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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

Lost the battle but won the war

The Bulldogs prevent a series sweep, take Game 3 from Aggies
Photo by CJ Smith
Texas A&M utility Travis Chestnut (4) hugs outfielder Jace LaViolette (17) during A&M’s game against Georgia on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

For the second weekend in a row, Mother Nature has looked down upon the Texas A&M baseball team and cursed it with a doubleheader for its weekend series. The inclement weather followed the Aggies from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Olsen Field, but the weather turned out to be a blessing in disguise once again as No. 1 A&M won the series matchup early on against No. 20 Georgia.

However, the Bulldogs put away the brooms and salvaged a 5-4 Game 3 win, a reminiscent series finish for the Aggies just a week prior against Alabama.

And just like the Alabama bout, Game 2 was explosive as the Bulldogs came out with bats on fire, ringing in nine runs in just the first inning. However, the Aggies came out with a 19-0 run to run-rule the Bulldogs and secure the early series win.

On the cusp of having an offensive showing, Game 3 had a shade of it as the Aggies struck first with a senior C Jackson Appel RBI single to right field as sophomore CF Jace LaViolette scored in the opening frame.

Though the starters held each other scoreless in the second, including four strikeouts from sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin, LaViolette nailed his 21st homer of the year early in the third, a solo shot to right center to give the Aggies an early 2-0 lead.

However, the early runs stopped as both pitchers came through to prevent a repeat of Game 2 as Lamkin and Georgia sophomore RHP Kolten Smith worked scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth, allowing just two hits and two walks in the two innings.

Lamkin’s night was done in the sixth as junior RHP Chris Cortez entered in relief as Lamkin finished with a terrific start, allowing just one hit, two walks and seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. Smith continued on strong for the Bulldogs, wrapping up the sixth with just one walk.

Unfortunately for Cortez, Georgia drew a Lucky 7 as sophomore SS Kolby Branch opened up the seventh with a homer to left field to put the Bulldogs on the board. The late momentum continued as a single opened up the way for freshman Tre Phelps, coming in to pinch hit for graduate Paul Toetz. The switch paid dividends as Phelps smoked the ball to left-center, scoring a two-run homer.

Freshman LHP Kaiden Wilson’s night was a very short one as he came in for Cortez and came out after giving up a single. Fellow freshman RHP Weston Moss came on the mound to switch up the look. However, the Red and Black had nothing to worry about as redshirt sophomore 3B Charlie Condon stepped up to the plate and with his 29th homer of the season. He sits atop of Georgia’s record books, becoming No. 1 in career and single-season home runs and putting the Bulldogs up 5-2.

As they had opened up the game, LaViolette and Appel started the comeback attempt in the seventh with an RBI single to right field and an RBI single sac fly to bring the Aggies within one. Ol’ Reliable senior LHP Evan Aschenbeck came in to finish out the game and gave A&M one last chance as he closed out the final two innings, holding Georgia scoreless. But ultimately, Georgia graduate RHP Christian Mracna closed the window shut on A&M’s batters to give the Bulldogs the victory.

The Aggies are back at Olsen Field on Tuesday, April 30 to welcome Tarleton for a midweek tuneup.

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About the Contributor
Justin Chen
Justin Chen, Sports Writer
Justin Chen is a journalism senior minoring in sport management and communication. Justin has covered football, men's basketball, volleyball, baseball and swim & dive. Justin also writes feature NBA pieces and covered the Miami Heat for Sir Charles In Charge. When not writing, he likes to frequent the gym, support Arsenal and watch anime.
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