Credit to Ben Rikard | Associate Director, Athletics Communications – 12thman.com
HOOVER, Ala. – Freshman Justin Lamkin dazzled on the mound as Texas A&M pitchers recorded their second one-hitter of the 2023 SEC Tournament with Thursday’s 5-0 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Lamkin (3-3) registered career highs with 7.0 innings pitched and nine strikeouts to earn the victory. He scattered one hit and three walks as he did not allow a runner to reach scoring position. South Carolina’s lone hit was a leadoff single in the fifth inning.
The pair of one-hit shutouts are the first nine-inning, one-hit shutouts in the tournament’s history. There had been six games of one or no hits in the event’s history with five being of just seven innings. The only other nine-inning one-hitter came in a 3-1 win by LSU over Arkansas in 2013.
With Texas A&M leading 5-0, the game became precarious when South Carolina loaded the bases on three walks issued by Chris Cortez. Matt Dillard entered the game and punched out Gavin Casas looking. Dillard pitched the ninth, working around a two-out walk, to earn his second save of the season.
The Aggie pitchers weaved through traffic to earn the shutout. They walked seven hitters and hit a batsman, but South Carolina was 0-for-9 with runners on base.
Texas A&M (34-24) broke the scoring seal in the third inning with a Hunter Haas bunt single and Trevor Werner wall-banger for a triple.
The Aggies’ three-run fourth inning was sparked by leadoff walks from Jordan Thompson and Ryan Targac. Runs were plated with a double by Austin Bost, groundout by Brett Minnich and sacrifice fly by Max Kaufer.
The Maroon & White tacked on an insurance run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly by Jordan Thompson.
The combined pitching performance was the third one-hitter in the last two seasons at the SEC Tournament. In 2022, Micah Dallas and Joseph Menefee joined forces to one-hit Florida over seven innings in a 10-0 run rule win to open the tournament. On Tuesday, Troy Wansing and Evan Aschenbeck worked to one-hit Tennessee.
Lamkin’s outing was the longest for an Aggie freshman at the SEC Tournament since Chris Weber worked 7.1 innings of one-hit shutout baseball against Georgia in a 1-0 loss in 2019.
This marks the sixth time the Aggies have won multiple games the SEC Tournament.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
Justin Lamkin – 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K; (W, 3-3)
Trevor Werner – 3-for-4, 1 3B, 1 SB, 1 RBI
Matt Dillard – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K; (SV, 2)
Jordan Thompson – 2 BB, 1 SF, 1 R, 1 RBI
The Aggies return to action Friday at 3 p.m. when they play the loser of Thursday’s LSU-Arkansas contest in an elimination game. The contest airs on SEC Network.
B3 | SC 0, A&M 1
Hunter Haas pushed a perfect bunt down the third base line for a one out single and scored on Trevor Werner’s two-out triple to the wall in right-center.
B4 | SC 0, A&M 4
Jordan Thompson and Ryan Targac worked walks to start the frame. Austin Bost deposited a double down the leftfield line, plating Thompson and Targac scored on a groundout to short by Brett Minnich. Bost scored on Max Kaufer’s sacrifice fly to leftfield.
B5 | SC 0, A&M 5
The rally started with Jack Moss reaching via a passed ball on strike three. Trevor Werner singled to centerfield and a fielder’s choice grounder to second by Jace LaViolette put runners on the corners. Thompson knocked in Moss with a sacrifice fly to rightfield.