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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 road ends here: Aggies fall to Stanford to end the season

The+players+watch+the+fireworks+after+a+game+vs.+Alabama+on+Friday%2C+May+12%2C+2023+at+Blue+Bell+Park.
Photo by Ishika Samant

The players watch the fireworks after a game vs. Alabama on Friday, May 12, 2023 at Blue Bell Park.

For Aggie fans, what a year it has been.
Starting the season ranked in the top five, expectations were high for Texas A&M baseball. With almost all of the roster who made it to Omaha, the Aggies were expected to make a run deep in the postseason. The season did not meet the expectations of many, but despite a tumultuous year, A&M still found itself in a position to make it back to the heartland.
After going 2-0 to start the Stanford regional, the Aggies ran out of gas in their last two games against the Stanford Cardinal, scoring only 2 runs in their last 17 innings. Despite arguably the best outing from junior RHP Nathan Dettmer of the season, A&M was unable to muster any offensive production in the Game 7 winner-take-all regional final, falling 7-1 to bring their season to a close.
Both Dettmer and freshman Stanford RHP Matt Scott worked 1-2-3 first frames, but freshman RF Jace LaViolette opened the scoring in the top of the second by launching a solo shot deep to right field, his 21st of the season, adding on to his A&M freshman home run record. Unbeknownst to Aggie fans, that would be the only run the Aggies would score.
In the bottom of the inning, sophomore Stanford DH Braden Montgomery answered LaViolette with a home run of his own to left field, tying the game. Despite the run allowed, Dettmer was in control all the way up until the bottom of the fifth.
In the fifth frame, sophomore RF Saborn Campbell laced a ball past first base into right field and never stopped running, turning what looked like a routine double into a triple with one out. Sophomore SS Temo Becerra cashed in on the extra-base hit with a groundout to give the Cardinal the lead.
Stanford continued to add insurance in the sixth inning. After Montgomery dropped a single to center field, freshman C Malcolm Moore crushed a ball to right field to give the Cardinal a 4-1 lead.
Dettmer, in his last game of the season, worked six innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits, but had eight strikeouts.
Freshman LHP Shane Sdao came in to relieve Dettmer in the seventh and gave up an infield single to Campbell in his first at-bat as the southpaw slipped going to retrieve the ball. A bunt from Becerra advanced the runner, and a single from Park put runners on the corners with one out. A fielder’s choice hit into by junior 3B Tommy Troy tacked on another run for the Cardinal, and the Aggies began to watch their hopes for super regionals begin to shrink.
Any salvageable piece of hope for A&M appeared to dwindle away in the eighth, as Stanford put two runners on with singles from junior LF Albert Rios and junior 2B Drew Bowser. Junior LHP Evan Aschenbeck came in to pitch with two outs as coach Jim Schlossnagle tried to prevent any more damage. It appeared like A&M would make it out of the inning unscathed as Campbell hit a high pop-up to third base, but neither junior 3B Trevor Werner nor junior SS Hunter Haas could find it, falling down for an infield hit and giving Stanford another run. A single to left from Becerra put the nail in the coffin, ballooning the deficit to six with the Aggies having just three outs to mount a comeback.
Junior Stanford LHP Ryan Bruno put an end to any heroic comebacks A&M may try to mount, walking senior DH Brett Minnich before striking out junior CF Stanley Tucker, Haas and junior 1B Jack Moss to end the game.
Stanford will host the Texas Longhorns in a best-of-3 super regional series next weekend. For the Aggies, they will head home and begin the offseason, watching the upcoming MLB draft to see what pieces of their roster will be around on opening day in 2024.

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