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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Simonds’ brilliant night helps A&M force decisive game three

Kyle+Simonds+practicing+during+pre-game+exercises.
Photo by Photo by Rosy Rodriguez

Kyle Simonds practicing during pre-game exercises.

In his time at A&M, Kyle Simonds has always been a big time pitcher. However, Saturday night was a new test for him – pitching with his team facing elimination from the NCAA Tournament.
And in the most pivotal start of his career, the senior shined his brightest.
Simonds brilliant night combined with four Aggie home runs helped A&M knot up the Super Regional with a 7-1 win over TCU Saturday night.
“There was no one else on the mound I wanted tonight besides [Simonds]. He’s led us into every important game and every time it has mattered most, he has stood tall for us,” Childress said. “He certainly answered the bell tonight.”
Before Simonds got to work, the Aggie bats started the show.
With A&M batting first as the designated away team, J.B. Moss wasted no time attacking TCU ace Mitchell Traver. On the second pitch of the game, Moss unloaded a no-doubt solo shot to left that gave A&M the early 1-0 lead.
Following two singles by Ryne Birk and Michael Barash, Jonathan Moroney grounded to third but an airmailed throw sent Birk home and the Aggies took a 2-0 lead. A Joel Davis RBI single made it a 3-0 Aggie advantage after one.
Traver held the Aggies hitless until the sixth inning and that’s when the Aggies gave themselves breathing room.
Moroney got the scoring in the inning started by cranking a solo shot to left center that gave A&M a 4-0 lead. After a Davis double, Austin Homan delivered an RBI double of his own to make it a 5-0 Aggie lead.
Finally, in the eighth, the Aggies delivered the dagger.
To lead off the inning, Barash took a full count pitch deep to left for a solo bomb that extended A&M’s cushion to 6-0. Behind Barash, Hunter Melton broke his hitting slump by crushing another solo shot to make it 7-0 A&M. A TCU run in the eighth later made it 7-1.
But through the powerful offensive explosion, the story of the night was Kyle Simonds.
In his final performance at Olsen Field, the senior came though in the biggest of ways. He tossed seven and two-thirds innings, allowing one earned run on four hits while fanning six.
“It was just an unbelievable effort by our boys…proud of our defense for making plays and getting us off the field when we needed to,” Simonds said. “The offense did the rest…the standing ovation by the crowd there was an awesome feeling.”
Simonds made life tough on the TCU offense. He pounded the strike zone, had his changeup working and placed his pitches well, a key ingredient in quelling a dangerous Frog lineup. TCU was 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and only achieved one extra base hit off the senior right hander.
Bottom line, A&M needed a big game on the mound, both to save their season and their bullpen, and Simonds delivered in a masterful way.
Offensively, the Aggies received a much needed spark. After struggling on Friday night, the Aggies cranked out nine hits, including four home runs, while striking out just five times. Barash and Davis paced the Aggie offense with two hits apiece.
While the seniors contributed a lot to the win, Barash notes it was an all-around success from the entire lineup.
“We came out today, held our head down and got after it,” Barash said. “It was an outstanding effort one through nine it was not just the seniors.”
The win sets up a “do or die” situation Sunday night. The decisive game three will get rolling at 8 p.m. and the winner will go to the College World Series. The game will air on ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Childress says his team will be locked and ready to roll come Sunday night.
“The guys were very locked in today, just like they were yesterday and like they will be tomorrow,” Childress said.

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