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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

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M comes back for series-opening win over Auburn

Photo by A Nguyen

Junior UTL Ryan Targac (16) hits the home run RBI during Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss at Olsen Field on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Even after a 5-run third inning by Auburn, junior RHP Nathan Dettmer and the Texas A&M baseball team didn’t flinch.
Instead, Dettmer responded with 2.2 scoreless frames while totaling 11 strikeouts, a new career high, and giving up just one more hit. Trailing 5-2 after the Tigers’ big inning, the Aggies went to work at the plate as well, tacking on seven more runs to leave Plainsman Park with a 9-5 win on Thursday, April 6.
A&M got another terrific appearance from junior LHP Evan Aschenbeck out of the bullpen, as Mr. Reliable logged 3.1 scoreless innings with just two hits and four strikeouts. The performance ups the Blinn College transfer’s record to 4-0 and lowers his ERA to 2.59, while also making him the maroon and white’s most used reliever by innings.
“I was a little hesitant to bring Aschenbeck in with us down a run, but I felt like we would scratch enough to score, and it worked out,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
Dettmer totaled 5.2 innings in which he allowed five runs on six hits, four walks and 11 punchouts as he left with a no-decision. The contest continues an A&M trend in which a starting pitcher hasn’t been credited with a win since sophomore LHP Troy Wansing was versus Northern Kentucky on March 11.
“Nathan gave up five runs with two outs, but other than that, he actually was really good,” Schlossnagle said.
After holding the Tigers scoreless in the first, something the Aggies have struggled with against opponents over the past two weeks, A&M got the scoring going in the second with an RBI single by junior DH Ryan Targac. After reaching second on a missed popup that was ruled a double, junior 3B Trevor Werner slid around the tag at home to tally a run.
The Aggies added another in the third after a double by senior RF Brett Minnich brought home junior SS Hunter Haas, who had singled.
Auburn launched its barrage of runs in the bottom of the frame, starting with a double from fifth year CF Kason Howell. Dettmer punched out the next two batters before a four-pitch walk gave way to three straight singles and a double that in total plated five runs and placed A&M at a 5-2 deficit.
“Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, that was our season last year, we played from behind all the time,” Schlossnagle said. “So, a lot of these veteran players are used to it, but it’s certainly not the trend we want to be at as a program.”
While the returning players may be used to being down early, it was a freshman that spurred the comeback bid, as LF Jace LaViolette welcomed freshman LHP Zach Crotchfelt to the game with a 402-foot solo shot, his sixth of the year, to make it 5-3.
Targac cut the Tigers’ lead in half in the sixth with a leadoff no-doubt homer that traveled 428 feet and raised his batting average above the .200 plateau. With a 2-for-4 showing, the Hallettsville Hammer has hit 6-for-18 in his last five games.
The Aggies took the lead for good in the seventh, tying the contest when Haas scored on a wild pitch after opening the frame by being hit by a pitch. After senior 2B Austin Bost walked and Minnich singled, Werner launched a pitch 422 feet to center for a 3-run blast, putting A&M on top 8-5. Werner raised his average to .247 with a 3-for-5 performance with three extra base hits.
“The guy got me in the [at-bat] before, knew he had a good changeup, so just backing the ball up a little bit, got the two strikes, just got a heater in my sweet spot and put a good swing on it,” Werner said. “[Our] pitchers just give us a chance, throw up as many zeros as possible and our offense is gonna get rolling and get us some runs.”
A&M added an insurance run in the top of the ninth thanks to a Targac sacrifice fly, scoring freshman pinch runner Kasen Wells.
The Aggies and Tigers are set to battle again at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 7, but Mother Nature may have other plans. With a 90% chance of rain this weekend in Auburn, Alabama, both teams may opt for a doubleheader to close the series on Friday.
“We don’t know what lies ahead, whether it’s a doubleheader tomorrow or whatever it is, so it’s always nice to get the first one out of the way, get the dub and then just go out and finish the weekend off on these guys,” Werner said.

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