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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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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

Mills stifles Aggies as Texas A&M drops midweek game to Sam Houston State, 8-2

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Hunter Coleman went 1-for-2 Tuesday including a solo home run in the seventh inning. 

Sam Houston State came to College Station having outscored its opponents 60-25 in the fifth inning of games this season.
The Bearkats continued their fifth-inning dominance in Tuesday’s midweek contest, scoring five runs in that frame to effectively put the game out of reach and defeat No. 22 Texas A&M 8-2 in front of 4,968 fans at Olsen Field.
“The fifth inning got away from us,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said after the game. “We were chasing runs the rest of the way.”
The visiting Bearkats drew first blood on an RBI single in the top of the first inning against A&M starter Turner Larkins, but some nice defense by the Aggies limited what could have been a big inning. Riley McNight led off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Bryce Johnson. After Johnson stole second, Andrew Fregia hit a routine grounder to third.
George Janca fielded the ball and, seeing McKnight heading home, chased him down, tagged him out and then threw to first base. Fregia had taken a big turn around first and was caught in between first and second. After a short rundown, Johnson tried to catch the Aggies napping and raced home. Davis, however, threw a strike to catcher Cole Bedford at the plate to cap off an unorthodox 5-3-4-3-2 double play.
Clayon Harp followed with a single to right to score Fregia to give Sam Houston State a 1-0 advantage.
The A&M offense was stagnant until the third, when Janca and Nick Choruby hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with one out. Logan Foster, however, struck out and then Braden Shewmake grounded into a fielder’s choice to let Bearkats starter Dakota Mills off the hook.
Mills (6-3) entered the game with a pedestrian 4.50 ERA but was masterful against the Aggies. A&M mustered six hits and only got two runners into scoring position — Janca in the third and Austin Homan in the seventh — all night long as Mills attacked with a fastball that reached the low 90s with a sweeping breaking ball.
“He gets above the ball, throws the ball downhill and is very competitive,” Childress said of Mills.
Mills, who flummoxed the Aggies last year to the tune of 6.2 scoreless inning, struck out six and walked none in 6.2 innings.
Neither team scored again until the fifth, when the wheels came off for Larkins (1-2). The junior right-hander issued a leadoff walk to Jaxxon Grisham and then some miscommunication between Larkins and Janca on a sacrifice bunt attempt resulted in an infield single.
After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Johnson and Fregia hit consecutive RBI singles to take a 3-0 lead and knock Larkins out of the game.
“He got us into the fifth inning,” Childress said of Larkins. “I thought he battled pretty well — he didn’t have his best command.”
Reliever John Doxakis didn’t fare much better, though, as he promptly gave up an RBI groundout and then allowed a two-run homer to left by Harp.
The Aggies finally got on the board in the seventh as Hunter Coleman and Baine Schoenvogel hit back-to-back pinch-hit home runs to left field.
“They work hard and they deserve it, and it was good to see a little glimpse of something at the end of the game right there,” junior reliever Kaylor Chafin said. “We needed something to keep us going.”
With the deficit after the fifth, Childress got an inning of work for each of his top four relievers, as Landon Miner and Chafin each threw scoreless frames while Cason Sherrod and Mitchell Kilkenny each gave up one run in their inning of work.
The Aggies have one day of practice before they return to Olsen Field Thursday to begin their last SEC series of the regular season. The series opener against Arkansas is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network +.
“It’s only one game,” senior outfielder Blake Kopetsky said of Tuesday’s loss. “So we don’t need to be worrying about this one, we just need to get ready for this weekend.”

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