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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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Starting strong

Photo by Cassie Stricker

John Doxakis only allowed one hit in 7 innings.

Powerful pitching propelled Texas A&M to a 4-0 win over Fordham on Opening Day Friday night.
John Doxakis started what many expect to be a standout season on a high note, tossing 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out 12 to zero walks on 85 pitches.
The junior left-handed pitcher found his groove as the game progressed, troubling Fordham hitters with off-speed pitches. Doxakis retired the final 11 batters he faced, allowing only three baserunners.
“I think what helped a lot was throwing first-pitch breakers because I think they only swung at one out of all of them,” Doxakis said of his approach. “So I knew if I just got over the plate it should work out.”
With Doxakis selecting to sling sliders, he and A&M head coach Rob Childress praised the efforts of catcher Mikey Hoehner.
“I think he was perfect for me,” Doxakis said of Hoehner. “He didn’t drop one ball and I think he caught four or five strikes for me that were a little off the plate, which helped a lot. I don’t think one ball got to the backstop.”
Sophomore Chandler Jozwiak finished off the night, as the left-handed pitcher added four strikeouts of his own despite allowing two runners to get into scoring position in the ninth.
“The pitching was outstanding,” Childress said. “John Doxakis and Chandler Jozwiak were amazing and Mikey Hoehner caught his tail off tonight, had to block a lot of sliders and he didn’t miss one.”
At the plate, A&M struck first in the early innings thanks to a pair of newcomers. In the second inning, third baseman Jonathan Ducoff brought home Hoehner from third on a sac-fly to shallow centerfield to scratch the first run of the season.
Veteran right fielder Logan Foster then cranked a 2-run homer off the left field scoreboard in the third frame to put the Aggies ahead 3-0.
The Aggies added insurance in the seventh, with pinch-hit first baseman Aaron Walters driving in Ducoff from second on a bloop single to shallow left field.
“We did a lot of good things offensively from a two-strike standpoint,” Childress said. “Every one of the runs we scored we had some tough two-strike at-bats … It’s just a great Friday night game.”
A&M struggled to barrel the ball well all night though, only getting two runners on base after the third inning. Fordham’s pitchers only recorded three combined strikeouts, but did well forcing A&M hitters into routine grounders and fly balls.
“We definitely hit some balls really hard tonight and I mean, that’s baseball,” Foster said. “You’re going to hit it hard and it’s going to go right at someone, but we’ve just got to keep coming and know they’re going to fall eventually.”
The Aggies and Rams will continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. The game will be aired on SEC Network Plus.

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