Up until the eighth inning of Game 2, it appeared to be a tough weekend for Texas A&M on SEC opening weekend. The Aggies dropped Game 1 7-4 against No. 2 Vanderbilt, handing John Doxakis his second loss of the season. The Commodores knocked out Asa Lacy after five innings in Game 2 and held a comfortable 7-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth until some Olsen Magic happened. A five-run inning followed by a walk off in the ninth evened the series, setting up a 7-0 shutout led by starting pitcher Christian Roa on Sunday, allowing the Aggies to claim the series.
Saturday’s comeback was a team effort, as the Aggies stepped up offensively to steal a win. Sunday’s win was led by Roa, with the Aggie bats picking up where they left off to provide more than enough run support. Roa’s dominating performance earned him Pitcher of the Week, while Jonathan Ducoff is the offensive Player of the Week.
After not seeing any action in Friday’s loss, Ducoff came in clutch for the Aggies late in Game 2, making the comeback win possible. Ducoff pinch-hit in the eighth, driving in two to start the rally. His next at-bat came with two outs in the ninth with Ty Condel on second. Swinging on the first pitch, Ducoff snuck one past the third baseman into left, scoring Condel for the 8-7 walkoff win. After finishing 2-for-2 on Saturday, he earned a start on Sunday, continuing where he left off. He added on four more RBI, batting 2-for-4 in the shutout win.
Relive the moment below:
Offensive consistency has been a question for the Aggies in this early season, so watching Ducoff pick up where he left off from Saturday was a huge sigh of relief. Clearly he is not afraid of big moments, delivering in the clutch with quality at-bats. Expect to see more of him in the starting line-up moving forward.
After throwing for seven scoreless innings, Roa picked up his second win of the season and the SEC Pitcher of the Week title. Recording seven strikeouts, Roa shut down the top offense in the SEC, allowing only three hits and two walks. He made his second consecutive start, his only two of the season, and is now 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA and one save. Roa’s dominance as a starter is huge for the Aggies. Sunday starter Jonathan Childress is out for the season due to an elbow injury, so Roa will likely take Childress’ place while he is on the road to recovery.
After taking the series, the Aggies moved up to No. 13 in the D1Baseball Top 25, knocking the Commodores down to No. 8. Rice comes to Olsen Field on Tuesday before the Aggies hit the road to take on Kentucky, their first out-of-state opponent of the season. As we previewed over the weekend, it’s going to be an exciting season in an incredibly competitive conference.
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