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Texas A&M Baseball

No. 4 seed Aggies fall in SEC Tournament opener to No. 5 Mississippi State

May 23, 2024

Game #56: #5 Mississippi State 5, #4 Texas A&M 3
Records: Texas A&M (44-12, 19-11), Mississippi State (38-19, 17-13)
WP: Nate Dohm (4-0)
LP: Chris Cortez (8-3)
Save: Tyler Davis (5)
Box Score

It was a tough day to be a top-four seed in Hoover.

Top-seed. Tennessee lost. As did No. 2 seed Kentucky and No. 3 seed Arkansas.

In the final game of Wednesday’s SEC Tournament slate, No. 4 seed Texas A&M fell 5-3 to No. 5 seed Mississippi State to complete the 0-4 day for the top four.

Before the Bulldogs had the chance to face the Aggies, Connor Hujsak had to hit a two-run walk-off home run to knock off archrival Ole Miss a night ago.

Against A&M, it was Hujsak again who came up with the late-game heroics.

With two outs, the bases loaded and facing Evan Aschenbeck, Hujsak delivered a two-run single up the middle that scored the decisive runs for the Bulldogs.

Though not detrimental to the Aggies’ chances of a top-eight national seed, the loss sends the Maroon & White to an elimination game against Tennessee on Thursday afternoon.

It’s likely that none of the four teams that lost on Wednesday needed to win to stay in the top eight.

Kelii Horvath, TexAgs
Ali Camarillo was the only Aggie to have a multi-hit evening. A&M has five total hits, and Camarillo finished 2-for-3.

While A&M’s chances to win an SEC crown were hurt, the bigger picture still remains.

The Aggies — who were still trying their best to win by throwing their go-to relief arms in Chris Cortez and Aschenbeck — didn’t want to jeopardize their chances of winning a regional by starting its best arms on short rest.

Brad Rudis was given the job of opening the game, just as he was last Friday vs. Arkansas.

After working a clean first inning, Rudis surrendered the first run of the game on a wild pitch following a pair of one-out hits.

Following Rudis, the Aggies trotted out Kaiden Wilson for his eighth appearance of the season.

Immediately, Wilson surrendered a base hit and then a two-run homer from David Mershon, and the Bulldogs led 3-0.

Despite the early struggles, Wilson settled down and struck out four batters through two innings of work.

Zane Badmaev was solid in bridging two innings before Cortez, allowing no runs on one hit.

And in the bottom of the sixth, the Aggies tied the game at 3-3 as Jackson Appel scored Jace LaViolette on a sacrifice fly, and Hayden Schott doubled in Braden Montgomery.

Also in the sixth, A&M was able to chase first-team All-SEC starting pitcher Khal Stephen, who had had the Aggies number this season.

Stephen pitched in the Bulldogs’ only win against the Aggies in March, and on Wednesday, he guided his team through the first five innings to take down the Ags once more.

Before the ninth inning, Cortez was spectacular. He struck out five of the six batters he faced, showcasing a filthy backdoor slider and 100 mph fastballs with a great run.

Unfortunately, adversity struck for the Aggies’ top two arms in relief.

After recording an out in the final frame, Cortez hit the next two men he faced.

A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle opted to turn to his Brenham bell cow with two on and one out, but he was unable to get the job done.

A soft grounder along the first base line forced the lefty to come off the mound and make a tough spinning throw to first that pulled Burton off the bag.

One batter later, Hujsak worked his magic.

Now, two of the SEC’s top-four teams will be leaving Hoover 0-2.

A&M will look to avoid being one of those two against the Volunteers tomorrow at approximately 1 p.m. CT.

Discussion from...

No. 4 seed Aggies fall in SEC Tournament opener to No. 5 Mississippi State

4,676 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by KenManAg
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Maybe next year.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Schloss has them peaking at just the right time. The losses to Ole Miss and LSU really hurt.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Perhaps they peaked with the sweep of Vandy?
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