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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M overcomes early deficit, clinches series against Ole Miss

Vinson was masterful Friday night, allowing only one hit in 2.2 innings.

Vinson was masterful Friday night, allowing only one hit in 2.2 innings.

With a potential SEC title on the line, and 5,876 in attendance, the Aggie pitching faltered early and it looked as if it would be an Ole Miss kind of evening.
However, this year’s determined and fearless Aggie squad would not allow a title to slip through their grasp so easily.
A big second inning, home runs galore and outstanding relief effort from Andrew Vinson allowed the Aggies to overcome an early three run deficit and earn a series-clinching 11-5 win over Ole Miss Friday night.
“We did not panic in the first inning. We gave up three runs…a lot of toughness out of our guys continuing to respond after we were down,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “It would have been easy to say it was not out day…just a lot of big hits all night long.”
Ole Miss (39-16, 17-12 SEC) wasted no time getting after Turner Larkins. A single to lead off the game was followed by two consecutive walks to load the bases. Henri Lartigue smacked a two-run single through the right side to give Ole Miss the 2-0 advantage.
Colby Bortles followed up with a sacrifice fly to extend the Rebel lead to 3-0 after one frame. Ole Miss chased Larkins from the mound after lasting just 1 1/3 innings.
As they did Thursday evening, the Aggie bats caught fire for one inning and broke the game open.
Following Nick Banks, Michael Barash and Jonathan Moroney singles, a force out at home gave A&M two outs. Then, the firestorm started.
Nick Choruby grounded a ball to second but the second baseman had issues corralling it and a run scored to make it a 3-1 ballgame. J.B. Moss followed that up with a two-run single of his own that tied the game 3-3.
Boomer White joined the cavalcade of runs with a three-run booming shot to left that gave the Aggies a 6-3 cushion after two. The Aggies scored six runs on five hits in the frame. And as A&M’s head man eloquently put it, baseball is just that way sometimes.
“Baseball is a funny game,” Childress said. “Sometimes it is not ‘ha ha’ but it certainly went our way tonight in that inning.”
Two-out hitting was the theme of the evening. The Aggies went 7-for-16 (.437) and scored eight of their 11 runs when hitting with two outs. Overall, the Aggie lineup went 6-for-12 (.500) with runners in scoring position and 10-for-20 (.500) with runners on base. A&M out hit the Rebels by a 16 to 6 margin.
Bortles led off the fourth for Ole Miss with a double and later scored on an RBI ground out by Will Golson. A&M led Ole Miss 6-4 heading to the home half of the fourth.
The Aggies (41-12, 20-9 SEC) added to their lead that half inning.
Austin Homan laid down a beautiful bunt single to lead off the frame. After a sac bunt by Choruby, Moss drove in his second run of the evening with an RBI single to extend the Aggie advantage to 7-4.
On the evening, Moss and White went a combined 6-for-10 with five RBI, three runs, one home run and one double. After a slump led to Moss switching from the leadoff spot to the two-hole, he says he has no preference as to where he hits – as long as it helps the team win games.
“To be honest with you, I don’t really care where I hit,” Moss said. “They could tell me to wrap a towel around my head and bat 10th…whatever it takes for this team to win a ball game.”
Hunter Melton joined the fun with an RBI single of his own to give A&M an 8-4 lead with four innings complete.
With Stephen Kolek on the mound, Ole Miss put two runners on in the fifth inning. An RBI single from Tate Blackman cut the Aggie lead to 8-5.
Behind Kolek, who was removed in the fifth, Andrew Vinson shredded the Ole Miss lineup. The senior reliever set down 12 straight at one point, pitching four innings of relief duty while striking out seven.
A&M’s lead ballooned to five runs in the seventh. With Banks on first, the senior Jonathan Moroney sent a two-run dinger that ended up hitting the Rec Center behind left field to extend the Aggie lead to 10-5. An RBI single by Ryne Birk in the eighth gave the Aggies an 11-5 advantage.
The win moves A&M into first in the overall SEC standings. With a win on Saturday, the Aggies clinch their first SEC title since joining the league. For Vinson, this is the moment himself and the team have been waiting for all year.
“That is what we have been playing for all year. It is what I came here to do,” Vinson said. “I love the intensity when the fans get into it. It makes it very easy and fun to pitch.”
As for how the team feels heading into a potential SEC title-clinching game tomorrow, Moss kept the prediction short and sweet.
“It’ll happen,” Moss said.
A&M will go for the sweep Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. 

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