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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M punches back in late innings to calm Louisiana

A+trio+of+Aggies+celebrate+their+victory+over+Oral+Roberts+at+Olsen+Field+on+Friday%2C+June+3%2C+2022.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

A trio of Aggies celebrate their victory over Oral Roberts at Olsen Field on Friday, June 3, 2022.

After every run scored, the Texas A&M baseball team eats a pringle to celebrate. On Saturday, June 4, those pringles had some spice to them.

Just like all spicy food, the kick of heat doesn’t hit right away, but when it does — watch out. As for A&M baseball, its late inning comeback packed some heat as well.

The Aggies stole some classic Cajun spice as they escaped the fire of the Ragin’ Cajuns, 9-6, to advance to 2-0 in the College Station Regional. Saturday’s nightcap totaled for a combined 31 hits, 17 from the Aggies and 14 from the Ragin’ Cajuns. 

“The game itself, that’s been our season,” A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “It’s not the prettiest thing but it’s competitive. At the end of the day, I wish everybody in the ballpark could spend two minutes of their life with these kids. It’s an honor to be with them everyday.”

Through the top of the first inning, the Aggies wasted no time scoring runs. Sophomore second baseman Ryan Targac and junior right fielder Brett Minnich each cranked two-RBI singles to right field, giving the Aggies a 4-0 lead. Louisiana righty Jacob Schultz faced seven batters, allowing five hits. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns took matters into their own hands in the first and second to cut the lead to one. A&M sophomore starting pitcher Nathan Dettmer performed subpar in the first two innings, allowing six hits on 10 batters faced. 

Louisiana challenged Dettmer on the mound. The Ragin’ Cajuns took a 5-4 lead in the third with sophomore Carson Roccaforte stealing home. Roccaforte is a former high school teammate of A&M junior designated hitter Austin Bost and the nephew of A&M men’s basketball assistant coach Steve Roccaforte. 

After a solid defensive performance in the bottom of the fifth, the Aggies were not able to translate that momentum to offense. The Aggies stranded 10 total runners on Saturday and went scoreless from the second to sixth innings. 

Despite A&M’s four errors, the Aggies fought back with some spice. An RBI double from senior catcher Troy Claunch barely stayed in the ballpark and Minnich followed with a single to score the tying run. 

“That’s what we’ve been doing and what we’ve done all season,” Claunch said. “We continue to trust in our process and know the hits are going to come.”

In the seventh, Bost clutched the lead with a two-run bomb launched to the student recreation center. Senior lefty Jacob Palisch and freshman righty Brad Rudis finished the night on the mound leaving Louisiana scoreless late.

“The whole audience was crazy tonight. That’s the loudest I’ve heard Blue Bell Park since I’ve been here,” Bost said about the attendance of 6,675. “It was a lot of fun. This offense is relentless, and I’m proud of how we played tonight.” 

Senior shortstop Kole Kaler finished off the night adding some insurance with his third homer of the season to up the score to 9-6.

“They came up with the big hits, and they’re a good offense. That’s a good ballclub over there,” Louisiana head coach and former A&M assistant coach Matt Deggs said.

The Aggies will face the winner of TCU and Louisiana tomorrow at 7 p.m at Blue Bell Park. The Horned Frog and Ragin’ Cajun matchup will take place at 1 p.m. A&M’s starting pitcher on Sunday is undetermined.

“I’m glad we won but we haven’t won the regional. We have a lot of rest to get and a lot of baseball left to play,” Schlossnagle said.

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