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Texas A&M baseball’s magical season has officially come to an end after falling to the Oklahoma Sooners in a final four matchup in the College World Series on Wednesday. The game never seemed in doubt from the start, with the Sooners continuing their pitching onslaught paired with an opportunistic offensive approach that never lost its luster in the much-anticipated rematch with the 5 seeded Aggies.
After Nathan Dettmer’s brilliant performance on the mound on Tuesday afternoon against Notre Dame, head coach Jim Schlossnagle gave Freshman lefty Ryan Prager the start against the Sooners, knowing that pitcher Micah Dallas, who had one of his best games of the year in the win against the Texas Longhorns on Sunday afternoon, would not be ready in time.
Prager, who started 9 games this season with a 5.02 ERA, started out on shaky grounds in the bottom of the 1st, walking his second batter while allowing a single from Sooners 1st baseman, Blake Robertson, which frustratingly culminated into a 3-run homer from Jimmy Crooks, swiftly putting the Sooners up 3-0 heading into the 2nd inning.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Prager looked to be getting into a rhythm after a quick 12-pitch inning, striking out 2, yet the Aggies continued to struggle at the plate with only 3 hits to account for. Going into the bottom of the 3rd, after allowing three hits with a base runner on 3rd, Prager’s day came to an end after 2.1 innings with 3 strikeouts, allowing 4 runs off of 4 hits and was relieved by the reliable Jacob Palisch for the rest of the game.
After a Jack Moss throwing error, Peyton Graham scored to make it 4-0, yet Palisch, who went 5.2 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, and 8 strikeouts, settled in and gave the Aggies a chance to keep the lead from expanding. From then on, as the A&M bats continued to stall, the Sooners tacked on another run in the bottom of the 5th off a Tanner Tredaway single, which would be their last earner run of the game. Oklahoma’s dominance on the mound was headlined by the incredible performance by redshirt sophomore right-hander, David Sandlin, who threw 7.0 innings, striking out 12 and allowing only 5 hits.
Entering the top of the 6th trailing 5-0, Senior Dylan Rock finally put the Aggies on the board with a solo shot to left-center, yet that would sadly be the only offensive output for the rest of the day, as the immense production struggles continued, with the game, and the Aggies incredible season ending after a Brett Minnich strike out in the final inning.
After what is officially the greatest season in Texas A&M Baseball history in Jim Schlossnagle’s first year as head coach, the framework is set, recruiting has never been better, and the transfer portal, which produced a majority of the starters that led the team this season is looking to make a yearly impact. The future has never been brighter in Aggieland, and I think I can speak for every Aggie out there in expressing how proud we are of this group, and that this season will be talked about for years to come. as always, Gig ‘Em!