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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

A&M pushes to replicate early success against Army this weekend

Redshirt+freshman%26%23160%3BMason+Corbett+had+two+hits+and+three+RBIs+on+the+night.
Photo by Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Redshirt freshman Mason Corbett had two hits and three RBIs on the night.

One week into the 2020 season, the No. 21 Texas A&M baseball team has been satisfied with the results they have seen so far, both on the mound and at the plate.
Entering this season with an offensive philosophy around new hitting coach Chad Caillet, the offense has enjoyed early success to open their campaign, scoring 17 in their season-opener against Miami of Ohio, and producing scores of 13 and 30 runs in their two mid-week games.
While it may be hard to maintain this offensive efficiency, this weekend highlights how competitive the team can be on the offensive end, said A&M coach Rob Childress.
“I don’t know that it’s sustainable, but I know we can be competitive,” Childress said. “One through nine can be selfless. I know we can take our walks. I know we can take our hit by pitches and create innings. I know we have enough older guys with really good swings that I can get big hits. All in all through five games, we’re in a great place. We’ve got another tough challenge this weekend with Army that we’re going to have to try to maintain that [offense].”
Shining for the Aggies at the plate has been rightfielder Zach DeLoach. DeLoach recorded 10 hits, two home runs, six RBIs and 18 total bases in 12 at-bats through the first week. Right behind him in hits was freshman shortstop Trevor Werner. Werner, who played through all five games this week and logged 22 at-bats during the first week, recorded nine hits, eight RBIs and 10 total bases. In total, 15 Aggie batters ended the first week with a hit.
On the mound, the sturdy A&M pitching staff managed to provide strong starts from their starting pitchers while also allowing the younger members some experience in the rotation. The three weekend starters, Asa Lacy, Christian Roa and Chandler Jozwiak, each provided six innings of strong work on the mound, allowing fewer than three earned runs while totaling a high number of strikeouts, with Roa setting a career-high on Saturday with 12 strikeouts.
The production that the offense has provided so far has been extremely helpful to the pitching staff, giving the pitching staff the freedom to just pitch without added pressure, said Roa.
“[The offense] helps us out as pitchers,” Roa said. “Getting to go out there and know that we’re going to play great defense behind us, that they’re going to score some runs. It kind of gives us the freedom to just go out there and throw strikes, let our defense work.”
The mid-week starters each provided solid outings for A&M teams that were dominating their opponent, with Jonathan Childress producing a three inning scoreless outing in his first game back from Tommy John surgery. The bullpen saw some younger pitchers shine too, including freshman Will Johnston, who allowed one hit and struck out three in three innings pitched this week.
Facing off against A&M this weekend is an Army team that challenged No. 15 Duke in their opening series. In the Friday game, the Black Knights upset the Blue Devils 2-1, thanks to a one hit, 10 strikeout performance from Army starting pitcher Logan Smith. On Saturday, the Black Knights held a 8-7 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, before an error by Army right fielder Carter Macias with two outs allowed Duke to score the game-winning run.
Childress said a key for A&M to defeat Army will be a strong short game defensive approach.
“Offensively their lead-off hitter had 69 [walks] last year and can really create havoc with the short game and on the bases. That’s what they want to do is press you from start to finish. From a short game defense standpoint, we’re going to have to be really good on the grass defending the bunt, taking our outs and not compounding it with mistakes and not getting them out on a bunt. We need to do a great job of that this weekend to slow them down.”
First pitch on Friday between A&M and Army is set for 6:30 p.m., with Lacy starting. Christian Roa will start for the Saturday game, which starts at 2 p.m., while Jozwiak is slated to start the Sunday noon contest. All three games will be streamed on SEC Network+.

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