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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 opens season with 8-2 victory over Seattle

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior RHP Nathan Dettmer (35) pitches from the mound in the first inning of Texas A&M’s game against Seattle at Olsen Field on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023.

Texas A&M baseball defeated Seattle University in its home opener on Friday, Feb. 17, claiming its first victory of the season and ninth consecutive win at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
At 6:02 p.m., the first pitch thrown in 2023 left the hand of junior starting pitcher Nathan Dettmer, marking the start of the team’s second year in the “Schlossnagle Era.” A mix of familiar faces and new talent took the field for another opening night with the same goal: To compete, and to win.
In front of a lively crowd of Aggie fans, A&M and Seattle went head-to-head for the first time in both programs’ history. The maroon and white’s defensive powerhouse, led by Dettmer’s dominant pitching, created an impenetrable wall for the Redhawks’ offense early in the game, characterized by a 1-2-3 first inning.
“I felt great going out there, I was so glad to be back in front of all these fans,” Dettmer said. “I felt like I could do anything.”
Seattle’s defensive tactics seemed to have the Aggies stumped in the first part of the game as well – the first time through the lineup, A&M was unable to reach first base once.
However, the bottom of the fourth inning provided the Fightin’ Farmers with a stroke of luck. After senior second baseman Austin Bost singled to center field and stole second on a wild pitch, junior third baseman Trevor Werner hit a line drive to the Redhawks’ pitcher, senior Peter Chronowski. On an error, Chronowski lost control of the ball, dropping it with enough time to allow Bost to reach third and Werner to make it safely to first.
With the addition of a walk for freshman right fielder Kasen Wells, the bases were loaded for junior designated hitter Ryan Targac, who batted both Bost and Werner in with a single, allowing the Aggies to break the scoreless tie with two runs.
“We’re not always going to hit every single inning, but we’re really tough to hold down for awhile, so we just had to see some pitches,” junior first baseman Jack Moss said.
Senior outfielder Brett Minnich started in right field for A&M, but left in the second inning after sliding head-first into first. Schlossnagle stated postgame that Minnich broke his thumb and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Despite Dettmer’s electric performance – eight strikeouts in the first four innings – he was replaced by senior pitcher Carson Lambert after loading the bases in the fifth inning.
“I was a little mad about it – a big pill to swallow,” Dettmer said. “I wanted that last out, but I had to be selfish about being selfless.”
After Lambert got the Aggies through unscathed, Moss decided to widen the deficit in the bottom of the inning, doubling down the first base line to send Haas home, making the score 3-0.
At the bottom of the seventh, another swing of Moss’ bat sent freshman left fielder Jace LaViolette across home plate, and the score became 4-0 in favor of the Aggies.
“The big thing is to focus on the process of things, don’t worry about the results,” Moss said. “The results will take care of themselves the more you focus on the process.”
With a sacrifice fly from Bost, the end of the seventh inning saw a 5-run lead for the maroon and white.
Lambert continued to deal until the bottom of the eighth inning, when a hard hit two-run home run led to senior pitcher Matt Dillard taking control of the mound.
To reset the momentum, LaViolette singled down the middle in the eighth inning, scoring Wells. Freshman catcher Max Kaufer sent a sacrifice fly for senior center fielder Jordan Thompson to score, and LaViolette finished the offensive frenzy by stealing home on a wild pitch, supplying the Aggies with an 8-2 win over the Redhawks.
“There was so much excitement – a little bit of butterflies, but butterflies are a good thing,” Dettmer said. “The goal is to get those butterflies flying in the right direction.”
Despite the 6-run lead and a gratifying win for A&M, head coach Jim Schlossnagle made sure to note the rest of the series that awaits the team the rest of the weekend.
“We played really good defense all over the field, really,” Schlossnagle said. “I was proud of the way we played, we just have to come back tomorrow and start it all over.”
The Aggies will face Seattle again at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. in hopes of taking the series and moving to 2-0 on the season.

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