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Texas A&M's Rock Rips Rebels With Two Homers In Victory

Dylan Rock hit two home runs, including an insurance solo shot late in a 10-5 win over Ole Miss

One down, two to go. 

Texas A&M is hoping to finish the year as a top-eight team among the voters in hopes of potentially hosting both playoff rounds in College Station. The No. 6 Aggies strengthened their case on the road in Oxford with a 10-5 win over Ole Miss on Thursday night. 

The victory marked A&M's 13 consecutive series-opening win. The bats staying hot weren't the only fireworks unfolding at Swayze Field either. 

“I’m really proud of the way the guys battled,” A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “The two home runs late, huge.”

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A&M (34-16, 18-10) plated seven runs in the first two innings before smacking hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the ninth that ignited a spark from the Rebels (31-20, 13-15 in SEC). Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco and left-hander John Gaddis were both ejected one pitch after a solo home run from outfielder Dylan Rock. 

Home plate umpire Scott Cline warned both dugouts before Gaddis threw a rising heater at A&M Austin Bost's head. He was booked immediately and will be suspended for four games. Bianco followed shortly after defending his pitcher and will not coach in Friday night's rematch. 

As for Rock, he remains of college baseball's top hitters entering the SEC tournament, going 2 of 5 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs. Bost finished 3 of 4 and scored three runs while first baseman Jack Moss went 3 of 4 with a late solo home run. 

“We were just up there competing,” Rock said postgame. “We were putting good swings on balls, driving them, getting guys across the plate. Simple.”

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Schlossnagle said despite the lead, he never felt content with run differential. In large part, that was due to pitching. Starter Nathan Dettmer walked three which led to four runs before the end of the fourth inning. In relief, Joseph Menefee held the Rebels to only one run by walking three players in the process. 

Will Johnston was asked to add another batter to his closing role in the bottom of the eighth inning due to the matchup. Facing left-hander Jacob Gonzalez, the Aggies closer delivered a strike that would be hit right into the glove of Targac to end the frame. 

Johnston would retire three the ninth to pick up his third save of the season. 

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With the victory, the Aggies remain in a tie for first place with Arkansas for the SEC regular-season title. A&M holds the tiebreaker over the Razorbacks after winning the series in College Station last month. Should the Hogs sweep Alabama, they would take control. 

Arkansas picked up the 7-3 win over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa on Thursday evening. The Aggies will return to Swayze Field Friday night for Game 2. 

First pitch is set for 7 p.m.


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