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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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An Appel today keeps the Roadrunners away

Jackson Appel’s walk-off home run pushes A&M in front of UTSA
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Photo by Photo by Hannah Harrison
Texas A&M celebrating Texas A&M catcher Jackson Appel’s (20) walk-off home run during Texas A&M’s game against UTSA on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern.

Senior C Jackson Appel came into Texas A&M baseball’s midweek matchup against the UTSA Roadrunners having only hit three home runs this year, despite hitting cleanup. After nine innings of play on Tuesday, April 9, he had doubled his count.

The Aggies found themselves in a hole early, as after a comedy of errors in the first two innings, A&M was quickly down four runs.

The Maroon and White had bases loaded with just one out in both innings to start, but a base-running error from junior RF Braden Montgomery in the first and poor situational hitting in the second left the Aggies with nothing to show for.

Then comes Appel in the third inning, who drills a solo shot to left field to finally put A&M on the board.

However, the Roadrunners were able to grab the run back in the top of the fourth, killing the little momentum A&M was trying to turn back in its favor.

That is, until Appel stepped up to the plate again in the bottom of the fifth,

This time, the Houston native drilled his second home run of the game, blasting a ball off the scoreboard in left field to plate two after Montgomery got on base with a single in the prior at-bat.

The Maroon and White had begun to swing the momentum back into their favor, plating one more in the inning off of a junior SS Ali Camarillo single. Freshman LF Caden Sorrell then tied the game in the eighth, driving a ball past the outstretched glove of junior Roadrunner RF James Taussig, tripling to drive home Camarillo. Just like that, things were all tied at five.

A&M’s pitching is why the Aggies found themselves in a hole early, as freshman RHP Isaac Morton was only able to make it through one inning of work before allowing four runs on two walks, a hit batter and an error.

However, as the pitching took the Aggies out, it helped bring them right back in it after junior RHP Chris Cortez took the mound in the sixth inning.

Through four frames, the Las Vegas native held the Roadrunners scoreless, striking out seven while only allowing two hits. This included a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game knotted at five going into the final half inning.

It’s no secret that Montgomery has been A&M’s best hitter this season, raking .389 with 17 home runs, and he had the opportunity for his first Olsen Magic leading off in the bottom of the ninth.

With a big hack, the crowd let out excited gasps, but the air quickly fell flat, and Montgomery’s high fly ball fell harmlessly into the shortstop’s glove for a flyout.

Appel then stepped up to the plate, and the bat that had stepped up and delivered the moment for the Aggies all game did it one last time, sending a final home run over the left-field wall, walking off the Roadrunners.

The Maroon and White have now walked off four opponents at home this season, and are one of the remaining few SEC schools that have yet to drop a midweek game.

A&M will be back in action this weekend in a top-10 matchup as they host the No. 6 Vanderbilt Commodores. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Hunter Mitchell, Associate Sports Editor
Hunter Mitchell is a sport management senior minoring in journalism. Hunter has covered football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, hockey, cross country, track and field, along with swim and dive. Hunter's favorite sport is college basketball, and he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association. Hunter also hosts weekly episodes of the Home Turf sports podcast.
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