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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘I don’t want to slow down — I want a national title’

Photo by Robert O’Brien

The Texas A&M baseball team holds up ticket to the College World Series after defeating Louisville, 4-3, on Saturday, June 11.

Texas A&M baseball is headed to the College World Series and only needed two games to do it.

The 98-degree Texas heat sizzled its way into the veins of No. 5 Texas A&M baseball. The sun acted as an oven, baking Olsen Field like a cake. In the presence of that oven, were a mix of the perfect ingredients: bubbles, Pringles and the heart of A&M baseball. It was the result of pure resilience.
The Aggies will now head to Omaha, Neb., with that same mindset and “Where we going?” screams coming from the locker room.

Marking its seventh College World Series appearance in program history, the Aggies were the first 2022 team to punch its ticket to the big stage — doing so in the minimum number of games, five — defeating No. 12 Louisville 4-3 on Saturday, June 11. 

 “I don’t want to slow down,” Jim Schlossnagle said. “I want a national title.”
In one year of the Schlossnagle era, the Aggies have turned the program around 180 degrees. The maroon and white did not even make the SEC Tournament in 2021; now they will play on the biggest stage in college baseball.

“At this point last year, I was in the Texas A&M Hotel Conference Center consistently waking up at 3:30 in the morning in a full body sweat,” Schlossnagle said. “I had just left a place that was so comfortable. I didn’t have a staff and didn’t know the players. To be sitting here going to the College World Series, every single ounce of credit goes to the players.”

Schlossnagle has reached the College World Series five times with TCU, and although each time was special, it took him one year to get A&M there.

“[This is] everything I could have dreamed of when making the move,” Schlossnagle said. “This is life changing for me, and I can’t thank the players enough for making the baseball side of things come true.”

A&M’s fourth and final run came in the seventh inning when graduate left fielder Dylan Rock sacrifice flied out to center field, scoring sophomore third baseman Trevor Werner and placing the Aggies on top. 

However, the Aggies had to start making up for the deficit when Louisville’s designated hitter Dalton Rushing knocked a two-run homer to kick off Game 2 of the super regional.

To cut the deficit to one, Louisville starting pitcher Riley Phillips walked Rock with bases loaded to send a runner home.

Rock’s sacrifice fly was not the only one of the day, as junior designated hitter Austin Bost knocked one into the air to score Werner in the third and tie the ballgame, 2-2

Louisville regained the lead in the fifth, concluding junior righty Micah Dallas’ 14th start on the mound, allowing eight hits and three runs in his 4.2 innings pitched. Sophomore lefty Will Johnston made his 24th appearance this season, and is credited with the win for the day.  

“Before the inning, coach [Schlossnagle] had called the hitters together and said to just get your pitch,” Sophomore second baseman Ryan Targac said. “He said, ‘Don’t try to be the hero. Just trust it.’”

Targac took that advice and ran with it. The “Halletsville Hammer” rocketed a solo home run 462 feet away to tie the ballgame once again.

Rock’s seventh inning sacrifice fly finished the job for the Aggies.

“Coming in, we knew that the pieces were there,” Werner said. “We just needed somebody to bring everybody together. We had the parts, and Coach [Schlossnagle] made us whole. That’s what we were trying to do, and that’s what we will keep doing.”

Louisville compiled 13 hits compared to A&M’s five, but fell into a pattern of leaving runners on first base. The final two innings remained scoreless, and the Aggies secured the win. Freshman righty Brad Rudis and graduate lefty Jacob Palisch, who was credited with the save, closed the remaining 2.2 innings.

The Aggies will now book a flight to Omaha and wait to see who they face on the big stage. 

Paired with the College Station Super Regional is the Blacksburg Super Regional. Texas A&M will play Oklahoma to start the College World Series.

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