Photo by Elisa Schmitt, TexAgs

Aggies' season comes to close in Morgantown after 4-1 loss to Duke

June 2, 2019
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Much like Sunday’s first game, one swing of the bat was the difference in the ballgame. Unfortunately for the Aggies, they were not on the right side of the scoreboard like they were earlier in the day.

The magic has officially run out for the Aggies as they wrap up their season following a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Duke on Sunday night. A 1st inning three-run homer for the Blue Devils proved to be the difference as Texas A&M failed to pull off its second comeback of the day. Missed opportunities and men left on base again plagued the team.

The Aggies had a chance to get on the scoreboard early but could not capitalize. Bryce Blaum followed his 9th inning heroics from the previous game with a one-out double in the 1st. Following a fly out to right, Blaum stole third base. Hunter Coleman then walked to put two men on. But shortly after, Logan Foster grounded out to end the inning. The result would be Aggies stranding their first two baserunners of the evening.

It would become a recurring theme.

In the bottom half of the opening frame, A&M starter Chandler Jozwiak began his night with back-to-back strikeouts but would struggle to get the third. Duke’s Matt Mervis picked up a single, followed by a Michael Rothenberg walk to set the stage for Kyle Gallagher. On a 1-0 pitch, Gallagher deposited a ball into the right field bullpen to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead. It would end up being the game’s decisive blow.

Unshaken, Jozwiak settled into a rhythm. He was highly effective and ate up innings to assist a depleted A&M bullpen. He would only allow only one more run on the game after a third inning double by Gallagher. Jozwiak allowed a total four runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings of play on the day. He also struck out a career-high 12 batters.

Tarah Cochran, TexAgs
Leaving runners stranded on base was the difference maker in the Aggies’ loss to Duke.

Offensively, the ballgame was a reflection of the A&M season. Left on base totals tallied up as the Aggies failed to scratch a timely hit.

The Aggies had a chance to punch right back in the top of the 2nd following the Gallagher homer, after Mikey Hoehner lead off the inning with a double and made his way to third via a wild pitch. Two batters later, Ty Coleman grounded into a one-out fielder’s choice. Hoehner left on contact and was gunned out on a throw from third to home. This caused A&M come away empty-handed in the 2nd.

In the 3rd inning, A&M found a way to score its first and only run of the ballgame. After a leadoff double by Blaum (his fourth consecutive at-bat of the regional with a hit) and a bunt single by Cam Blake, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Hunter Coleman brought Blaum home.

The last prime opportunity the Aggies had to score came in the 5th. With two outs, A&M attempted to stage another rally. Back-to-back singles from Blaum and Blake, combined with a Hunter Coleman walk, loaded the bases for Logan Foster. A Foster ground-out to short, however, would end any chance of A&M scoring another run.

At the time of Foster’s inning-ending groundout in the 5th, Texas A&M had stranded seven runners, five of which were left in scoring position. The Aggies would finish the ballgame with eight men left on. While Aggie pitching, led by Jozwiak and Jake Nelson, continued to throw up zeros following the third, the bats never could get a timely hit to get A&M back in the game.

The defeat officially put a bow on yet another lackluster season. Duke will advance to play in a super regional next weekend, while Texas A&M will travel back to Aggieland to prepare for the offseason. The Aggies finished 2-2 in the Morgantown Regional and 39-23-1 overall for the year. It is the second consecutive year Texas A&M has failed to advance past a regional tournament.

All that is left for Aggie baseball fans to do now is start counting down the days until the 2020 season begins in February.

 
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