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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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The Aggies’ path to a Regional game seven

Logan+Nottebrok+cheers+on+his+teammates+during+the+extra+innings+of+their+game+against+Cal+in+the+NCAA+Regionals+on+Sunday%2C+May+31st.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Timothy Lai

Logan Nottebrok cheers on his teammates during the extra innings of their game against Cal in the NCAA Regionals on Sunday, May 31st. 

Aggie baseball has come a long way this season. They started 24-0 in what ended up being the second longest winning streak of the college baseball year, behind Illinois, who won 27 in a row. They faced controversy, losing three of their final five SEC series to end the season. But nothing they faced has been as intense as the last two days of baseball at Olsen Field.

A&M came into the regional as a heavy favorite over Texas Southern, Coastal Carolina, and California.

Play began Friday afternoon, with California taking down Coastal Carolina 9-3. In the night game, the Aggies were led to a 5-0 shut-out win over Texas Southern by Aggie starting pitcher Matt Kent, who threw six innings and allowed six hits while striking out nine.

The win set up a showdown between California and A&M on Saturday night. The Aggies and Golden Bears played a brilliant 14 inning affair, which included either great pitching or poor execution, as both teams struggled with runners in scoring position all night long.

Grayson Long and Ryan Hendrix were the only two pitchers A&M utilized, and both were outstanding. Both worked 6 2/3 innings and both allowed one earned run, but Hendrix’s was the game winner. In the bottom of the 14th inning, Mitchell Kranson of California hit a walk off solo home run to give the Bears a 2-1 win over A&M. It left the Olsen Field crowd in shock, and moved A&M into the losers bracket. To win the regional, they would have to first win an elimination game, then beat California twice.

The first goal was accomplished against Coastal Carolina in the elimination game, an 8-1 Aggie win that set up the rematch at 6 p.m. against California.

In one of the best atmospheres of the season, A&M and Cal played yet another barnburner. In one of the most thrilling finishes of the season, the Aggies prevailed in 12 innings for a 4-3 win to force a final showdown for the regional championship. The hero of the game was Ronnie Gideon, who came through for A&M when they needed it the most. As a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, and with A&M trailing 3-2, Gideon was inserted to provide the spark the Aggies needed at the plate. He smashed an RBI double down the left field line to tie the game and send the game to extra innings for the second night in a row.

In the final inning a California runner was caught in a rundown between third base and home, but no one was covering the plate for A&M. Gideon dove with the ball to tag the runner only feet before he touched the plate to come to A&M’s rescue once again.

Sunday night’s game was just another example of Olsen Magic. The win by A&M set up the final showdown between the two talented squads. Following the game seven of the regional, the Aggies walked away with a 3-1 win and advanced to the Super Regionals.

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  • Nick Choruby ties up the score against Cal and receives a celebration during the NCAA Regionals game on Sunday, May 31st. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Grayson Long pitched the first few innings against CAL during the NCAA Regionals on Saturday, May 30th. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Grayson Long bounces around after A&M’s win over Cal during the NCAA Regionals on Sunday, May 31st. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Andrew Vinson throws to first during the regional opener against Texas Southern University

    Photo by Vanessa Pena
  • Nick Banks rounds second for a two run home run against Texas Southern University

    Photo by Vanessa Pena
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