run on seven hits and did just enough to maintain the Aggies’ lead through the five innings he pitched.

The Golden Eagles recorded their first run of the game after a series of bunts in the top of the second inning, which gave them a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning. 

The maroon and white bats decided to take a more aggressive approach in scoring runs with a double off the wall from junior right fielder Brett Minnich and a home run from junior center fielder Jordan Thompson to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead early in the game. 

When the defense is playing sloppily, junior lefty Joseph “Moo” Menefee will play tailored on the mound.  An error on a routine ground ball from sophomore second baseman Ryan Targac put a Golden Eagle runner on second and third with one out and the chance to regain the lead.

Menefee walked up to the mound after the error, retired the side with two straight strikeouts and walked back to the dugout with the lead still in the Aggies’ laps.

“Overall, [Menefee’s] stuff has taken a leap,” Schlossnagle said. “He is back to where he was a long time ago before his injuries. He’s in better shape and he’s pitching with confidence.”

In A&M’s 30 SEC games, junior designated hitter Austin Bost ranked second in the conference in batting average, hitting a .385, and first in hits with 45. 

In the regional matchup, Bost added another hit to the stat book and four more RBIs after a sacrifice pop-fly sent sophomore first baseman Jack Moss home in the bottom of the fifth. A three-run homer from Bost in the bottom of the seventh gave A&M its largest lead of the game at 6-1.

“They brought in the righty and he threw some good pitches away and he brought that fastball inside,” Bost said. “I was able to pull my hands inside and put a good swing on it. Good things happen when you put good swings on it.”

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Moss fought back from being down two in the count and hit a two-RBI double, putting the cherry on top of a convincing victory in the first round of the regional tournament.

As a team, the Aggies accumulated 14 hits, eight RBIs and eight strikeouts in the 8-2 victory on June 3. 

“What a place to come play,” Oral Roberts coach Ryan Folmer said. “I thought the atmosphere was special. That’s the first thing that stands out to you.”
With the Aggies’ victory today, they will play the winner of No. 2-seeded TCU and No. 3-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at 6 p.m. on the corner of Bush and Wellborn to continue the College Station Regional. Sophomore righty Nathan Dettmer is set to start on the mound on Saturday.

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