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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Inexperienced but ready

Sophomore+Ronnie+Gideon+ranks+third+on+the+team+in+RBIs+with+26.
Photo by Cody Franklin
Sophomore Ronnie Gideon ranks third on the team in RBIs with 26.

This year’s narrative for sports has followed a common story line: a team doesn’t necessarily need experience to be at the top.

Let’s look at Ohio State for example. The Buckeyes rummaged through three quarterbacks, including Cardale Jones, who didn’t start a down until the 13th game of the season. A little over a month later, the sophomore hoisted a national championship trophy over his shoulders, and was projected high in the draft before deciding to return.

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari experimented with this phenomenon recently, and gathered a national title and four Final Four appearances in the process with the Wildcats.

Even Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who historically features teams with seasoned veterans and chemistry, won the national championship last night with his youngest team in his 35 years of coaching the Blue Devils.

Rob Childress and the No. 1 Texas A&M baseball team fits in well with this narrative.

Blake Allemand, Mitchell Nau and Jason Freeman are the only players that were a part of the 2011 College World Series squad. Leadership was needed coming in to this season, and it was surely provided.

Over the weekend, Texas A&M became the first collegiate baseball team to reach 30 wins, securing its spot at No. 1 in the country. This is no coincidence, for the Aggies have shown all the right tools to prove its top-ranked position.

A relatable story that could explain the Aggie’s success is the Louisville basketball team of 2012-2013. In the Elite Eight, Cardinals guard Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome injury in the national spotlight against Duke. Moving forward, Louisville used that as inspiration, and the Cardinals eventually won the title game. Similarly, A&M faced adversity with the loss of two weekend pitchers, Tyler Stubblefield (ACL) right before the season, and AJ Minter (Tommy John surgery) in the midst of this season.

Nevertheless, A&M ranks second in the country in ERA at 2.03. Childress’ recruiting success and defensive mindedness gave him the luxury to bring in arms at the level of the players lost to injury.

But the credit doesn’t fully go towards the pitching staff, and that’s what makes the Aggies top notch. The A&M hitting is just as good, if not better, than the pitching with the deepness of the lineup. Every Aggie hitter in the order has collected a home run, with Ronnie Gideon and Logan Taylor leading the way with six apiece. Eight players also have 20 or more RBIs, while seven are batting more than a .300. Through April 1, A&M stood at No. 5 as a team in batting average.

An even spread is A&M’s strong suit on both sides, but it has specific players that can step up when it matters the most. Nick Banks bats a .431, ranking fourth among all player. Two of the Aggies weekend pitchers, Grayson Long and Matt Kent, remain undefeated at 6-0 each, aiding in only allowing five home runs and 87 total runs all season, which both rank best in the SEC.

The Aggies boast a 30-2 record after opening the season 24-0 as they host the No. 15 Rice Owls at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A&M remains undefeated in midweek series, despite usually throwing out freshmen in Turner Larkins and Brigham Hill, proving again that experience isn’t everything. This game provides the Aggies with their first ranked opponent in a midweek series, and a win with a freshman at the mound could add to the bevy of impressive feats collected this year.

The young, promising Aggies came into this season with one goal on their mind: making the College World Series again. Despite losing two of its best players and calling on freshmen and sophomores for help, A&M has shown the nation that their season might just end with something more: a title shot.

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  • Sophomore Nick Banks slides safely into third base against Missouri.

    Photo by Vanessa Pena
  • Freshman pitcher Brigham Hill is 1-0 on the season.

    Photo by Cody Franklin
  • Freshman pitcher Turner Larkins lifted the Aggies to a 4-1 win over Houston Baptist.

    Photo by Tanner Garza
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