Texas A&M’s baseball season has officially come to an end.
After A&M second baseman Bryce Blaum hit a walkoff grand slam with two outs against West Virginia earlier in the day, the Aggies were eliminated by Duke in the Morgantown Regional final 4-1 on Sunday.
The Aggies came back from a 9-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh against the Mountaineers that included a grand slam from right fielder Logan Foster and Blaum.
West Virginia took advantage of A&M’s batting woes and defensive mishaps early on, hitting a pair of two-run homers in the first five innings. A&M starting lefty Christian Roa allowed six hits and four runs in his 3.1 innings of work.
Following Roa’s time on the mound, relievers Chris Weber and Bryce Miller would allow only four more runs in three innings.
A&M hit its stride offensively in the seventh inning after left fielder Cam Blake hit a two RBI single and Foster hit a grand slam over the right field fence that cut the deficit to two.
The Mountaineers kept the bats hot from the fourth through the eighth, scoring in every inning to make the score 10-7 going into the ninth.
Aggies’ closer Kasey Kalich cut the scoring from West Virginia to give A&M one more chance in the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, West Virginia's closer Sam Kessler threw himself into a jam after allowing a double and a pair of walks, loading the bases for A&M with two outs. With the Blaum at the plate and a full count, the second baseman launched a grand slam over the left field fence to end the game 11-10.
“Baseball is all about the highs and lows,” Blaum said. “Coach [Rob] Childress does a great job of, like he said earlier, emptying the tank and when you look left and right and you see the relationship with your brothers you know that obviously they were really important to get us to the second game.”
The batting performance from the Aggies would not be as prevalent in the second game of the day against Duke.
Duke scored all but one of the four runs in the opening inning after A&M starting righty Chandler Jozwiak allowed a three-run home run from left fielder Kyle Gallagher.
Following the homer, the sophomore went on to throw ten strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched.
“Not at all. He was outstanding,” Childress said when asked if Jozwiak could’ve done more on the mound. “He pitched his tail off and he punched out 12, and give him two pitches back and we’re still playing.”
A&M found its only score in the third inning following a sacrifice fly RBI from Hunter Coleman. The Aggies put the barrel on the ball all game for nine hits, but it wouldn’t be enough to score more than a single run.
Blue Devils’ starting pitcher Bill Chillari delivered a solid game from the mound after only allowing a run in 4.2 innings of work. The rest of the pitching staff only allowed two more hits in the remaining innings, shutting the Aggies out after the third.
In addition, both teams did not commit any errors in the contest.
Following the loss, Blaum said it's hard to see the season come to an end, but more so for the seniors on the squad.
“Obviously it's very emotional,” Blaum said. “These are your brothers, your best friends that you’ve been together for nine months for. Our seniors we had are the best group of leaders we could ask for. Just not being able to share the same field with them or being in the same locker room anymore is going to be tough.”