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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Beaten and bruised: Aggies swept by Arkansas

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior 3B Trevor Werner (28) runs towards home plate after freshman LF Jace LaViolette (17) hit a double to left center during Texas A&M’s game against Sam Houston State at Olsen Field on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

It’s hard to have hope against the Hogs at home.
After a close Game 1 that saw Texas A&M baseball lose on a two-run shot from Arkansas junior CF Jace Bohrofen, there was little visible fight from the Aggies. A&M got down big in the middle innings of Game 3, and the Razorbacks held it until the very end to give them the series sweep at home over the Aggies.
Junior LHP Will Johnston got the weekend start for the first time this season and only the third time in his career. Coach Jim Schlossnagle still has yet to settle into a consistent weekend rotation at this point in the season, setting all the starting spots to TBA. Sophomore LHP Troy Wansing got the Thursday start, while junior RHP Nathan Dettmer got the Friday start but left after one inning due to injury.
Johnston started the game hot, striking out the side in the bottom of the first inning, with two of those Ks freezing the batters looking.
A quiet start to the game for both teams was finally interrupted in the bottom of the third frame. To lead off the inning, Arkansas graduate INF John Bolton dropped a push bunt down the right field foul line that neither Johnston nor junior 1B Jack Moss could get to.
In the next at bat, Johnston tried to hold Bolton by throwing back to first, but instead the Roanoke native tossed an errant throw past Moss to advance Bolton to second.
To add salt to the wound, a wild pitch from the left-hander advanced Bolton to third, and, with no outs, a sacrifice fly from Arkansas sophomore UTL Kendall Diggs drew first blood for the Razorbacks.
In a situation all too familiar to Aggie fans this season, the inability to get the final out gave the Razorbacks another run in the inning, as after Arkansas sophomore INF Peyton Stovall struck out, junior INF Caleb Cali singled and stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Bohrofen made Johnston pay, singling to left to stretch the Razorbacks’ lead to two.
Bohrofen had an SEC Player of the Week caliber weekend. The Oklahoma City native hit .667 on the weekend with eight hits, two doubles, a home run and five RBIs.
Senior LHP Matt Dillard came in for Johnston in the fourth and immediately walked senior INF Brady Slavens and junior C Parker Rowland to put two on with no outs. Bolton bunted yet again and was thrown out at first, but not before advancing both runners. Diggs secured himself another RBI on a sacrifice fly, putting the Razorbacks up three runs after four innings.
The nail in A&M’s coffin came in the fifth. Sophomore RHP Chris Cortez came in to pitch and immediately walked Cali. Bohrforen singled next to advance Cali to second, and a single from Arkansas junior INF Ben McLaughlin scored Cali.
Arkansas junior UTL Hunter Grimes bunted in the next at-bat, and a misplayed throw from Cortez to Moss at first base scored Bohrofen and advanced McLaughlin, putting runners on first and second with not a single out secured.
Slavens then drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Rowland struck out to get the Aggies their first out of the inning, but Bolton, as he had all game, dealt a punishing blow to A&M. A single to right field from the Memphis native scored both Grimes and McLaughlin. The throw from senior OF Brett Minnich was not cut off by either Moss nor senior INF Austin Bost, so the throw bounced past third base, allowing Slavens to score unearned. A groundout and a flyout ended the inning, but not before the Razorbacks took a commanding 8-0 lead.
The Aggies did appear to flip a switch past the fifth frame. To respond, A&M scored three runs in the top of the sixth. After a junior INF Trevor Werner strikeout, a Minnich walk and a Bost strikeout, the Aggies had just one runner on with two outs. That was no trouble for freshman OF Jace LaViolette, who singled in the next at-bat to advance Minnich to third. Senior OF Jordan Thompson was hit by a pitch, and the bases were loaded for A&M.
After freshman INF Kaeden Kent got the Saturday start, he was pinch hit for by junior INF Ryan Targac. The switch paid dividends, with the Hallettsville native dropping a soft liner to left field, scoring LaViolette and Minnich.
Freshman C Max Kaufer drew a walk to once again load the bases for the Aggies, and junior INF Hunter Haas was also hit by a pitch to take advantage of one of many self-inflicted Arkansas wounds of the inning. Moss struck out to end the frame, but not before A&M cut the lead back down to five.
In the seventh inning, the Aggies kept clawing back into it. Minnich and Bost reached on a double and a walk, respectively. A wild pitch from Arkansas freshman RHP Ben Bybee put both runners in scoring position, and LaViolette drew Minnich home on a sacrifice fly. Thompson scored Bost with a double, and the lead was cut to just three.
An infield error from Stovall in the eighth eventually led to Haas scoring, creating an air of uncertainty in Baum-Walker Stadium as A&M was only within two.
The air went from uncertainty to near panic for the Razorbacks in the top of the ninth. LaViolette took a pitch over 380 feet to right field to lead off the inning, giving the Aggies a chance to tie the game with just one more run.
Arkansas fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief in the end, as, despite the home run, a Thompson flyout, Targac groundout and a Kaufer strikeout sealed the sweep for the Razorbacks.
A&M will not have long to lick their wounds. After taking on Tarleton State on Tuesday, May 2, the Aggies welcome the No.4 Florida Gators to Olsen Field on Friday, May 5.

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