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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Missed opportunities spoil A&M’s comeback bid

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Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior 3B Trevor Werner (28) runs towards home plate after freshman LF Jace LaViolette (17) hit a double to left center during Texas A&M’s game against Sam Houston State at Olsen Field on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

Texas A&M baseball entered its road series opener against Arkansas on Thursday April 26, against No. 7 Arkansas in a bit of a rut, having lost two consecutive games. Up next was an opportunity to get back on track against one of the better teams in the country.
The starting pitching matchup was a battle of southpaws, with sophomore LHP Troy Wansing starting for the Aggies and junior LHP Hunter Hollan on the mound for the Razorbacks.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first inning, with Arkansas being the only team to get a runner on base via a walk.
In the top of the second, the Aggies got their first hit of the game in the form of a single from senior 2B Austin Bost, but stranded the runner on second base.
The Razorbacks loaded the bases in the following half inning with one out, and scored the first run of the game on an RBI single from graduate SS John Bolton. Despite striking out the ensuing batter, Wansing was unable to escape the inning as sophomore 2B Peyton Stovall hit a grand slam to build Arkansas lead to 5-0.
In the end, Wansing was able to hold Arkansas to a five-run inning and get A&M back into the batter’s box.
In the following half inning, the Aggies loaded the bases themselves on a pair of walks and a single, but were once again unable to put a dent in the Razorbacks’ lead. Thus far, Arkansas was taking advantage of runners in scoring position and A&M was doing the opposite.
Wansing was back on the mound in the bottom of the third to try to eat innings for the maroon and white. The Aggies prioritization of saving their bullpen in the series opener could end up setting them up well for the rest of the series.
The Razorbacks continued to put traffic on the basepaths in the bottom of the third, but were unable to increase their lead due to an inning ending double play from the Aggies.
In the next half inning, the maroon and white responded in a big way with back-to-back home runs from senior CF Jordan Thompson and junior SS Hunter Haas. Thompson’s was a 3-run homer while Haas’ was a solo shot. At the inning’s conclusion, A&M trailed 5-4 with Arkansas coming up to bat.
A&M brought in senior RHP Carson Lambert after a leadoff four-pitch walk to start the bottom of the fourth. Lambert ended up stranding runners on first and second to keep the Aggies’ deficit at one run.
The Aggies got off to a great start in the top of the fifth, putting runners on the corners with zero outs. In the following at-bat, A&M tied the game with a sacrifice fly from Bost. Arkansas limited the damage to keep the game tied heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
After an uncharacteristic lull in the action, the Razorbacks were once again threatening with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the sixth. A&M brought in LHP junior Brandyn Garcia to try to keep the game tied at 5.
Garcia fielded a softly hit comebacker on his first pitch to get the second out of the inning and ended the frame with a strikeout.
Junior 3B Trevor Werner led off the top of the seventh with a double to put the onus on Arkansas to keep the game tied. During the next at-bat, Werner stole third to add to the maroon and white’s threat. The Aggies proceeded to waste the opportunity with the next three batters combining to strikeout twice and fly out to shallow right field.
A developing story in the game was the impressive performance by the maroon and white bullpen. Through four innings of work, A&M relievers held Arkansas scoreless while only giving up two hits. On a less positive note, the Aggies’ bullpen had walked five batters. The game remained tied heading into the top of the eighth.
For a second consecutive inning, the maroon and white had a runner in scoring position with zero outs. This time, A&M had runners on first and second. The Aggies used a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. A perfect throw from Arkansas junior LF Hunter Grimes to home plate after a fly out ended the inning. Both teams were continuing to struggle to take advantage of runners in scoring position.
A two-run home run from Arkansas broke the deadlock and gave it a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth. The Aggies were able to limit the damage and keep their deficit at two runs heading into the top of the ninth.
The maroon and white went down in order in the top of the ninth to lose 7-5 to the Razorbacks. With the loss, A&M is now 25-17 with a conference record of 9-10.
Up next for the Aggies is the second game of its road series against Arkansas on Friday, April 28. First pitch at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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