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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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Miller, Jozwiak strike out 21 in 5-0 shutout of New Mexico State

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Photo by Photo by Megan Cusick

Senior right-handed pitcher Bryce Miller pitched five scoreless innings for the Aggies against Oklahoma.

Texas A&M baseball entered Saturday afternoon’s matchup with New Mexico State having won three straight and six over its last seven games.
With a 5-0 win on Saturday, the Aggies clinched their series against New Mexico, as the pitching staff recorded 21 strikeouts on the night.
Junior Bryce Miller was on the bump for the maroon and white for his third start of the season. He looked to build off his previous start against Oklahoma in which the righty threw five scoreless innings and gave up one hit while striking out five Sooners. He is also one of eight Aggies to have logged double-digit strikeouts and part of a pitching staff that ranks ninth in the country in average strikeouts per nine innings. After today’s performance though Miller became the team leader in strikeouts with 27, which ranks among the top five in the country.
A&M began the scoring in the second inning when Mikey Hoehner brought home Ty Coleman from third with a base hit. The Aggies had the opportunity to bring home a few more with the bases loaded with one out, but New Mexico State’s starter Josh Laukkanen got Ray Alejo to ground into a double play to keep the score 1-0.
The game kept moving at a fast pace until the bottom of the fifth when the Aggies had men on second and third with one out. Laukkanen got pulled from the game as Lyle Hibbits relieved him and immediately walked junior Rody Barker, who was pinch hitting, to load the bases for junior Logan Sartori.
After a lengthy video review Sartori struck out swinging for the second out, and Hibbits escaped the jam for New Mexico State as he induced a groundout to end the eventful inning. Laukkanen went 4.1 innings and gave up six hits while striking out six.
All day long Miller was on point, especially with his fastball which reached 96-plus at the 100-pitch mark. He also struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings to give him 15 total at the seventh inning stretch. He was relieved by Chandler Jozwiak in the eighth inning as his final line read seven innings pitched, no runs allowed, four hits allowed and 15 strikeouts. The A&M pitching staff logged 21 strikeouts as a group, which is second-most in school history after last year’s 22-strikeout performance against Army.
A&M coach Rob Childress said his staff knew how good Miller could be because they saw it over the offseason when he made the transition from being in the bullpen to being in the starting rotation.
“That’s what we kind of saw out of him all fall and January was what we saw today, and I know you guys haven’t seen that until today,” Childress said. “It’s not easy to make that transition from bullpen to starter.”
The Aggies’ offense finally found its stride in the bottom of the seventh when it sent eight men to the plate and four crossed home plate to make it a 5-0 ballgame with two innings left. The rally began with Will Frizzell logging his fourth hit of the day, making him 5-for-5 on the day. Coleman and Trevor Werner each had run-scoring singles of their own.
“The thing that I’ve seen during [Frizzell’s] time here is just his maturity as a hitter,” Childress said. “Not only does he have power, but he’s got great bat command of the strike zone.”
Jozwiak struck out all six men he faced in the eighth and ninth innings to give the Aggies their eighth win of the season. The team is now 8-4 and has won seven of their last eight games.
Coleman said being part of the seventh inning scoring was great with everybody setting up each other for success and that the bullpen did a great job.
“Give that bullpen a sigh of relief, a cushion, and then [Chandler Jozwiak] comes out and punches out six,” Coleman said. “That really just set up everything for us at the end of the game.”
The Aggies will look to sweep New Mexico State Sunday at 1 p.m. from Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Redshirt freshman Jonathan Childress is slated to start for A&M and has had an impressive start to his season, allowing only one run in 10.2 innings.

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