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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 drops second straight matchup, falls 3-1 in back-and-forth pitching duel

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Photo by Megan Cusick

Senior right-handed pitcher Bryce Miller pitched five scoreless innings for the Aggies against Oklahoma.

After losing the first game of the series on Thursday night, Texas A&M baseball went into Friday’s Game 2 looking to get back to their usual selves on the mound behind Bryce Miller, who won three straight starts after dropping his first start of the season to Xavier.
The Gators, after getting a high quality start the previous night from Tommy Mace, looked to Jack Leftwich to continue to limit the Aggies offensively. In his last start six days ago against Jacksonville, the 6-foot-4 righty threw six scoreless innings, struck out seven and allowed only two hits. He would pitch a very good game against A&M in a 3-1 win that won the series.
“[I’m] incredibly disappointed,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “Bryce Miller pitched a great game, we played great defense behind him, we just weren’t able to get enough big hits.”
Game 2 was overall run at a completely different pace than Game 1, with Miller and Leftwich dueling it out into the sixth inning before the bullpens got involved. The first three innings were scoreless for both teams as they combined to have just three combined hits against tough SEC quality starting pitching in an early season contest.
But Florida found the scoreboard first with a two-out RBI single from Sterlin Thompson in the fourth inning as Leftwich continued to silence the A&M bats into the middle innings, having only given up a pair of hits through five innings pitched.
Will Frizzell then flashed the power he’s displayed this season with one out in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to tie things up at 1 heading into the final three frames with time winding down. It was Frizzell’s eighth round-tripper of the year which leads the team.
Childress said the Aggies’ offense moves with Frizzell, but Austin Bost has also had a great year batting behind him, going 2-for-4 on Friday night with a double.
“We go as [Frizzell] goes,” Childress said. “Certainly Austin Bost behind him has been really good and protecting him. It was good to see him get a big hit tonight.”
Miller exited the game with two outs in the sixth after throwing 107 pitches, giving up five hits, striking out five and allowing only one run. Chandler Jozwiak took his place and got the last out to send the game to the seventh frame with the score still tied at one.
Childress said Miller regained his form and consistency from two weeks ago when he struck out 15 and that he had all of his pitches working well in his first SEC outing of the season.
“[Miller] had all four pitches working tonight,” Childress said. “Was able to land the curveball when he wanted to, the changeup to left-handed hitters, slider was very good. He was really good tonight and certainly gave us a chance.”
The Gators’ offense finally broke through in the seventh though once they got the A&M bullpen and knocked around Jozwiak for a pair of runs that scored on an RBI single and a double play shortly after, making it 3-1 advantage for the home team.
Leftwich threw a scoreless seventh as he finished the night with seven innings pitched, allowed three hits, struck out six, and allowed one run. His replacement was Christian Scott who tossed two scoreless relief innings and earned the save for Florida as well as the series win.
It is the first SEC series win for Florida and first series loss for the Aggies. The maroon and white will try to salvage game three behind the arm of Jonathan Childress who has averaged just under two strikeouts per inning over his last two starts.
First pitch is set for noon and can be watched on SEC Network+. The Rice Owls will come to Aggieland on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Blue Bell Park before the Aggies host Georgia in a three-game home set the following weekend.

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