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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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Texas A&M baseball loses fifth SEC series with 20-7 loss to No. 5 Tennessee

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Graduate catcher Mikey Hoehner scored a pair of runs in the Aggies’ 20-7 loss to No. 5 Tennessee

On Sunday, April 25, Texas A&M baseball lost the rubber game of its series 20-7 against No. 5 Tennessee to fall to 23-19 overall and 5-13 in conference.
Though the Aggies took a 6-5 lead into the later innings of the game, bullpen troubles and hot bats allowed the Volunteers to run the score up and leave College Station with the win.
“We just did a poor job out of the bullpen,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We had a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning on Sunday, a chance to win the series and we don’t get the job done out of the bullpen. We got spread a little bit thin because our starters didn’t get us very deep this weekend and Tennessee has got a nice lineup.”
Prior to the 15 runs the Aggies gave up in the last three innings, they recovered from an early deficit to take a lead. Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth, A&M’s offense brought in five runs.
The Aggies’ offense was led by the top of the lineup on the day, as graduate center fielder Ray Alejo hit 1-of-3 with a walk and an RBI and junior left fielder Austin Bost hit 2-of-5, including a solo home run, for two RBIs.
“It’s tough when you have the lead going into the seventh and you feel good about things and they score two touchdowns on you,” graduate catcher Mikey Hoehner said. “That’s baseball. This game will break you down.”
After a four-run third inning for A&M freshman starting pitcher Nathan Dettmer, junior pitcher Joseph Menefee took to the mound. Menefee worked through three innings while striking out four batters and allowing two runs on two hits.
“It’s just all about eating innings and keeping [Tennessee] where they were to try and give our offense a chance to win it late for us,” Menefee said.
Menefee’s exit of the mound opened the gates for Tennessee’s offense and exacerbated problems from A&M’s bullpen. Six Aggies stepped up in the final three innings, but all let runs through.
“I thought Menefee did a great job,” Childress said. “We had runners at first and third, it was the highest pitch count he’s had in quite some time, I felt like it was time to go to [sophomore pitcher Alex] Magers who was rested and ready to go. Certainly, that move didn’t work.”
Also aiding A&M’s offense for the day was Hoehner, who hit 3-of-4. Although he had no RBIs in the game, he was brought across home twice.
Through six SEC series, A&M has won only one. With 14 games to play before the SEC Tournament, A&M will need a big winning push to be in postseason contention.
“I think everything that a team could say to each other throughout the season has been said,” Hoehner said. “It comes down to not talking about it and just being about it. There’s not a guy in that locker room that doesn’t care.”
Next up, the Aggies will host Texas State at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27. Then, the SEC gauntlet continues as the Aggies are set to travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on No. 4 Mississippi State for the weekend. The game on Friday, April 30, will begin at 6:30 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday’s games both begin at 2 p.m.
“We’re going to have to win Tuesday. That’s the first goal,” Hoehner said. “And then we’re going to have to go into an environment this weekend and do something. We can’t just look at it and think we’re going to eventually do something. It’s got to be now or it’s going to be never.”

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