Story Poster
Jim Schlossnagle
Jace LaViolette
Max Kaufer
Texas A&M Baseball

No. 8 A&M patiently outlasts McNeese to earn first series victory, 6-1

February 17, 2024
6,425

Game #2: No. 8 Texas A&M 6, McNeese State 1
Records: Texas A&M (2-0), McNeese State (0-2)
WP: Brock Peery (1-0)
LP: Ty Abraham (0-1)
Save: Zane Badmaev (1)
Box Score


Not every win will be a 15-0 blowout.

Especially with the wind blowing in.

That much was proven on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Blue Bell Park.

"I think that's a really good win for us," said Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle. "Really tough day to hit. Tough day to hit for both teams."

Temperatures in the 40s and consistent north winds of 20 mph threatened to neutralize No. 8 A&M's potent offense, but the Aggies still found a way in a 6-1 series-clinching victory over McNeese State.

On Friday, Olsen Field served as a bandbox.

Saturday afternoon, it turned into an icebox.

"Just a really tough day," Schlossnagle reiterated. "Tough day to score, so you knew the free bases and some kind of bloop hit or something that snuck through was going to win the game."

A&M did both.

A pitchers’ duel remained tied 1-1 in the late innings until the Aggies broke the deadlock.

McNeese pitching issued a trio of walks in the seventh to Blake Binderup, Jackson Appel and Kaeden Kent to load the bases for Jace LaViolette.

"That was a cool moment. What I want to do is swing at strikes and take balls, and so, I just had to calm myself down. Everybody loves the home runs, right? I do too. They're really cool. They're awesome, but I also love the singles, the walks. Anyway that I can produce a run to help this team win."
- A&M outfielder Jace LaViolette

After crushing two home runs on Friday, the All-American maturely drew a walk for what proved to be the game-winning run.

"That was a cool moment," LaViolette said. "What I want to do is swing at strikes and take balls, and so, I just had to calm myself down.

"Everybody loves the home runs, right? I do too. They're really cool. They're awesome, but I also love the singles, the walks. Anyway that I can produce a run to help this team win."

LaViolette's free pass was not without controversy.

A 2-2 offering from Caleb Strmiska missed inside on the left-handed batter ever so slightly.

Unhappy with umpire William Posey's call, multiple Cowboys took steps toward the first-base dugout and voiced their grievances.

A pitch later, LaViolette took the easy stroll to first.

"That could have probably went 50-50," LaViolette admitted. "I thought the umpire made the right call.

"That's baseball. It can go either way. I was on the good side of it that time."

A&M added two more runs on Braden Montgomery's sky-high pop that fell between McNeese's shortstop and left fielder for a double.

In the eighth, important — albeit unearned — insurance came via a Braley Hollins throwing error and an Ali Camarillo RBI single to push A&M's advantage to 6-1.

The late offensive awakening washed away a brilliantly pitched ballgame.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
Braden Montgomery has now gone 4-for-8 with three RBIs and one homer in his first two games wearing Maroon & White.

Justin Lamkin and Peyton LeJeune matched each other early, with the former giving way to Evan Aschenbeck in the fourth.

Utilizing a dynamic breaking ball, LeJeune ducked and dodged A&M bats across five innings of work.

"You couldn't see it. Gyro-spin they call it now," Schlossnagle said. "Gyro-slider where you can't see the spin on it. Sometimes it breaks to the left, and sometimes it goes straight down."

Back-to-back Ryan Targac and Max Kaufer fifth-inning doubles accounted for all the scoring against LeJeune.

While Ty Abraham and Strmiska eventually gave way, Aschenbeck, Brock Peery and Zane Badmaev continued A&M's early-season trend of stout pitching.

Still scoreless in the fourth, Aschenbeck entered with the bases loaded and promptly got Connor Schneider to ground out to end the threat.

"It's Evan Aschenbeck," Kaufer laughed. "When he came out there, he was in a jam. (Schlossnagle) said, 'Just how you like it.'

"He did that so many times last year. Glad to see him pick up where he left off."

The first McNeese run in 18 innings came off Aschenbeck in the seventh. That inning ended when Kaufer gunned down Braden Duhon at second.

As a whole, the Aggies have struck out 29 against five walks through two games — a marked improvement from last year.

The challenge will be to continue that trend.

Saturday provided at least a glimpse of the importance.

"That's more normal. Especially in our league," Schlossnagle said. "You're going to have to pitch with them and then take advantage of the breaks when you get them. That's a really, really good win for us."

The Aggies look to complete the sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Discussion from...

No. 8 A&M patiently outlasts McNeese to earn first series victory, 6-1

3,020 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by RaggedConverge
Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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it's cool to see schloss excitement over a win like this. baseball is a funny sport. sometimes you have to gut out victories like they did today. nothing pretty but made damn sure they walked away with the win in difficult conditions. in reading this write up schloss reiterated multiple times how this was a really good win. this speaks to the make up of the team.
The Marksman
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AG
Quote:

"It's Evan Aschenbeck," Kaufer laughed. "When he came out there, he was in a jam. (Schlossnagle) said, 'Just how you like it.'
I absolutely love this! Aschenbeck is such an elite reliever, we're lucky to have a guy like him who can get out of any jam.
RaggedConverge
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