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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Texas A&M back on track with victory over Rice

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

George Janca celebrates.

The No. 23 Aggie baseball team ended its losing streaking by edging out Rice 8-5, Tuesday night at Olsen Field.
Trailing 3-2 heading into the fifth inning, the Aggies (15-7, 0-3 SEC) broke the game open by putting up a three spot in the frame.
Three-straight singles saw Austin Homan drive in George Janca from third for the first run, tying the game. Braden Shewmake would follow and plate Nick Choruby with a sac fly, before Logan Foster ended the scoring with an RBI double.
Homan, who finished with two hits, said he feels like he’s making strides swinging the bat after struggling over the last few games.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” Homan said. “I’ve hit some balls hard that haven’t found holes, but you know, that’s baseball. So when that happens, you just have to stay confident and keep swinging the bat.”
On the mound, Corbin Martin started for A&M, but a high pitch count and an inability to get outs saw him exit the game after the third inning.
Martin surrendered two runs over three innings of work, before being replaced by John Doxakis in the fourth.
Once Doxakis entered the game, he pitched his team to a win. After getting into some trouble by loading the bases in the fourth, Dox only gave up one run before ending the frame. When his night was over, he had tossed four solid innings of relief giving up just one run.
Head Coach Rob Childress said Dox’s fourth inning was not only instrumental in the win, but in his pitcher’s growth for the rest of the season.  
“He’s learning how to compete,” Childress said. “I thought that was a huge step forward tonight for him — learning it’s not just about going out there and throwing pitches, it’s about competing and he did that tonight.”
The Owls (6-17, 0-3 Conference USA) quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
After drawing a walk and advancing to third on a single, Ryan Chandler stole home when his teammate Dominic DiCaprio tried to steal second and drew the throw from Aggie catcher Cole Bedford.
In the bottom of the second, Joel Davis would tie the game at a run apiece for his team. After working a 3-1 count, Davis launched his third home run of the year over the right center field wall.
Davis, another catalyst for the offense in the game, said the team’s losing streak wasn’t going to keep them from getting back on track with a win.
“We were ready to get the bad taste out of our mouth,” Davis said. “It’s great to get a “W”, but we’re not hitting the panic button or anything like that. Yeah, we lost four games but, so what? That’s really what our mentality is. We want to win every single game, but if we lose four we’re still going to come back and get the next one. ”
The Owls would score again in the third. After hitting back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners, Dane Myers would drive in a runner with an RBI single, putting Rice up 2-1.
Both teams would trade runs in the fourth —  after a ground rule double and a walk loaded the bases for Rice, a sac fly gave the Owls a 3-1 edge. In the bottom of the frame, the maroon and white would load the bases before Davis drove in Homan, to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Aggies tacked on two more runs in the seventh. Logan Foster picked up Homan from third with an RBI single up the middle and Davis would double home Pennington, who replaced Foster as a pinch runner. A&M ended the seventh inning ahead 7-3.
The Owls and the Aggies would trade punches again in the eighth.
Once Doxakis gave way to Mitchell Kilkenny in the eighth, Tristan Gray would drive in a run on a fielder’s choice ground ball to the shortstop, cutting the lead to 7-4.  After loading the bases again in the eighth, Braden Shewmake drove in pinch runner Coll Stanley with a sacrifice fly to push the lead back to four.
In the ninth inning, Kilkenny would finish the game but not before surrendering a run. A leadoff double and a few batters later, Ryan Chandler dropped in an RBI single to left field.
The Aggies will travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt for a three-game set starting Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the SEC Network Plus.

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