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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

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024

A&M drops fourth midweek game of the season to Sam Houston State

Freshman+RHP+Ty+Sexton+%2837%29+pitches+from+the+mound+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Prairie+View+A%26amp%3BM+at+Olsen+Field+on+Wednesday%2C+April+19%2C+2023.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Freshman RHP Ty Sexton (37) pitches from the mound during Texas A&M’s game against Prairie View A&M at Olsen Field on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

If Texas A&M fans didn’t know what a Bearkat was before Tuesday, April 25, they do now.
Like its nickname, Sam Houston State’s 9-2 win over Texas A&M baseball at Olsen Field was made up of multiple components. These included timely hitting, effective pitching and terrific baserunning, plus a bit of help from three errors by the Aggies. In the end, the maroon and white were left with their fourth-midweek loss of the season, each of them coming at home.
“We’ve got to show up to play every game,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We can’t take the midweek games off, or you’re not going to have a postseason … I thought our guys were [motivated] too, we just made some really bad pitches in the third inning and even worse in the fifth inning, and it set us back.”
Schlossnagle’s quest to find a reliable starting pitcher continued as redshirt freshman RHP Ty Sexton got the starting nod but lasted just two innings while being credited with the loss. The Montgomery native’s stats came in twos, as he surrendered two runs on two hits and two walks while hitting two batters.
The next two pitchers didn’t fare much better, as Sexton’s high school teammate, freshman LHP Shane Sdao, gave up two runs on three hits in one inning of work. Sophomore RHP Brad Rudis, after a quick fourth inning with two strikeouts, allowed one earned run and three unearned runs on three hits in the fifth, putting A&M at an 8-1 disadvantage.
Sam Houston State, on the other hand, found much more success in its pitching staff. After a first inning that saw graduate RHP and two-way player Tyler Davis give up a run on two hits, a walk and a strikeout, the Bearkats surrendered just one run the rest of the way. On top of that, four of Sam Houston State’s five pitchers entered the matchup with earned run averages over 6.00.
A bright spot for the Aggies came in junior RHP Jaren Warwick, who carried just 2.2 innings of experience this season. The Alvin Community College transfer provided some relief to the A&M pitching with two scoreless frames with one hit, a walk and a hit batter. Warwick found himself in an early jam with runners on third and second with one out in the sixth before receiving extra motivation in a mound visit from Schlossnagle.
“I went out there to the mound and said ‘if you want to go to Arkansas this weekend, strike this guy out,’” Schlossnagle said. ‘“If you strike him out, you get on the plane,’ and he did, so I’ll live up to my word on that one and see if he can’t help us this weekend.”
Junior LHP Brandyn Garcia worked a scoreless frame before sophomore RHP Robert Hogan gave up Sam Houston State’s ninth run of the game in the final inning. In total, the Aggies issued five walks and hit four batters, while the Bearkats walked four and hit one.
“I thought Garcia was great, but everybody else, I mean, they walk more than they strike out,” Schlossnagle said. “We’re 20-5 when we win [the free base war] and now we’re 4-12 when we lose it. I mean, it’s pretty simple.”
A&M’s skipper was even humorously open to the possibility of recruiting freshman Theodore Neal, Reveille X’s newest handler, based on the pregame first pitch he threw for a strike.
“The guy that handles Reveille went out and threw a strike, did he not?” Schlossnagle said. “I mean, he threw a strike, I didn’t see him get loose. Maybe we should take him with us.”
It didn’t take long for Sam Houston State to take advantage of A&M’s pitching, as Davis, the Bearkats’ starting pitcher, hit an RBI single to right field to score junior 1B Justin Wishkoski, who was hit by a pitch and picked up the first of the orange and white’s six stolen bases. Sexton avoided further damage by catching a line drive and doubling up the runner at first to end the frame.
The Aggies were quick to respond, though, as junior 2B Ryan Targac laced an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. Freshman LF Jace LaViolette was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the jam and left three runners stranded, the first of four innings in which A&M left at least two runners on base.
The Aggies’ lineup was missing a familiar face in junior SS Hunter Haas, who had previously started each of A&M’s 40 games this season. Schlossnagle credited the absence to a minor wrist injury sustained in the series finale against Kentucky over the weekend.
“Could he have played, probably, but seven games in nine days, and I thought it gave [freshman] Kaeden [Kent] a chance to play shortstop,” Schlossnagle said. “Hopefully the rest will help him to be better this weekend.”
In the third, Davis, now the designated hitter, built upon his .437 average with an RBI double to give Sam Houston State a lead it wouldn’t surrender. One batter later, sophomore C Walker Janek added to the lead with a 2-run blast to left field, making it a 4-1 game.
Janek kicked off a big fifth inning for the Bearkats by reaching on an error by Targac. Sam Houston State followed with two straight singles, including an RBI base hit by junior RF Clayton Chadwick, who proceeded to reach home on a wild pitch. With two outs in the frame, senior SS Myles Jefferson lined a 2-run homer of his own off the scoreboard, upping the Bearkats’ lead to 8-1.
The Aggies salvaged a run in the bottom of the inning with a LaViolette RBI double to plate junior 3B Trevor Werner.
Sam Houston State added its final run in the ninth on an RBI single by Jefferson. When it was all said and done, the Bearkats outhit the Aggies 12 to eight, with four players tallying two hits each and three players collecting at least two RBI. For A&M, each batter picked up a hit except for Werner, who walked twice.
“It’s a team game … when the offensive side is doing well, it really helps the pitchers and their confidence, and when the offensive side isn’t doing so well, I feel like it just adds all the pressure on the pitchers,” junior 1B Jack Moss said. “Something good is going to come from it, I know that.”
A&M will look to pick up its fifth-straight SEC series win as it hits the road to face No. 7 Arkansas this weekend. The Razorbacks have hit a skid after being swept by Georgia and falling to Missouri State on Tuesday. The action starts on Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

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