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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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Melton’s 6 RBI lead No. 4 A&M in a shellacking of Hofstra

Baseball+vs.+Hofstra+Day+2
Photo by Photo by: Kathryn Perez
Baseball vs. Hofstra Day 2

To say Saturday was a big day for Hunter Melton would be an understatement.
His perfect day at the plate, accompanied by some solid pitching, helped the Aggies blast Hofstra 15-4 in the second game of their season opening series.
“I was just sticking to my preparation. I struggled toward the end of fall,” Melton said. “Just trying to stick to my preparation is what I think made my day successful.”
Melton and the Aggies were the first ones to strike. He roped an RBI single down the left field line to score Nick Banks from second and gave A&M an early 1-0 lead in the first.
Hofstra (0-2) would respond immediately, tagging Aggie starter Corbin Martin for three runs in the second frame of play. Ryan Karl led off with a homer then a two-run single from Brad Witkowski put the Pride in front 3-1.
The third and fifth innings were huge for A&M. In the third, A&M (2-0) tallied four runs. Banks roped an RBI triple down the right field line, then Melton and Barash would hit back-to-back homers to give A&M a 5-3 lead after three.
In the fifth, the Aggies rattled off six runs. A&M loaded the bases quickly with no out. Joel Davis dropped an RBI single, J.B. Moss was hit by a pitch which scored one and then Ronnie Gideon smashed a grand slam to left center. By the time the dust settled after five innings, the Aggies found themselves with an 11-3 advantage. Gideon finished 1-for-4 with four RBI.
Melton was not done yet. He pummeled a solo shot to left center to lead off the sixth inning and extended the Aggie lead to 12-3. All-in-all, Melton finished with six RBI and two home runs while going 5-for-5 from the plate.
“I expect that out of Melton…that does not surprise me at all that he did that,” Banks said smiling.
Three more runs were tacked on during the seventh. Melton continued his big day, adding two RBI on a double and pinch hitter Cole Bedford laced an RBI double to make it 15-3 A&M.
It was an early struggle for starting pitcher Corbin Martin, but he eventually collected himself to put together a solid season debut. The sophomore completed five innings on the mound, striking out nine while surrendering five hits.
Really, really proud of [Corbin Martin]. He had some adversity there but was able to settle back in,” Childress said. “His stuff was outstanding.”
The bullpen took care of business behind Martin. Cushioned by the big lead, A&M allowed just two Hofstra hits once Martin exited. Overall, the pitching staff garnered 14 strikeouts.
A&M saw the ball well and capitalized, posting 16 hits and went a combined 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“I was really proud of our team. Momentum is a funny thing, it does not really show up in the box score…they really got after us in the second inning,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “Played great defense. I thought we played really well today.”
The Aggies will be going for their first sweep of the season Sunday afternoon. The series finale will air on SEC Network + and first pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m.

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