Razorbacks outslug Aggies in series opener 7-3

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies dropped the series opener to the No. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks, 7-3, Thursday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Offensively, the Maroon & White were paced by their first four hitters in the lineup who combined to hit .471 (7-for-18). Bryce Blaum batted 3-for-5 with one run and Braden Shewmake went 2-for-4 with two runs, one double and one walk. Cam Blake added two hits and one RBI. Hunter Coleman, playing in his first game since suffering an injury on March 30, tallied two hits and a double.

On the mound, Chris Weber made his first career SEC start. Weber (4-1) was saddled with the loss, grinding through 5.0 inning, giving up five runs on six hits, while recording a season-high 10 strikeouts. Chandler Jozwiak and Jake Nelson closed out the game. Jozwiak threw 2.1 innings, yielding one run on three hits and one walk while fanning three. Nelson tossed 1.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit while fanning a career-high five.

Aggie pitchers equaled a season-high with 18 strikeouts, which last happened in a 15-inning game against Missouri on March 30, but Texas A&M was doomed by five Arkansas’s home runs.

The Aggies fell to 34-19-1 on the season and 14-13-1 in SEC play, while the Razorbacks improved to 40-13 on the year and 20-8 in league action.

The squads play game two of the series Friday with first pitch at 6:32 p.m.

T3 | Christian Franklin got things started, doubling off the glove of diving leftfielder Cam Blake. Casey Opitz put runners on the corners with a single to centerfield, before Trevor Ezell sent a one-out bomb over the left field fence. ARK 3, A&M 0.

B4| Shewmake started the inning by lacing a single to leftfield and advanced to third on a Blaum’s line-drive single through the left side. With one-out Blake dropped a safety squeeze for a single down the third base line to score Shewmake. A couple pitches later, Blaum came in to score when Arkansas’ catcher sent a ball into leftfield on a pickoff attempt at third. ARK 3, A&M 2.

T5| With two-outs, Casey Martin and Matt Goodheart hit back-to-back solo blasts. ARK 5, A&M 2.

T6| Jack Kenley, with one out, shot a ball over the short rightfield wall. ARK 6, A&M 2.

B8| Braden Shewmake led off with a double to rightfield and advanced to third on a ground out to first by Bryce Blaum. Zach DeLoach roped a single to leftfield to knock in Shewmake. ARK 6, A&M 3.

T9| Casey Martin went deep with two outs. ARK 7, A&M 3.


Head Coach Rob Childress

On Chris Weber’s pitching performance…

“Chris [Weber] couldn’t have been much better than what he was. He made three mistakes with two strikes, and Arkansas is a very offensive club. With a double, single, and a three-run homer just like that we’re chasing runs, but I couldn’t be more proud of him and the job he did tonight when we needed him most.”

On the Aggies’ offense…

“Well I thought we did a lot of great things tonight, offensively. We had 11 hits, 11 opportunities with runners in scoring position, and 11 at-bats. More often than not, when you get all those opportunities you’re going to be on the winning side, especially when you only walk one and strike out 18. However, not when you give up five homeruns to a team. That’s what they do. We made five mistakes on the night, and they didn’t miss them.”

On Jake Nelson’s pitching tonight…

“I thought he was fabulous. He’s been really good the last couple of weeks, and it looks to me like the further he gets away from the surgery the better he’s getting. He’s certainly been outstanding the past couple of weeks, and again tonight I thought he was in control of the game.”

Freshman LHP Chris Weber

On his first SEC start…

“It was pretty cool to be out there and get the start, but it’s a little disappointing with the three mistakes. Everything was going right, but the three mistakes. That’s what cost us, really”

On the home runs he allowed…

“Two of them were with two strikes, and I just left them too much over the plate. They were two sliders and a fastball.”

Junior LF Cam Blake

On if he was pleased with their offensive production…

“It’s always good to see our offense get going again, but here at A&M we don’t have any moral victories. If anything we’re just ready to go tomorrow. Bring that same mindset and stay ready to go the whole time.”

On how he felt about Chris Weber’s performance…

“He went out and gave us his best stuff. He made three mistakes out of [102] pitches, and you can’t ask for more than that. He kept his confidence the whole game and kept pounding the zone. That’s what we wanted out of him and that’s what he gave us.”