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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Pitching struggles stump Aggies in 8-3 loss to No. 13 Texas

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Junior pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny threw the first four innings for the Aggies and his record is now 8-5.

AUSTIN – For the past two weeks, A&M’s pitching staff has turned in quality game after quality game, but that was not the case Saturday night in the Aggies’ (40-21) 8-3 loss to No. 13 Texas (39-20).
Texas tore up Aggie starter Mitchell Kilkenny from the get go, as Longhorn second baseman Kody Clemens launched a three-run homer well over the right field fence to put them ahead 3-0 in the top of the first.
“We did a great job getting started,” Texas head coach David Pierce said. “David [Hamilton] has a great at-bat, Duke [Ellis] gets to first, and then Kody hits a big blow on a backed up breaking ball and he’s ready for it. It gave us a three-run lead and at that point, I thought we did a great job of just continuing to play staying locked in.”
In the fourth, the Horns tacked on two more and Kilkenny exited the game following the frame, giving up five runs on seven hits. It was his worst outing since giving up seven runs at Arkansas in 4.1 innings.
“Their offense did an amazing job against Mitchell Kilkenny,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “Every mistake he made they capitalized on.”
Reliever Dustin Saenz ran into more trouble, giving up a pair of runs with two outs in the fifth. He left the game after Clemens led off the sixth by sending his second homer over the right field fence, which gave Texas an insurmountable 8-1 lead.
Clemens crushed it at the plate going 3-for-5, recording his third multi-homer game of the season.
“They feed off of him,” Childress said of Clemens. “He’s incredibly competitive, a very good player, great approach. He’s a baseball player and he loves the moment and did a great job for them tonight, certainly was the difference in the game.”
Down three, A&M responded in the third as Michael Helman executed a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Allonte Wingate from third, but the Aggies were unable to scratch another run across.
Again in the sixth, it appeared the Aggies were in business after scoring one on back-to-back hits to start the frame, but had their next three batters retired.
A&M’s offensive struggles were in part of Texas starter Nolan Kingham, who had battled a stomach virus all week, yet was masterful after throwing up one last time this morning. The junior right-hander threw 7.2 innings, scattering nine hits around three runs and struck out eight.
The slow night at the plate for the Aggies came just one day after they exploded for 10 runs on 14 hits against Indiana, who started the Big Ten’s strikeout leader Jonathan Stiever.
“We just let him settle in and from then on, it just kept going their way,” Helman said of Kingham. “We weren’t the team we should be.”
Now the Aggies must climb out of the loser’s bracket and will face Indiana, who they beat 10-3 on Friday to open the Austin Regional, tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m.
“You better have a short memory if you’re going to come back through the loser’s bracket,” Childress said. “You’ve got a team in Indiana who’s feeling good about themselves that won today and got to go home and rest. For us, we’re going have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves real quick.”
Despite losing, A&M was able to save some of its better arms, which will be beneficial to the Aggies who must win three games to advance to the Super Regionals.
“You’ll see one of two left handers starting tomorrow at two o’clock – either Asa Lacy or Kaylor Chafin,” Childress said. “We’ve got Cason Sherrod rested and our closer [Nolan Hoffman] ready to go, and those are the games you’re going to see tomorrow at two o’clock.”

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