Story Poster
Jim Schlossnagle
Gavin Grahovac
Chris Cortez
Hayden Schott
Texas A&M Baseball

No. 3 Texas A&M rides fifth-inning rally to sweep No. 6 Vanderbilt

April 14, 2024
16,160

Game 36: No. 3 Texas A&M 12, No. 6 Vanderbilt 6
Records: Texas A&M (32-4, 11-4), Vanderbilt (26-10, 8-7)
WP: Chris Cortez (5-1)
LP: Ethan McElvain (1-2)
Save: Evan Aschenbeck (5)
Box score


Brooms are made for some light sweeping.

But the spring cleaning No. 3 Texas A&M did at Blue Bell Park this weekend was much more of an industrial variety.

With a 12-6 Sunday dusting of No. 6 Vanderbilt, the Aggies put the finishing touches on a statement series that should see them claim the top spot in Monday's polls.

Across all three days, A&M outclassed and overwhelmed the Commodores.

The only difference on Sunday was the visitors actually scored.

This weekend, 22,489 fans poured into Olsen Field to see the Aggies wallop the Commodores to the tune of 36-6 across all three games.

"I can't imagine it being much better," A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "Between the crowds, it felt like a super regional every day.

"We’re not to that point, obviously, yet, but that's what it felt like with the high-level opponent, great crowds and the energy."

"I can't imagine it being much better. Between the crowds, it felt like a super regional every day. We’re not to that point, obviously, yet, but that's what it felt like with the high-level opponent, great crowds and the energy."
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

After back-to-back shutouts on Friday and Saturday, Vanderbilt's offense actually showed signs of life as four runs scored in the top of the second, leading to starter Justin Lamkin's ouster after 1.2 innings.

Schlossnagle called on just the fifth Aggie arm of the weekend.

Chris Cortez would also be the last.

By the time Evan Aschenbeck entered for a three-inning save, the fireballer from Vegas had spun 4.1 scoreless frames.

"I know the best version of myself is having fun," Cortez said. "When I'm having fun, that's when I'm at my best."

He allowed just one hit and one walk while racking up eight punchouts to tie his career high.

He also touched 100 mph on a backward K of RJ Austin to end the fourth.

"It's alright. It's cool," Cortez said casually. "If it's a strike, it's sick. If it's a ball, whatever."

That heroic relief appearance allowed the Aggie offense plenty of time to find its groove.

And with "Rattlin' Bog" on a near loop once more, groove they did.

A&M scored two in the third to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Two innings later, they exploded for six against reliever Ethan McElvain.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
This weekend’s sweep marked the first in program history against Vanderbilt and the first against a ranked opponent since 2016.

Gavin Grahovac jump started the fifth-inning comeback with a one-out missile to left center for his 13th homer of the year.

The freshman terrorized Vanderbilt pitching all weekend, finishing 5-for-11 with eight runs scored.

"We came out and wanted to compete," Grahovac said. "That's what we continue to want to do, and that's what we continue planning to do.

"The guys let me know every single day that I'm still a freshman, but I just want to continue to have fun, know my role on the team, continue to be a great teammate and contribute the way I have."

Back-to-back Jace LaViolette and Braden Montgomery doubles evened the score.

Three batters later came the biggest play of the day.

With two outs, second baseman Jayden Davis booted a groundout to let Montgomery score.

Two pitches later, Ali Camarillo ran into a three-run blast to dead center to take an 8-4 lead.

"That was the swing of the day," Schlossnagle said. "With the way the ballpark was playing, you just never know. Any lead."

From there, it was curtains.

Grahovac scored again in the sixth. Three straight eighth-inning singles led to three more Aggie runs.

The only answers Vanderbilt had were solo home runs by Davis Diaz and Matthew Polk off Aschenbeck in the eighth and ninth, respectively.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
The Aggies’ run total of 36 on the weekend was their highest all-time in an SEC series.

By then, 7,063 members of the 12th Man were already scoreboard-watching to see A&M's deficit in the SEC West division race shrink again as top-ranked (for now) Arkansas dropped a rubber match in Tuscaloosa.

"There's no words to describe them," Grahovac said of the rabid crowds. "They bring the energy every single game, no matter how many people are here. ... No words to describe them. They're absolutely amazing."

Olsen has seen plenty of historic weekends since it opened in 1978.

And this one likely ranks near the top.

What happened this weekend was more like a deafening shout rather than a statement.

Schlossnagle & Co. not only swept a national powerhouse. They drubbed them.

"We just used five pitchers in a three-game sweep of one of the best programs in our sport," the Aggie skipper said. "It speaks to how well we pitched and how well we obviously swung the bat.

"I'm super proud of our guys."

The Aggies also solidified their standing as one of college baseball's elite.

If the Aggies aren't too tired from this weekend's spring chores, they might want to dust off the slot in front of "Texas A&M" where rankings typically fit.

The title of No. 1 is surely on its way.

Discussion from...

No. 3 Texas A&M rides fifth-inning rally to sweep No. 6 Vanderbilt

11,929 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by rab79
1836 Texian
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TAMU74
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AG
Impressive sweep of a quality SEC team Aggies.
Congratulations on a fun weekend of baseball.
Ag in ATL
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AG
Didn't use a broom. Rode a parking lot sweeper!
Matsui
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AG
Impressive
AggieRain
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rab79
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AG
Ag in ATL said:

Didn't use a broom. Rode a parking lot sweeper!

More like a Zamboni!
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