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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Janca produces all over field as A&M earns first SEC win over Vanderbilt, 6-4

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Photo by Photo by: C. Morgan Engel

Sophomore infielder George Janca. 

Texas A&M got what it needed most: A conference win.

The Aggies’ (16-9, 1-5 SEC) offensive surge in the middle innings propelled the maroon and white to a 6-4 win over Vanderbilt (16-9, 3-3 SEC) at Hawkins Field in Nashville on Sunday afternoon – their first SEC victory of the year.

George Janca was phenomenal all over the field for A&M, going to 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. The third baseman also made a diving catch on a liner from Jason Delay to end the game.

Janca led off the sixth inning with a scorching opposite-field double into the right field corner. Hunter Coleman brought home Janca two batters later on a sacrifice fly to shallow center field, and Janca did an exceptional job avoiding the tag by Vandy catcher Delay at the plate off a laser throw from Jeren Kendall.

The run was the insurance A&M needed to secure a much-needed win.

Vanderbilt made things interesting down the stretch, however, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth. Stephen Scott scored from third off an RBI groundout by JJ Bleday and on the next at-bat, Connor Kaiser sent a bloop single to shallow left field scoring Delay to cut the Aggies lead to two.

Mitchell Kilkenny then came in to relieve Kaylor Chafin and after a 13-pitch battle with Reed Hayes, got the designated hitter, who represented the go-ahead, run to pop-up to first and end the threat. Kilkenny’s closing performance earned him his first save of the season.

Janca broke the stalemate in the fourth, blasting a first pitch, three-run homer with two outs well over the left centerfield fence to put A&M out front 3-0. On the previous at-bat, Joel Davis fended off nine pitches and reached base on a high chopper to second – extending the inning for the Aggies.

Vandy cut into A&M’s lead in the bottom half of the fourth, however, as starting pitcher Corbin Martin threw a pick-off attempt wide of Austin Homan at second base and into center field, allowing Scott to score from third.

Kendall reached base the following at-bat on a dropped third strike that went past catcher Coleman. But Martin would rebound and get a crucial strikeout, ringing up Hayes looking to end the inning – leaving the bases juiced.

Hayes was the final batter Martin faced. In his second start of the week, Martin went four innings, allowing just one run and struck out eight to work around several sticky situations.

A&M added to its lead in the fifth, as Braden Shewmake punched a two RBI single just beneath Vandy second baseman Ethan Paul’s glove, scoring Walker Pennington and Nick Choruby.

Yet again, the Commodores cut into the Aggies’ lead in their half of the frame, with Jason Delay blasting a double off the wall in left centerfield, scoring Will Toffey from first.

A&M returns to action this Tuesday when it travels to San Marcos to take on Texas State at 6:00 p.m.

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