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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

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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A&M shells No. 10 Georgia in series-winning firework show

Sophomore+first+baseman+Jack+Moss+%289%29+rounds+third+base%26%23160%3Bat+Olsen+Field+in+Blue+Bell+Park+on+Friday%2C+March+25%2C+2022.
Photo by Cameron Johnson

Sophomore first baseman Jack Moss (9) rounds third base at Olsen Field in Blue Bell Park on Friday, March 25, 2022.

After Texas A&M split the first two-ball games in a ranked road series against No. 10 Georgia, the Saturday, April 16 rubber match would have no shortage of exciting plays and hits to watch as a fan. 

Every Aggie in coach Jim Schlossnagle’s order recorded at least one hit. Also, all A&M hitters but one — a pinch-hitter — logged at least one RBI. The final score of 23-9 was the most runs scored by A&M in a conference game since 1995, and the entire lineup, which amassed 19 hits, was on point all game long with its ability to make consistent solid contact.

“[This] was a big one,” Schlossnagle said. “Georgia’s obviously got a great club. I know they’re without their No. 1 pitcher, but we’re missing some guys too. That’s all part of the season and part of being in this league.”

Early runs were a theme over the last couple of days, and Game 3 was no different. After two frames, the Aggies led 6-3 with each team working deep counts on offense and stringing hits together. Two of A&M’s biggest power threats, sophomore third baseman Ryan Targac and graduate outfielder Dylan Rock, each hit no-doubt home runs that scored multiple runs that put the maroon and white in the driver’s seat. 

It was Targac’s third home run in the past week and he’s hit safely in 11 of the last 14 games. Rock, who was named SEC Co-Player of the Week coming into the weekend, hit his third home run in the past week and has been a consistent RBI threat. In his past five starts, Rock has brought in 11 runs and leads the team with 34 RBIs overall. 

Georgia roughed up junior righty Micah Dallas for another run that cut the difference to two in the middle innings, ending his day with three innings pitched, four earned runs allowed and five punchouts on 75 pitches. Junior reliever Joseph Menefee came on and three batters later, the game was tied back up at 6-6.

Two singles and three batters later, the Bulldogs got the lead back for the first time since the first inning. They proceeded to load the bases with two outs, and poke one through the infield for two more two-out RBIs.

Georgia’s 9-6 lead was short-lived as the home run bug bit them again on a game-tying blast off the bat of sophomore outfielder Logan Britt, the third A&M round-tripper of the day. Each of the next four Aggies reached base with sophomore first baseman Jack Moss getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing home the go-ahead run. 

But before the inning was over, graduate catcher Troy Claunch delivered a two-run double for good measure that upped the late-inning A&M lead to 12-9. An inning later, Claunch made it 13 Aggie runs on an RBI single that was more than enough to secure a win. 

Freshman righty Brad Rudis took Menefee’s spot on the mound and provided some resistance to the Bulldogs’ offense. Rudis ended up throwing four scoreless innings in which he allowed just two baserunners while striking out five.  

“We were down three when I came in, so my main goal was to just get a zero [on the scoreboard] to get my guys back in the dugout and get to swinging again,” Rudis said.

Schlossnagle praised Rudis for giving some control to the pitching staff and for working out of a jam early on that proved to be crucial.

“To me, [Dylan] Rudis is the story of the game,” Schlossnagle said. “Obviously, [Rudis] was a big part of the game by coming in and weathering the storm to get us back in the ballgame.”

Then in the top of the ninth inning with an already solid lead, A&M didn’t just score a few extra runs, it sent a message to SEC pitching staffs and poured it on with a total of ten runs on nine hits. 

Four singles, four doubles, a triple and a walk resulted in runs that ballooned the score to 23-9. Junior outfielder Jordan Thompson had two run-scoring hits in that inning alone and had an extremely efficient day with a 3-for-4 line and three runs scored, four RBIs, a walk and a hit by pitch. Nine other Aggies came to the plate in the inning.

Junior second baseman Austin Bost was part of the ninth-inning onslaught and had the most hits of the afternoon with four of them in six at-bats.

“You can’t ask for more,” Bost said. “Like I said, hitting is contagious.”

Freshman Jack Hamilton made his collegiate debut as he worked through the bottom of the ninth with ease. The series-winning rubber match brings A&M to 22-13 on the season and 8-7 in SEC play. The Aggies are also 6-2 against ranked opponents in 2022. 

“The second half of the game was just our day,” Schlossnagle said.

Before hosting No. 5 Arkansas this coming weekend, another ranked opponent comes to College Station in No. 19 Dallas Baptist. The Tuesday, April 19 matchup is set for a 6 p.m. start on SEC Network.

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