Aggies Drop SEC Opener to Vanderbilt, 7-4

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies’ late charge came up short, falling 7-4 to the No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores on the opening day of SEC play Friday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

John Doxakis (3-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing two runs on six hits and two walk while fanning six over 5.0 innings. Bryce Miller, Joseph Menefee and Chris Weber came out of the bullpen to relieve Doxakis. Combined, they threw 4.0 innings, yielding five runs, four earned, on six hits while striking out four. The pitching staff recorded their 13th double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

The difference in matchup was fielding mishaps and hitting with runners on base, Vanderbilt capitalized on the two errors in the top half of the sixth, plating three runs, which proved to be the deciding margin. The Commodores batted 7-for-21 with runners on base while the Aggies hit 2-for-17.

The Aggies dropped to 15-5 and 0-1 in SEC play, while Vanderbilt improved to 15-3 and 1-0 in SEC play.

UP NEXT
The Aggies and Commodores return for game two of the series Saturday at 2:02 p.m.

SCORING SUMMARY
T1| Austin Martin dribbled a one-out single up the middle and advanced to second on an eight-pitch walk by Stephen Scott. Pat DeMarco broke the ice, plating Martin on a single through the left-side. Vandy 1, A&M 0.

B1 | Logan Foster, Braden Shewmake and Mikey Hoehner, drew three consecutive one-out base on balls, to fill the bags with Ags. Will Frizzell evened things up, scoring Foster on a groundout to shortstop. A&M 1, Vandy 1.

T4 | Vanderbilt loaded the bases early, with Philip Clark singling to left, Ethan Paul singling through the right-side and Julian Infante being hit by a pitch. Clark then regained the lead, scoring on a wild pitch by John Doxakis. Vandy 2, A&M 1.

T6| Infante drew one-out walk to start things off, and moved over to third on a ground rule double to rightfield by Harrison Ray. Both runners came in to score on a bunt single by Cooper Davis. Austin Martin then reached base on an error by A&M’s centerfielder. Davis came in to score on a throwing error by A&M’s second baseman, on a grounder by Scott. Vandy 5, A&M 1.

B6 | With two outs, Cam Blake laced a single to rightfield and advanced to second after Hunter Coleman was struck by a pitch. Ty Condel knocked in Blake with a single to leftfield. Vandy 5, A&M 2.

B7 | Allonte Wingate started the inning reaching first on a throwing error by Vandy’s shortstop. Shewmake drew a seven-pitch walk before Hoehner roped a double to center, plating both runners. Vandy 5, A&M 4.

T8 | Ray lined a one-out single to centerfield and came in to score on a hit-and-run double down the leftfield line by Davis. Vandy 6, A&M 4.

T9 | Scott roped a one-out single to center and advanced to second on a groundout by DeMarco. Clarke scored Scott on a singled up the middle. Vandy 7, A&M 4.

TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress

On tonight’s performance…

“We have to pitch and play defense at a high level. That’s been the recipe for us thus far this season. Tonight {John} Doxakis worked his tail off. We made some mistakes defensively when we gave up the crooked number, and by not catching the fly balls that are expected to be caught. We had a chance to get the starter out of the game early, he walked four in the first inning and we couldn’t get a big hit. We also had a runner at second base, no outs and we couldn’t move him with the middle of our order. That at the end of the night was the difference in our game. As bad as we played we still had our opportunities. Give Vanderbilt credit, we made a run at them and they come right back with a couple two out big hits to extend the lead. They played a lot better than we did tonight.”

On Vanderbilt’s double-squeeze bunt…

“They executed it to perfection. That guy not only got the bunt down with a fast ball above his head, but also with two strikes on him.”

Message heading into tomorrow’s matchup…

“We have to play better and come out to do our best to even the series. Win or lose on Friday night, when you come back to the field on Saturday we have Asa Lacy on the mound you feel like you have a chance.”

Junior LHP John Doxakis

On his play tonight…

“They made it hard to be successful today, and that’s what good teams will do to you, but you have to bounce back better than that. We waited too long to get it going. They didn’t miss fastballs, if we were throwing them over the plate they were going to barrell it up, and that made it really hard to pitch, and not having secondary stuff made it harder to pitch. It was just a channel of events, and it didn’t go our way.”