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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

No. 9 Aggies battle for first place in West at No. 13 LSU

Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior Mikey Hoehner shouts as he rounds second base after hitting a home run during the game against the University of Texas on April 2 at Disch-Falk Field in Austin.

Texas A&M won’t be let off the tough road train this weekend as the No. 9 Aggies travel to face No. 13 LSU at vaunted Alex-Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Aggies (24-6-1, 6-2-1 SEC) are currently a half-game ahead of the Tigers (21-9, 6-3) in the SEC West standings, meaning the two teams are playing for the division’s top spot.
“Us and LSU have played incredibly close series since we’ve been in the SEC and I would expect this weekend to be nothing less than what we’ve experienced the last six or seven years,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said.
Having played in front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 8,000 fans on Tuesday could help the Aggies prepare for the bigger environment in Baton Rouge, as the Tigers’ Alex-Box Stadium holds over 10,000.
“That was huge for some of the younger guys who haven’t experienced something like that yet to get the hostile environment like we did at UT,” outfielder Logan Foster said. “That’s only going to keep coming every weekend in the SEC.”
Although the Aggies are not naïve to believe this weekend’s atmosphere will be the same as the one in Austin, they are still reaping the benefits of playing in a big-time road game.
“It’s regional-esque,” left-handed pitcher Asa Lacy said. “I’d like to think LSU’s going to be a little bit more rowdy, but it [facing Texas] really helped us out.”
After ending last weekend’s series against Missouri with a 10-inning tie, the win over rival Texas gave the Aggies a momentum boost.
“We’re extremely confident just with everything we’ve done this year, but we know we can’t take a step back and we’ve got to keep our foot on the gas and know that nobody’s going to help us, but nobody’s going to stop us,” designated hitter Will Frizzell said.
LSU’s offense is heavy, boasting six batters hitting over .300. Childress knows the importance of strong pitching against the Tigers, especially when the bats feed off the wild crowd.
“They have a very dynamic offense,” Childress said. “A lot of hitters back with a lot of collegiate at-bats under their belt and we’re going to have to do a great job of slowing them down. That park, that stadium is all about momentum.”
Lacy, too, notices the task he’ll face. LSU has a balanced attack led by lefties Josh Smith, and Antoine Duplantis. The Tigers are hot, too, having won four straight games after a four-game losing streak.
“They’ve gotten rolling and so we’re just going to have to go out there, compete and make pitches,” Lacy said. “They’ve got five or six great left-handed hitters.”
Despite the daunting left-handed LSU lineup, Childress is confident in his starters John Doxakis and Lacy.
“They’re very left-handed dominant, as far as a lineup goes,” Childress said. “I feel like we matchup really good with them. Those two guys [Doxakis and Lacy] have matched up with everybody they’ve gone toe-to-toe with thus far this year and I would expect that they’re going to give us an opportunity to win both games.”
As far as Sunday goes, Childress said the Aggies’ No. 3 pitcher spot is still undecided. Right-hander Christian Roa could come out of the bullpen, but likely not start. Freshman Moo Menefee earned his first Sunday start last weekend.
“It’ll remain open and we’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win Friday and Saturday,” Childress said. “We’ve got enough options that we won’t use until Sunday that we feel confident in.”
Even though this weekend presents itself as potentially a pivotal one with a road series against a top-15 opponent, the Aggies continue to treat it like any other game.
“We’re just going to take it like it’s any other game and we’re going to come out and bring our best intent and our best energy,” Foster said.
A&M and LSU are set for a 7 p.m. first pitch Friday and Saturday with the series concluding Sunday at 2 p.m. Friday’s game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus, with Saturday’s game aired on ESPN2 and Sunday’s on the SEC Network.

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