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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 hits four home runs to complete sweep of Rhode Island

Junior+Michael+Helman+hit+his+first+career+homerun.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior Michael Helman hit his first career homerun.

As opening weekend came to a close, No. 10 A&M baseball team defeated Rhode Island 10-2 on Sunday completing the three-game sweep of the Rams.
A&M designated hitter Hunter Coleman got the scoring started for the Aggies with a RBI groundout to shortstop driving freshman Zach DeLoach home and advancing sophomore Braden Shewmake to third. Shewmake then scored via a passed ball to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Michael Helman then added to the Aggies lead with a homerun to left field with one out in the third inning, driving in DeLoach for his second run of the game and extending the Aggie lead to 4-0.
Junior right-handed pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny used a four-pitch sequence for his approach throughout the game and still held an unblemished run total statline heading into the bottom of the sixth.
“I just went out there to throw strikes,” Kilkenny said. “When I take care of my job, the team can pick up on that momentum and when everyone gets going, this team is dangerous.”
Freshman Will Frizzell singled to left center in the bottom of the sixth, driving sophomore Hunter Coleman in from second base.
Rhode Island got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh with a home run to left field that hit the top of the wall of the A&M Student Recreation center. The Rams tacked on another run via a single to left field.
A&M head coach Rob Childress then made a pitching change, calling senior Kaylor Chafin to the mound.
Kilkenny finished the day with seven strikeouts, two earned runs and two hits in 6.1 innings pitched. Chafin got the final two outs in the half inning and the Aggies held a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
DeLoach and Helman hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh to give A&M pitcher Nolan Hoffman a commanding 7-2 lead as he took the mound to start the eighth.
“We just stuck with our approach, we had a talk with Coach Bolt over there early through the game we were just going through the motions not really swinging the bat like we know how to,” DeLoach said. “We changed our mindset and started hammering those balls and were able to hit the long ball.”
Hoffman blanked the Rams and junior George Janca and sophomore Chris Andritsos hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to take a 10-2 lead. Then in the top of the ninth, Hoffman retired the side, clinching the win.
DeLoach went 0-for-5 on Friday but rebounded Saturday and Sunday — getting seven hits, including a homerun on Sunday, and scoring seven runs. Childress said he was happy to see DeLoach bounce back from a disappointing debut and make significant contributions following Friday.
“It’s not at all surprising, for a true freshman to be playing center field and batting leadoff for Texas A&M, that says a lot about how good of a player he really is,” Childress said of DeLoach.
DeLoach was one of eight players who played their first game as an Aggie this weekend, and Childress said that a big point of emphasis entering the weekend was getting his young team experience.
“We got a lot of new guys, a lot of young guys into the crease a little bit, they got a chance to feel the stadium and playing at this level and how fast it is. Hopefully the more they play the more comfortable they get,” Childress said.
The Aggies finish the weekend with three wins: 4-1, 4-3 and 10-2 over a Rhode Island team that finished third in the Atlantic 10 last season. Childress said he was very pleased with how his team fared on Opening Weekend.
“We really couldn’t [ask for a much better weekend],” Childress said. “I’m very proud of our team, they were very well prepared, they played loose and played free and played extremely hard.”
The Aggies will return to action on Tuesday as they host Stephen F. Austin at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised on SEC Network+.

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