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

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

The Battalion

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Moroney’s grand slam lifts A&M past UT-Arlington

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Having a pinch-hit walk-off single to win the series against Alabama Sunday afternoon was not enough of a show for Jonathan Moroney.

So the senior, in front of his biggest fan, decided to crank a no-doubt grand slam in the fifth inning Tuesday night and propelled the Aggies to a 7-3 win over UT-Arlington.

“My dad sits behind home plate and is always where I can see him,” Moroney said. “He has seen games through the rain, the heat and he just waits for me…[when rounding third] I just gave him a little shout out coming home.”

The Mavericks (22-20, 8-10 Sun Belt) were the first to strike. After a hit-by-pitch and a single put runners on the corners with two outs, Jerame Littell put an RBI single through the left side to give UTA a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

A&M (33-8, 12-6 SEC) responded in the bottom of the third. After two infield singles and a fielder’s choice, Nick Banks slapped an RBI single, tying the game at one after three.

Confusion in the fourth allowed the Aggies to gain their first lead of the game. After Joel Davis drew a two-out walk, Austin Homan popped up to left. However, of the three UTA fielders near the play, none of them called for the ball and it dropped. Davis rounded third and scored on an error by the left fielder when trying to get the ball in play. The Aggies took a 2-1 lead with them to the fifth.

In the fifth, the Aggies gave themselves some breathing room.

With a runner on, Boomer White reached on an error and was awarded an RBI as J.B. Moss came home to score and put the Aggies up 3-1. Later, with two outs on the board, the Aggies loaded the bases. Moroney then sent a grand slam blast over the scoreboard in left to give A&M a 7-1 cushion.

“He just says ‘I’m here. I’m ready and every opportunity I get, I am going to make the most of,’” A&M head coach Childress said of Moroney. “Could not ask for anything more the last two days; he’s the hero and he will certainly get more opportunities moving forward.”

Moroney even took a second to admire his work as the ball sailed out of the park because, well, he knew he could.

“I knew it was gone off the bat,” Moroney said laughing. “I mean, it is not very often I feel a ball come off my bat like that. It was a great experience and a great feeling.”

UTA put a runner on to start the sixth. Then, Buddy Cox took Aggie pitcher Ryan Hendrix out of the park to cut the A&M lead to 7-3.

Freshman Mitchell Kilkenny made his first career start for A&M, though it was short-lived. The youngster managed two innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts. He threw just 31 pitches before A&M called on Turner Larkins.

“I felt pretty good tonight,” Larkins said. “My mindset was to come in and build off that and just let my defense work. They did a pretty good job tonight.”

Behind Kilkenny, the tandem of Larkins, Ryan Hendrix and Cason Sherrod shut the door completely. They combined to pitch seven innings, allowing two earned runs off just three hits while striking out 10.

“I’m proud of our team for coming out and taking care of business on a Tuesday night after an emotional weekend,” Childress said. “We had some heroes tonight that haven’t pitched in a while.”

The Mavericks shot themselves in the foot, committing three errors and stuck out 13 times at the plate.

A&M outhit UTA by an 8 to 6 count. Moss and Homan led the team with two hits apiece and Homan extended his hit streak to 14 games. Hitting with runners in scoring position was a struggle once again however, as A&M went just 2-for-9 when runners were in position.
The win moves the Aggies to 25-2 at Olsen Field this year and has now won 42 consecutive regular season non-conference home games, which dates back to 2014. Up next, the Aggies travel to Fayetteville for a risky series against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

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