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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Boomer White homers in first at-bat as Texas A&M beats Hofstra 5-2

Photo by Photo by: Kathryn Perez

The Aggies celebrate with their teammate Boomer White after he hit a home run.

Before Texas A&M’s opening game on Friday night, it had been about 20 months since Boomer White had last played in a college baseball game.
However, it didn’t take long for the TCU transfer to make up for lost time and make an impact for his new team. In the first inning, in his first at-bat as an Aggie, White launched a fastball over the left-field fence to give A&M an early lead.
“I ran into one on my first swing,” White, who endured a nose bleed after bumping chests with teammate Ryne Birk following his homer, said after the game. “You couldn’t script it any better, I was so excited and overcome with emotion.”
The Aggies were able to hold off the visiting Hofstra Pride, scoring one run in five different innings and winning 5-2. In addition to White’s dinger, Birk drove in two runs on sacrifice flies and JB Moss hit two leadoff triples and scored two runs.
“I was proud of our guys, we played like a veteran bunch should play,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said.
Starting pitcher Kyle Simonds (1-0) struggled early, but battled through five innings and managed to limit the damage on two different occasions. He allowed four hits in the second inning but escaped a bases-loaded situation by striking out Tom Archer and then snaring a chopper up the middle and tossing to first for the third out.
The third inning started inauspiciously as well, with Hofstra’s David Leiderman leading off the frame with a double and Steven Foster following with an RBI single. But Foster was quickly erased when he wondered too far off of first base and Simonds tagged him out in a rundown, and then Simonds bore down and got the next two batters out to end the inning.
“He wasn’t very sharp, but being the veteran he is he battled,” Childress said of Simonds’ performance. “He got us through five innings, which is what a senior should do, and the bullpen was outstanding.”
Moss said that Simonds’ gritty effort did not go unnoticed to the rest of the team.
“I thought Kyle was really good for us,” he said. “He could have folded. He didn’t have his best stuff, he wasn’t as good as he wanted to be, but for him to get through five innings, I was real proud of him.
“He showed a lot of toughness keeping the damage to a minimum, so that was huge for us early in the game.”
Brigham Hill relieved Simonds, who threw 46 of his 63 pitches for strikes, in the sixth inning and was very effective for 2.1 innings. The sophomore righty from Nacogdoches efficiently mixed his fastball and changeup, allowing three hits and striking out two.
The Aggies didn’t miss their opportunities on offense. Every time they got a runner to third base with less than two outs, they found a way to score him. Walker Pennington drove in Hunter Melton with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, and then Michael Barash singled home Melton in the sixth to stretch the lead to 5-2.
Ryan Hendrix entered the game with one out in the eighth inning after Hill surrendered a single, and he was his usual dominant self. He repeatedly popped the catcher’s mitt with fastballs – 14 of his 21 pitches were clocked at 95 miles per hour or more and he topped out at 97 mph – but also mixed in a few filthy breaking pitches that kept the Hofstra hitters off balance.
“I’m glad to get the first one out of the way,” Childress said. “We’ve got a chance to win the series tomorrow and that’s what our expectations are.”
The Aggies will play Hofstra again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on SEC Network Plus.

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