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Texas A&M Baseball

A&M overcomes early errors with gritty rally, advances to SEC semifinals

May 27, 2022

Press conference video courtesy of the Southeastern Conference.

Game #54: #2 Texas A&M 12, #11 Alabama 8 (SEC Tournament, third round)
Records: Texas A&M (37-17, 19-11), Alabama (31-25, 12-17)
WP: Chris Cortez (6-3)
LP: Brock Guffey (2-4)
Save: Will Johnston (4)
Box Score

The Tide turns quickly.

Despite falling into a self-inflicted five-run hole, #2 Texas A&M hit its way toward a 12-8 victory over #11 Alabama in the third round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

Behind a patented and powerful approach, the Aggies scored 10 unanswered runs to erase a 6-1 deficit with a picture of Jimbo Fisher taped to the dugout wall.

"As typical for our team, we play from behind so much that nobody ever panics," Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "We'll take it and move on to tomorrow."

"It's as gritty and as resilient of a team as I've ever been around, and that says a lot. They never panic. They just move on to the next pitch and see what happens."
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

With the win, the Maroon & White appear destined to be named a top-eight national seed on selection Monday.

"It's as gritty and as resilient of a team as I've ever been around, and that says a lot," Schlossnagle said. "They never panic. They just move on to the next pitch and see what happens."

What ended as a fine Friday night began sourly for A&M.

"The first three innings, that's about the ugliest baseball as we have played the whole season," Schlossnagle said. "I can't remember us playing that poorly."

Nathan Dettmer received zero help from his defense as the Aggie starter recorded just four outs, equal to the number of errors committed behind him.

"Although he didn't have a breaking ball going, he threw his fastball down enough; he got the ground balls that he normally gets," Schlossnagle said of Dettmer. "Certainly, we played very poorly behind him, both on the infield and in the outfield."

Dettmer departed after surrendering four runs on four hits, but more importantly, he appeared to be unaffected by a blister that has become a nuisance late in the season.

First out of the bullpen, Jacob Palisch gave up two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings.

"I just wanted to get Dettmer his work in, but I also wanted a chance to win the game," Schlossnagle said. "I figured I'd give Palisch 30-40 pitches and get him out and then piece it together, which is what we did. I just wish we wouldn't have given up the extra runs."

Dylan Rock’s fifth-inning homer jumpstarted the Aggie comeback.

Chris Cortez then steadied the ship against the Tide, earning the victory in the process. The SEC All-Freshman selection recorded six crucial outs but yielded just two more runs. Still, Cortez allowed the offense to ultimately come around.

"Very few teams swing their way to Omaha, but this is certainly one that's capable of doing it," Schlossnagle said.

A&M's climb back began in the fifth as Dylan Rock connected with a 3-2 offering from Grayson Hitt for a three-run bomb, his 17th of the year. It was Hitt's final pitch of the night.

"He just doesn't panic," Schlossnagle said of Rock. "Obviously, he's just a really good hitter and he doesn't panic. He's also had about 600 college at-bats, so he's been around a while."

The ascent continued in the sixth as Tide pitching faltered with the Aggies scoring three runs on just one hit — Kole Kaler's two-run single off Brock Guffey to tie the game, 6-6.

"Just the maturity and what I've learned since I've been here is really just one pitch at a time," Kaler said. "Just get right back to it. That's kind of what we did as an infield tonight."

Later in the inning, Rock was hit by Luke Holman with the bases loaded to put A&M in front for the first time. It was the third hit batter of the frame.

In the seventh, Kaler dumped a single into center to score Ryan Targac for his third RBI of the night. The next batter, Trevor Werner, hit a three-run homer to left that staked A&M to a five-run advantage.

"We kind of all knew that we needed to come together and kind of reset because those first two innings were not Aggie baseball," Werner said. "Deep breath and get back to doing what we do, and we just kind of went from there. It was smooth from there on out."

With Jimbo Fisher’s picture looking on, the Aggies rallied to beat Alabama.

After Alabama fought back for two in the bottom of the seventh, Brett Minnich's RBI double plated Targac to finalize the score. Will Johnston then nailed down the rare three-inning save.

A&M's reward for improving to 2-0 in the SEC Tournament is a later wake-up call as the Aggies will not play until Saturday afternoon against an opponent that will have already played.

Tomorrow's semifinal will be a rematch with either the Tide or #7 Florida, who will battle in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m. CT. Game time for A&M's next contest is still TBD.

As for Fisher, the football coach texted Schlossnagle postgame: "Congratulations. Gritty win. Fun team to watch."

Discussion from...

A&M overcomes early errors with gritty rally, advances to SEC semifinals

5,900 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by jigsaw87
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Good writeup! Enjoyed that.

Liked the interviews as well. Thanks for pulling them all together here. That's a nice feature of Texags.
Divining Rod
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Really good win. We had to fight in this one, down 5 runs against a team that had been playing really well lately... Definitely had to earn it. Obviously we made it more difficult on ourselves with the errors but were able to overcome it with our offense & some solid work out of the bullpen. All in all, a win to feel really great about & keeps the momentum going into the semifinals.

Arms were good, everyone threw pretty well. Dettmer was getting groundballs... Maybe didn't throw his slider as much as normal. But he looked strong & very excited to see him take the mound in Olsen for regionals. Palisch 3 K's/0 BB's, nice work... Cortez attacked, fastball was good and had the changeup going also. Johnston was awesome, big time outing... Breaking stuff was outstanding.

Offense just keeps getting it done... Really good at bats all game. We grinded like usual and got some elevated pitch counts from their arms... Showed a great eye as a lineup overall. Rock with the huge swing on the HR to get us right back in it... So many clutch bombs from him this year. Werner swung it really well, obviously the big HR, he is torching the ball lately... Has been a force at the leadoff spot. It is working out really well with Thompson and Kaler getting on base & the top of the lineup driving them in... Everyone is contributing. Thompson with 4 walks in this one... Just fabulous patience. Targac had 3 BB's, Minnich good swings, just another really awesome offensive performance overall.

This team continues to show they know how to win, ahead, comebacks, doesn't matter... They grind AB's and we always have arms step up and it all adds up to an amazing season... Overall vibes are great & really looking forward to the semifinals tonight.
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