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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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June 16, 2024

DeLoach’s walk-off single lifts Aggies over Rhode Island

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Photo by Photo by Abby Collida

Junior Allonte Wingate runs to home base to seal a win for the Aggies. 

After a strong performance against Rhode Island on Opening Night, the No. 11 A&M baseball team got off to a bit of a slow start in their second game on Saturday. Freshman RHP Chandler Jozwiak allowed four hits and three earned runs in just three innings pitched.

“I felt like when traffic got on the bases he [Jozwiak] got into some trouble. He was a little bit tentative and that’s what a freshman does sometimes,” head coach Rob Childress said.

The Aggies started the scoring off in the bottom of the first as sophomore shortstop Braden Shewmake skyed a sacrifice fly ball to right field, driving in freshman center fielder Zach DeLoach. Rhode Island then scored a run in the second and two in the third, to take a 3-1 lead after three innings.

Sophomore pitcher John Doxakis took the reins from there and looked like he was in midseason form, notching eight strikeouts and allowing just two hits in six innings. 

“I had been struggling a little in the spring and I went to some of my teammates Stephen Kolek and Kaylor Chafin and they just told me to trust everything and get it going, so I’ve got to give this one to them,” Doxakis said.

Doxakis was extremely dominant and it was evident that the game would be decided by whether the maroon and white could get some run support to help him. A&M got that run support in the bottom of the eighth as junior Michael Helman led the inning off with a single which brought Shewmake to the plate.

Shewmake then smashed a triple to right center field and drove Helman home. Despite having Shewmake on third and no outs, A&M was unable to drive him in and the Aggies trailed 3-2 going in to the top of the ninth.

Doxakis again blanked Rhode Island, bringing the Aggies back to the plate, trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth.

Sophomore Logan Foster started off the inning with a single to center field. Childress then decided to bring junior transfer Allonte Wingate in to pinch hit for Aaron Walters.

In his first career at bat for the Aggies, Wingate attempted to lay down a bunt three times but was unable to successfully do so. With two strikes, he cocked back and hit a screaming ground ball in the gap between first and second base. 

“Not getting the sac bunt down was devastating but that’s just the way it went. You’ve got to compete and keep going. I was just looking to stay flat and get a job done in a way I couldn’t do before,” Wingate said.

Zach Deloach then came to the plate for the Aggies with one out and hit a walkoff single to center field, driving Wingate and Foster home to clinch a 4-3 A&M win.

“That was one of the best feelings I’ve had playing baseball to just be in a situation where you come in off the bench and help the team,” Wingate said of running around the bases for the game-winning run.

Despite, the magical end to the game, Childress recognized that this wasn’t his team’s strongest performance.

“A lot of things weren’t going our way tonight and give Rhode Island credit. Their pitchers are older guys and they made pitches when they needed to make pitches. We had a lot of traffic on the bases and at one point I think we were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position,” Childress said.

The Aggies will return to Olsen Field tomorrow in the final game of the series against Rhode Island. First pitch is scheduled for noon and junior RHP Mitchell Kilkenny is set to take the mound for the Aggies.
 

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