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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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Sweepless in Tuscaloosa

A&M falls 10-9 in series finale to Crimson Tide
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Sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin (33) pitches during A&M’s game against Auburn on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

Just a day after No. 1 Texas A&M baseball put up 28 combined runs in a doubleheader sweep against Alabama, it was the bats of the Crimson Tide that emerged victorious as the Aggies fell to the Tide 10-9 in the series finale in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Saturday, April 20.

Alabama’s game-winning runs came on a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh with A&M leading 9-8. Senior 2B Bryce Eblin sent the first pitch he saw straight into center field and drove in junior DH Kade Snell and graduate RF Evan Sleight.

But after the second inning, it didn’t look like either team would win a one-run game.

Grand slam Guscette

Less than 24 hours after Alabama senior C Mac Guscette hit his first home run of 2024 with a grand-slam in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, he decided he wasn’t done.

Presented with the bases loaded in his first at-bat in the second inning, Guscette sent a hit flying over the left-field wall to give the Crimson Tide a 4-0 lead early. Eblin would score on a sacrifice fly to grow the lead to five before the third inning.

A&M’s offense didn’t stay silent, though. Freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac put the Aggies on the scoreboard with an RBI single of his own, and sophomore CF Jace LaViolette’s sacrifice fly gave A&M its second run of the inning.

And so began the back-and-forth battle of the bats that spanned every inning until Eblin’s game winner: Every inning until the eighth saw at least one run scored, and a lot of the credit goes to Grahovac and LaViolette.

Trailing 6-2 in the fourth inning, Grahovac was presented with a bases-loaded opportunity of his own, thanks to a pair of singles from graduate DH Hayden Schott and junior SS Ali Camarillo and an HBP by senior 2B Travis Chestnut. Grahovac drove in all three with a double that bounced off of the wall in right-center field to cut the gap to one run.

Two innings later, it was LaViolette’s turn: Taking advantage of Chestnut’s triple, LaViolette sent the Aggies’ first home run of the day sailing into the grass beyond the right field wall to give the Maroon and White an 8-7 lead.

But that wasn’t the last homer of the game: junior 3B Gage Miller sent one straight into the right field foul pole that same inning.

Bullpen woes

The Aggies’ offense could keep up with Alabama’s onslaught but their bullpen could not.

After the Crimson Tide’s early dominance, starter sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin was pulled out after just 1.2 innings in favor of junior RHP Josh Stewart, who’d last for just over three innings himself.

A&M would go on to play a total of six pitchers before closing with junior RHP Chris Cortez and sophomore LHP Shane Sdao, who each gave up a single hit and were the only two Aggie pitchers to hold the Tide scoreless.

Overall, A&M’s pitching staff combined to give up 16 hits while tallying seven strikeouts, while Alabama’s three pitchers combined for nine strikes on 11 hits conceded.

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and BCSball.com. 
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