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Texas A&M Baseball

Top 10 moments along Texas A&M's road back to Omaha in 2024

June 11, 2024
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The season is far from finished, as the Maroon & White are headed to Omaha later this week.

With the 2024 Men’s College World Series beginning on Friday, Texas A&M’s path to Charles Schwab Field Omaha for the second time in three years featured a number of truly magical moments.

At 49-13, the Aggies will face Florida in their MCWS opener on Saturday, but before they do, there is plenty of time to look back on a special path back to a special place.

Here are the top 10 moments from A&M’s 2024 campaign... So far.

1. Ryan Targac’s walk-off single to run-rule Arkansas

No. 5 Texas A&M 14, No. 3 Arkansas 4 (7 innings)
May 18, 2024

We’re getting sentimental right out of the gate.

In A&M’s most recent Omaha run two years ago, Ryan Targac led the SEC in RBIs with 58, but the last two seasons have not been kind to the current No. 12. In fact, “The Hallettsville Hammer” has just 59 at-bats in 2024, but the 59th gave a Blue Bell Park faithful the memory of a lifetime.

On the final day of the regular season, A&M pulled away from Arkansas late with a six-run sixth to take an 11-4 lead. The offense continued to roll in the seventh, and with the Ags one run away from run-ruling the Hogs, Jim Schlossnagle elected to get the senior one final AB on Olsen Field.

On a 2-2 pitch, Targac dumped a single into center field to score Jace LaViolette and walk off the Razorbacks. To say Blue Bell was emotional would be an understatement as the Raggies began a “RY-AN TAR-GAC” chant.

Indeed the 12th Man honored the 12th Man on his senior day in the most storybook fashion.

2. Duck hunt completed by Kaeden Kent’s biggest swing

#3 Texas A&M 15, Oregon 9 – 2024 Bryan-College Station Super Regional, Game 2
June 9, 2024

Sure, there is some recency bias, but when has Blue Bell Park been as loud as Kyle Field?

Kaeden Kent did that.

Entering the seventh inning down 8-4, A&M taxed Oregon reliever Brock Moore to the tune of five walks and a hit-by-pitch to tie the game. Jaxon Jordan didn’t fare much better as he walked Ali Camarillo to put the Aggies in front.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Kent channeled his father, Jeff Kent, in launching a grand slam to Section 12 to put an astronomical-sized stamp on a nine-run inning. The ballpark went absolutely bonkers as the Aggies clinched their spot in Omaha late in the night.

Kent finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs in a performance that Aggies will long remember.

The game knows.

3. The entire Vanderbilt weekend

No. 3 Texas A&M 15, No. 6 Vanderbilt 0 (7 innings)
No. 3 Texas A&M 9, No. 6 Vanderbilt 0
No. 3 Texas A&M 12, No. 6 Vanderbilt 6
April 12-14, 2024 – Friday, Saturday, Sunday

The debut of “Rattlin’ Bog” was historic.

On Friday, the Irish folk song played on a near loop as A&M homered five times while Ryan Prager blanked the Commodores in a seven-inning, complete-game shutout. The next night, a post-renovation record crowd of 8,075 watched Tanner Jones spin 7.1 scoreless frames as the offense continued to roll. In the finale, A&M used a six-run fifth to pull away from Vandy as Chris Cortez punched out eight across 4.1 innings of relief.

In the record-setting sweep, A&M outscored the Commodores 36-6. The Ags then ascended to No. 1 in the national rankings for the first time since 2016.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog
The bog down in the valley-o
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog
The bog down in the valley-o!

4. Horns down in the postseason... Again!

#1 Texas A&M 4, #3 Texas (11 innings) – 2024 Bryan-College Station Regional
June 1, 2024

The theater of Texas A&M vs. Texas is unmatched. In the postseason, it was elevated once more.

Two historic rivals were locked in a winner’s bracket battle in the Bryan-College Station Regional. Starters Ryan Prager and Lebarron Johnson Jr. dueled. A trio of solo homers accounted for the game’s first three runs courtesy of Caden Sorrell and Texas’ Jared Thomas and Kimble Schuessler.

In the eighth, a pair of Jalin Flores errors gifted A&M the tying run. From that point on, it became the Evan Aschenbeck show... As it has so often this year.

The Brenham Bell Cow held the Longhorns hitless for 4.2 innings as the game reached the 11th inning.

Batting in the top half of the frame, Ted Burton’s slow bouncer up the third-base line clipped the bag, allowing Kaeden Kent to score with two outs. A subsequent wild pitch brought Jace LaViolette home.

With the collective weight of a Texas-sized hurdle off their shoulders, the Aggies rolled through the rest of the regional and super regional to a 5-0 record in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

5. Outlasting Arkansas in the series opener

No. 5 Texas A&M 1, No. 3 Arkansas 0 (11 innings)
May 16, 2024

Hagen Smith is elite. He’ll likely be the first pitcher off the board in July’s MLB Draft.

But on a Thursday night in Aggieland, Ryan Prager went blow-for-blow with the SEC’s Pitcher of the Year. Smith went six scoreless and punched out 14, while Prager blanked the Hogs for seven innings with nine Ks en route to finally earning an elusive and long overdue SEC Pitcher of the Week nod.

With pitching dominating the game, an ironic bases-loaded walk by Ted Burton ultimately lifted A&M to a 1-0 win in extra innings.

It was the first time Arkansas had lost a Smith start all season.

6. A mind-blowing comeback vs. the Georgia Bulldogs

No. 1 Texas A&M 19, No. 20 Georgia 9 (7 innings)
April 27, 2024

An all-time “What the heck just happened?” moment at the ballpark. The only reason this is further down the list is because A&M was cheated out of the nightcap of a Saturday doubleheader.

