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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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Cougar containment

No. 1 A&M’s lineup cruises along in 13-11 win over Houston
Photo by Photo by Hannah Harrison
Texas A&M 3B Gavin Grahovac (9) celebrating a home run during Texas A&M’s game against The University of Houston on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 at Olsen Field (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

Relentless. Inevitable. Booming.

Those are just some of the words that can be used to describe Texas A&M baseball’s lineup and how it’s performed so far this season.

And when the Maroon and White hosted the Houston Cougars on Tuesday night, the team’s offense did what it does best: dominate.

After another series victory against the No. 18 Alabama Crimson Tide over the weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, No. 1 A&M looked to keep the ball rolling and stay undefeated in midweek tilts this year.

The Cougars entered the game with a 20-20 record so far in their first season in the Big 12, and they began the game with three straight hits to take a 1-0 lead, and Houston would eventually score three runs total in the first.

Its lead didn’t last long, however, as the Aggies put up a five-spot in the second to make it 5-3. They scored three of those runs with help from the Cougars, with two coming home via wild pitch and one from a throwing error.

In the next inning, graduate DH Hayden Schott went the other way for a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left field that made it 8-3 for the Aggies.

And to follow that up, freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac smashed a two-run jack that went 397 feet and extended the A&M lead to 10-4 in the fourth.

Despite sophomore CF Jace LaViolette and junior RF Braden Montgomery going a combined 2-for-10, A&M was able to find different contributors from all throughout the lineup. Freshman LF Caden Sorrell, who hit eighth, had four hits in four at-bats; in addition, hitters six through nine combined for six RBIs.

“I saw the ball great today … one through nine, we’ve all got just relentless guys,” Sorrell said.

The Maroon and White have now scored at least nine runs in their last eight games, and they’ve reached the double-digit mark in six of those matchups.

A&M was not done with its scoring barrage, however. It tacked on one run each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, and this pushed the lead to 12-4. The team scored in six of the eight innings it batted in as well.

Houston, however, refused to go quietly. The Cougars made it a game in the eighth when senior 2B Harold Coll hit a three-run home run to left that cut the A&M lead to 13-11. Freshman RHP Jett Johnston allowed five runs in the inning.

The Aggies’ pitching staff had a rocky night overall. After freshman RHP Brett Antolick, who made his first start, allowed three runs in the first inning, the rest of the pitchers that coach Jim Schlossnagle turned to allowed a total of eight runs the rest of the way, two of which were unearned. He used a total of nine pitchers in this game.

“We better pitch better,” Schlossnagle said. “And I think we will … you gotta keep improving so that when the games matter the most, you’re at your best.”

The A&M staff was also using contact to collect outs in this game, as the team had just seven strikeouts.

Senior LHP Evan Ashenbeck collected the last four outs for the Aggies, and he allowed no runs and two hits to finally give the Maroon and White the victory.

While a win is a win, the performance by the pitching staff was not good to say the least. Houston’s 11 runs are the most runs that A&M has allowed in a midweek matchup so far this season. It has also allowed 35 runs in its last four games.

The Aggies have yet another ranked matchup this weekend when they host the No. 20 Georgia Bulldogs for a three-game series. Game 1 will be on Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

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