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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 Battalion May 4, 2024

Late rally in 8th adds another to the win column

Left-handed+pitcher+A.J.+Minter+spent+three+seasons+with+A%26amp%3BM+before+moving+to+a+career+in+the+MLB.

Left-handed pitcher A.J. Minter spent three seasons with A&M before moving to a career in the MLB.

The cold never bothered them anyway.
On a chilly Friday night, the Aggie bats heated up at just the right time. Two two-run home runs by Hunter Melton and Logan Taylor proved to be the difference in Texas A&M’s 4-3 win over Dartmouth.
The Big Green jumped out to an early lead, pushing across a run in the first inning. In the third, the Ivy League school plated two more runs thanks to errors by the Aggies. Though Dartmouth was playing in its first game of the season, it was the Aggies who looked rusty – committing three errors in the first three innings.
Sophomore third baseman Ronnie Gideon was removed from the game by head coach Rob Childress after his mishandling of a ground ball allowed Dartmouth to score.
“We’ve got to play better defense,” Childress said. “The defense has got to be a priority and offense is secondary. We’ve got to clean some things up. Obviously it costs us a couple of runs in that third inning.”
Childress replaced Gideon with Melton, who satisfied both of his head coach’s priorities. Melton went 2-for-3, which included a shot just over the left field fence in the bottom of the eighth that got the Aggies on the board. He was not perfect, however. The junior was thrown out in the sixth inning when he tried to go from first to third on a Blake Allemand single. His out ended the inning.
“With two outs, coach was like ‘Hey, we don’t need to make that decision going to third’,” Melton said. “I kind of took that to the plate [in the eighth inning] to try and get a lift to help these guys. I couldn’t have done it without [Nick] Banks getting a hit. It was a great feeling; a great win.”
After Allemand reached on a catcher’s interference, the team-leader in home runs stepped up to the plate with his team down by one. Taylor wasted no time, taking the first pitch he saw deep to left field, giving the No. 23 Aggies their first lead of the night.
Dartmouth would not go down without a fight, getting a leadoff double in the ninth to put pressure on the Aggies. With no one out, sophomore Ryan Hendrix jogged in from the bullpen to try and finish off the Big Green. Hendrix struck out the first man he saw and then made quick work of the next two batters to earn his second save of the season.
“That was definitely the tightest situation I’ve been in since I’ve been here,” Hendrix said. “A guy on second and no outs – I had to punch him out. It felt great.”
With the win, A&M improves to 10-0 on the season – its best start since 2006. The Aggies will look to junior Grayson Long to lead them to their 11th win at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m.

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