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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Marvelous Mize: Aggies can’t overcome dominant start, fall to Auburn 2-1

Photo by Photo by: Valere Gunchick

Joel Davis hit his fourth home run of the season in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Auburn.

Legendary Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey once said that baseball is a game of inches.
Never is that adage more evident than on Friday nights in the SEC, and Friday’s series opener between Texas A&M and Auburn was no different. Auburn’s run-scoring hit came in the third inning on a double down the left-field line that barely slipped past a diving George Janca, and in the seventh, Walker Pennington’s RBI double bid came up just a few inches to the left of the white line.  
The Aggies (20-11, 3-7 SEC) also threatened in the eighth, and Joel Davis put them on the board with a solo home run in the ninth, but they couldn’t get a timely hit when they needed one to overcome a dominant start from Casey Mize in a 2-1 loss.
“We’re talking about inches tonight as the difference in the game,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said after the game. “They got the break, and we were four inches foul.”
Mize (5-1) outdueled A&M’s ace Brigham Hill, as the sophomore right-hander scattered two hits and one walk over seven superb innings, striking out 12.
“You sure hate to do it as an opposing coach, but that guy was pretty special tonight,” Childress said of Mize. “We had very, very few opportunities.”
After Hill (5-3) retired the first six hitters of the contest, the Tigers (24-8, 8-2) got to him in the third. Dylan Ingram led off the inning with a single and, after a fielder’s choice, Will Holland singled to left. Next up, Auburn leadoff hitter Jay Estes laced a double down the left-field line to score its only two runs of the ball game.
“It’s a tough loss, I worked hard out there and the defense really did a great job,” said Hill, who struck out eight in six innings. “In the end, I’ve got to do a better job. In the third inning they strung together some hits and I’ve got to do a better job of damage control.”
Those two were enough for Mize. He was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball, his splitter was filthy and he did not allow a baserunner until Cole Bedford singled in the fourth. The Aggies finally threatened in the seventh as Mize’s pitch count crossed the century mark, but with two runners on, Pennington and Blake Kopetsky struck out swinging to end the frame.
“Their pitcher made pitches when he needed to make pitches,” Davis said. “He was a great pitcher and we just couldn’t lay off the split-finger. We’ve just got to be able to stick to our approach.”
Auburn had to go to its bullpen in the eighth, and the Aggies got runners on first and second with two outs, but Braden Shewmake grounded out to first base to end the threat. In all, A&M struck out 12 times on the night and left six men on base.
“We had five or six opportunities to get a big hit tonight and didn’t do it,” Childress said. “When you have two guys going at it like that your opportunities are limited and you have to make the most of the ones you have.”
Cason Sherrod relieved Hill in the seventh, and he came through with three flawless innings. Sherrod allowed only one baserunner, struck out three, and saved the rest of the bullpen for the remaining two games of the series.
After Davis homered, Logan Foster and Pennington each flied out to center field and then pinch hitter Jorge Gutierrez struck out looking to end the game.
The series picks back up Saturday at 3 p.m. Corbin Martin will get the ball for the Aggies and Auburn will counter with Keegan Thompson.
“That’s baseball — that’s why you love to play it,” Hill said of the close defeat. “It’s a tough loss but we definitely got the momentum late and I think good things are going to happen tomorrow.”

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