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

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • June 18, 2024

There’s nothing quite like Omaha when June rolls around.  Fans from across the country head to Charles Schwab Field to watch their teams...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024
Advertisement
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

Davidson doing the improbable heading into Super Regionals

Davidson+senior+pitcher+Durin+OLinger%26%23160%3Bpicked+up+a+win+and+a+save+over+No.+2+North+Carolina+at+last+weekends+Chapel+Hill+Regional%2C+sending+the+Wildcats+to+their+first+Super+Regional+appearance.
Photo by Courtesy: Tim Cowie – Tim Cowie Photography

Davidson senior pitcher Durin O’Linger picked up a win and a save over No. 2 North Carolina at last weekend’s Chapel Hill Regional, sending the Wildcats to their first Super Regional appearance.

Davidson head coach Dick Cooke didn’t know if it was even mathematically possible for the Wildcats to make it to the conference tournament when they traveled to face UMass in the final series of the regular season.
And after dropping game one of the series-opening doubleheader, then staring at a 5-0 deficit going into the ninth in game two, Cooke began to ponder the worst – the season’s end the next day.
“Only seven of the 13 [teams] go [to the conference tournament] and we were 11-10 going into that series,” Cooke recalled. “As a coach, you kind of think, worst case scenario, you kind of plan ahead a little bit. I’m thinking if we lose this, means we’ve got to win tomorrow, even then I don’t know if we’re in.”
Then out of nowhere, the Wildcats belted four home runs, scoring seven runs in the top of the ninth to win 7-5. The next day, Davidson took a 5-2 win in 10 innings.
“Nothing, nothing through nine, win in the tenth, scored five in the tenth,” Cooke said. “I shake hands with our assistants at 13-11 and say, ‘Are we in?’”
After a few other games played out and a loss by a team in a tie with Davidson, the Wildcats were in – in as the 6-seed, but in.
Despite falling into the loser’s bracket after a loss to top-seed VCU, Davidson rallied to beat the Rams twice in one day in the A-10 Championship Game, earning the first NCAA Tournament berth in school-history.
“To go there and win a few elimination games, especially as a senior, it’s so cool to just keep the baseball career alive,” right fielder Will Robertson said.


While the Wildcats were able to find the right equation to get into the A-10 Tournament and eventually the NCAA Tournament, senior pitcher Durin O’Linger, who has plans to begin pharmacy school after the season, may have found the formula to make their run a little longer.
O’Linger’s season numbers are solid (9-3, 2.89), but his postseason numbers are remarkable. The right-hander threw 22.1 innings in five appearances, including two starts, hurling a whopping 364 pitches during A-10 Tournament and Regional play – an 11-day span.
Overall, O’Linger is 3-0 during the postseason and picked up a save against North Carolina, which sent the Wildcats to the Super Regionals.
“It’s crazy what adrenaline will give you,” O’Linger said of his postseason play. “I just like to go out there and compete. It’s been a lot of fun to see my college career get extended a little longer.”
NBA-star Stephen Curry is arguably Davidson’s most famous alumni and Robertson said O’Linger is the Curry of the Wildcats’ baseball team, but noted he doesn’t quite have the baby face of Steph.
“He’s the story right now,” Robertson said of O’Linger. “I think he’s a great story for all of college sports, just if you get to know him and know what he’s done academically and as a leader.”
Hidden behind Davidson’s magical journey lies A&M’s run of their own. Even with the underdog spotlight shining away from the once 3-seed Aggies, they realize the feat they accomplished, but still recognize that the Wildcats are not to be taken lightly.
“Everybody has talked about Davidson being the Cinderella, yet we were one of the last four in and we we’re the ones who went on the road and found a way to win,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “They took down the No. 2 national seed, so you can spin it however you want – Davidson’s an incredibly talented team, playing incredibly well… We know what we’re in for.”
Now that Davidson has ventured into further uncharted waters, the Wildcats are tasked with playing the mental game against the notorious Raggies of Olsen Field.
Cooke jokingly said he doesn’t know if the A&M hecklers compare to the fans who stand on the right field deck at the Wildcat’s Wilson Field.
“Get about 20 or 30 fraternity guys out there,” Robertson said of Davidson’s devious bunch. “They can kind of single-out the right fielder, but I don’t know if they can make a place shake like A&M fans.”
Considering Wilson Field holds a modest 700 fans, Davidson will be in for a treat with a sold-out Olsen Field that holds over 10 times the amount of people at Wilson.
The Wildcats are no stranger to the big stage, however, having played at North Carolina just this past weekend and making a mid-week stop at South Carolina earlier this year.
Even with all the stories and videos, Davidson’s players feel they will be fine come first pitch.
“I can’t speak for them, but I guess we’ll find out if they’re ready tomorrow,” A&M right fielder Blake Kopetsky said.
While Davidson will try to solve the next piece of their postseason puzzle, the Aggies are searching for a similar answer, having fallen in the Super Regionals each of the past two years.
Now back at home on the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, the Aggies are locked and loaded hoping this time is their time to reach Omaha.
“I’m just glad we have the opportunity to be here again with a chance to go to Omaha and compete for a national championship,” A&M centerfielder Nick Choruby said. “We had that opportunity the last two years… Third time is hopefully going to be the charm for us.
“Davidson’s a dangerous team and everybody knows that. I definitely don’t want to go through what we went through the last two years again.”
A&M and Davidson begin the College Station Super Regional Friday afternoon with first pitch set for 2:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *