By Thomas Dick, Texas A&M Athletics Communications
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies rode hot bats and stellar pitching to blank the Xavier Musketeers, 15-0, Sunday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The Aggies claimed the lead early and built on it as the game progressed to avoid the series sweep. The offense recorded runs in seven of the eight innings at the plate. The notable innings were a three-run second and a seven-run seventh.
For the Maroon & White, Bryan Sturges and Mikey Hoehner led the way. Sturges went 3-for-5 with one run, one walk, and one RBI. Hoehner was 2-for-4 with two doubles, one run, one hit-by-pitch, and three RBI. Bryce Blaum, Will Frizzell, and Hunter Coleman each added a home run.
Offensively, batters were 6-for-8 to lead off innings and 7-for-9 with runners on third with less two outs. Texas A&M tallied 15 hits on the day with 11 Aggies recording at least one knock. It marked their first double-digit hitting performance of the season.
Texas A&M threw five pitchers to stymie the Musketeers’ offense. Jonathan Childress got the start, working 4.2 scoreless innings, yielding three hits and four walks while fanning a career-high nine. Alex Magers (1-0) was awarded the win in relief, working a perfect 1.1 innings with two strikeouts. Will Johnston, Gabe Craig and Kobe Andrade closed out the game, scattering two hits and one walk amongst the three, while combining for three strikeouts.
The Aggie staff recorded 14 strikeouts on the day, marking their third straight double-digit performance of the season. The Maroon & White pitchers stranded 12 Musketeers on the bases path, and held their offense to 1-for-19 with runners on base and 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Texas A&M improved to 1-2 on the season, while the Musketeers fall to 2-1.
Bryan Sturges – 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI
Mikey Hoehner – 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI
Jonathan Childress – 4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 9 K
Alex Magers – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 K
B1 | Logan Sartori drew a leadoff six-pitch walk, and advanced to second on a single of the middle by Bryan Sturges. With two outs and runners on the corners, Austin Bost plated one after grounding into a fielder’s choice. A&M 1, Xavier 0.
B2 | Bryce Blaum started the really with a leadoff big fly over the leftfield wall. Ray Alejo singled to leftfield and advanced to second after Mikey Hoehner was struck by a pitch. Both runners moved into scoring position on a groundout by Kalae Harrison. Sartori plated one on single to leftfield, followed by a Sturges RBI single to centerfield. A&M 4, Xavier 0.
B3 | Alejo drew a two-out walk, stole second, advanced to third on a balk, and came in to score on a lined double down the leftfield line by Hoehner. A&M 5, Xavier 0.
B5 | Brett Minnich roped a leadoff double to leftfield, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came in to score a sacrifice fly to rightfield by Blaum. A&M 6, Xavier 0.
B6 | Will Frizzell led off with a rocket over the right-center field wall. A&M 7, Xavier 0.
B7 | Harrison led off with an infield single to second and advanced to third on a lined single to left field by Ty Coleman. Both runners came in to score on a passed and throwing error by the pitcher. Sturges and Hunter Coleman drew back-to-back walks before scoring on a passed ball and a Ryan Targac single through the right-side. Three consecutive walks by Brett Minnich, Zane Schmidt and Rody Barker plated one and loaded the bags with Ags. Hoehner cap off the scoring with a two RBI double off the leftfield wall. A&M 14, Xavier 0.
B8 | H. Coleman leadoff driving a 1-0 pitch over the rightfield wall. A&M 15, Xavier 0.
The Aggies host the Abilene Christian Wildcats for some midweek action Tuesday, with first pitch at 6:32 p.m.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On responding to yesterday’s losses…
“When you go into any season, you never truly know what the team’s identity is going to be. You have to forge that as you go through some adversity, and you saw we had that right out of the gates yesterday. But, to be able to respond the way we did with such an exclamation point says a lot about the character of our group moving forward.”
Senior OF Bryan Sturges
On the team’s performance today…
“We played as a team today. We came in and took some of those big swings out of the game. We took a lot of big swings yesterday. You know, first day, you decide to try to go for the fences a little bit, but today we settled in and got the ball moving, got traffic on the bases. When we get traffic, we play fast.”
Sophomore LHP Jonathan Childress
On throwing a career-high pitch count…
“It was huge. I haven’t thrown over 100 pitches in over three years probably, since high school. Even when I was healthy my freshman year, we were still building up, and I was getting cut off at about 70 pitches. So, throwing 100 pitches was great and really good for my mental state because I know I can still do it.”