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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

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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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. 19 Aggies defeat No. 20 LSU to earn first SEC series win

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Sophomore Braden Shewmake makes a play to first for the final out of the game.

An abnormally cold Saturday in April couldn’t keep the A&M faithful away as No. 19 A&M earned its first SEC series win of the year after defeating No. 20 LSU 3-1 in the final game of the series.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, sophomore Hunter Coleman broke the 0-0 tie with a solo home run to left field. Coleman said he was surprised the ball went over the wall.
“I didn’t think [the ball would go over] at all,” Coleman said. “During batting practice nothing was really flying. I guess the wind must have died down a little bit or something. I didn’t think I had that one going out.”
Before Coleman’s homer, the A&M offense struggled to move runners after the lead off runner got on in each of the first three innings. A&M head coach Rob Childress said despite the offensive struggles he was glad the Aggies were able to capitalize on timely hits. 
“We had a lot of chances,” Childress said. “We had a lot of traffic on the bases and we just weren’t able to get a big hit or get a bunt down and we didn’t run the bases properly. But George’s two-out hit was huge and a three nothing lead felt like a 10 nothing lead.”
Junior third baseman George Janca’s hit that Childress talked about came in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs and runners on first and second. Janca said baseball brings a new challenge every day.
“There’s a lot of peaks and valleys in baseball, especially in hitting, but we have to continue to compete and give ourselves a chance to win and we did that today,” Janca said. “We had runners on base and I just happened to be the one in that position to get the big hit for us.”
Junior right-handed pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny earned the complete game victory for the Aggies. Kilkenny gave up five hits one earned run and struck out four of the 31 batters he faced.
Kilkenny, who hasn’t lost a game this year, said the team was tired of losing crucial games in the series the last few weeks and weren’t going to let that happen again.
“We were going for the series win and everyone is tired of losing on this team,” Kilkenney said. “It was really nice to see everyone come out really aggressive and do anything we could to win.”
Childress said he’s been able see Kilkenny evolve into the player and competitor he is in the last three years.
“His change from his freshman, sophomore year and to this year is his mentality, competitiveness and attack,” Childress said. “He’s been fabulous for us the last two weeks.”
With their first conference series win under their belt, the Aggies will now focus on their attention for their mid-week match up against longtime rival, Texas.
Childress said regardless of the opponent, every game the Aggies play is crucial to reach their end goal, which is reaching the College World Series and winning a National Championship.
“[All games] are big,” Childress said. “To have a weekend where we won a series and everyone can feel good about themselves and feel like we’re doing things in a better fashion. Certainly Tuesday will be a big game, a lot of fun for the fans.”

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