The Aggie Baseballers got back on track this weekend, taking their series with Auburn two games to one. It was a series comprised of excellent pitching and timely hitting in all three games. On Friday, it was A&M riding a stellar performance by John Doxakis on the mound while the bats scratched three runs across against Auburn’s Tanner Burns, who came into the weekend seemingly on track for SEC Pitcher of the Year consideration. On Saturday, the roles were reversed; Auburn’s Brooks Fuller was outstanding and the Tigers’ offense tagged Asa Lacy, A&M’s most consistently awesome starter, with his first loss of the season. Lastly, it was Logan Foster’s three-run WHAMMY that propelled the Aggies to the series-deciding win on Sunday. In essence, calling this series evenly matched feels like an understatement.
This series victory was huge for the Ags in their quest for a regional host spot. Not only do they remain just a half game out of first place in the SEC West, A&M’s RPI also sits at 12 (BRAAAAND) according to Warren Nolan (firmly in the hosting mix), and they’re up to No. 7 in this week’s D1Baseball poll. The schedule certainly won’t get any easier, with trips to South Carolina and Ole Miss the next two weekends and series against Mississippi State and Arkansas still on the docket. There’s a lot of work left to do for the Aggies, but so far, so good.
- John Doxakis was simply brilliant on Friday night. In 8.0+ innings of shutout baseball, Dox allowed seven hits, two walks, one hit batter, and struck out six. Seemingly every time Auburn got some traffic on the basepaths, Dox either coaxed a double play, or he was able to rear back and pick up a huge strikeout.
- At the plate, the Aggies were unable to get anyone on base through 3.1 innings until Chandler Morris singled with one out in the fourth. Following a four-pitch walk to Braden Shewmake, Mikey Hoehner broke the scoreless tie with a two-run double to left, giving the Ags a 2-0 lead. They added insurance runs in the fifth and eighth, thanks to a Zach DeLoach sac fly and a Chandler Morris RBI single, respectively.
- Asa Lacy got off to a rough start in game two. He coaxed a groundout on the first pitch of the game, but two batters later, Auburn had runners at second and third with one away. During the next at bat, a wild pitch scored Auburn’s first run. Then, with the count full, Auburn’s Conor Davis took Lacy deep, giving the Tigers a 3-0 advantage. Lacy then settled down somewhat, holding Auburn at three runs despite a bit more traffic in the second and fourth. With two on and two out in the fifth, Chandler Jozwiak came on in relief of Lacy and promptly got out of the inning with a flyout to right. Joz then retired the side in order in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth. Unfortunately, whatever he had working came to an end in the ninth. With two out and two on, Joz gave up an RBI single to extend Auburn’s lead to 4-0, before walking the bases loaded. Brandon Birdsell came on and walked the only batter he faced, forcing in a run to make it 5-0. Kyle Richardson then replaced Birdsell, and he promptly gave up a two-run double to make it 7-0.
- Offensively, the Aggies weren’t really able to get anything going. They were able to draw five walks on the day, but they were only able to muster five hits. It was one of those days where leadoff hits were constantly erased by double plays, and two-out rallies came up just short.
- Christian Roa got the start for A&M on Sunday, and he pitched well right out of the gate. Roa sat down the first six hitters he faced, but he ran into some trouble in the third, allowing a run on two hits in the frame. From there, the bullpen swooped in and shut down the Auburn bats. Chris Weber (2.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB), Bryce Miller (1.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 K, 0 BB), Moo Menefee (1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 4 K, 0 BB), and Kasey Kalich (1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 K, 0 BB) took it the rest of the way. Dynamite performance for the Aggie relievers.
- At the plate, the Ags bounced back from their disappointing performance in game two. They tallied all four of their runs in the fourth inning. Already down one, Cam Blake, Shewmake, and Hoehner started the inning off with three consecutive singles to tie things up at one apiece. Following a pitching change, Logan Foster smacked the first pitch he saw into the wind and over the wall in right-center for a three-run bomb, giving A&M a 4-1 lead.
The Aggies will hit the road on Tuesday night, as they head down to the Bayou City to take on the Houston Cougars (21-15, 6-6 AAC). It will be A&M’s second matchup against the Coogs this season, with the Ags taking the first 3-2 back on March 3 at the Shriners College Classic. First pitch is slated for 6:30 at UH’s Schroeder Park.