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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M pitching overwhelmed by Florida offense, Aggies drop SEC opener 13-4

Photo by Photo by Harrison Cain

Junior Austin Bost had five hits in Saturday’s doubleheader. 

Texas A&M baseball went into Thursday night’s SEC opener against No. 5 Florida white hot, winning 11 straight since March 2 and sporting one of the nation’s best K/BB per nine and owning the top spot in the conference in strikeouts.
Dustin Saenz, the Aggies’ No. 1 slot in the pitching rotation, took the bump in Game 1 tied with Jonathan Childress for the team lead in strikeouts with 36 in five starts, an average of just over seven per appearance. The Gators on the other hand went into the game looking to get back in the win column after losing 10-2 to the unranked Florida State Seminoles on Tuesday behind starting pitcher Tommy Mace, who led the pitching staff in innings in 2020 and has struck out 31.
After two full scoreless innings to start the night, The Gators found some early offense in the third inning with consecutive one-out singles off of Saenz to score three early runs to take a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the evening.
But a Ty Coleman solo home run with two outs in the fourth cut the lead to 3-1 with Saenz being relieved in the fourth inning by Will Johnston after giving up a two-run home run with no outs. Johnston threw a wild pitch that scored one and advanced two, allowed a sac fly and gave up two straight RBI singles that ballooned the score 9-1 in favor of the Gators.
A&M’s bats managed to scratch a few across to cut Florida’s lead to five though when Coleman singled home Austin Bost, who previously singled home Ray Alejo to make it 9-3. Ryan Targac then scored A&M’s fourth and final run of the evening with a sac fly, making it 9-4.
Florida ended up erasing A&M’s momentum with a four-run sixth frame thanks to a single and a three-run home run that stretched the Gators’ lead to nine and the final score to 13-4 after Florida shut down two singles to start the top of the ninth.
Mace, the Florida starter, threw a great game against a hot A&M offense on SEC opening night with seven innings pitched and two earned runs given up. He allowed six hits with eleven strikeouts on 107 pitches and did not walk a single Aggie. Freshman Florida catcher Mac Guscette also had a great night for the Gators, earning four hits in a 4-for-5 performance.
The Aggies will try to get back in the win column on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Game 2. Bryce Miller will try to be the one to silence Florida’s offense in his fifth start of the season. Game 3 is on Saturday at noon before the Aggies return home on Tuesday night against Rice.

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