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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Saturday shutout

A&M improves to 15-0 with 6-0 triumph over Rhode Island
Photo by CJ Smith
Junior INF Ali Camarillo (2) catches a hard ground ball during A&M’s games against Rhode Island on Friday, March 8, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

About 17 hours after Texas A&M thumped Rhode Island with an 11-run victory on Friday night, the Maroon and White decided just one shutout wasn’t enough.

The Aggies won another one on Saturday afternoon against the Rams, this time by a score of 6-0.

This game was the definition of “bend, don’t break” for junior RHP Tanner Jones, who was given the start for A&M. Jones allowed four hits and two walks over the course of four innings, but he allowed no runs and struck out eight.

After he walked the first two batters he faced in the top of the first, the Aggies’ pitching coach Max Weiner took a mound visit to help his starter settle in.

Jones then got a ground ball to second for a double play, then struck out the next hitter to end the first frame. Despite laboring through the first with 28 pitches, he was able to keep the Rams from scoring.

In the bottom half of the first, the first five batters for the Aggies reached base.

Freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac led off with a four-pitch walk, which sent the 5,964 fans in the Olsen Field crowd into their traditional “Ball 5” chant.

Sophomore CF Jace LaViolette followed that up with a walk of his own, giving junior RF Braden Montgomery, the SEC’s current leader in RBIs, two on with no outs.

Not only does Montgomery lead the conference with 29 RBIs, but he is tied for first among all D1 baseball hitters.

After a passed ball allowed Grahovac and LaViolette to advance 90 feet each, Montgomery dunked a ball into center field to score the two, giving the Aggies the 2-0 advantage.

Graduate DH Hayden Schott picked up an RBI double shortly after to make it 3-0, A&M. Senior 1B Ted Burton bunted for an infield single to make it first and third with no outs.

Senior C Jackson Appel and freshman LF Caden Sorrell both struck out, and junior SS Ali Camarillo flew out to center to finally end the first inning.

Jones punched out the first batter he faced in the second inning, and LaViolette made a fantastic diving play in center for out number two.

After Rhode Island sophomore C Nicholas Toro doubled with two gone, Jones struck out the next hitter to end the top of the second.

While Jones allowed a couple of more baserunners in the third, he logged a punchout and got some help from Appel when he threw out a runner at second to keep the Rams scoreless.

“I thought he got better as the game went on,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “It was good for him to get that kind of work.”

Sophomore RHP Colin Maloney was taken out of the game in the fourth inning after LaViolette walked to give A&M runners on first and second with two outs. Montgomery walked, giving Schott an opportunity to do damage with the bases loaded.

Schott walked, forcing a run home to extend the Aggie lead to 4-0. Burton was plunked in the foot that caused the fifth run to cross the plate. Appel grounded out to first to end the inning with A&M leading 5-0.

Junior RHP Brad Rudis relieved Jones to begin the fifth, and he retired the side in order with two strikeouts.

The bottom of the fifth began with Sorrell lining out to left. Camarillo walked, then Chestnut shot a ball into the left field corner for a double. Grahovac drove in Camarillo from third with a grounder to short, and LaViolette struck out to end the frame with the Aggies leading 6-0.

Redshirt senior RHP Zane Badmaev came in relief of Rudis in the top of the eighth, where he retired the side in order with two strikeouts and a groundout.

Junior RHP Chris Cortez was brought into the game to close it out in the ninth, where he struck out the side in order to finish off the victory for the Aggies.

So far this series, the pitching for the Maroon and White has been spectacular, as it has all season long. The team has not allowed a run to Rhode Island through two games.

“We have a lot of lefties, a lot of righties that can do a lot of different things,” Rudis said.

The Aggies will look for the sweep in the series finale on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m.

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