Story Poster
Texas A&M
Texas A&M Baseball

Aggies stumble as Sooners rumble in Men's College World Series opener, 13-8

June 17, 2022

Game #61: Oklahoma 13, #5 Texas A&M 8
Records: Oklahoma (43-22, 15-9), Texas A&M (42-19, 19-11)
WP: Jake Bennett (10-3)
LP: Nathan Dettmer (5-3)
Box Score

OMAHA, Neb. — Stealing isn’t necessary when everything is given away.

Well, not everything was free on Friday. But Texas A&M pitchers gave away so much Oklahoma, noted for its base-stealing acumen, didn’t need to run.

The Sooners are fourth in the nation in stolen bases. They were anticipated to aggressively challenge A&M catcher Troy Claunch. Only twice they attempted to steal bases. Both times Claunch threw out the runner.

That just raised the obvious question: Why run when you can walk?

“In order for us to play deep into this tournament, someone is going to have to give us something. I think Micah Dallas is capable of doing that. I know (Ryan) Prager is and (Brad) Rudis is. There are enough guys down there for us to battle in this thing.”
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

A&M pitchers gave up 10 walks, hit three batters and committed a costly error. The Sooners capitalized with a three-run home run and a grand slam to topple the Aggies, 13-8, before 23,886 at Charles Schwab Field in the first game of the Men’s College World Series.

A&M (42-19) next faces either Texas or Notre Dame on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT in an elimination game.

“I think we gave up 19 free bases in the first four innings,” A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “If you would have told me we were going to score eight runs against their Friday starter (Jake Bennett), (David) Sandlin, who has been the Saturday guy, or weekend pitcher, and then the closer (Trevin Michael), I thought we would have had a good chance.

“But obviously we didn't pitch well. We didn't defend. Just gave up a lot of free bases. Then they got the big hit.”

Actually, the biggest hit for Oklahoma (43-22) might have been attributed to A&M.

Leading 1-0, the Sooners had one on and two out in the second inning. Nine-hitter Kendall Pettis faced an 0-2 count. The third pitch from starter Nathan Dettmer (5-3) hit Pettis on the elbow.

That opened the floodgates for a seven-run outburst.

The Sooners followed with an infield hit, a walk, a two-run single and an RBI single to chase Dettmer, who failed to get through five innings for the seventh-straight start.

Usually, reliable receiver Joseph Menefee came in but gave up a three-run home run to catcher Jimmy Crooks.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Dettmer gave up seven runs in the first 1.2 innings in Friday’s defeat against the Sooners.

Two innings later, Oklahoma took advantage of a bunt single, a Menefee throwing error and a walk to load the bases.

That prompted a mound visit from Schlossnagle, who tried to settle down Menefee. He didn’t.

Second baseman Jackson Nicklaus belted the next pitch for a grand slam.

“Just trying showing a little confidence in (Menefee),” Schlossnagle said. “Definitely felt like Moo has been great for us all year. We set the table too much. You can't set the table. Moo is our best fielding pitcher, a really good fielding pitcher and made two errors.

“You combine that with hit batters and the walks, and what do you think's going to happen? But I was just trying to pump him up a little bit. Didn't go our way.”

A&M would not go away, however.

The Aggies have made a habit of posting come-from-behind victories this season. Rallying from significant deficits has become almost routine.

However, they faced a more difficult challenge. Oklahoma left-hander Bennett (10-3) is among the nation’s top pitchers. He’s projected to go within the top three rounds of the Major League Baseball draft.

Hitting him figured to be difficult.

It was. Until the bottom of the second inning. Then, Troy Claunch and Brett Minnich laced back-to-back singles with two outs. Jordan Thompson followed with a 372-foot three-run home run. Austin Bost led off the fourth inning with a solo home run.

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Thompson’s three-run bomb gave the Aggies a glimmer of hope early on.

Bennett exited after the sixth inning with a 12-4 lead. A&M took advantage and picked up run-scoring singles from Kole Kaler, Trevor Werner and Jack Moss and a Dylan Rock RBI to pull within 12-8.

