Story Poster
Jim Schlossnagle
Chris Cortez
Jace LaViolette
Texas A&M Baseball

Cortez fans eight, LaViolette homers twice as No. 8 A&M tops UIW

February 20, 2024
8,430

Game #4: No. 8 Texas A&M 9, Incarnate Word 3
Records: Texas A&M (4-0), UIW (3-1)
WP: Chris Cortez (1-0)
LP: Dave Johnson (1-1)
Box Score


It was a much-needed outing.

The 2023 season was sometimes a struggle for Texas A&M’s hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Chris Cortez.

Despite a winning record, Cortez posted a 7.34 ERA and found difficulty commanding the strike zone.

However, Tuesday night was a different story. 

In his first appearance of 2024, Cortez pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out eight and walking none as the Aggies defeated Incarnate Word, 9-3.

“I thought tonight was actually my favorite win of the year,” A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “Last year, we would have walked seven or eight guys, someone would have gotten one up in the wind, and that would’ve been a dogfight the rest of the night.”

Despite a couple of Cardinals reaching early, Cortez battled through and regained control in the first inning.

“I thought tonight was actually my favorite win of the year. Last year, we would have walked seven or eight guys, someone would have gotten one up in the wind, and that would’ve been a dogfight the rest of the night.”
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

However, in the second, Incarnate Word scored its first runs of the game as designated hitter Cameron Caley doubled to left center, driving in a pair.

From then on out, it was the Cortez show. 

Cortez pitched three scoreless innings after giving up the runs, allowing just one hit and also hitting a UIW batter.

It seemed as if the deeper Cortez went into the game, the better he looked. 

“I feel when I go deeper into games, I start to calm down more and get in my groove,” Cortez said.

After retiring the first two batters in the sixth inning, Schlossnagle made the move to the bullpen as Cortez experienced some cramping in his hamstring. 

“No injury that we know of,” Schlossnagle said of Cortez. “He was just cramping up. He wanted to stay. That guy was going to be his last hitter anyway. I don’t think we have any issues there.”

Cortez said he hydrated before the game, but admitted it might not have been enough. 

“I hydrated a lot today, but I guess I didn’t hydrate enough,” Cortez said. “My hamstring started to cramp a little bit. I wanted to stay in there but [Schlossnagle] was just looking out for my health.” 

Behind Cortez, the Aggies threw Evan Aschenbeck, Weston Moss and Peyton Smith. The trio combined for one run on two hits in 3.1 innings pitched. 

Offensively, A&M’s hitting continued to impress, accounting for five home runs on the night. 

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
With two homers on Tuesday, Jace LaViolette has now hit five bombs in only four games this season.

Two of those long balls came off the bat of sophomore Jace LaViolette. Although after the game, he was still upset with himself for striking out twice.

“I felt alright. Obviously, the homers are cool,” LaViolette said. “I’m still not happy with myself with the two other at-bats today.”

LaViolette got his day started with a home run to deep center field in the first inning, before launching a no-doubter in the eighth. 

Braden Montgomery and Hayden Schott both hit solo blasts in the third and fifth innings, respectively. Michigan transfer Ted Burton accounted for the other home run, sending a two-run blast over the fence in left-center. 

The performance for Cal State Northridge transfer shortstop Ali Camarillo is also worth noting.

Camarillo hit ninth and reached in all four plate appearances, picking up a pair of singles and walks. 

“[Camarillo] has been awesome,” Schlossnagle said. “He’s super competitive. You see how he fights through at-bats. He finds ways to get hits even though he doesn’t hit the ball incredibly hard, but he uses the whole field. 

“Michael Earley has done an awesome job with him. He couldn’t hit a ball to right field when he first got here. [Earley’s] made some awesome changes with him, and [Camarillo] is to be credited for how hard he works,” Schlossnagle said. 

Moving ahead, the Maroon & White return to Blue Bell Park for a weekend series against Wagner beginning Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

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Cortez fans eight, LaViolette homers twice as No. 8 A&M tops UIW

4,552 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by BadMoonRisin
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Loving that we aren't giving as many free bases as we did last season.
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