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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Hail State shutdown

Bats go cold for Aggies as Bulldogs take Game 2 of series, 5-1
Photo by CJ Smith
Freshman UTIL Gavin Grahovac (9) watches the ball after hitting a grand slam during A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

After Texas A&M beat Mississippi State on Thursday night 6-3 behind freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac’s five RBIs, the Aggies looked to clinch the series against the Bulldogs on Friday evening, with junior RHP Tanner Jones getting the start.

Mississippi State had other ideas though, as it pitched its way to a 5-1 win to even the weekend series.

Jones had a solid outing for A&M, where he allowed two runs, five hits, and a walk along with two strikeouts over four innings.

“I thought he looked great,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He had two or three really good pitches going.”

Jones ran into some trouble to begin the game in the first, where he loaded the bases with one out. Jones got a pop-out to short and struck out the next batter to end the Bulldogs’ threat.

The second inning was much easier for him, however, where he threw another shutout inning with a walk.

Senior C Jackson Appel began the bottom of the inning with a leadoff double. Two batters later, graduate LF Hayden Schott worked a walk to give A&M runners at the corners with one down. Junior SS Ali Camarillo shot a ball down the left field line to bring Appel home and give the Aggies a 1-0 lead.

Jones continued to pick up steam as the game progressed. He threw back-to-back scoreless frames in the third and fourth with help from his defense, including a fantastic play from Camarillo at short to end the fourth.

In the fifth inning, Jones was taken out of the game with two on and no outs, and sophomore LHP Shane Sdao replaced him. After a lineout to junior RF Braden Montgomery, junior 1B Hunter Hines launched a ball to right field for a three-run home run to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.

The Bulldogs also tacked on two more in the fifth after a run was scored via an E6 and another from a sac fly to extend their lead to 5-1.

Grahovac worked a 14-pitch at-bat in the bottom half of the frame before he was eventually rung up on a strikeout looking, but A&M was unable yet again to push any runs across the plate.

Junior RHP Khal Stephen, who was the Mississippi State starter, continued to dominate the A&M lineup. After ending the bottom of the sixth with a lineout, he would exit the game in the seventh with two outs. Stephen finished his evening with five strikeouts and one run allowed over 6.2 innings pitched.

Stephen was relieved by senior RHP Cam Schuelke, who recorded a strikeout to end the seventh.

The Aggie bullpen put on a solid showing after the Bulldogs’ five-spot in the fifth inning. Senior RHP Brock Peery, freshman RHP Weston Moss and sophomore RHP Peyton Smith strung together four straight shutout innings from the sixth inning to the ninth.

Senior LHP Tyler Davis was sent out to the mound in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win for the Bulldogs. After senior 1B Ted Burton worked a leadoff walk, Davis logged a flyout to left from Schott, and he struck out the final two batters to give Mississippi State the 5-1 victory over A&M.

The Aggies had their opportunities in this one. While Stephen had a very strong outing, A&M tallied five hits and three walks off the Bulldog starter. They made good contact throughout the game, but could not bring enough runs home to land a win.

“We hit 14 or 15 balls 100 miles an hour or more,” Schlossnagle said. “They didn’t fall in, and that’s the game.”

The Aggies seek to win the series in the rubber match on Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m.

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