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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Six RBIs from Melton lifts Aggies to first SEC victory

Franklin — THE BATTALION Grayson Long must step up with two of the weekend pitchers out for the year with injuries

Texas A&M started SEC play with a bang on Friday night, defeating the Auburn Tigers 6-2 at Olsen Field under a six RBI day from third baseman Hunter Melton and Grayson Long’s pitching.
Auburn (13-5) took the first advantage at 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but the Aggies would strike back. In the second inning, A&M loaded the bases. Melton stepped in and hit a shot to the top of the wall in right field to give the Aggies their first grand slam of the season for a 4-1 advantage.
The last grand slam for A&M was from Cole Lankford and came against Rice in the Houston Regional last season.
“It was the Hunter Melton show obviously,” said A&M head coach Rob Childress. “It was funny, he and I talked about it during batting practice, how there was this weird west wind, and how the ball was flying out to right field. It’s funny that he is the one who had the great at-bat. He fouled off a pitch, got it to right, got it in the air, and it flew out of here.”
No. 7 A&M (19-0) loaded the bases four times in the game, and in the eighth, Melton came through again with a double into left field that extended the Aggie advantage to a 6-2 lead.
Long performed for six innings on the mound, striking out seven, allowing one earned run and three hits. In total, Long delivered 110 pitches. Behind him, the bullpen was a thing of beauty for the Aggies. Kyle Simonds came in behind him to help keep the Tiger lineup in check. Simonds pitched two innings of hitless, scoreless baseball. Then, Ryan Hendrix swooped in and shut the game down in the ninth inning to clinch another Aggie victory.
“It was pretty fun,” Long said. “It doesn’t matter to me what day I throw, but a Friday night SEC opener , it was pretty special.”
Offensively, Melton was the star of the show. He went 2-for-4 on the night, but his grand slam in the second put the Aggies ahead for good. Melton had six RBI for the night, bringing his season total to 17, making him the team RBI leader. Nick Banks also went 3-for-4 on the night, and now leads the team in batting average (.463) this season.
“Credit to the guys in front of me for allowing the chances to happen and for taking pitches out of their pitcher,” Melton said. “Give credit to their pitcher he was great all night. He kept pounding the strike zone. Our team is taking incredible at-bats up and down the lineup. I just tried not to do too much on both hits, but credit goes to the guys ahead of me for allowing for that to happen.”
The Tigers could not figure out the Aggie pitching staff, as they hit 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and 3-for-21 with runners on base. Auburn also stranded 12 runners on base throughout the night.
The Aggies now need just one more win to reach 1,000 all-time wins at Olsen Field. Their next chance will come on Saturday afternoon, as A&M will continue its weekend series against Auburn. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 pm.

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