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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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Photo by Robert O’Brien

Freshman RHP Ty Sexton (37) pitches from the mound during Texas A&M’s game against Sam Houston State at Olsen Field on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

After going on the road and taking a series from No. 11 Kentucky, Texas A&M appeared as if it would coast into their weekend matchup with momentum after a weekday matchup against Sam Houston State.

Instead, the Aggies will need to rebound after being trounced 9-2 at the hands of the Bearkats on Tuesday, April 25. The conference series this weekend will not be easy to use as a bounce back, as A&M hits the road to face off against No. 7 Arkansas.

“You have to move on from games, whether you win or lose them,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said at media availability on Wednesday, April 26. “This is a veteran team, they know that. So, I think we’ll be fine.”

Both A&M and Arkansas dropped their midweek games against mid-major opponents, with the Razorbacks falling to Missouri State 8-4.

“We need guys to step up everywhere really,” senior OF Brett Minnich said. “Our offense was abysmal last night, pitching was all right. Would have liked to get off the field with two outs, but you know, stuff like that happens, it’s baseball. We’ve got to win the free bases, that’s been our thing all year.”

Arkansas sits one game behind LSU in the SEC West standings with a record of 11-7, meaning a series win would help bolster the resume of the currently fourth-place Aggies.

The Razorbacks and the Aggies are statistically similar. Both teams are in the bottom half of league batting average, earned run average, hits, home runs and total bases.

The alarming statistic for A&M is Arkansas’ home and away record. The Razorbacks struggle on the road with a 3-7 record, but at Baum-Walker Stadium, Arkansas is an impressive 25-3. The Razorbacks have only dropped one conference game at home in their series against Alabama.

“It’s exciting to go into this atmosphere,” Schlossnagle said. “I’ve never played a game in Fayetteville as a part of an SEC school. Anytime I’ve been a part of games up there is in a regional, and it was amazing then. That’s why you come into this league, is to be a part of playing great teams in great atmospheres in front of great fans. As I’ve said many times, this is the big leagues of college baseball.”

The Aggies need to, once again, get enough production from the bullpen to keep them in the series. The weekend’s entire starting rotation is now to be determined, similar to the prior three weekends where the Saturday and Sunday starters have been game-time decisions but now with junior RHP Nathan Dettmer no longer solidified into the opening slot.

“Wansing and Dettmer, one of those two guys will throw the first and second game,” Schlossnagle said. “Not sure what the combination is going to be yet, [I] want to get Nathan on the bullpen mound. I think there’s some things him and coach Yeskie want to work on. That’ll determine when he pitches.”

The series win against Kentucky on the road was due in large part to the performance from the A&M pitching staff. While not a dominant outing from the bullpen, allowing 10 runs in the Saturday doubleheader, it allowed the red-hot Aggie bats to keep them in both games and secure the series.

“It was a step forward, [Wansing] still gave up nine hits in five innings,” Schlossnagle said. “Some of those balls hit hard, some not, but he didn’t walk anybody. I thought he was in command of his emotions, in command of his delivery, for the most part he was in command of the ball.”

First pitch for the series will be on Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m., at Baum-Walker Stadium. The game can be streamed on ESPNU.

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