Hoglund exits early with injury, Texas A&M walks off Ole Miss
COLLEGE STATION, Tx. - In a series opener full of momentum shifts and offense, Will Frizzell had the final word on Friday as the Texas A&M Aggies knocked off Ole Miss with a walk-off solo home run at Blue Bell Park.
Right out of the gate with an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, Gunnar Hoglund had to be replaced on the mound by Derek Diamond after an injury started to affect his command of the ball. Diamond went four innings and gave up five runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Austin Miller went for a season high 2.2 innings and allowed just two hits while Jack Dougherty finished the game off and came away with the loss (1-1).
Offensively, Hayden Leatherwood went 3-for-5 at the plate with his sixth home run of the season as Jacob Gonzalez, Kevin Graham and Cael Baker each went 2-for-5, the latter also following Leatherwood with a homer of his own. In all, the Rebels tailed 14 hits. However, they stranded 10 runners on base which later came back to haunt them despite a promising start.
The Rebels wasted little time creating separation offensively and jumping on Texas A&M starter Saenz. On the very first pitch of the evening, Gonzalez hit a leadoff single to left field. After Gonzalez stole second on a wild pitch, Peyton Chatagnier drew first blood for Ole Miss with an RBI double. Chatagnier proceeded to score a run of his own following a throwing error by the Aggies. Graham made Aggie starter Dustin Saenz pay for the error a little bit later, scoring on a sac fly by TJ McCants, giving Ole Miss an early 3-0 lead.
Texas A&M answered emphatically. A single by Logan Sartori and walk issued to Frizzell set up a 2 RBI double by Smith to cut into the Aggie deficit. With Hoglund seemingly not at full health, Diamond was brought in for early relief. Despite Thompson tying the game with an RBI double, Diamond got out of the opening inning with no further damage.
Over the next two innings, Ole Miss tallied three hits that were all eventually left stranded while Diamond struck out four on the mound. The Rebels retook the lead in the fourth inning with Graham’s RBI single that scored Gonzalez, but after a pair of 1-2-3 innings by Diamond and Saenz, Texas A&M blew things open all while working with two outs in the fifth inning.
After a throwing error got leadoff man Kalae Harrison aboard, Frizzell hit a left field home run to give the Aggies their first lead of the night. A single and walk allowed Jordan Thompson to extend said lead with a 2 RBI double to make it a three run Aggie lead, ending Diamond’s night on the mound. Miller came out of the Rebel bullpen and gave up a Brett Minnich single which later gave Texas A&M an 8-4 lead after five complete.
Much like the first inning, fortunes would flip on a dime again. Leatherwood and Baker started the sixth inning off with a bang with back-to-back solo shots to get within two. With two outs and Joseph Menefee out of the Aggie bullpen, Graham doubled to left center field and eventually scored off a single by Hayden Dunhurst. The Rebels tied the game just like that once Dunhurst stole second and put himself in scoring position. McCants’ RBI singled knotted things up 8-8 going into the bottom of the six, where Miller pitched a hitless frame.
After three straight 1-2-3 innings between the two squads, the Aggies threatened with two runners on and one out. Dougherty came out of the Rebel bullpen to deliver two huge outs with consecutive ground outs.
Bench started the ninth inning with a leadoff single and after retiring McCants and Elko, a Leatherwood single put runners at the corners with two outs. Chandler Jozwiak struck out Baker to set the Aggies up with a walk-off opportunity. Frizzell delivered it on his first pitch with a solo home run to end it.
Ole Miss will look to rebound on Saturday, May 8 and split the series with the Aggies. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.
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