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Texas A&M Wins SEC West Behind Four Home Runs

With a 12-5 victory at Ole Miss, the Aggies claimed the SEC West regular season title

Preseason predictions, despite all the data and homework down, are nothing more than a guessing game. Texas A&M baseball is a prime example that those educated guesses are just that ... guesses. 

The Aggies were picked by the SEC media to finish 13th in conference play, ahead of only Missouri. With a 12-5 victory over Ole Miss in the series finale, No. 6 Texas A&M takes home the title of SEC West regular season champs. 

The Aggies (35-17, 19-11) will be the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament next week behind only top-ranked Tennessee. 

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“Guys kept playing, kept believing, bought into a system, bought into a culture,” Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

Aggies outfielder Dylan Rock smacked a three-run home run, while fellow outfielder Brett Minnich launched a grand slam in the fourth inning to help make the 5-2 deficit disappear. Following a sluggish start from Ryan Prager, reliever Joseph Menefee used his four frames to mow down the Rebels offense. 

Menefee (6-2) allowed just three hits while striking out six Ole Miss batters in the process. 

"For the most part, that’s been kind of the formula all year," Schlossnagle said. "We’ve got to change that formula because you have to win more than two games in a weekend.”

The Aggies hit four home runs and tallied 13 hits off five Ole Miss pitchers. With the win Saturday, it marked the seventh consecutive series victory for A&M and ninth series win in conference play. 

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It was a complete win for the Aggies. Defensively, A&M didn't have an error. Offensively, batters such as Minnich and catcher Troy Claunch shined with runners in scoring position. Following Menefee's time on the mound, Jacob Palish, Robert Hogan and Will Johnston combined for 2 2/3 hitless innings. 

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“Super proud of our guys today … the guys who pitched today against such an awesome lineup,” Schlossnagle said. “The wind blowing out, every single swing feels like a threat to go out of the ballpark."

Since a series loss to Penn in February, the Aggies have surged to their first regular season SEC West title. 

They hope that'll lead to something promising starting Thursday in Hoover, Ala. 

"We’re not finished yet," Schlossnagle said. "We’ve got a lot more baseball to play.”


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