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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

No. 17 Texas A&M travels to Austin to take on rival Longhorns

Photo by Photo by: C. Morgan Engel

Freshman second baseman Braden Shewmake is hitting .397 with a team-high 23 RBI so far this season.

Fresh off a week in which they went a perfect 5-0 and with the beginning of SEC play looming this weekend, the No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns.
The Aggies beat UTRGV twice during the week and swept Brown in a weekend three-game series to improve to 14-3 on the season and regain some confidence after dropping two games in walk-off fashion in the Shriner Classic two weekends ago.
“It’s a great rivalry and we’re looking forward to it,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “There’s going to be a lot of people in the stands. We need to continue to play well, and that will be a great challenge.”
After the bullpen endured those two collapses against TCU and Baylor at Minute Maid Park, A&M’s relievers rebounded by tossing eight scoreless innings against Brown. Corbin Martin has been sharp in each of his past three outings, Landon Miner picked up his first save of his career in the Friday night game against the Bears and Cason Sherrod seemed to get back on track with a scoreless frame as well.
The Longhorns, meanwhile, also enter the midweek contest coming off a 5-0 week, including a convincing three-game series sweep of UCLA. First-year head coach David Pierce has overseen a much-improved team compared to the past couple of years, especially on the mound, where the Horns sport a team ERA of 2.57.
Offensively, Texas is led by senior first baseman Kacy Clemens, who comes into the game hitting .350 with a team-high four home runs, and junior second baseman Bret Boswell, a .340 hitter with five doubles. Sophomore catcher Michael McCann has slowly taken at-bats away from senior Michael Cantu behind the plate, and McCann is hitting a whopping .500 after going 3-for-4 with two RBI Sunday against UCLA.
“They’ve played really well the last couple weeks,” Childress said of the Longhorns. “They’ve got a chip on their shoulder, they’ve got great pitching and they’ve got left-handed hitters up and down the lineup that have some experience.”
Turner Larkins made his much-anticipated season debut Sunday against Brown, coming out of the bullpen to throw a perfect ninth inning. He was 90-94 mph on the gun with his fastball and coupled that with a filthy curveball that he used to register one of his two strikeouts. Larkins was electric for the Aggies down the stretch last season as part of the weekend rotation, and if he can pitch like he did last year he will be a pivotal piece of the puzzle for Childress’ pitching staff moving forward.
Larkins is not sure yet what role he will fill but expects to get extend himself and pitch multiple innings in the near future, and said the Aggies needs to maintain the mindset they had this past week if they want to have success against the Longhorns.
“I know they have a whole new coaching staff this year. I know they’ll be ready to go when we go down there — I assume that place will be bumping,” Larkins said. “We’re just going to have to go in there like any other weekend or midweek and throw the first punch. We have to be the aggressors. We’ll start out on offense and hopefully just take it to them there.”
The pitching matchup will feature two talented freshmen southpaws. Childress said John Doxakis will likely get the ball for the Aggies. Doxakis has flashed promise at times in 2017, but has also showed his youth and has pitched to a 6.14 ERA in 14.2 innings.
Texas will counter with Nick Kennedy, who sports a 1.29 ERA in four appearances this season, including one start. Kennedy has A&M ties, too, as his father Dave was the Aggies’ strength and conditioning coach under head coach Mike Sherman from 2008-2012.
This game marks the first time Texas A&M has traveled to Disch-Falk Field since the Aggies left the Big 12 in 2012. The teams met last year in College Station, with the Aggies winning a 5-4 thriller that featured a comeback by the Longhorns in the top of the ninth inning, setting the stage for a walk-off solo home run by catcher Michael Barash. Tuesday’s game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 and can be seen on the Longhorn Network.
“It’s a big rivalry game but we can’t make it any more than it is,” said freshman second baseman Braden Shewmake, who leads the Aggies with 23 RBI. “It’s going to be another game and there’s going to be a lot of emotions. We’re going to have to control that and play our game and I feel like if we do that we’re going to win the game.”

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