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NCAA BASEBALL

Aggies eliminate Longhorns in Omaha

The Texas A&M Aggies dominate the Texas Longhorns with small, consistent hits, smart base running, and a polished performance on the mound.

Update:
The Texas A&M Aggies dominate the Texas Longhorns with small, consistent hits, smart base running, and a polished performance on the mound

The Texas Longhorns were the highest-touted underachieving baseball team in the land this season. Widely picked to win it all as the season got underway, they stumbled and bumbled their way down the national rankings, before finding their feet mid-season and showing some of that early promise, especially with the bat.

Their trip to Omaha started with a Notre Dame loss, but with the Irish on a hot streak after taking down Tennessee, you could excuse that as a blip in the road. Now it turns out that the road was in fact a cul-de-sac. The Texas Longhorns are headed back to Austin, their season finished.

The loss came at the hands of in-state rivals Texas A&M. The Aggies have had the opposite trajectory this season, not expected to do much as the season began, but slowly climbing the rankings, putting together wins that made them, after the Volunteers’ meltdown in Knoxville, the SEC’s best shot at a national title.

They stumbled at the first hurdle in Omaha, dropping game one to Oklahoma, and it looked as if the Nebraska curse might still be upon them. The Aggies have bombed out of every CWS appearance, losing in straight games nine times, since 1993. Their last win in Omaha was in that 1993 appearance when they defeated Kansas.

Nineteen years later, they have now broken that spell, notching up a 10-2 win over the Longhorns.

The game got off, not unexpectedly, with a Texas run. Some good small-ball, working a walk, stretching a single, and then knocking them in, saw the Longhorns score in the first and the second to lead 2-0. That was the last time they would lead and be the last run the scored all day.

In the bottom of the second, the Aggies bats came alive as Austin Bost lead off the inning with a double. A walk, a fielder’s choice, and then another double, this time by Brett Minnich gave the Aggies their first run. Jordan Thompson’s single tied the game at two. Trevor Werner worked a mammoth 11-pitch at bat to get a base path-clearing single into left field and the maroon and white were off and running.

In a game that saw a ton of traffic on the bases for both teams, it was the Aggies who finished off bringing in a run in every inning except the sixth, and they did it the hard way, through singles, sac flies, and stealing bases. None of their ten runs came off of long balls.

On the mound for A&M, Micah Dallas went five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks for the win. Jacob Palisch and Brad Rudis recorded seven strikeouts in their relief duties.

Texas A&M will now have to face the Oklahoma Sooners, who are on their own post-season run in this College World Series. The Aggies can’t put a foot wrong, as one more loss sees their season end. But so far, the men in maroon and white are looking like they are here to stay.

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