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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M downs Auburn, 4-1

 
 

Following a two-week stint as Texas A&Ms Tuesday starter, Rafael Pineda returned to the weekend pitching rotation in Sundays match against Auburn, notching a 4-1 victory over the Tigers to prevent a series sweep.
The senior pitcher threw seven and two-thirds innings, allowing only six hits and one run with three strikeouts. Pineda heaved credit upon his teammates, noting the groups ability to bounce back after losses the previous two days.
It was a great game, Pineda said. We all grinded as a team. We needed to win. Coach [Childress] told us the other day that our success was going to be determined by how we handled our failures. We didnt split apart as a team. We all got after it today as a team and did our job.
A&M (20-13, 6-6) jumped to an early lead over the Tigers, as sophomore Blake Allemand helped senior Mikey Reynolds score on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Auburn retaliated in the fourth inning, knotting the game at 1-1.
Minutes later in the home half of the fourth inning, Allemand led off with a stand-up double. Following two quick outs, sophomore Cole Lankford RBI tripled to bring Allemand home, garnering A&M the lead. The Aggies tacked on insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the series opener on Friday, A&M came out to a two-run lead in the first inning. Sophomore starter Daniel Mengden shut out the Tigers through six innings, but gave up two runs in the seventh inning for a 2-2 tie.
A&M retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning as junior Krey Bratsen scored junior Troy Stein on an infield single. In the top of the eighth, Auburn responded to knot the score at 3-3, pushing the game into extra innings after a scoreless ninth inning.
With two runners on base in the 10th inning, Auburns Garrett Cooper launched a pitch over the left field fence, garnering the Tigers their first lead, 6-3. Behind Lankford, A&M attempted a rally but finished the match for a 6-4 loss.
Daniel [Mengden] wasnt as sharp as he normally is from a command standpoint but he battled really well, Childress said. I thought Auburn played an outstanding ballgame. It was just a night of missed opportunities for us. I thought we had competitive at-bats. This is a really tough loss.
During Saturdays game, Auburn surged to an early 9-0 lead through four innings, consistently shutting down A&Ms offense. The Aggies late rally came up short as they dropped the match 10-5.
Despite falling down 2-0 in the series, A&M remained optimistic about a Sunday resurgence against the Tigers. For Lankford, the losses have helped the team come together, building chemistry as a tough conference stretch approaches.
We made some errors, but thats baseball thats what happens, Lankford said. Its a marathon, its not a sprint. Sometimes theres a bump in the road, but its not about how you start, its about how you finish.
Childress said the Aggies offense has continued to improve throughout the daunting league schedule, and still has challenges ahead.
I felt like from an offensive standpoint, the last two days have been really great days, Childress said. We dont have two wins to show for it, but were doing some positive things from the baseball side of things. This sport is one that will rip your heart out, and it will test your resolve. Were obviously being tested right now, but were going to brace it.

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