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Aggies Drop Nightcap to Xavier, 2-0

Texas A&M Baseball
Texas A&M Baseball(KBTX)
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 11:46 PM CST
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies dropped game two of the opening day doubleheader to the Xavier Musketeers, 2-0, Saturday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

The Maroon & White had stellar pitching performance, but was unable to deliver offensively. The Musketeers plated the two runs of the game with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth.

On the mound, Dustin Saenz (0-1) was saddled with the loss despite a solid effort. He tossed 5.0 innings, yielding two runs on three hits and three walks while fanning a career-high eight. Mason Ornelas sailed through the final 4.0 innings to close out the game, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out a career-high eight batters.

The staff held the Xavier offense to 1-for-12 with runners on and 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, while tallying their second straight double-digit strikeout performance.

Offensively, Austin Bost and Ray Alejo led the way. Bost was 2-for-4, while Alejo record one hit. The Aggies drew six walks on the day.

Nick Zwack (1-0) got the win for the Musketeers, working through 5.0 hitless innings, giving up just three walks while striking out eight. Jonathan Kelly (1) was awarded the save in relief. Kelly threw 2.0 inning, allowing one hit and two walks while fanning one.

With the loss, the Aggies failed to win the opening weekend series for the first time since 2008 and drop to 36-3 since then.

The Aggies fall to 0-2 on the season, the Musketeers improve to 2-0.

TOP PLAYERS

Austin Bost – 2-for-4

Mason Ornelas – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

SCORING SUMMARY

T4 | Jack Housinger drew a leadoff walk and came in to score on a homerun to rightfield by Jonathan Kelly.  Xavier 2, A&M 0.

UP NEXT

The Aggies and Musketeers return to action Sunday at 12:02 p.m.

NOTE FOR SUNDAY

The unprecedented hard freeze in the Brazos Valley will force alterations to spectator access at Blue Bell Park for Sunday’s series finale vs. Xavier.

With a priority on fan safety and despite best efforts to clear the area, lingering icy conditions in the upper deck of the stadium will force those areas (sections 201-211) to be closed to fans during both games vs. the Musketeers on Saturday. For fans who hold tickets for these sections, Texas A&M Athletics will make every effort to reseat upper level patrons in bleacher seating and standing room only areas. Unfortunately, due to the unique circumstances surrounding Saturday’s doubleheader and distancing protocols set forth by the Southeastern Conference, fans may be turned away if capacity is reached in available areas of the stadium.

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Head Coach Rob Childress

On dropping the first two games…”This is an awful tough day for us. We got off to such a great start with a 5-1 lead. Bryce Miller goes out and loses command a little bit. He walked two guys, hits a guy, and is about to get out of it and just like that we give up three two-out runs and lost the momentum. They took a lot of pitches from him and I had to go to the bullpen. Xavier’s bullpens flat out pitched our bullpen, to the tune of six to one and that was the true difference in the game for us, the eight free baserunners. Our inability to get off the field, we gave up six two-out runs and again we had some shots from an offensive standpoint, but we had no response once they grabbed the momentum. We were 0 for our last 10 with runners in scoring position in that first game and a quick turnaround in game two. Both of our pitchers did an outstanding job and gave us a shot, but we were able to not able to get anything going from an offensive standpoint. We have a great collection of players, but we had an awful tough time. I give Xavier a lot of credit they played better than we did today. For us it’s about finding the nine that play best together and we’re going to do that. The sun is going to come up tomorrow and we’ve got an opportunity to respond at high noon.

Senior OF Ray Alejo

On the change that slowed down the bats…”The Xavier pitchers did a great job, and did what they needed to do. As an offense we learned a lot about ourselves and I think some of the young guys had pregame jitters. There is no excuses there, it’s just that we need to go out there and attack more tomorrow.”

Sophomore RHP Mason Ornelas

On a nice night on the mound and what pitches they were working…”My fastball and changeup, Coach Childress called really great game. Taylor Smith was great behind the dish, doing the best he can to give me strikes. There’s my fastball and changeup just changes up speeds and just get them off balance. I think those two pitches really working well for me just keeping them off the plane just changing speeds.”