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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

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024

No. 2 Texas A&M drops 9th-inning heartbreaker at top-ranked LSU

The Texas A&M baseball team dropped its highly anticipated series opener with LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by a count of 4-3 Thursday night. 

The No. 2 Aggies (36-6, 12-6) have now lost three of their last four games and must win both of the remaining two series games with No. 1 LSU (36-6, 13-5) if they wish to have a chance at reclaiming their top national ranking.

Texas A&M leadoff hitter Blake Allemand opened the game by driving a pitch from LSU starter Jared Poche down the left field line for a double. Nick Banks picked up an RBI single on the ensuing at bat, giving A&M a 1-0 lead and extending his on-base streak to 41 consecutive games. A&M led 1-0 after the first inning.

Former LSU player and current A&M starting catcher Michael Barash picked up a little revenge on his former ball club with an RBI single to left field in the top of the second inning to extend A&M’s lead to 2-0.

After blanking the Tigers in the first three innings, Aggie ace Grayson Long found trouble in the bottom of the fourth, beginning with a one out walk to the Tigers’ Conner Hale. Hale eventually scored on a fielder’s choice and then the Tigers’ Chris Chinea added an RBI single to left field later in the inning to even the score at two apiece and rally the announced crowd of 10,822 at Alex Box Stadium.

Hale led off the bottom of the sixth with an opposite field line drive single. Long walked the second batter of the inning placing runners at first and second with no outs. However, Long and the Aggies got out of the jam when the Tigers’ Andrew Stevenson flied to center field which resulted in doubling off Hale at second base for the second out of the inning. Long then capped off the inning with a strikeout, his fourth of the night.

Long’s start concluded in the seventh inning after throwing 89 total pitches in 6 1/3 innings and surrendering three runs, all earned, on six hits while tallying four strikeouts to three walks.

A&M relief pitchers Ty Schlottmann and Andrew Vinson wrapped up the inning but not before LSU captured its first lead of the game, 3-2, heading to the top of the eighth inning.

LSU’s Jared Poche did not take the mound in the eighth. Poche hurled 65 pitches through seven innings and gave up two runs, only one charged as an earned run, on six hits and one strikeout compared to no walks.

In the eighth, the Aggies loaded the bases with two outs for Hunter Melton, but Melton struck out swinging stranding all three on base. The Aggies still trailed 3-2 heading into the ninth.

But Texas A&M’s J.B. Moss gave his team some life with a leadoff, crowd-silencing triple in the inning versus LSU relief pitcher Jesse Stallings. Logan Nottebrok then recorded an opposite field line drive single to right field which scored Moss and tied up the game at 3-3.

A&M had another opportunity later in the inning with bases loaded and two outs, but pinch hitter G.R. Hinsley struck out looking versus LSU’s fifth relief pitcher of the game, Collin Strall.

In the bottom half of the inning, it appeared the momentum was going to remain with the Aggies as right fielder Banks threw out an LSU base runner at second base for the first out of the inning.

But the Tigers kept coming as Jared Foster followed up their deflating first out with a single to center field and then took second base on a wild pitch. The Tigers’ Danny Zardon effectively won the game on the next at bat with a walk off single down the 3rd base line.

A&M’s relief pitcher Andrew Vinson was charged with the loss, his first of the year.

Game two of the series is slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch Friday night with the probable pitching matchup being Texas A&M’s Ryan Hendrix (3-0, 1.40 era) against LSU’s Alex Lange (7-0, 1.40 era).

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