Texas A&M took to the road over the weekend for their first SEC series away from Olsen Field, and swept the Kentucky Wildcats in the process. As expected, the Aggies’s pitching was outstanding, save for a couple of uncharacteristic outings. But what ultimately won A&M this series was the offensive barrage of the Aggie bats, as they outscored the Wildcats 31-11.
The Aggies firmly got the country’s attention the weekend prior, having taken a series from previously top ranked Vanderbilt. Momentum and excitement were clearly beginning to build in Aggieland. The Ags seized that momentum, and ran with it all the way into D1Baseball’s top 10.
A&M’s biggest concern thus far has been the offense. Even after their dynamite weekend at the plate, the Aggies still rank at or near the bottom of the SEC in the majority of offensive categories. The story of the weekend, however, is that the bats appear to have finally come alive. Most importantly Braden Shewmake has caught fire. Shew went 10-for-16 at the dish, with two homers, nine RBIs, five runs scored, and zero strikeouts. Yes, Shew absolutely back:
- John Doxakis took the mound on Friday, and he was better in this one than in his previous two starts. Still, he wasn’t at his best. Dox was victimized by a pair of homers off the bat of UK’s Ryan Shinn for the three runs he allowed. That combined with a walk, two HBPs, and five singles drove his pitch count up to 94 after five innings. In total, Dox allowed just the three runs on seven hits, a walk, two hit batters, and five punchouts.
- Offensively, the Aggies got things going in the fourth, when Hunter Coleman doubled home Logan Foster to cut Kentucky’s lead to 3-1. Then in the fifth, Shewmake started his offensive explosion with a game-tying, two-run homer to right. He continued in the seventh, singling Bryce Blaum home to give the Aggies their first lead of the weekend, 4-3. Two batters later, Ty Coleman singled Shew home to extend that lead to 5-3.
- Asa Lacy was utterly brilliant in game two. He started off the game with a four-pitch walk, but after back-to-back strikeouts, an RBI single tied the game at one apiece. He followed that up with a three-pitch strikeout, and from there he was nearly untouchable. In 6.0 innings of work, Lacy allowed just the one run on three hits and three walks. He also struck out a total of 13 Wildcats. Every single hitter in Kentucky’s lineup punched out at least once against Lacy. Chandler Jozwiak finished out the game following Lacy’s exit after the sixth, and he added four punchies of his own, which brought the total to 17. Unreal.
- At the plate, the Aggies got things started early. Following a leadoff triple by Blaum, Shewmake singled to left to open the scoring, and give A&M a 1-0 lead. After UK tied things up in the bottom of the first, smacked a two-out RBI single to right, giving the Ags the lead back, 2-1. Then in the fourth, the Aggies began to pull away, when Shew cranked a two-run WHAMMY to right-center, 4-1. A&M added three more in the fifth on a Will Frizzell RBI double off the wall in center, followed by a two-run bomb to left off the bat of Mikey Hoehner, 7-1. A Frizzell solo shot to right in the seventh and an RBI ground out by Shew in the ninth finished A&M’s scoring.
- On the mound, Christian Roa struggled in his start. He lasted just two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Roa loaded the bases with two out, and was replaced by Moo Menefee, who induced an inning-ending fly out. Menefee dominated from there. In 3.1 total innings, he shut the Cats out on just one hit, two walks, a hit batter, and three strikeouts. Later, in the seventh, Bryce Miller came on and dominated as well. He allowed just two hits and a walk in three innings of shutout baseball, all while striking out seven.
- Everything went the Aggies’ way at the plate in this one. A pair of RBI singles from Cam Blake and Jonathan Ducoff tied the game at two in the third inning. At that point, the game seemed up for grabs, and the Ags responded in a big, big way. In the fifth, A&M broke the game wide open by dropping an eight-spot on the Wildcats, highlighted by a Hoehner two-run single, a Blaum two-run triple, and a Shewmake two-run double. Hunter Coleman tacked on another run in the sixth with an RBI double, and then got a five-run ninth started with his first WHAMMY of the season. Sunday Runday, indeed!
The Aggies return to Olsen this Tuesday to take on Lamar, before they welcome Missouri this weekend. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:30 pm. See y’all at Olsen!