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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One step away
June 8, 2024

No. 4 Aggies blank Prairie View 11-0

Photo by Photo by: Jena Floyd

Junior Ronnie Gideon connects at the plate — leading to a homerun by senior Michael Barash. 

As far as season “firsts” go, Aggie baseball can now check “shutout” off their list.

Stifling defense, pitching and timely hitting led No. 4 A&M to an 11-0 rout of Prairie View A&M Wednesday evening for their first shutout of the season.

“We have guys going with outstanding arms. It is one of the top pitching staffs in the country. It is so easy to play behind a pitching staff you know is going to hold them to not many runs and then we come out and put as many runs up as we can for our guys,” Ronnie Gideon said. “They take care of us and we take care of them.”

Once again, the Aggies were first to light up the scoreboard. Gideon smacked an RBI double out to the left field wall which scored Michael Barash to give A&M the early 1-0 lead after two innings.

In the fourth, A&M (5-0) added another thanks to George Janca getting caught stealing second. The throw allowed Nick Choruby to jog in from third and give the Aggies a 2-0 lead after four.

Gideon would strike again in the fifth. With the bases loaded, he pulled a base clearing three-run double down the left field line to make it a 5-0 Aggie advantage. J.B. Moss followed Gideon with an RBI single of his own for the 6-0 lead. All-in-all, Gideon finished 2-for-3 with four RBI and two doubles to his name.

“You’ve got to have fun and stay relaxed in that situation…they put me in the spot, guys got on base, did what they were supposed to and got guys moved over. He missed a pitch and I took advantage of it,” Gideon said. “Every guy is working hard to get his best at-bat and when you get your chance, you have to take advantage of it.”

A&M tagged three more in the inning. With two on, Ryne Birk singled up the middle to score one run. An errant throw from Prairie View (2-2) resulted in an error and the ball sailed into deep right field. All runners, including Birk, scored to grant A&M a commanding 9-0 lead.

Freshman Stephen Kolek made his first career start on the mound. He started shaky but worked his way out of some sticky jams to keep Prairie View off the board. On the night, he gave up no runs on four hits while striking out four through four innings of work.

“I thought [Kolek] got off to a great start,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “He had trouble in the second but was able to get off the field without allowing a run. He’s got power stuff and he’s only going to get better.”

The Aggie bullpen has been dominant in the first four contests and Wednesday was no different. Behind Kolek, the arsenal of Kaylor Chaffin, Turner Larkins, Ty Schlottmann, Cason Sherrod and Brigham Hill effectively silenced the Panther lineup, allowing no runs and one hits while striking out a combined seven between them.

The defense was effective behind the mound. PVAMU finished hitting 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and just 1-for-13 with runners on base.

Pinch hitter Walker Pennington joined the fun by roping an RBI single to make it 10-0 A&M following six frames. Melton smoked an RBI double in the seventh to extend the lead to 11-0.

Moss, Pennington, Melton and Birk each contributed one RBI a piece in the win.

“[Melton and Gideon] have got to be guys that stand tall in the middle of our lineup. If they go 1-for-4, their ‘one’ needs to matter,” Childress said. “Their hit needs to matter and it has so far this year. They have been really productive for us.”

During their two mid-week games this week, A&M outscored their two opponents, SFA and Prairie View A&M, by a combined score of 31 to 1 and out hit the two by a 34 to 8 margin.

The win is A&M’s 35th consecutive regular season non-conference win and their 20th straight mid-week wins. The Aggies get a one day break then hit the road to the West Coast for a series with Pepperdine this weekend.

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