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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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Warmin’ up in the cold

No. 7 A&M baseball lassos in McNeese State 6-1
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  • Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) slides into home base during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M utility Jett Johnston (36) watches the hitter during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • A field crew member pours dirt on the mound before Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M infielder Ted Burton (27) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M Assistant Coach Michael Earlay during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M pitcher Justin Lamkin (33) reacts after throwing a strikeout during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M outfielder Hayden Schott (5) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M pitcher Justin Lamkin (33) walks to the dugout during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery (6) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (12) throws to first during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (12) returns to the dugout during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M pitcher Blake Binderup (46) watches during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M outfielder Braden Montgomery (6) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Baseballs stored in a bin during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M infielder Travis Chestnut (4) during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (12) runs to third base during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M infielder Travis Chestnut (4) dives to second basebduring Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (12) runs to third base during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
  • Texas A&M infielder Ryan Targac (12) and Texas A&M infielder Ali Camarillo (2) react after Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

    Photo by Chris Swann
  • Texas A&M during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Blue Bell Park. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

    Photo by Ishika Samant
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Just a day removed from temperatures in the 60s and 70s with a sunny sky, Texas weather did its usual thing on Saturday, Feb. 17 as those in Olsen Field were greeted to unfavorable weather.

With temperatures in the 40s and a cloudy sky, 5,818 still showed up to support No. 7 Texas A&M baseball in its second matchup against McNeese State and were rewarded with a 6-1 win. The fan support during the harsh conditions didn’t go unnoticed, sophomore CF Jace LaViolette said.

“Once again, the fans were here and it’s an unbelievable atmosphere,” LaViolette said. “[Olsen Field] is a fun place to play at.”

Though home runs headlined A&M’s 15-0 win a day before, both teams struggled to hit while pitchers took advantage.

“[It was] a really tough day to hit,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “A tough day to hit for both teams. I thought their starting pitcher [junior P Cameron LeJeune] was outstanding, [had a] really good breaking ball, was giving us fits and was throwing strikes. I thought [sophomore LHP Justin] Lamkin was solid.”

After each team struck out each other in the first inning, the Pokes showed their first signs of life as Lamkin hit senior 1B Chase Keeton, senior DH Parker Stroh singled to left field and a second  hit batter in junior LF Connor Westenburg saw McNeese load up the bases.

Then, Lamkin locked in and made up for his previous errors, striking out junior SS Connor Schneider to end the top of the second.

A couple innings later, the Aggies found themselves in a similar situation, facing loaded bases by the Pokes. Senior P Evan Aschenbeck subbed in for Lamkin and followed his footsteps as Schneider grounded out  to end McNeese’s momentum.

Though the same story continued as the Aggies and Pokes traded strikeouts until the bottom of the fifth, a double from senior 2B Ryan Targac emitted the loudest cheers of the afternoon and another double to left field by sophomore C Max Kaufer brought out the first bubbles from the home crowd as the Aggies struck first, 1-0.

McNeese made its own pitching change to senior P Ty Abraham and it paid off immediately with LaViolette flying out, junior RF Braden Montgomery grounding out and striking out freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac.

The Pokes continued to make a push, starting with a single from Westenburg and a steal to second. Senior RF Braden Duhon singled up the middle and brought home Westenburg to tie up the score, 1-1.

With the 12th Man getting antsy, Abraham gave them something to cheer for, walking freshman 1B Blake Binderup and senior C Jackson Appel, who pinch hit for Kaufer. After another walk to freshman INF Kaeden Kent and with LaViolette to the plate, the crowd rose to its feet, waiting for a signature home run.

Newly-subbed-in sophomore P Caleb Strmiska didn’t take a chance as he walked LaViolette and Binderup scored. Though he paled compared to the day before in hitting, Montgomery doubled to left field to bring in Kent, Appel and LaViolette.

However, after a replay review and much to the dismay of the 12th Man, LaViolette was ruled out.

It did little to slow down A&M’s momentum as it found its groove. After a single by senior LF Hayden Schott, he was replaced by senior UTL Travis Chestnut, who made an immediate impact, stealing second and third. A Targac double after a fielding error saw Chestnut score and junior SS Ali Camarillo sealed the deal, singling to left field to bring home Targac.

A&M senior P Zane Badmaev closed out the game for good and struck out the Pokes to secure a 6-1 game and series win.

The Aggies come back on Sunday, Feb. 18 to play their last game against McNeese at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Justin Chen
Justin Chen, Sports Writer
Justin Chen is a journalism senior minoring in sport management and communication. Justin has covered football, men's basketball, volleyball, baseball and swim & dive. Justin also writes feature NBA pieces and covered the Miami Heat for Sir Charles In Charge. When not writing, he likes to frequent the gym, support Arsenal and watch anime.
Ishika Samant
Ishika Samant, Former Photo Chief
Ishika Samant served multiple roles at The Battalion as photo chief, managing editor, multimedia editor and social media editor through her tenure from 2021 to 2024.
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