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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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Midweek masterpiece sees Aggies outduel Vaqueros

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Freshman LF Jace LaViolette (17) fields a ground ball during Texas A&M’s game against UTRGV at Olsen Field on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

The Texas A&M baseball team dueled the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Tuesday, May 9. The Aggies welcomed the Vaqueros to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for the final midweek game of the season.
Fresh off a series-clinching win against the No. 4 Florida Gators, A&M looked to keep the momentum rolling. A win on the day would make it three in a row for the Aggies, exactly what coach Jim Schlossnagle needs from his men as the season winds down.
In the top of the first inning, the Vaqueros would get on base as senior CF Zerek Saenz hit a line drive right over the shortstop to reach first base. This would be the only offense to speak of for the Vaqueros in the inning, as his teammates would leave him stranded.
The bottom of the first saw A&M catch fire. The Aggies’ junior 3B Trevor Werner earned the first run of the day with an RBI groundout before freshman LF Jace LaViolette earned an RBI single to round out the inning. After LaViolette smashed the ball over second base, the score sat 2-0 in favor of the Aggies.
LaViolette would get himself on the scoreboard again in the bottom of the third inning on a dropped fly ball to deep left field. Junior LF Adrian Torres would commit the game’s first of three errors, allowing LaViolette to reach first while junior SS Hunter Haas scored.
Junior DH Ryan Targac would earn himself a sacrifice fly to extend the Aggies’ lead. Saenz would manage to haul this one in though, sending Targac back to the dugout. Heading into the top of the fourth, the score read 4-0 Aggies.
In the bottom of the fourth, Haas would smash the ball right over the left field wall. Torres thought he had a chance to rob Haas, but all he got was a shoulder check by the wall. Haas’ eighth home run on the year improved the Aggies’ lead to 5-0.
Freshman CF Kasen Wells would get himself on the score sheet as well in the bottom of the fifth. He would earn his first RBI on the day as the Vaqueros looked to turn two but came away with just one. Wells happily trotted back to the dugout after increasing the Aggies’ lead to 6-0.
The Aggies’ starter, freshman LHP Justin Lamkin, was on his A-game against the Vaqueros. He put on a pitching masterclass from the mound for three straight innings. UTRGV could not even sniff a base hit from the third to fifth inning. The batters looked frustrated and overwhelmed, not able to get on base. Despite Lamkin’s 7.23 ERA coming into the game, he allowed just two hits and no runs.
After pitching 5.1 innings and hauling in seven strikeouts, Lamkin was relieved of the pitching duties. Freshman LHP Shane Sdao took the mound for A&M in hopes of guiding the maroon and white to victory. Sdao would get off to a strong start, not allowing a hit for the rest of the sixth inning.
The Vaqueros earned their first run of the day when Torres hit a line drive right over second base. Senior RF Montclair Cain would be the man in orange to reach home plate, making the score 6-1. Senior RHP Carson Lambert would come out of the bullpen, as Schlossnagle chose to pull Sdao after giving up the run.
In the bottom of the frame, with the bases loaded and no outs, junior 1B Jack Moss earned an RBI single to increase the lead. The very next throw was a wild pitch leaving sophomore C Steven Lancia scrambling for the ball. In the meantime, freshman C Max Kauffer dashed home, putting the Aggies up even more.
The Aggies were not done scoring as, guess who, LaViolette did it again, this time with an RBI single. With just one out and up 9-1 the Aggies looked to be in prime position for a run-rule victory.
With two men in scoring position, senior RF Jordan Thompson had the chance to send the fans home early. He would do just that with a 2-run single to end the game and send the Vaqueros on the road with time to spare, as A&M won its last midweek matchup of the year 11-1.
Lamkin earned the win on the day for the Aggies, as the Fightin’ Farmers got the job done in just seven innings.
“Feels great, to me the game begins and ends with starting pitching, it’s right where it starts,” Schlossnagle said. “I’m just excited for Justin, he is a guy that’s got a great future in our program. Just felt good to keep the guy out there.”
After the dominant performance, A&M will welcome the Alabama Crimson Tide to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Friday, May 12. It will be the Aggies’ penultimate SEC series of the year.

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Matthew Seaver
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