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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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Photo by Photo by Abby Collida

Freshman outfielder Zach DeLoach hit the first A&M cycle since Tyler Naquin in 2011. DeLoach is hitting .579 in his first four collegiate games. 

Highlighted by freshman outfielder Zach DeLoach hitting for the cycle, the No. 10 A&M baseball team moved to (4-0) on Tuesday night after a 11-4 win over Stephen F. Austin. DeLoach finished the night batting 4-for-4 and tying the A&M single-game record for runs scored with five.

“Coach told me to set the tone, he told all of us to set the tone really and we came out blazing hot after the five home run game against Rhode Island,” DeLoach said. “Obviously someone’s going to get on a hot streak, but there’s also going to be times where it’s going to be a rollercoaster so you just have to enjoy the time that you can.

The Aggies’ bats overpowered the SFA pitching staff from the game’s inception, with DeLoach hitting a home run to left field on the second pitch of the game to give A&M a 1-0 lead. Sophomore designated hitter Hunter Coleman then drove in junior Michael Helman to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning.

A&M scored a single run in the second via a Helman scorching ground ball double down the third base line driving in DeLoach for his second run of the game. Senior Baine Schoenvogel supplemented the Aggie lead in the bottom of the third with a single to center field, scoring junior Cole Bedford.

SFA got on the board to start the fourth inning with a deep fly ball to left center field. The flood gates opened in the bottom of the fourth and the Aggies extended their lead to 6-1 with runs from DeLoach, Frizzell and Helman.

A&M pitcher Dustin Saenz showed some wear in the top of the fifth, prompting head coach Rob Childress to make a pitching change. Saenz finished the day with four hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched.
“He wasn’t as sharp as we saw in the fall and in the spring, certainly some first game jitters but he got us into the fifth inning and there’s something to be said for that,” Childress said of Saenz. “There are a lot of guys that don’t have the right stuff to get you into the second and he was able to get us into the fifth.”

Junior Nolan Hoffman came in to relieve Saenz and walked the first batter that he saw. However, he then struck out the next batter putting the bats back in the hands of the home team. DeLoach got on base via an RBI double and was driven home by Braden Shewmake’s single to right field for the Aggies two runs in the fifth.

The commanding 8-1 lead allowed A&M head coach Rob Childress to go deeper into his bullpen and get some different pitchers collegiate experience on the mound.

“It’s huge [to get the freshmen some experience], we need to see those guys and as a coach you like to put them out there without as much pressure as they’re going to experience down the road,” Childress said. 

Sophomore Kyle Richardson took the mound in place of Hoffman in the top of the sixth and retired the side, including one strikeout. The Aggies were blanked for the first time all game in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Christian Roa made his collegiate debut in the seventh and made quick work of the Lumberjacks, retiring the side.

DeLoach completed the cycle in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI triple, the first time that an Aggie has done so since Tyler Naquin did so in 2011. Despite knowing he was on the verge of a cycle, DeLoach says that his teammates stayed quiet despite knowing that he was just a triple short of completing the cycle.

“Everyone knows that if someone’s hitting really good then you don’t say anything. Coach Bolt always says to just stick with what you’re doing,” DeLoach said. “You’ve just got to ride the wave I guess.”

Shewmake then plated DeLoach before being thrown out attempting to complete an inside-the-park home run. 

Freshman Mason Cole  made his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery and allowed three hits and three runs in SFA’s explosive top of the eighth inning that narrowed the Aggies lead to 10-4.

The Aggies notched three hits in the bottom of the eight but were only able to cross the plate once due to an inning-ending flyout by Hunter Coleman. George Janca scored the lone run in the eighth for the maroon and white on a passed ball. Landon Miner was the sixth and final pitcher to take the mound for A&M and retired the Lumberjacks in order, clinching an 11-4 win.

DeLoach and Helman have proved to be a lethal 1-2 punch at the top of the order and combined to go 6-of-7 and accounting for eight runs. Childress is excited to have such a potent duo atop his lineup.

“You’ve got a chance to have a special lineup when you have two guys up top that dynamic,” Childress said. “Those two got on base 11 out of 12 times [tonight], I don’t know what else to say, it’s pretty special.”

The Aggies will now host a three-game series against Cornell, in the Bears first series of the season. The series will begin on Friday night with first pitch set for 6:32 p.m.

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