But the first game... Wow.

Georgia’s elite offense — led by Golden Spikes shoo-in Charlie Condon — raced out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

They would not score again.

Jace LaViolette’s two-run blast kickstarted an eight-run bottom of the first as A&M ripped off 19 unanswered runs for the most improbable of run-rule victories.

The Aggies homered six times in the ballgame, with Ted Burton and Travis Chestnut each homering twice. Chestnut’s second served as a walk-off bomb to enact the mercy rule.

7. Braden Montgomery’s first at-bat as a Fightin’ Texas Aggie

No. 8 Texas A&M 15, McNeese State 0
Feb. 16, 2024

A special swing for a special player.

The most sought-after transfer in the most recent portal cycle, Braden Montgomery elected to come to Aggieland after two All-American seasons at Stanford.

On Opening Night, he introduced himself to the 12th Man in the best way imaginable.

In his first at-bat in Maroon & White, Montgomery launched a 2-2 pitch to right-center field to begin a 15-0 bludgeoning of McNeese State.

What followed for the next 60 games was one of the best individual seasons in program history.

Before suffering a season-ending injury vs. Oregon, Montgomery slashed .322/.733/.454 with 27 home runs and 85 RBI to earn first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team honors.

He will undoubtedly be a first-round selection in the upcoming MLB Draft.

And Aggieland is undoubtedly wishing him a very fast recovery!

8. ‘Let’s go home!’ – Jackson Appel’s three-homer night walks off UTSA

No. 3 Texas A&M 6, UTSA 5
April 9, 2024

Jackson Appel deserves his own article. A transfer from Penn, he has played in 59 of A&M’s 62 games, starting almost everyone behind the plate. He’s hitting .330, which ranks second behind Hayden Schott’s .331 average, and has 10 homers with 40 RBIs while hitting behind the vaunted “big three” of Gavin Grahovac, Jace LaViolette and Braden Montgomery.

A&M finished the regular season unbeaten vs. non-conference opponents, and a big reason why is because of Appel’s big Tuesday night vs. UTSA in April.

Trailing 4-0, he hit a solo shot in the third.

Down 5-1 in the fifth, he hit a two-run shot.

Tied 5-5 in the ninth, Appel called game with a third opposite-field blast of the night, causing Ryan Brauninger to interject on Andrew Monaco’s home run call...

“Let’s go home!”

9. Aggies blank Grambling for 11th shutout of 2024

#1 Texas A&M 8, #4 Grambling State 0
May 31, 2024

This is more about the pitching staff as a whole. Against a SWAC foe to begin the 2024 NCAA Tournament, Tanner Jones, Brad Rudis, Weston Moss and Eldridge Armstrong III combined for A&M’s 11th shutout of the year.

That is the second-most in a season by Aggie pitching behind the 1990 club’s dozen.

Max Weiner has worked wonders.

Here’s that list of shutouts:

  1. Feb. 16 – No. 8 Texas A&M 15, McNeese State 0
  2. Feb. 18 – No. 8 Texas A&M 10, McNeese State 0 (7 innings)
  3. Feb. 24 – No. 8 Texas A&M 2, Wagner 0
  4. March 1 – No. 7 Texas A&M 4, Arizona State 0
  5. March 8 – No. 7 Texas A&M 11, Rhode Island 0
  6. March 9 – No. 7 Texas A&M 6, Rhode Island 0
  7. April 12 – No. 6 Texas A&M 15, No. 3 Vanderbilt 0 (7 innings)
  8. April 13 – No. 6 Texas A&M 9, No. 3 Vanderbilt 0
  9. May 12 – No. 3 Texas A&M 6, Ole Miss 0
  10. May 16 – No. 5 Texas A&M 1, No. 3 Arkansas 0 (11 innings)
  11. May 31 – #3 Texas A&M 8, Grambling State 0

10. 12th Man wills Aggies to early-season walk-off

No. 7 Texas A&M 12, Rhode Island 11 (10 innings)
March 10, 2024

This spring, the Aggies frequently erased big deficits late. The first such instance came in their final non-conference series of the year.

The unbeaten Aggies surrendered 11 unanswered runs and were trailing Rhode Island by four at the seventh-inning stretch.

While a sweep seemed bleak, the 12th Man never stopped pulling for their Ags.

If you were in the ballpark that Sunday, you probably remember the feeling of the 5,857 in attendance literally willing A&M back into the game, scoring one in the seventh, another in the eighth and two in the ninth.

Then Hayden Schott’s 10th-inning single walked off the Rams to move A&M to 16-0.

Comebacks were frequent. Great crowds at Blue Bell were even more so.

In 40 home games, the “Shack by the Tracks” welcomed 257,298 fans for an average of 6,432.5 per game — 105.5 percent of Blue Bell Park’s capacity of 6,100.

A&M was an awesome 37-3 at home in 2024.

The 12th Man was awesome. Absolutely awesome.

Discussion from...

Top 10 moments along Texas A&M's road back to Omaha in 2024

6,020 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by ThunderFighter06
Matsui
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AG
so many classic moments!
tjack16
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AG
I'd also add the 9-2 win in Austin. Really showed that this team was going to be a dominant force IMO.
BadMoonRisin
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AG
What a special season and special team.
The Marksman
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AG
Great read
RossWag
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AG
I would add Cortez's shut down of Oregon in Game 1 of Super Regional
ThunderFighter06
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AG
I knew it was going to be special season when Braden Montgomery hit a homerun in his first at bat as an Aggie! Now lets win the whole ****ing thing!
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