But the Aggies got no closer. Michael pitched scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to seal the Oklahoma win and send A&M into the loser’s bracket.

Schlossnagle, obviously disgusted with the pitching, is convinced the Aggies can fight through the loser’s bracket and remain in contention to win the national championship.

He acknowledged that will require much better pitching. At the very least, the Aggies cannot give away free bases.

“In order for us to play deep into this tournament, someone is going to have to give us something,” Schlossnagle said. “I think Micah Dallas is capable of doing that. I know (Ryan) Prager is, and (Brad) Rudis is. There are enough guys down there for us to battle in this thing.

“But we can't give away free bases. Doesn't matter if the game is played in this ballpark or at Bellevue East. It doesn't matter. It's bad baseball. You play bad baseball, you're going to get your tail kicked.”

Discussion from...

Aggies stumble as Sooners rumble in Men's College World Series opener, 13-8

6,881 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 11 mo ago by TheChameleon
How long do you want to ignore this user?
It is time for Dallas to give us a quality start
TAMU ‘98 Ole Miss ‘21
How long do you want to ignore this user?
You gotta love a coach that tells it like it is. We gave this one away.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Olin, he was NOT hit in the elbow. The ball very clearly hit the knob of the bat. Regardless, next play was not just an infield single. It was a mental error by Dettmer. His sole job on a play like that is to cover first. Had he done that despite the blown call on the phantom HBP & perhaps our failure to recognize it to challenge, if available, or to get umps to huddle inning over and still 1-0 ballgame. (I'm curious to know why Schloss, Claunch or Dettmer said nothing. I immediately thought the ball hit the bat watching on my iPhone, and even the announcers thought so, followed by supporting replay, but then weirdly end of discussion; no mention of whether Schloss could challenge, ask for appeal, etc. (The location of the ball was near the end of the bat no where close to his ribs and the sound followed by the ball's direction were consistent with hitting the bat.)

I can't believe you just brushed over, or got completely wrong, those two key moments on which the game turned.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Tough way to start off in Omaha... Just a few too many mistakes. Oklahoma took advantage at every opportunity though... Made us pay with timely swings. We fought though and made it a game, really all you can ask when you get behind like that. We've bounced back so many times this season, 100% capable of doing it again today.

Dettmer was not super sharp overall... Thought his sinker was good but didn't have great feel for his offspeed. Was leaving it up, just didn't quite have that normal bite. Wasn't his day... Also some of the hits were seeing eye, definitely bad luck involved. Menefee left a couple pitches over the middle and OU didn't miss them... The bunts were unfortunate to set up the grand slam, gave them an opportunity for a rally. Shake it off as we will definitely need Menefee again going forward if we win today. Hopefully Dettmer will get another chance also... Fantastic job by Tucker out of the pen. Gave us a chance to get back in the game, fastball was really good up to 95... Good action and depth on his slider. Lots of swings and misses. He has a great arm... Solid work by Prager, Cortez and Johnston. Really liked Cortez working down in the zone with his fastball... Some nasty downward action with it, swings and misses/groundballs.

Offense competed and nearly got us all the way back. 4 runs in 6 innings against Bennett is really solid... He's a high caliber pitcher. Thompson continues to come up with huge swings, getting us back to 8-3 was so big. Bost with the homer and then a really nice rally in the 7th... Great AB by Kaler, Werner had two awesome swings to the opposite field, and Moss with the clutch single to center. They pitched Rock and Targac well, bet they'll swing it good today. Oklahoma did throw a lot of strikes against us so credit to them for that.

Not the way we wanted to start but again this team has battled back over and over this year... Every opportunity to do the same today. Texas will be fighting also so it'll be difficult, they're talented... But our resiliency has been on display all year. Oregon State just recently in 2018 lost the first game but went on to win it all... It's not easy, but it can be done. Have to keep grinding and take it one game at a time... No matter what happens, it's been an amazing year... And at least one more chance still left.
Page 1 of 1
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.