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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Martin masterful as Aggies get back in the win column, 5-2

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Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Martin faced 33 batters and recorded a 3.03 ERA. 

Corbin Martin caught the throw from catcher Cole Bedford and took a slow walk behind the mound, thinking about how he was going to get Carson Shaddy out. With 7.2 innings and 122 pitches already under his belt, two outs and a two-strike count on Shaddy, he knew he had one more bullet left in his right arm.
Sure enough, he reached back for a little extra and blew away Shaddy with a 95 mph fastball, putting a vibrant exclamation point on one of No. 24 Texas A&M’s most dominant pitching performances to this point in the season.
Martin scattered eight hits over eight sterling innings, striking out a career-high 12 and walking only one in the Aggies’ 5-2 victory over No. 17 Arkansas Friday night at Olsen Field.
“What an amazing performance,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said after the game. “That’s as offensive a club as we’ve seen since Kentucky and for him to slow them down and get us through eight innings was just a remarkable performance.”
The Aggies (36-19, 16-13 SEC) entered the game in a four-game skid and, having used all three of their best relievers in Thursday’s series opener, desperately needed a good start out of Martin.
The junior righty certainly delivered, baffling the Razorbacks (38-15, 17-11 SEC) all night long. He threw all four of his pitches for strikes, was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball and kept battling for his team even when his pitch count soared past the century mark.
“I was feeling good — I was begging Coach for that eighth inning,” Martin said. “It was nice to go back out there and be able to repeat what I had been doing.”
Arkansas got to Martin a bit in the third inning, but he limited the damage to one run and refused to give them a big inning. The Razorbacks started the inning with three straight hits and a sacrifice bunt, but with runners on second and third with one out Martin bore down and registered a strikeout and a flyout to escape the jam.
The Aggies answered right back in the bottom-half of the frame, though, as Bedford came through with  an RBI sacrifice fly to tie the game and then Hunter Coleman — who was making his first career start at first base — launched a Dominic Taccolini fastball to dead center field for a three-run homer.
“He just left a fastball over the plate and I put a good swing on it,” Coleman said of his fourth dinger of the season. “The wind was blowing out so it got some backspin and carried out.”
After the Razorbacks barreled up Martin a few times the second time through the lineup, he started pitching backward — mixing in more of his offspeed pitches early in the count ­— and he was able to put together three consecutive scoreless frames after the third.
The two teams traded runs in the seventh to make it 5-2, Martin set down the side in order in the eighth — capped off by his strikeout of Shaddy — and then Cason Sherrod needed only seven pitches in the ninth to lock down his third save of the season.
Taccolini (4-1) took the loss on the mound for the Razorbacks as he allowed seven hits and five runs in six innings of work. He struck out three and walked four.
Coleman, Blake Kopetsky and George Janca all recorded multi-hit efforts in the contest, with Janca contributing two runs scored.
With the win the Aggies guaranteed that they will finish with more wins than losses in SEC play this season, a fact not lost on Childress and his team.
“It’s important,” Childress said. “You don’t want to give the committee any reason to count you out of the postseason and to be over .500 is huge against a good Arkansas team with a chance to win the series tomorrow.”
Stephen Kolek will get the ball for A&M in the rubber match, while Arkansas will likely counter with sophomore right-hander Blaine Knight. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. and will be televised nationally on the SEC Network.

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