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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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“Don’t let the Ags get hot” — A&M beats Missouri 13-1 for series win

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior SS Hunter Haas (2) crosses home plate to score during Texas A&M’s game against Mizzou at Olsen Field on Thursday, April 13, 2023.

On Tuesday, April 11, the Texas A&M baseball team dropped a 5-1 decision to UTSA in which it mustered up only four hits while surrendering 13 to the Roadrunners.
That was just three days ago, but with how the Aggies have performed in their last two games, it may as well have been three months.
The Maroon and White scored 13 runs in both contests, the latest of which saw them take down Missouri 13-1 in a 13-hit, run-ruled victory on Friday, April 14, at Olsen Field. The win secures the series victory for A&M, improving its SEC standing to 7-7 after a 1-5 start.
As the Aggies’ bats have woken up against the Tigers, the pitching staff has done its part as well, giving up just 11 hits over the past two days. Friday night saw a terrific performance out of the bullpen from junior LHP Evan Aschenbeck, an event that has become commonplace this season.
The Brenham native took over in the third inning for sophomore RHP Josh Stewart and went the distance until the end of the seventh, allowing one run on four hits with eight strikeouts in five frames of work. Stewart began the game on the mound in more of an opener role, in which he was only planned to pitch two or three innings. The Texas transfer went two frames deep with one hit, two walks and a strikeout in his first career start.
“It’s just good to add some guys to the mix that haven’t been a part of the mix in the first month and a half of the season, that’s why you stick with it,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “It could be something we do again, I mean, the guy who starts the game is more than welcome to keep pitching … some of those guys aren’t conditioned right now to throw more than 30 to 45 pitches, so they hit a wall pretty quick, but Josh did a nice job.”
The Aggies’ offense was the story of the game though, bolstered by a 9-run fifth inning that mirrored the team’s 9-run third inning in the 13-5 series-opening win on Thursday, April 14. Junior SS Hunter Haas and junior 1B Jack Moss continued their reign as the team’s top hitters, notching 3-for-5 and 4-for-4 showings, respectively. Haas carries a .379 average, with Moss right behind at .377.
Junior 3B Trevor Werner got the Aggies on the board first in the third inning with a sacrifice fly that plated Haas after his single. Two innings later, though, was when the magic happened.
Junior C Hank Bard led off the bottom of the fifth with a double before a Haas single brought him home. Three batters later, after a Moss single, senior RF Brett Minnich blasted a 2-2 pitch 429 feet off the batter’s eye for a 3-run blast to put A&M on top 5-0.
But the scoring didn’t stop there. The next batter, senior 2B Austin Bost, laced a single before freshman LF Jace LaViolette barreled a pitch 415 feet to the rec center beyond left field to up the Aggies’ edge to 7-0. A&M hit Missouri’s fifth year starting pitcher Rorik Maltrud for seven runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings.
After a pitching change, Haas belted an RBI single to plate junior DH Ryan Targac. Two batters later and with the bases loaded, Werner picked up his next two RBIs with a single to left field. Once the dust settled and the fifth inning came to a close, the Aggies led 10-0.
The Tigers tacked on a run of their own in the top of the sixth off a sacrifice fly from senior 1B Hank Zeisler, the highlight of Missouri’s trips to the plate. A&M’s pitching held the Tigers’ top hitter at .341, fifth year 3B Luke Mann, to an 0-for-3 outing.
The Aggies secured the opportunity for a run-rule triumph in the bottom of the sixth, as LaViolette and Targac each drew walks before a pitching change. Junior CF Travis Chestnut, showing heart over height, welcomed senior RHP Kyle Potthoff to the ballgame with a no-doubt, 3-run homer to the rec center on the first pitch he saw. The Temple College transfer stands just 5’ 7”, but showed serious pop by sending it 441 feet off the bat.
“I’ve always had a decent amount of juice where I’m able to drive the ball out of the park,” Chestnut said. “Obviously, it’s not part of my game, it’s not something i try to do every time, but, I mean, when the situation calls for it … I’ll still get my singles and put down some bunts here and there, but [I’ll] get lucky and hit one over the fence every once in a while.”
Aschenbeck struck out three in the top of the seventh to close out the 13-1 win, improving his record to 5-0 and pushing the Aggies to .500 in conference action for the first time this season. Now having won its past three SEC series, A&M looks to sustain the momentum into a run through SEC play similar to the one it experienced in 2022.
“We’ve been working really hard as a team, I think all these guys have been really grinding and everyone’s putting a lot of work in,” Chestnut said. “Just to get back up there, it’s awesome, it feels good, and we’re going to keep working, hopefully get us a chance in Omaha [, Nebraska].”
The Aggies return to Olsen Field at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, aiming to complete the sweep of the Tigers. Schlossnagle has yet to decide on a starting pitcher, while Missouri will trot out senior RHP Chandler Murphy with a 3-3 record and 4.01 ERA.
“As an offense, we’re just now getting hot,” Minnich said. “I think we’ve got better days ahead of us, just like the pitching staff does. I think as a whole team, we’re starting to turn in the right direction. Don’t let the Ags get hot.”

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About the Contributor
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a senior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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