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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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Georgia bites back to even series against A&M

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Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior pitcher Jacob Palisch (33) throws a pitch during the seventh inning of opening day at Blue Bell Park on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

After being down for most of the game, Texas A&M baseball finally started to build momentum against No. 10 Georgia in the top of the ninth. With the Aggies within one, graduate catcher Troy Claunch stepped to the plate with two on and two out. Claunch worked the count to three balls and two strikes against senior Georgia reliever Jack Gowen. The decisive pitch came, and unfortunately for the Aggies, Claunch swung and missed at a high fastball to even the series for the Bulldogs.
As had been the case for most of the game, A&M was unable to get the decisive hit to turn the tide of the game and ultimately fell to Georgia 4-3.
It didn’t help matters that Georgia knocked freshman starter Chris Cortez out of the game after only two innings of work, allowing seven Georgia hitters to reach base in his outing. All of the traffic resulted in three runs in favor of Georgia.
Graduate relief pitcher Jacob Palisch came on to finish off the third inning but ended up surrendering a run of his own to give Georgia an early 4-0 lead. On the bright side for Palisch, he kept the Aggies within striking distance. In relief, he threw five crucial innings of one-run ball.
A&M made life difficult for sophomore Georgia starter Luke Wagner but only managed to score one run, despite getting five hits and a pair of walks in his four innings of work. A&M’s offense continued to stagnate until a two-out double from graduate infielder Kole Kaler decreased Georgia’s lead to 4-2.
With A&M’s pitching holding serve, the game’s outcome was coming down to the team’s offense.
However, it was Georgia’s lackluster defense that gave A&M an opportunity in the ninth inning. The error resulted in A&M scoring another run to get the score to 4-3. However, Georgia was able to eventually stifle A&M’s rally to even the weekend conference series. The loss dropped the Aggies’ record to 21-13, and 7-7 in conference play.
A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said he was proud of the way A&M stayed competitive after Georgia jumped out to an early lead.
“[It was a] good ball game,” Schlossnagle said. “I thought Palisch did an awesome job keeping us in it. [Our] offense fought back to bring the go-ahead run on base with a 3-2 count and two outs, [and we] had the right guy at the plate. Got to give [the Bulldogs] credit for making the pitches that they need to make.”
A consolation prize for the Aggies is they still have another opportunity to win the series on Saturday, April 15 against a talented Bulldog squad. First pitch at Foley Field in Athens, Ga., is set for 3 p.m.

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