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Texas A&M Baseball

Sweep-seeking Aggies stymied by Tide in Saturday slugfest, 10-9

April 20, 2024

Game #40: No. 18 Alabama 10, No. 1 Texas A&M 9
Records: Texas A&M (35-5, 13-5), Alabama (25-15, 7-11)
WP: Alton Davis II (4-1)
LP: Kaiden Wilson (0-1)
Box Score

There are no polar bears in College Station this weekend.

If you're still getting familiar with the reference, look no further than the comments made by A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle following the Aggies’ sweep of Auburn on March 31.

"They're just so rare," A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after Ted Burton gave the Aggies its first conference sweep with a walk-off base hit against the Tigers. "It's like seeing a polar bear in College Station, man. A sweep in the SEC doesn't happen much."

Despite coming close to a third conference sweep, No. 1 Texas A&M dropped Saturday’s finale to No. 18 Alabama in a back-and-forth affair in Tuscaloosa, 10-9.

Though the outcome might not have been what the Aggies wanted, their resiliency was consistent with that shown all season.

After two innings, the nation's top-ranked team found themselves in a 5-0 hole.

Alabama catcher Mac Guscette launched his second grand slam of the series off starting pitcher Justin Lamkin before Ian Petrutz drove in another on a sacrifice fly.

However, one lesson that should have been learned by now is that no lead is safe against the A&M bats.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
Reigning SEC freshman of the week Gavin Grahovac notched RBI No. 49 of the season, driving in four runs on Saturday. 

Immediately following the Tide's five-run second, A&M began to chip away.

With a pair of runners on, Gavin Grahovac ripped a single through the left side to plate Caden Sorell, who reached on a one-out double.

After Grahovac's at-bat, Jace LaViolette's sacrifice fly scored Travis Chesnut as the Aggies shrunk the deficit to 5-2.

An inning later, Grahovac caused more damage as he cleared the bases with a double into the right-center gap, bringing the Aggies within a run.

Despite that resilience, Alabama seemed to answer the call every time.

Kade Snell kept the visitors in check with a solo shot in the fifth, extending the Tide's lead to 7-5.

But once again, the Maroon & White were far from finished.

Ali Camarillo, who was 6-for-14 on the weekend, led off the inning with a base hit before coming in to score on a triple from Chestnut.

Two batters later, LaViolette laced a waist-high fastball over the fence in right for his 20th homer of the season to give A&M an 8-7 lead.

However, that lead did not last long as Alabama third baseman Gage Miller knotted it up with a solo home run.

What happened next inning? The Aggies loaded the bases with one out before Sorrell gave the advantage back to his team with a sac fly. 

Looking back, A&M might wish to take better advantage of that bases-loaded one-out situation than scoring just one run.

Alton Davis II worked out of the jam and continued to work for the rest of the day.

The go-ahead and eventual winning run scored in the seventh as the Tide's nine-hole hitter Bryce Eblin drove in a pair of runs with a base hit to center field off freshman Kaiden Wilson.

Chris Cortez pitched the next 1.1 innings for the Ags, keeping them within striking distance. His effort nearly paid off when A&M got runners on the corners with no outs in the ninth, following a Burton walk and a Hayden Schott single.

Will Huffman, TexAgs
Chris Cortez has allowed just one earned run in his last 12 innings of work. 

Davis proceeded to retire the next three batters, forcing a foul-out from Camarillo, punching out pinch hitter Blake Binderup and working a pop-out from Chestnut, respectively.

Although no polar bears were to be seen, the Aggies can glean success from taking two-of-three on the road against the team that dethroned formerly No. 1 Arkansas last weekend.

They also became the first visiting club to win a series at “The Joe” in 2024.

However, they’ll likely have a bitter taste in their mouths, knowing the sweep was there for the taking.

A&M can wash away that bitterness on Tuesday when the Aggies host the Houston Cougars. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Discussion from...

Sweep-seeking Aggies stymied by Tide in Saturday slugfest, 10-9

3,936 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by missinAggieland
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Pitching been erratic since last Tuesday. What happened since Vandy? Great road series win that won't win any awards with baseball purists.
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Ups and downs of baseball. Honestly, I am not fully sure.

We were at game 3 this weekend. I had seats where we could see the ball cross the plate from the side. The umpire loved the low below the knees balls and called many as strikes. Both sides were frustrated by what seemed to be a moving strike zone.

There were also some unlucky things that happened Sunday. A bunt that could have been fielded for an out had the pitcher not slipped. Conditions were wet, chilly, and windy. Not blaming weather, but that play loaded the bases and led to a run when we could have had an out.

Baseball is a sport where there can be great swings in momentum. The guys battled hard in Game 3. They had a chance to win.
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