Story Poster
Jim Schlossnagle
Ryan Prager
Ted Burton
Texas A&M Baseball

No. 5 A&M claims extra-inning pitchers' duel via Burton's walk-off walk

May 17, 2024
14,967

Game #53: No. 5 Texas A&M 1, No. 3 Arkansas 0 (11 innings)
Records: Texas A&M (43-10, 18-10), Arkansas (42-11, 19-9)
WP: Evan Achenbeck (5-1)
LP: Jake Faherty (0-1)
Box Score 


Worth the wait.

Despite a 90-minute weather delay before first pitch, another large Blue Bell Park crowd was treated to a wonderfully pitched ballgame on Thursday night.

Ironically, it was Ted Burton's 11th-inning walk-off walk that finally nudged No. 5 Texas A&M by No. 3 Arkansas, 1-0.

"That game took years off my life," the Aggie first baseman said with a smile. "For the better, for the good.

"I saw (Will McEntire) spike a few in warmups, so I was like, 'OK, this guy has to beat me with three.' So I was selective, and it worked out."

Indeed, in a pitchers’ duel that featured just 14 total hits and 33 combined strikeouts (20 by Aggie hitters), it was a final free pass that sank the Razorbacks.

Facing a star reliever in McEntire, Burton took a 3-1 fastball low of the zone to push across Gavin Grahovac and finally send the 6,976 in attendance home happy.

It was just the game's fourth walk but the third of the inning.

"As soon as we got done with the little dog pile of Ted, I was like, 'For that game, that's how it's going to end?' We'll take it."
- Texas A&M LHP Ryan Prager

"As soon as we got done with the little dog pile of Ted, I was like, 'For that game, that's how it's going to end?'" Aggie starter Ryan Prager said. "We'll take it."

Given the way the game was trending, the ending was surprising.

Sticking with surprises, Thursday is the first time Arkansas has dropped a Hagen Smith start in 2024.

From the outset, Prager matched the future first-rounder frame for frame.

"Wow. A lot of pitchers that are going to pitch for a long time," A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "I was trying to remember a lefty that I've seen that starts with that kind of arm, and I can't remember one in 35 years.

"But Prager was, in his own way, just as good."

While Smith did it with full-throttle high-90s fastballs and disappearing sliders, Prager pushed and pulled the gas pedal.

The Aggie ace spun seven scoreless innings while scattering five hits and striking out nine.

Meanwhile, Arkansas' departed after blanking A&M for six and punching 14 tickets.

Perhaps Prager's biggest pitch — his 101st of the night — fanned Jayson Jones to end the seventh.

"I thought the crowd was elite, and that might even be an understatement," Prager said. "Normally, I don't really hear them, or I can't really tell when I'm on the mound, but in the first, I could tell.

"They were with me all night long, and they were with this team all night long."

Behind him, Evan Aschenbeck returned to form.

The Brenham Bell Cow ducked and darted Hog barrels for four innings.

He helped secure another shutout victory — A&M's 10th of the year — to keep the Ags' SEC West title hopes alive.

"It was two really good teams and just elite pitching," Schlossnagle said. "Wow."

Wow is right.

Especially considering that A&M escaped multiple jams throughout the night.

Zoe Kelton, TexAgs
Ted Burton’s 11th-inning bases-loaded walk notched his second walk-off of the season.

In the sixth, Prager induced an ultra-rare 4-3-6 double play.

Aschenbeck thwarted a Hog threat in the 10th with back-to-back strikeouts and then received some huge help from his defense an inning later.

With Will Edmunson representing the go-ahead run in scoring position, freshman Caden Sorrell took away extra bases from Hudson White with a dazzling grab to end the 11th.

"My hands flew straight in the air because I saw him getting to the warning track, feeling for the wall," Burton recalled. "Then he leaped.

"We expect that out of him at this point. He's such a stud out there."

Unsurprisingly, given the strong north wind in College Station, extra bases were difficult to come by.

Jace LaViolette and Ali Camarillo each had a double. Ben McLaughlin accounted for Arkansas' only two-bagger.

But in the end, the big swing wasn't necessary to take an emotional game.

Just the guy they call Teddy Two-Bags.

"We always say: Shower well," Burton said. "Once this game is over, good or bad, shower well. It's over. When your head hits the pillow, it's a new day tomorrow."

After a late night, Friday is indeed a new opportunity.

And there are no rain showers in the forecast when the series resumes at 7 p.m. CT.

Discussion from...

No. 5 A&M claims extra-inning pitchers' duel via Burton's walk-off walk

9,628 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 29 days ago by rathAG05
Rock1982
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AG
Great win!
cageybee77
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AG
Awesome!
jb 00
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AggieRain
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lagoag
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What a way to win. Whooop
Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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this is a huge win psychologically. we hadn't been overly successful in close low scoring games. to find a way to pull this one out is big for the rest of the season. great win.
citizenkane06
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el_guapo
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"Brenham Bell Cow"
Nice.
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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rathAG05
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AG
Detmersdislocatedshoulder said:

this is a huge win psychologically. we hadn't been overly successful in close low scoring games. to find a way to pull this one out is big for the rest of the season. great win.


I agree. I bet we see a different ball club today. The one we saw all season before LSU.
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