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Texas A&M Baseball

No. 4 Aggies bite back with 10-6 win over No. 8 Gators to even series

March 16, 2024

Game #19: No. 4 Texas A&M 10, No. 8 Florida 6 
Records: Texas A&M (18-1, 1-1), Florida (11-7, 1-1)
WP: Evan Aschenbeck (3-0)
LP: Luke Peterson (1-2)
Box Score

If you watched Game 1 of the series, then you might have noticed a similar trend in the second game.

High-powered offense at the start of the game followed by shutdown pitching in relief. 

However, fans of the Maroon & White will be much happier than they were in the series opener as No. 4 Texas A&M (18-1, 1-1) defeated No. 8 Florida (11-7, 1-1) at Condron Ballpark, 10-6.

“It's two really good teams, so it's a heavyweight fight every night.” A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. ”People who haven't been in this league don't understand.”

Like last night, it was the team that struck first that won.

Gavin Grahovac doubled to lead off the game before Jace LaViolette was hit by a pitch. Braden Montgomery proceeded to launch a home run to right field to put A&M up 3-0. 

The Maroon & White’s early lead would not last long as the Gators’ designated hitter Luke Heyman hit a game-tying three-run homer in the bottom of the first. 

Hitting continued to be the story early as the Aggies’ top of the order did some more damage in the third as Grahovac and LaViolette led the inning off with back-to-back solo home runs. 

“It's two really good teams, so it's a heavyweight fight every night. People who haven't been in this league don't understand.”
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

Grahovac finished the day 2-for-5 at the plate with the bomb in the third and a double. 

“The way he has handled himself in the leadoff spot has been great,” Schlossnagle said. 

Schlossnagle also praised his third baseman’s presence in the field. 

“I want to just work hard,” Grahovac said. “I want to solidify that spot and continue to do what I got to do there.” 

Three more runs came home in the inning following a bases-loaded walk to Jackson Appel and two RBI groundouts from Hank Bard and Ali Camarillo. That put the Aggies up 8-3. 

In the bottom half of the third, the Gators worked A&M starter Tanner Jones out of the game following a pair of one-out hits. Evan Aschenbeck entered the game for the Aggies, immediately giving up a two-run double to Dale Thomas.

After the double, Aschenbeck buckled down and was nails throughout, giving the Aggies four innings of solid work, allowing no runs on four hits and a walk while striking out six.  

“He’s always right there for you,” Schlossnagle said of Aschenbeck. “He’s an awesome insurance policy. It’d be great if we could get a start and we wouldn’t have to use him so much, but that’s why he is there.

“It’s why we didn’t throw him last night, so that we could pitch him when we were winning.” 

It wasn’t just the Aggies who got dominant efforts out of the bullpen. 

Brett Patzke-USA TODAY Sports
In 1.2 IP, Shane Sdao was credited with his first save of the season.

The Gators’ starter Luke Peterson was pulled in the third inning in which the Aggies scored five runs. A pair of those runs were allowed by relief pitcher Alex Philpott.

However, the next arms out of the pen would be more productive. 

Robert Satin entered in the fourth inning, providing two scoreless innings for the Gators. Following Satin, Grayson Smith pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, keeping the home side in striking distance late. 

While the Gators' pen held steady, A&M’s relief pitching was tested in the later innings.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Aschenbeck allowed a walk and a double before giving way to Josh Stewart. 

Stewart walked the first batter he faced, but then proceeded to strike out the next two batters swinging, leaving the bases full of Gators. 

Following a strikeout and a single to begin the eighth inning, Schlossnagle turned to Shane Sdao to get the final outs. Sdao allowed a single in his first at-bat to Jac Caglianone but then worked a double play ball to get the Aggies out of the inning.

A&M’s pen was provided with some insurance in the ninth as Camarillo grounded a two-run single into right field. Sdao finished it out in the ninth, but not without some fight from the Gators as they scored a late run despite ultimately dropping the contest. 

A&M’s victory marked the Aggies’ first win in Gainesville since 2006 and first since joining the SEC. 

They’ll look to make it two this weekend with Sunday’s rubber match on deck. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. CT.

Discussion from...

No. 4 Aggies bite back with 10-6 win over No. 8 Gators to even series

5,104 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Randy Rhodes
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Proud of our team! Nice way to bounce back! Now let's go take the series.
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Randy Rhodes
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Awesome bounce back game
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