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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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Career nights from Werner, LaViolette carry A&M to 11-5 win over Alabama

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Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior 3B Trevor Werner (28) slides into third base during Texas A&M’s game against UTRGV at Olsen Field on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

Before the Olsen Field sky was lit up with postgame fireworks, the Texas A&M baseball team did so first with its bats.
Junior 3B Trevor Werner mashed a trio of 2-run home runs to lead A&M to an 11-5 series-opening victory over Alabama. The Houston native wasn’t alone in his accomplishments, as he was followed by freshman RF Jace LaViolette, who added two long balls of his own as the Aggies hosted a slugfest on Friday, May 12.
A&M jumped on sophomore RHP Luke Holman early, tacking him for six runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter in 4.1 innings despite entering the contest with a sub-4.00 earned run average. Junior RHP Nathan Dettmer got the starting nod for the maroon and white, surrendering four runs on five hits with two strikeouts in 4.2 frames.
The Aggies struck first in the opening inning, as senior DH Brett Minnich snuck a fly ball just over the left field wall for a 2-run blast. Minnich returned to the lineup for the first time in four games after suffering a separated shoulder that will likely limit him to the designated hitter position for the foreseeable future.
The Crimson Tide cut the lead in half in the following frame, as talented freshman DH Colby Shelton launched his 17th homer of the season to left-center field to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
Werner picked up his first home run of the game in the bottom of the third on another fly ball that got caught in the wind and carried over the left field wall to up the A&M lead to 4-1.
However, Alabama made it a brand new ballgame in the fifth as Shelton led off with his second jack of the day and 18th of the season before a 2-run shot from junior 3B Bryce Eblin tied it at 4. Afterwards, junior LHP Evan Aschenbeck took over for Dettmer in relief, where he would give up just one unearned run over three innings with two punchouts.
The Aggies responded with five unanswered runs over the next three innings to take a lead they’d hold onto for the win. After a leadoff walk from junior SS Hunter Haas to kickstart the bottom of the fifth, Werner went deep for the second time 355 feet to left field to grab a 6-4 advantage.
LaViolette got in on the fun with a leadoff long ball 420 feet off the center field camera stand to lead off the bottom of the sixth. After Haas led off the home half of the seventh with a single, Werner completed the hat trick with a 2-run blast 417 feet off the batter’s eye to give the Aggies a 9-4 edge. His three home runs tie the A&M single-game record, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Dell Lindsey did so in 1999.
The Crimson Tide picked up a run in the eighth with the help of a throwing error from senior 2B Austin Bost after a single by redshirt junior RF Andrew Pinckney. The run marked the end of Aschenbeck’s night, although the Brenham native finished the contest with the win, his seventh of the year, and lowered his ERA to 3.35.
In the bottom of the eighth, LaViolette added to a historic performance by the Aggies with his second round-tripper of the night and team-leading 14th of the 2023 campaign. Up 10-5, A&M wasn’t done yet, as junior 1B Jack Moss’ RBI single plated sophomore PH Tab Tracy and capped the 11-5 triumph.
The Aggies look to pick up their fifth-straight win and return to .500 in SEC action on Saturday, May 13, for the second game of the series against the Crimson Tide. Sophomore LHP Troy Wansing will get the starting nod for A&M, while senior RHP Garrett McMillan will take the mound for Alabama. First pitch at Olsen Field is set for 12 p.m.

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