No. 19 Texas A&M leadoff hitter Braden Shewmake and second baseman Bryce Blaum hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, creating momentum to take game two 6-2 against No. 4 Arkansas Friday at Blue Bell Park.
In the win, A&M found success both at the plate and on the mound. Starting left-handed pitcher John Doxakis picked up his seventh win of the season after holding Arkansas to two runs on the game. Relievers Bryce Miller and Joseph Menefee made a significant impact down the stretch as well.
The Aggies got things started early in the first inning after starting left-handed pitcher Patrick Wicklander allowed back-to-back home runs from Shewmake and Blaum — the first pair of batters he faced in the game.
Doxakis would go on to strike out two more batters in a successful defensive stop in the second, only allowing a pair of hits through the first two innings.
Shewmake doubled the score again in the back half of the second inning after hitting a two RBI double along the right field line.
“It’s definitely not for me, its all for the team, “ Shewmake said about his success at the plate. “Coach [Rob Childress] talked a lot about getting off to a great start, and we did that today. It was not just me, it was everybody.”
After Shewmake‘s double, Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn made the call to replace Wicklander on the mound for right-handed pitcher Kole Ramage.
The Razorbacks got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning with a two-run homer over the right field fence by third baseman Jack Kenley. The score marked his fourth hit in six at bats and his second home run of the series.
In the top of the sixth inning, Doxakis found himself with the bases loaded after allowing three straight hits from the Razorbacks.With no outs and the bases loaded, the junior made the biggest stop of the night with two consecutive strikeouts before being called back to the dugout to be replaced by Miller.
“I was actually more nervous before the game,” Doxakis said. “At the same time in the back of my mind, you have to make big pitches to get outs. It was definitely in the back of my mind but I was a lot more nervous before the game.”
Miller carried that momentum to his first out of the game, striking out pinch hitter Jordan McFarland to close the inning.The Aggies struck once more in the bottom of the seventh after junior outfielder Logan Foster hit a one-run double down the left field line, extending the lead back out to four.
“There were so many heroes tonight,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We start the game with a bang offensively and grab all the momentum. The sixth inning was huge, we load the bases and Doxakis refused to break. Very proud of our team as a whole, it took a lot of heroes to win this game.”
A&M will face Arkansas on Saturday for the final game of the regular season at Blue Bell Park. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will be televised on SEC Network +.