Texas A&M Delivers Dominant Victory Against Vanderbilt, Highlighting College Baseball Roundup


Image credit: Braden Montgomery (Photo by Eddie Kelly / ProLook Photos)

In a top-five showdown Friday night at Blue Bell Park, No. 3 Texas A&M left absolutely no doubt against No. 5 Vanderbilt. The Aggies delivered a comprehensive rout, beating the Commodores, 15-0, in seven innings.

From the very start of the game, Texas A&M (30-4, 9-4) was in control. Lefthander Ryan Prager needed just 12 pitches to retire the Commodores in order in the top of the first inning, striking out two batters. In the bottom half, leadoff hitter Gavin Grahovac walked and Jace LaViolette and Braden Montgomery followed with back-to-back home runs off righthander Bryce Cunningham. It was off to the races from there for the Aggies.

Prager retired the first 13 batters of the game before Jayden Davis broke through in the fifth inning with Vanderbilt’s first hit. Prager finished the night with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. He walked none and scattered four hits to improve to 7-0, 1.98 with 73 strikeouts and five walks in 50 innings. A&M is 8-1 in his starts.

The Aggies’ offense was just as good as Prager. They pounded out 17 hits, including four doubles and five home runs. LaViolette (2-for-3, 6 RBI) and Montgomery (2-for-4, 4 RBI) both homered twice and first baseman Ted Burton (2-for-4) added a double and a home run.

The Aggies (second) and the Commodores (10th) both came into Friday’s game ranked in the top 10 in the nation in ERA. What might have been a pitcher’s duel instead was a rout. A&M’s 15 runs and 17 hits were the most by any team in a game against Vanderbilt since May 21, 2022, when LSU scored 21 runs on 17 hits on the final day of the regular season.

A&M has produced an impressive season to date. No team has more wins than it and only top-ranked Arkansas has a better winning percentage (.909 vs. .882). With that resume, the Aggies didn’t need to prove anything, but Friday gave them a signature win, arguably the best win any team has produced this season. They still need to win another game and clinch the series, but A&M couldn’t have asked for a better start to the weekend.

Vanderbilt (26-8, 8-5), meanwhile, will look to forget Friday as soon as possible. The Commodores are now 2-5 in road games and need to find a way to get something out of this weekend. They’ll turn to lefthander Carter Holton (5-0, 3.27) in Saturday’s game and ask their standout junior to help them get back on track.

Ace Watch

Friday night is for the aces. Here we highlight some of the best pitching performances of the day, in addition to Prager.

Davian Garcia, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast: Garcia threw seven scoreless innings to lead FGCU to a 6-0 victory at Stetson, opening a showdown for first place in the ASUN Conference. He struck out seven batters and held the Hatters to two hits and four walks. Garcia was making just his second start of the season and improved to 2-2, 3.08 with 36 strikeouts and nine walks in 26.1 innings.

Landon Smiddy, RHP, Tennessee Tech: Smiddy threw a three-hit shutout to help Tennessee Tech to a 4-0 victory at Lindenwood. The senior struck out 10 batters and worked around five walks for his first career complete game. He is 3-3, 4.67 with 54 strikeouts and 19 walks in 52 innings.

Khal Stephan, RHP, Mississippi State: Stephan threw eight scoreless innings to help Mississippi State to an 8-0 road win against archrival Mississippi. The junior struck out nine batters, walked none and held the Rebels to three hits. Stephan improved to 5-2, 2.84 with 56 strikeouts and 12 walks in 50.2 innings.

Bryson Van Sickle, LHP, Utah: Van Sickle threw a three-hit shutout to lead Utah to a 10-0 victory at Arizona State. He struck out eight, walked none and hit a batter. He faced just two batters over the minimum, retired the final 14 batters of the game and needed only 82 pitches for the shutout. Van Sickle improved to 2-0, 2.44 with 35 strikeouts and 13 walks in 51.2 innings this season.

Trey Yesavage and Jackson DiLorenzo, East Carolina: Yesavage and DiLorenzo combined for a no-hitter in ECU’s 11-0, seven-inning victory against Charlotte. Yesavage struck out 12 batters and walked three in the first six innings before DiLorenzo finished the no-hitter with a perfect inning. The no-hitter was the Pirates’ second in three games as they also threw one Tuesday in a 12-0, seven-inning victory against Elon. Yesavage, a Preseason All-American, improved to 7-1, 1.66 with 86 strikeouts and 17 walks in 54.1 innings.

Around The Horn

  • NC State went on the road and upset No. 2 Clemson, 11-8. The Wolfpack (19-12, 9-7) made the Tigers pay for some sloppy play, as they drew seven walks and scored six unearned runs, taking advantage of three errors. The win snapped NC State’s five-game losing streak. Clemson (28-5, 10-3), meanwhile, has now lost back-to-back games after losing Tuesday against S.C.-Upstate. The Tigers had lost just three games all season coming into this week.
  • No. 1 Arkansas defeated No. 16 Alabama, 5-3, in Tuscaloosa. The Razorbacks extended their winning streak to 11 games, the longest active streak in the country, behind another quality start from All-American Hagen Smith (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K). While Arkansas (30-3, 12-1) is streaking the right way, Alabama (22-12, 4-9) has lost five straight and six of its last seven games.
  • West Virginia defeated No. 19 UCF, 7-6, to remain in first place in the Big 12. The Mountaineers scored three runs in the seventh to retake the lead before closer David Hagaman slammed the door with five strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Outfielder Kyle West went 3-for-4 with a home run and a triple, driving in four runs for West Virginia (20-13, 9-4).
  • No. 18 Wake Forest stayed hot with a 13-1 victory in eight innings at Boston College to extend its winning streak to six games. First baseman Nick Kurtz (2-for-5, 2B, HR) stayed red hot at the plate. He’s homered in seven straight games, hitting 11 home runs and going 15-for-28 in that stretch. Righthander Chase Burns struck out eight batters in 6.1 innings, passing the century mark in just his ninth start of the season. Burns is 7-1, 3.00 and leads the nation with 105 strikeouts in 57 innings.
  • No. 10 Kentucky defeated Auburn, 9-1, to clinch a road series win. The Wildcats hit six home runs on the night, including two from first baseman Ryan Nicholson (2-for-5, 3 RBI). Dominic Niman (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K) led the way on the mound, as the Wildcats held the Tigers to six hits on the night. Kentucky (29-5, 13-1) continued its sensational start to conference play and has won 10 of its last 11 games.

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