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The Battalion

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A&M can’t sustain late lead in 6-5 loss to Arkansas

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Senior DH Austin Bost (12) gets a base hit during Texas A&M’s game against Sam Houston State at Olsen Field on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

With a 4-1 lead in the seventh inning, it seemed as if the No. 10 seed Texas A&M baseball team was in line to pick up its first win versus No. 2 seed Arkansas in four tries this season, but the Razorbacks had other plans as the Aggies dropped a 6-5 decision in extra innings at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday, May 24.
Freshman LHP Shane Sdao had tossed 3.2 scoreless frames before opening the seventh inning with a walk to junior C Parker Rowland. After a flyout, a rare fielding mishap by junior SS Hunter Haas put two runners on and ended Sdao’s day.
Junior LHP Brandyn Garcia entered in relief, walking the first batter he faced to load the bases for graduate LF Jared Wegner. Wegner didn’t wait long to capitalize on the opportunity, blasting the first pitch from Garcia over the left field wall for a grand slam that put Arkansas on top 5-4.
“He was obviously just sitting on a fastball and I think — I don’t know if we called it in or threw it in there, but he was all over it,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
After scoring four runs in the first four frames, the A&M offense had slowed to a lull, being held hitless for four straight innings. That changed with senior 2B Austin Bost, who snuck a 2-1 offering just over the left field wall to lead off the ninth and tie the contest 5-5.
After a leadoff walk from Garcia to open the bottom of the tenth, redshirt freshman RHP Ty Sexton took over on the mound for the Aggies. Junior 2B Peyton Holt’s single put two runners on, and a sacrifice bunt moved them in scoring position. Sexton took care of business, though, getting an out at home on a fielder’s choice before a groundout ended the threat.
The Razorbacks squandered a scoring chance in the tenth inning, but that wasn’t a concern in the eleventh, as leadoff hitter sophomore DH Kendall Diggs belted a 2-1 offering from Sexton over right field to send the Hogs home happy.
“I think our team as a whole, we’re just playing for each other,” Diggs said. “We all want to win. It’s a really selfless group of guys, so I’m just doing whatever I can to help the team win.”
A&M built up a 4-0 lead with junior 1B Jack Moss’ RBI groundout and a 2-run single by junior 3B Trevor Werner in the third inning. Junior LF Ryan Targac followed them up with a solo homer in the fourth before Arkansas tallied a run in the bottom of the frame on junior CF Tavian Josenberger’s sacrifice fly.
The Aggies received 2.1 scoreless innings from junior RHP Nathan Dettmer before control issues called for his exit in the third with three hits, three walks, a hit batter and a punchout. Sdao lasted four innings with just one earned run on a hit, two walks, a hit batter and four strikeouts.
“Sdao, he’s a strike thrower,” Schlossnagle said. “He’s now found a breaking ball that can keep people off his fastball. So yeah, those are good signs. And Sexton getting out there and getting out of a big jam and fielding his position really well, that’s a good sign for us, too. We don’t have a lot of pitching depth. I think our depth got better today, and that’s kind of the silver lining of the loss.”
After two innings with three runs from starting junior RHP Cody Adcock, senior LHP Zack Morris was a difference-maker for the Razorbacks. With Targac’s long ball his only blemish, he allowed just three hits and a walk with five strikeouts over five frames.
“Honestly, he was just keeping us off balance, mixing his fastball, slider, changeup on both sides of the plate,” Bost said. “Obviously, give credit to him because he just did a great job, went out there and shut us down, just filled up the zone and that was about it.”
Redshirt junior RHP Will McEntire delivered an equally impressive performance with Bost’s homer being the only damage caused on his watch. Over four innings, he surrendered only two hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
A&M falls to the losers bracket of the double elimination tournament and will take on No. 6 seed South Carolina for the first time this season at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 25.

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