Aggie Baseball Runs Win Streak to Nine Games with 4-0 Triumph over HBU

(Source: Russell James/Texas A&M Athletics)
(Source: Russell James/Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 21 Texas A&M Aggie blanked the Houston Baptist Huskies, 4-0, Tuesday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for their first shutout of the season.

The Aggies drew first blood in the home half of the second, scoring two runs. The Maroon & White added insurance runs in the third and sixth, plating one run in each. The Aggies shut down the Huskies’ offense with traffic, holding them to 4-for-18 with runners on base, 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-4 with bases loaded.

On the mound, A&M starter Dustin Saenz worked 4.0 innings, scattering seven hits and two walks, while tying his career high in strikeouts (6). Saenz worked through a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the second and a bases-load, two outs quandary in the third. Jake Nelson (1-0) earned the win in relief, throwing perfect frames with three strikeouts. Joseph MenefeeTrevor Werner and Will Johnston closed out the game, working 1.0 inning apiece. Werner recorded three strikeouts, while Johnston threw a perfect frame. The staff tallied 12 strikeouts on the day, marking their sixth double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

Offensively, Logan Sartori and Zach DeLoach paced the Aggies, each batting 2-for-3 with one run and one walk, respectively. DeLoach’s two-hit performance extends his hit streak to nine games.

The Aggies wins keep adding up, improving to 9-0, while the Huskies drop to 2-7.

Logan Sartori – 2-for-3, 1 runs, 1 BB
Zach DeLoach – 2-for-3, 1 run, 1 BB
Jake Nelson  – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K

B2 | DeLoach dribbled a single up the middle and advanced to second, via a stolen base. Ray Alejo drew a one-out walk, before Mikey Hoehner lined a single to right, scoring DeLoach and putting runners on the corners. Ty Coleman singled to shortstop, plating Alejo. A&M 2, HBU 0.

B3 | Sartori drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Satori stole third with two outs and scored on a throwing error by HBU’s catcher. A&M 3, HBU 0.

B6 | With one-out, Alejo doubled through the left side of the infield and came in to score on two wild pitches. A&M 4, HBU 0.

The Aggies host the UIW Cardinals Wednesday with first pitch at 6:32 p.m.

Head Coach Rob Childress 
On Dustin Saenz’s performance…
“I liked his toughness. That guy is a junior and as a freshman a game like this could have come unwound on him. He wasn’t able to get a soft feel each of his innings but that took a lot of guts and resilience on his part to get us through the first four. Baseball is a funny game in that way. HBU had the opportunity to throw a knockout punch early in the game, but weren’t able to do it. We put up a few in the middle innings and our bullpen certainly made it stand up. I am proud how we pitched and played defense tonight.”

On freshman Trevor Werner first appearance on the mound…
“It was important he had the opportunity to throw tonight. His arm wasn’t feeling great the start of the year and I didn’t want to put too much on his plate. Asking him to play shortstop as a true freshman and be on the mound, isn’t easy. I couldn’t have been more impressed with his performance tonight.”

On the production from the bottom of the order…
“I felt really good about that. That is the reason we have those guys down there. Ray Alejo and Mikey Hoehner make that thing go, which allows the guys at the top drive them in. Guys like Bryce Blaum and Logan Sartori have been the key recipe to things happening this year. As a team, we are able to go out and slug with you and trade run but also win a pitching and defensive battle. That’s a sign of a great team.”

Junior starting pitcher Dustin Saenz
On his mindset in the tight situation…
“Staying composed in those types of situations is huge. You don’t want to crack, so staying within myself and being confident to throw it over the plate is where my mind Is at.”

On the bullpen’s performance…
“Like I have said before, it’s terrific. Watching these young guys like Willy {Johnston} and Trevor {Werner} get time was amazing to see. They are going to be very good in their years here, which I am excited to see.”

Senior relief pitcher Jake Nelson
On his performance…
“It was nice, especially because I had a rocky outing on Sunday. It was great to recover after that and get out here. Hunter [Coleman] made a great save behind me in my first inning. After that it felt good to throw clean pitching again.”

On what pitches were working for him…
“I had pretty good control with my fastball right down the middle. My changeup is usually my strikeout pitch for righties and lefties, and that was really working. I thought coach [Rob Childress] called a great game and Mickey [Hoehner] worked his butt off behind the plate all night.”

Junior infielder Logan Sartori
On his success at the plate…
“I just stick with the same approach each time. I try to drive the ball in the middle of the field. I try to make them throw it in my zone, and I’ve been getting a lot of pitches in the zone. Therefore, I’ve been taking a lot of swings.”

On the defense securing the shutout…
“It was a pitcher’s day today with the wind blowing in, and they absolutely took advantage of it. Dustin Saenz got in a little bit of trouble, but him working out of the jam and pulling through for us shows his maturity. We also played good defense as a team.”