Story Poster
Jim Schlossnagle
Evan Aschenbeck
Texas A&M Baseball

Lamkin & Aschenbeck combine for 12 Ks, five-hit shutout of Wagner

February 24, 2024
40,229

Game #6: No. 8 Texas A&M 2, Wagner 0
Records: Texas A&M (6-0), Wagner (0-5)
WP: Justin Lamkin (1-0)
LP: Connor Hayden (0-1)
Save: Evan Aschenbeck (1)
Box Score


A&M's two upheld A&M's two.

That is, only two Aggie pitchers were needed to preserve a slim two-run lead.

For the third time already this season, No. 8 Texas A&M blanked an opponent as Justin Lamkin and Evan Aschenbeck combined to shut out Wagner on Saturday, 2-0.

With 6,187 on hand at Blue Bell Park, a pair of lefties were the only arms Jim Schlossnagle & Co. needed to seal another series victory.

"Since I've been the coach at A&M, I can't remember us winning a game with just pitching and defense," Schlossnagle said postgame. "I can remember us making pitches and winning a game 8-6, but I really don't remember us having a rough day at the plate and still being able to win the game.

"That's the difference in where we are now with a strike-throwing pitching staff and where we were before this."

Much has been made about A&M's pitching deficiencies in 2022 and 2023, but through six games, Max Weiner's staff has allowed just three earned runs in 52 innings.

That's a microscopic staff ERA of 0.52 to currently lead the nation.

"It's a great feeling just to come out with a win in general, and this team is something special," Aschenbeck said. "Everybody pulls for everybody, and in the tough and tight games like this, everybody is coming together. It's a great team win, for sure."

Earning his second start of the year, Lamkin pitched into the sixth, picking up five strikeouts against one walk and only allowing three hits.

"I can remember us making pitches and winning a game 8-6, but I really don't remember us having a rough day at the plate and still being able to win the game. That's the difference in where we are now with a strike-throwing pitching staff and where we were before this."
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

That third hit — an Ariv Camacho leadoff single — prompted Schlossnagle to make his lone move to the bullpen for the ever-reliable Aschenbeck.

"Evan has been in that situation," Schlossnagle said. "We trust him. We played good defense behind him."

Working around another single and a one-out walk, Aschenbeck struck out the side to hold Wagner off the scoreboard, but the inning certainly featured an anxiety-inducing threat.

With one out and the bases loaded, Weiner took a perfectly timed mound visit.

Aschenbeck responded with six straight strikes for two crucial strikeouts.

"He honestly didn't tell me anything," Aschenbeck said of his visit with Weiner. "He said, 'I'm out here not for you, but I'm here just to mess with the hitter.' He just came out here to try and calm me down and told me to recommit and he trusts me. That's that."

Whatever the message was, it worked.

That was the only time Wagner threatened all afternoon. It was the only time any Seahawks reached scoring position.

Aschenbeck finished with seven strikeouts, but his high-wire escape ensured that A&M's two first-inning runs stood up.

Gavin Grahovac doubled to begin the first. Jace LaViolette was hit by a pitch. Braden Montgomery singled sharply to drive in Grahovac, and LaViolette scored on an error by center fielder Henry Martinez.

That was all the offense A&M required.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
In total, Justin Lamkin and Evan Aschenbeck threw 76 strikes on 108 pitches.

"Our guys, we're getting a little frustrated," Schlossnagle said. "They all expect for every swing to be an extra-base hit, and it's just not going to be like that."

Along with stout defense, A&M needed that left-handed duo.

For their efforts, Lamkin earned his first win of the year. Aschenbeck picked up a four-inning save that satisfied all three criteria for such recognition.

"I just wanted to keep dominating the zone, go pitch-by-pitch, recommitting every pitch and just fill up the zone," Aschenbeck said. "I just was me and threw strikes."

While the Aggies have frequently enjoyed massive offensive outputs through the first two weeks, Saturday saw them sputter.

A&M got its leadoff hitter aboard six times but never found insurance runs.

Twice they grounded into double plays. Twice they made outs on the base paths.

"You got to be able to win games in different ways to be able to have a good season," Schlossnagle said. "Obviously, we'd rather score more runs."

But thanks to Lamkin and Aschenbeck, the end result remained the same: A sixth consecutive win.

Thanks to those two, A&M will go for its second sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.

Discussion from...

Lamkin & Aschenbeck combine for 12 Ks, five-hit shutout of Wagner

4,523 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by RaggedConverge
texag0928
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Gritty win!!
RaggedConverge
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AG
Way to tough it out! Go get the sweep.
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