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The Battalion

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Doxakis delivers dandy, Aggies down No. 12 Baylor, 5-2

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Photo by Meredith Seaver

Junior pitcher John Doxakis threw for eight innings against the Baylor Bears including 12 strikeouts and a 0.43 era.

HOUSTON — Texas A&M took down old foe and No. 12 Baylor, 5-2, Friday night at Minute Maid Park as the Aggies (9-2) used a big fourth inning at the plate to back John Doxakis’ masterful outing on the mound.
Doxakis delivered another dandy on the bump, tossing 8.0 innings and scattering four hits after giving up an unearned run in the top of the first inning. The junior tied his career-high strikeout total (12) during a memorable start in his hometown Houston.
“Unbelievable,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said summing up Doxakis’ outing. “Dox was masterful. Three-pitch mix against a really good, really mature offense in Baylor.”
Baylor came into the game super slugging, averaging .375 as a team, which was third nationally. Doxakis admitted he was a little nervous, but him and closer Kasey Kalich fooled the Bears’ batters as they went a combined 6-for-30 (.200). Doxakis said Baylor knew he would lean on his slider, so he mixed in more change-ups to keep batters off balanced.
“It was kind of scary, honestly,” Doxakis said of facing the ferocious Bears’ lineup. “This is a hard game to hit in. They rake, so we knew we just had to mix it up well and locate.”
During the Aggies’ second time through the order, they got to Baylor starter Hayden Kettler, who came into the game without a run allowed in two starts, as A&M batted around in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs. After the big inning, Baylor pulled Kettler, who had his worst start in three outings all season. His 0.00 ERA was lifted to 2.65 after throwing four tough innings.
“Had a really nice fourth inning, from an offensive standpoint,” Childress said. “Felt like we found the barrel a lot more tonight than maybe we have the last few games.”
Junior shortstop Braden Shewmake continued his upwards trend, belting his first home run of the season, a 2-run shot off the top of the fence in left field. Shewmake finished the day 2-for-4, adding a double to right-centerfield.
“The coaches have done a great job to make me and the rest of the guys trust your swing, trust your hands. You have a great swing. You’re here for a reason. We know if we can trust our stuff and swing at the right pitches, great things will happen for us,” Shewmake said.
The Bears tried to mount a ninth-inning comeback, scratching a run across, but Kasey Kalich didn’t let the win slip away, striking out the final three batter to strand two runners in scoring position.
“When I went out to visit him [in the ninth] I wanted to see the look in his eyes,” Childress said of Kalich. “There was no back down in his look.”
Baylor struck first in the top of the first, scoring a runner from third on a sacrifice fly to right field on a diving catch by Logan Foster. The Bears were aided on a wild pitch during the at-bat, one of Doxakis’ few blemishes of the night, allowing the runner to move only 90 feet from home.
The Bears’ lead was short-lived though, as Houston native Bryce Blaum led off the bottom half of the first with a line drive homer over the fence in deep left field, tying the game.
“We give that run away with a two-strike wild pitch,” Childress said. “[Blaum] starts the game and grabs the momentum right back to our dugout. Dox settled in and it was a great ballgame.”
A&M continues play at the College Classic Saturday night against TCU. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.

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