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Texas A&M Baseball

Futile offense on Friday fails No. 7 A&M as Mississippi State evens series

March 22, 2024

Game #23: No. 21 Mississippi State 5, No. 7 Texas A&M 1
Records: Texas A&M (20-3, 2-3), Mississippi State (17-7, 3-2)
WP: Khal Stephen (3-2)
LP: Tanner Jones (1-1)
Box Score

Like former Texas Rangers manager and current Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington used to famously say, “That’s the way baseball go.”

Well, how did it go?

Despite hitting plenty of hard balls throughout the contest, No. 7 Texas A&M mustered up just one run as they dropped Game 2 to No. 21 Mississippi State on Friday, 5-1.

“Tough league, tough game, tough one to swallow because baseball is hard,” A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

A&M’s pitching was solid in the game. However, a five-run fifth inning from the Bulldogs was enough for the win.

Junior right-handed pitcher Tanner Jones got the start for the Aggies, pitching four innings and charged with two earned runs on five hits and a walk.

“That was a step in the right direction for Tanner,” Schlossnagle said. “I thought he pitched well. He had two or three really good pitches going.”

Kelii Horvath, TexAgs
In total, Texas A&M totaled five hits and four walks on the night.

It took Jones an inning to settle in as he loaded the bases in the first with one out. The Jacksonville State transfer then forced a pop-out and a strikeout, respectively, to work out of the jam.

“I’m glad he got out of the first inning,” Schlossnagle said. “He’s having to grow up in this league.”

Jones started the fifth inning on the mound but was unable to get an out as he hit the leadoff batter before giving up a single to the next batter, David Mershon.

Shane Sdao relieved Jones and immediately forced a fly out. Unfortunately for Sdao, the next batter he faced, Hunter Hines, launched a three-run homer to right field that put the Bulldogs ahead, 3-1.

“They got the big hit to the right side of the field on a tough night to hit,” Schlossnagle said.

The rest of the runs in the inning came on a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly, respectively.

Despite a rough night from Sdao, his skipper still has faith in the lefty and knows that the Aggies are going to need him this season.

“Shane’s been awesome for us his entire career,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s gonna be tough for us to have a great season without Sdao, so he’ll be back out there when we need him.”

“Shane’s been awesome for us his entire career. It’s gonna be tough for us to have a great season without Sdao, so he’ll be back out there when we need him.” 
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle on LHP Shane Sdao

Mississippi State’s starting pitcher, Khal Stephen, was effective all night, allowing one run on five hits in 6.2 innings.

A&M’s lone run came in the second inning as Ali Camarillo laced a single into left field, scoring Jackson Appel, who led the inning off with a double.

It wasn’t like the Aggies couldn’t make contact. Many balls hit were hard, but right at the defense.

“I think we hit 14 or 15 balls 100 miles an hour or more, and they didn’t fall in, and that’s the game, and you got to credit Mississippi State,” Schlossnagle added.

Schlossnagle said his players know that sometimes that’s how baseball will play out.

“They’re the ones that are playing it, so there’s no need to have a meeting,” Schlossnagle said about talking to his hitters in these situations.

As A&M hopes for more luck at the plate, the Aggies and Bulldogs will square off in the rubber match on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT.

“We’re in no panic mode,” Schlossnagle said. “We gotta win a ballgame tomorrow. Got an opportunity to win a series.”

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Futile offense on Friday fails No. 7 A&M as Mississippi State evens series

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