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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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One step away
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Bayou blowout

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+OF+Jace+LaViolette+%2817%29+reacts+to+his+home+run+during+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Georgia+on+Saturday%2C+April+27%2C+2024%2C+at+Olsen+Field.+%28CJ+Smith%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by CJ Smith
Texas A&M OF Jace LaViolette (17) reacts to his home run during A&M’s game against Georgia on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

Adversity.

That’s something that coach Jim Schlossnagle and Texas A&M baseball haven’t faced a lot this season.

After dropping the first two games of this weekend’s series against LSU at Alex Box Stadium, A&M looked completely out of sorts. This was just the second series the team had failed to win all year long, with the first coming at the hands of the Florida Gators back in the middle of March.

So with the last game of the set on Sunday afternoon, the Aggies decided it was time to stop the bleeding and get back into the groove that got them the No. 1 ranking they received many weeks ago.

The Maroon and White fell behind early in this game, unlike the first two. After junior LF Josh Pearson tacked on an RBI in the third inning that scored junior 3B Tommy White, the Tigers were up to a 3-0 lead.

Then, the Aggies finally exploded in the fifth inning. It started with senior 2B Travis Chestnut drove in a run to get A&M on the board, followed by a three-run homer to straight away center field by freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac, who now has 17 home runs on the year.

A&M batted around in the top of the fifth, and the inning finally came to a close after Grahovac drove in another run to give the Aggies a 9-3 advantage.

In the top of the ninth, sophomore 1B Kaeden Kent was sent to the plate by Schlossnagle to pinch hit for redshirt freshman 1B Blake Binderup with the bases loaded. Kent sent his first home run of the season into the right field seats for a grand slam that made it 13-3.

Sophomore CF Jace LaViolette also got in on the homer party. After he struck out in his first four plate appearances in the game, the power lefty crushed a solo shot to center field that extended the lead to 14-3. LaViolette is now at a team-leading 25 home runs this year.

Pitching this weekend wasn’t necessarily a highlight for the Aggies, but they got the job done in this game. Junior RHP Chris Cortez, who was given the win in this game, came in and relieved junior RHP Tanner Jones after he allowed three runs in 2.2 innings. Cortez pitched a brilliant 4.1 frames, and he allowed one hit and two walks to go with six strikeouts, giving the Aggies a fantastic relief appearance out of the bullpen.

Senior LHP Evan Ashenbeck tossed the final two innings for the Aggies, allowing one run and two hits. Sophomore 1B Jared Jones flew out to left field for the Tigers for the final out of the game to give A&M a booming 14-4 win.

While it was an overall disappointing weekend in Baton Rouge for the Maroon and White, they were still able to nab their 40th win of the season, and they seemingly got the bats hot again with another double-digit scoring game. The team will most likely lose its top ranking, but it has newfound momentum going into the final stretch of the regular season.

Up next, the Aggies will play their final midweek matchup of the year when they host Rice on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m.

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