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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Wichita State gets late runs to down Aggies in Frisco

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore first baseman Jack Moss (9) stops a run at first in Blue Bell Park on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

The third and final game of the Frisco Classic against Wichita State carried a great deal of importance for Texas A&M.
After dropping the first game of the round-robin to Washington State and winning 7-3 against Iowa the next day, the Sunday, March 6 matchup with the Shockers would mean the difference between a winning and losing weekend.
Freshman southpaw Ryan Prager, who came into Sunday with a pair of quality starts and only two allowed runs, had another admirable outing as he showed poise and has improved his swings and misses.
But, Prager wouldn’t be able to do it all for the Aggies. The three men out of Schlossnagle’s bullpen combined for four innings pitched, three batters hit, four Shockers walked and six runs and hits allowed. Those clutch, late-inning Wichita State runs were the difference in a 6-5 loss for A&M.
Wichita State head coach Todd Butler said the maroon and white were a formidable opponent, and he expects them to be a winning program this season.
“[A&M] is a good club,” Butler said. “They’ve got a lot of good ballplayers over there, and they’re going to win a lot of games. Whenever you’re playing a good team, you have to play good baseball to beat them.”
Graduate catcher Troy Claunch kept up the team’s momentum at the plate from Saturday when he brought home the first run of the game in the first inning. And after Prager’s first inning, a two-run bomb to left-center on a two-strike count from sophomore second baseman Ryan Targac extended the early Aggie lead.
Prager got into his first jam of the night in the second inning when he allowed men to reach the corners with one out. But, he punched out a pair swinging to strand the bases loaded and got through the third with ease, as Claunch gunned down a Schocker trying to steal with two outs. A&M would head into the middle innings with a 3-0 advantage.
Prager struck out three more in the fourth to bring his total to seven, one short of his career high of eight punchouts against Penn. Wichita State only managed two hits to that point as freshman Brad Rudis took his spot on the mound in the fifth. Prager set down 12 of the 17 men he faced to go along with his strikeout total.
The Aggies added one more to their lead before Rudis’ entrance with sophomore first baseman Jack Moss’ sacrifice fly that scored graduate third baseman Kole Kaler. But, the Shockers were able to finally get on the scoreboard with two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead in half as the late innings began.
That lead was quickly erased after the stretch, though, when Wichita State stayed hot and got an RBI double followed by a go-ahead, no-doubt, two-run home run. Junior lefty Joseph Menefee took responsibility for those runs as he became the second man out of Schlossnagle’s bullpen.
The Aggies wouldn’t go away quietly with graduate outfielder Dylan Rock logging a clutch, two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield. It was for naught, however, with the Shockers retaking the lead on a sac fly in the bottom of the eighth, as they were able to outlast A&M’s offensive production in the end.
Wichita State, the weekend’s Frisco Classic Champions, set the Aggies down in order in the top half of the ninth to win by a run and go a perfect 3-0 on the weekend. A&M had a losing weekend record of 1-2 and fell to a 7-4 record this season.
“I think it was good for some of the Texas kids on our roster to play close to home and go against some of the teams they had probably grown up watching,” Butler said. “Obviously, Texas A&M is a great program, very storied. All of the teams [in Frisco] were quality teams.”
Schlossnagle and his crew have a quick turnaround, facing nearby Tarleton at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday, March 8. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+. A few days later, on Friday, March 11, A&M starts a three-game series against Santa Clara, which is the last non-conference weekend series of the season.
Claunch, Kaler and Moss received Frisco Classic All-Tournament Team honors

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