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Texas A&M Baseball

Dramatics & Ecstatics: Haas' heroics boosts A&M into regional final

June 4, 2023
17,568

Game #63: #2 Texas A&M 8, #1 Stanford 5
Records: Texas A&M (38-25, 14-16), Stanford (39-17, 23-7)
WP: Brandyn Garcia
LP: Drew Dowd (9-3)
Save: Troy Wansing (2)
Box Score


Heroics and dramatics ended in Saturday night ecstatics.

A winner's bracket contest in the Stanford Regional truly had it all as Texas A&M persevered and escaped with an 8-5 victory over the Cardinal at Sunken Diamond.

Once again, the Aggies had to dig out of an early deficit as, once again, starting pitching faltered.

Once again, those in Maroon & White saw their heartbeats skyrocket during a shaky final stanza, but nonetheless, A&M is headed to Sunday night's regional final against either Cal State Fullerton or Stanford.

"What a ballgame," A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "I thought that was as entertaining of a game for a fan as you'd ever want."

As for those heroics, shortstop Hunter Haas provided.

The Aggie shortstop drove in a career-high five RBIs on a pair of doubles.

"I told them that there's a special story for this club, but that doesn't mean the story is over, and it doesn't mean that we've accomplished anything. We haven't won any championship this year. We didn't win the regular season, the tournament, and we certainly haven't won a regional yet. We still have a lot of work to do."
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

Haas' sixth-inning two-bagger plated a pair to complete a three-run comeback. His encore in the eighth cleared the bases and gave A&M a 7-4 lead.

"It's pretty cool, I guess, obviously getting a big win in a regional," Haas said humbly of his outing. "I'm just looking forward to tomorrow."

It might seem insignificant nearly four hours after it occurred, but Haas also scored the game's opening run on Jordan Thompson's first-inning groundout.

Not-so-insignificant was the double play turned by Haas on a hot-shot line drive to escape a fifth-inning bases-loaded jam unscathed.

"When I saw the ball going by me, I thought it was a hit," Brandyn Garcia said. "Then I saw Hunter there, and it's good to have a guy like him behind me."

Haas did it all, and as a result, A&M sits in the driver's seat, needing one win to claim a regional title.

"We have great respect for Stanford," Schlossnagle said. "Their lineup is so competitive, so deep. We really got out of some jams. They had some unlucky liners; one to Hunter, one to Jack (Moss).

"We got our team together after the first five innings with us being down. We don't have too many team meetings. I just told them, 'Hey man, we're lucky to be within a couple of runs. They won the first half of the game. We got to find a way to win the second half of the game.'"

For the second time in as many nights, A&M had to claw its way back after Stanford appeared poised to bleed the Aggies with cut after cut.

A&M starter Justin Lamkin recorded just five outs as Braden Montgomery's two-run blast gave the home nine a 2-1 edge in the first. Lamkin surrendered another in the second before Evan Aschenbeck was tagged for an unearned run in the third as the Cardinal built a 4-1 lead.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
One of three Aggies with two hits, Hunter Haas’ bases-clearing double in the eighth permanently solidified the lead. 

Opposite Lamkin, Stanford right-hander Joey Dixon held A&M's offense in check for nearly six innings, but back-to-back two-out walks to Brett Minnich and Max Kaufer prompted David Esquer to pull his starter in the sixth.

Haas was the first batter Drew Dowd faced. He tied it.

Two innings later, with Dowd still on the mound, Haas untied it.

"We're just trying to compete every pitch, no matter who it is, so I think we took the same approach to both guys," Haas said. "We were just able to be more successful, getting those big hits, against the lefty."

While the Aggies worked 12 walks last night, they issued nine on Saturday.

"I'm sure we lost the free-base war tonight, but every now and then, you get lucky," Schlossnagle said. "The game giveth and it taketh away. That's what makes it the most beautiful and most miserable sport on the planet."

Freebies nearly caught up with them in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters of the frame, Matt Dillard walked Alberto Rios on 12 pitches before plunking Malcome Moore and coughing up an RBI single to Drew Bowser.

Nonetheless, they overcame.

On in relief, Troy Wansing hit the first man he saw before getting the potential winning run — Owen Cobb — to fly out and end the night.

"Rios' at-bat took a lot out of Dillard," Schlossnagle explained. "We were hoping to get through the game without having to use Wansing, but obviously, we needed it, and he made a couple of nice pitches."

CJ Smith, TexAgs
Under Jim Schlossnagle, the Aggies are 7-0 through the regional and super regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament. 

Speaking of overcoming, the heart of A&M's order — Trevor Werner, Jace LaViolette and Thompson — are a combined 1-for-24 in the NCAA Tournament. That lone hit was Thompson's ninth-inning single that set up Austin Bost's vitally important sacrifice fly.

As if overcoming that was not enough, A&M starters — Will Johnston and Lamkin — have combined to record just 10 outs.

Aschenbeck allowed just the one unearned marker in 2.2. Garcia worked 2.2 of hitless, scoreless relief. Dillard recorded five crucial outs, and Wansing nailed down out #27.

"We expended a lot to win this game, too," Schlossnagle said. "There's no such thing as a sore arm this time of year, so it's going to take the whole pitching staff to help get through it."

Despite all that, plus some shoddy defense, A&M is 7-0 in its last seven regional and super regional contests, and the Aggies are now one victory from punching their ticket to a second straight super.

While it certainly has not been easy, these Aggies are somehow getting it done, but their story is far from done.

"I'm super confident in our team," Schlossnagle said. "I love them. I believe in them. I've told them that all season long.

"I told them that there's a special story for this club, but that doesn't mean the story is over, and it doesn't mean that we've accomplished anything. We haven't won any championship this year. We didn't win the regular season, the tournament, and we certainly haven't won a regional yet.

"We still have a lot of work to do."

Still, there's reason to be ecstatic.

Discussion from...

Dramatics & Ecstatics: Haas' heroics boosts A&M into regional final

13,063 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by sharpdressedman
Matsui
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TAMU74
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AG
Great win last night.
However, can we try starting with the lead and keeping it throughout the game for a change?
fieldtrailer
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AG
This team is just finding a way to win. With 6 batters. Amazing.
Shooz in Katy
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AG
Who is Richard Zane??? We demand the return of Big Shooter.

The people want Super Man to cover their baseball, not Clark Kent.
ThunderFighter06
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AG
"The game giveth and it taketh away. That's what makes it the most beautiful and most miserable sport on the planet."

Lol this might be my favorite Schloss quote to date! Would look great on a t-shirt!
sharpdressedman
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TIMMMMMMMMMBERRRRRRR! Down goes the tree.
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