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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 University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Next stop: South Carolina

Junior+shortstop+Braden+Shewmake+currently+leads+the+Aggies+with+52+hits+and+32+RBI.
Photo by Megan Cusick

Junior shortstop Braden Shewmake currently leads the Aggies with 52 hits and 32 RBI.

Consistency — it’s what Texas A&M is currently searching for on the diamond.
The No. 7 Aggies are still trying to put all of their pieces together ahead of this weekend’s road series against struggling South Carolina (22-15, 4-11 SEC). It’s part of a road stretch spanning eight of nine games for A&M over the next two weeks.
Despite a 2-2 outing last week, the Aggies rose three spots in Monday’s poll to No. 7, their highest ranking of the season, after taking the series over Auburn. A&M wasn’t able to maintain immediate momentum though, dropping Tuesday’s game to Houston, 4-1.
In the loss to the Cougars, A&M mustered just two hits against Houston’s mid-week staff. It’s part of a lingering struggle to keep the Aggie bats hot.
“We just need to be consistent up and down the lineup,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We’ve got to have more than one or two guys going in order to be consistent. Until we do, the opportunities that we do have that are so minimal, we’ve got to be able to capitalize on those.”
The remedy? Second baseman Bryce Blaum said it’s sticking to the Aggies’ approach. He pointed toward A&M’s sweep over Kentucky earlier this season as evidence that the Aggies can be big at the plate. A&M scored 31 runs on 43 hits over the weekend.
“When we’re committed one through nine, we’re very good as a unit,” Blaum said. “As we saw against Kentucky, that was probably the most committed we had been all season.”
Although A&M is still searching for answers, South Carolina might be searching for more. The Gamecocks are tied for last place in the SEC standings and have yet to win a conference series this season.
“They’re desperate,” Childress said of the Gamecocks. “They’re 4-11 in league play right now and this is a pivotal weekend for them.”
A&M’s pitching staff will be facing a confusing Gamecock batting order. South Carolina is last in the league in batting average (.241), but first in home runs (59), showing it might not have threats to string together several hits but can make opponents pay with one pitch.
“[They’re] physical up and down the lineup,” Childress said of South Carolina’s batters. “They lead the league in home runs with almost 60 and they are hitting under .200 in league play, so there’s some ways to get them out, but if you make mistakes and give them free base runners, they can get after you in a hurry with the long ball.”
Left-handed pitcher John Doxakis said it’s key to keep the ball down in the strike zone against a team like South Carolina, not allowing them to barrel anything up in the zone.
“We know they’re a team that’s capable of doing a lot of damage,” Doxakis said. “We’re not going to take them lightly. … You’re going to have to live down in the zone against these guys.”
Right-handed pitcher Christian Roa returned to the rotation last weekend for the first time in three weeks. On a limited pitch count, Roa worked 2.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits while throwing 43 pitches. A&M has officially left the Sunday spot open, but Childress expects Roa to start this Saturday and have his pitch count increase.
“As long as he continues to progress well off of last week’s performance, hopefully we can get one more inning out of him and continue to build him up as we move forward in the season,” Childress said of Roa.
A&M and South Carolina are set to begin a three-game series Thursday night at 6 p.m. Friday’s game will have a 6 p.m. first pitch with the series conclusion starting on Saturday at 3 p.m. The final game will be broadcast on SEC Network, while the first two will be on SEC Network+.

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