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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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Late game unluckiness

After a back-and-forth affair, No. 4 A&M baseball drops its Sunday series game against No.8 Florida 4-2
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Texas A&M infielder Ted Burton (27) getting an out on first during Texas A&M’s game against Sam Houston State on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

In the first week of SEC play, No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 8 Florida were locked in a heavyweight bout as the two ball clubs split the first two games to set up a winner-takes-all game on Sunday, March 17.

However, on a day filled with luck and green all around to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, the Maroon and White were pinched late by the Gators to drop their second game of the season 4-2.

After having a shootout in the prior two games, both teams’ bullpens held the runs in check. Beforehand, however, A&M struck first with a run by sophomore CF Jace LaViolette on a throwing error by sophomore 2B Cade Kurland.

After starting left-handed pitchers A&M sophomore Justin Lamkin and Florida junior Jac Caglianone for the day, the duo combined and worked in scoreless innings and only allowed two hits to go into the bottom of the second, Florida got on the board after a Kurland redemption RBI single.

Then, the bullpens would go to work. The third and fourth innings were fruitful for the southpaws as Caglianone and Lamkin remained nearly identical with just one hit allowed for both pitchers.

Coming down to the wire, the Aggies finally found success as junior RF Braden Montgomery remained hot at bat with a solo homer to left field to put A&M back on top.

As if the bullpens weren’t already identical enough, the Gators chomped back shortly after as sophomore 1B Luke Heyman also hit a solo homer to left field to tie the game back up. After hitting sophomore SS Colby Shelton, Lamkin’s day was done as senior RHP Brock Peery relieved him. The lefty finished with four hits, two runs, five strikeouts and 1.57 ERA in 4.2 innings played.

Caglianone was also relieved by sophomore RHP Ryan Slater with similar stats to Lamkin with four hits, two runs, seven strikeouts and 1.77 ERA in 5.1 innings played.

Peery picked up where Lamkin left off. He worked a nearly perfect game with no hits and runs allowed and one strikeout to mark a season-best while holding off the Gators before being relieved by junior RHP Josh Stewart.

In the other bullpen, though Slater’s day was done early, playing in just 0.2 innings, the sophomore snuck in a strikeout to his name.

After a tug-of-war with the lead (and with pitching), Florida struck gold as senior 3B Tyler Shelnut’s two-run homer put the Gators back on top late in the eighth and proved to be the game winning hit as the Aggies failed to answer back in the ninth inning.

The Maroon and White come out of Florida with a series loss and will look to bounce back at home on Wednesday, March 20 at 4 p.m. against Prairie View A&M.

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About the Contributor
Justin Chen
Justin Chen, Sports Writer
Justin Chen is a journalism senior minoring in sport management and communication. Justin has covered football, men's basketball, volleyball, baseball and swim & dive. Justin also writes feature NBA pieces and covered the Miami Heat for Sir Charles In Charge. When not writing, he likes to frequent the gym, support Arsenal and watch anime.
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