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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Dettmer, Palisch star on mound in massive win over No. 3 Arkansas

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Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore third baseman Trevor Werner (28) and sophomore pitcher Xavier Lovett (20) Gig ’em as fireworks go off at Olsen Field on Friday, April 22, 2022.

This weekend conference series at home against No. 3 Arkansas, with Texas A&M on a stretch of solid play against ranked teams, arrived with high levels of anticipation for first-year coach Jim Schlossnagle.
Game 1 saw the Aggies come away with a narrow 2-1 win as sophomore righty Nathan Dettmer made his 10th start of the year after an eight-inning, five-hit and nine-strikeout performance against Georgia a week ago. In a Friday, April 22 sold-out crowd environment, Dettmer and graduate southpaw Jacob Palisch displayed masterful pitching performances that carried A&M to perhaps its most important win of 2022.
“The guys who pitched tonight have been pitching well for us all season,” Schlossnagle said. “[Nathan] Dettmer was great tonight, but [Jacob] Palisch was outstanding.”
The start to the series was quiet as Dettmer and Arkansas’ starter, senior Connor Noland, got through two frames without allowing a baserunner. By the start of the fifth inning, the Razorbacks had only two hits. A&M was being no-hit by Noland into the bottom of the fourth, but miscues from Arkansas played to the maroon and white’s advantage.
Graduate outfielder Dylan Rock reached first on an error and went to second after the throw on the play went into the stands, putting the first man in scoring position of the night with no outs. After getting to third on a groundout, Rock scored to put A&M ahead on a base hit from graduate catcher Troy Claunch.
Two batters later, the bases were loaded with two outs for graduate shortstop Kole Kaler, who drew a walk that put the Aggies up by a pair with the 12th Man raining down its patented ball chant, which got up to seven, at Noland.
“Winning a game like that with two [total] hits, it takes a lot of grit, and I think we showed grit on the mound and in the box tonight,” Claunch said. “We’ve had really good offense lately, but it’s good to see that we can [both hit and pitch well].”
The 2-0 A&M lead stayed true into the sixth as Dettmer and Noland worked clean and easy innings. But, the Razorbacks were able to get a couple of men on with no outs to put some pressure on Dettmer and force Schlossnagle to go to the bullpen for Palisch.
A fielder’s choice put men on the corners with an out, and Palisch got a huge second out on a strikeout. But, Arkansas dumped a base hit into shallow center field for its first run. That lead would be taken into the seventh, but Palisch allowed the first two men he faced to get on second and third.
He showed incredible resolve by getting back-to-back punchouts and inducing a pop-out to get out of the inning unscathed. His two-inning stretch punctuated one of the most impressive relief appearances by an A&M pitcher this year.
But, that was just a part of the remarkable performance he turned in on Friday night. The 2-1 lead went into the top of the ninth where Palisch once again took the mound to try and get the four-inning save and win. The 6-foot-4 lefty got a flyout, struck out the next Razorback and, on his 56th pitch of the night, set down a pinch-hitter with a routine fly out in front of Section 12 to send Blue Bell Park into a frenzy.
“Coming out of the bullpen, you’re going to be put in some weird situations, and really all it is, is collecting outs,” Palisch said. “I know I’ve got eight of the best defenders out there behind me, and that makes it honestly pretty easy.”
The 2-1 Game 1 win, which snapped a seven-game Arkansas win streak, puts the Aggies at 9-7 in conference play, 24-13 overall and 8-2 against ranked teams. A&M has also gone 8-2 in its last 10 games and now stands just two games out of the top spot in the SEC West.
“Good teams win in a variety of ways,” Schlossnagle said.
Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 on SEC Network+, with the series wrapping up Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Schlossnagle also said that he planned on starting Palisch in the Sunday, April 24 game, but after tonight’s outing, there’ll have to be a different pitcher to start. Schlossnagle said he had not decided who that would be yet.

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