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Texas A&M Baseball

Never Say Die: Ags comeback again, beat Louisiana in thriller, 9-6

June 4, 2022

Game #57: #5 Texas A&M 9, Louisiana 6
Records: Texas A&M (39-18, 19-11), Louisiana (37-22, 19-11)
WP: Jacob Palisch (5-3)
LP: Tommy Ray (3-3)
S: Brad Rudis (3)
Box Score

Austin Bost got us. Amen.

After launching a three-run blast on Friday afternoon, the Groves native sent a two-run, go-ahead bomb into orbit in the eighth that put #5 Texas A&M (39-18) in front for good.

“They were mixing me pretty well tonight,” Bost said. “[Jake Hammond] left the pitch middle, a little bit down. That’s where I like to swing, so I put a good swing on it. Good things happen.”

Bost’s ninth home run of the year sent the 6,675 fans in attendance into a frenzy as the Aggies ultimately defeated Louisiana, 9-6, in the winner’s bracket game of the College Station Regional.

“What a showing from the 12th Man tonight,” Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Every reason that you could ever want to come to Texas A&M to play baseball, from an atmosphere and fan standpoint, you saw tonight.”

With the win, A&M will face either TCU or Louisiana in Sunday’s regional final at 7 p.m. CT.

“All we’ve won is two games,” Schlossnagle said. “We haven’t won the regional, so we’ve still got a lot of rest to get and a lot of baseball to play.”

“All we’ve won is two games. We haven’t won the regional, so we’ve still got a lot of rest to get and a lot of baseball to play.”
- Texas A&M HC Jim Schlossnagle

Bost’s eighth-inning heroics figured to be unnecessary after a four-run first that saw Ryan Targac and Troy Claunch drive in a pair, each. Those were the only four runs A&M mustered vs. Louisiana starter Jacob Schultz, who departed after 4.1 innings and 104 pitches.

It was Louisiana’s aggressive and relentless offensive pressure that saw the Ragin’ Cajuns score six unanswered runs in the first half of the contest.

“With the pressure that they put on you, you can’t give up extra runs,” Schlossnagle said.

A&M starter Nathan Dettmer failed to fool Louisiana hitters, and his inability to field his position gave the Ragin’ Cajuns life.

“At the end of the day, if he gets the outs they gave us … maybe he finds a rhythm,” Schlossnagle said.

Heath Hood hit a two-run double in the first, and Julian Brock’s solo homer in the second cut A&M’s lead to 4-3.

Disaster struck in the third as Louisiana took advantage of a Dettmer throwing error on a sacrifice bunt, capitalizing for two runs to take a 5-4 lead. Louisiana tacked on another in the fifth thanks to another Aggie error.

“That’s their game, and they do put a lot of pressure on you,” Schlossnagle said. “Coach (Matt) Deggs does an outstanding job of running that offense, and they definitely have an identity that’s tough to play.”

In total, A&M’s defense made four miscues with Dettmer being charged for two of them.

After 4.1 innings and six runs on nine hits, Dettmer gave way to left-hander Jacob Palisch, who scattered four hits across three scoreless frames. Behind Palisch, freshman Brad Rudis got the final five outs to earn his third save of the season.

“I feel good about where we are,” Schlossnagle said of his pitching staff. “We’re not a club that’s built to play five games in three days, so that was big to get the win tonight.”

With Palisch steadying the storm on the mound, A&M’s comeback began in the seventh when Ryan Targac led off the inning with a single. Troy Claunch’s wall-ball double scored Targac before Brett Minnich’s single plated Claunch to tie the game, 6-6.

LHP Jacob Palisch was nails on Saturday, tossing three innings of scoreless releif.

Then came the Bost bomb.

Before Claunch’s seventh-inning double, A&M had registered 12 singles without an extra-base hit. Until the seventh, A&M had stranded nine base runners.

“It’s been what we’ve been doing all season, so we just continue to trust in what we do,” Claunch said. “Obviously, you want to score those runs when you have the bases loaded, but we just continue to grind out at-bats and trust in our process. We know it’s going to come.”

Speaking of Claunch, the Aggie backstop played a huge part in controlling Louisiana’s ridiculous running game. The catcher threw out a pair of would-be base stealers, including CJ Willis at third to end the eighth.

“We knew they were going to run,” Claunch said. “Coach (Nate) Yeskie did a good job of mixing in holds, mixing in picks, and I just have to be ready to throw on every single pitch.”

Had Claunch not thrown out Willis, Louisiana would have had the potential tying run in scoring position.

“I had a feeling he might go, and luckily, I got a pitch up that I was able to make a good throw on,” Claunch added.

Kole Kaler added an improbable ninth-inning insurance maker with his third home run of the year on a shot into Section 12.

In a season of comebacks and timely hitting, Saturday’s contest was a microcosm of A&M’s 2022 campaign that now sees the Aggies just one win away from a super regional and three from Omaha.

“That’s our season,” Schlossnagle said. “That’s how these guys have competed all year. It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’s the most competitive thing.”

Should the Aggies reach the heartland, Bost — or anybody in Maroon & White — might continue answering the prayers of Aggies everywhere.

“I was glad I was able to come through for my team, but this offense is relentless,” Bost said. “Anybody could be here right now.”

Discussion from...

Never Say Die: Ags comeback again, beat Louisiana in thriller, 9-6

11,494 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by TRX
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I just want to point out Schloss' grin when Bost was asked about his HR when he described his mentality of trying to hit line drives in BP as a team concept. This team has completely bought into Schloss' mentality of getting hits for the team. We struck gold with this hire.
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This is what happens when we hire the right coach. A lesson to the administration to have high demands and standards. We pay well so perform well.
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Impressive stuff. This was our identity... Gritty, never give up, resilient... Never say die is a great description. It wasn't necessarily pretty like Schloss said, but man this team doesn't quit. We know it's not over until the 27th out and got the huge hits when we needed them. Bullpen was great and overall just a phenomenal win in front of an awesome crowd at Olsen.

Dettmer battled out there... Louisiana obviously put a lot of pressure on us. He fought though and found his breaker more as the outing went on. Threw strikes, maybe a few mistakes in the zone but again credit Louisiana, they capitalized and their style gave us some trouble early on. Palisch stabilized things... Thought his command was very good, threw all 3 pitches for strikes. Was really spotting his fastball & good deception on his change. Just a fantastic job settling everything down. Awesome outing for Rudis and good call by Schloss having him close things out... His fastball was very crisp and he pounded the zone overall. That right on right changeup for the called strike 3 was filthy. Fantastic performance in a high pressure setting.

Offense just kept at it the whole way. Blitzed them in the 1st... Thought we maybe started expanding the zone a bit midway through the game but got locked back in after that. Moss just keeps hitting... Unbelievable consistency. Rock had good swings, 3 hit day... Bost, wow. Two game changing home runs now this weekend, just massive swings. He did not miss his pitch last night... Absolute bomb. Awesome moment. Really liked Targac's AB's... Big game for Minnich. Kaler with the huge insurance HR late... Bit of a tough day for Werner but thought his swings were fine, bet he'll have a couple hits tonight.

This was one to hang your hat on... Had everything you could want in a postseason game. Crowd was fantastic and in the end we made the pitches & got the hits we needed... It's the type of team we've become. So fun to watch and now in tremendous shape in the regional... Super excited for tonight.
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What channel is the game on tonight? I don't see it on ESPN+.
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