Moroney Brands the Mavericks with Fifth-Inning Grand Slam - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Moroney Brands the Mavericks with Fifth-Inning Grand Slam

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies used a five-run fifth inning, including a pinch-hit grand slam from Jonathan Moroney, to down the UT Arlington Mavericks, 7-3, Tuesday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies (33-8) took a 2-1 lead into the fifth before piling the nickel on the Mavericks. J.B. Moss led the inning off with a single to leftfield and was moved into scoring position on a Nick Banks groundout. A few errors helped score Moss and put two runners on. A walk to Ronnie Gideon set the table for Moroney who was fresh off a pinch-hit walk-off in Sunday’s game. The senior left no doubt with a monster grand slam that gave the Aggies a 7-1 edge. It was his first homer since the 2015 campaign.

UTA (22-20) broke the scoring seal in the second with a run off Aggie starter Mitchell Kilkenny. A two-out hit-by -pitch followed by singles from Christian Hollie and Jerame Littell was enough for UTA to take the first lead.

In the home half of the third, the Aggies got it started with infield hits by Austin Homan and J.B. Moss off UTA starter Matt Michalski (1-3). Banks took advantage of a runner in scoring position with a single through the right side, evening the score at 1-1. That was all for the Aggie third, as they left two runners on the base paths.

The Maroon and White took the lead for good in the fourth. Joel Davis worked a two-out walk bringing up Homan. He blooped a single to left that was misplayed by the Mavericks’ leftfielder giving Davis the chance to motor home from first.

Turner Larkins (2-0) was excellent in relief of Kilkenny. He worked 3.1 innings and gave up just one run on one hit and one walk, sending four Mavericks down on strikes.

After the grand-slam in the fifth, UTA snatched few back with a two-run sixth. Larkins’ night ended after a one-out hit. Ryan Hendrix came in and served up a two-run blast to the first batter he saw before settling down and getting the two remaining outs.

Cason Sherrod was the fourth Aggie pitcher of the ballgame when he came in with the bases loaded in the seventh. After escaping the jam, Sherrod chugged on for the remainder of the ball game letting just one runner aboard. He earned his first career save for his effort.

The seven A&M runs came from seventh different Aggies. Moss and Homan highlighted the offense with 2-for-4 days at the plate.  Homan extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

Aggie pitching struck out 13 on the day. Sherrod and Larkins posted four strikeouts a piece, both season highs and a career high for Sherrod.                   

The Aggies hit the open road for a three-game set with Arkansas starting Friday.


Head Rob Childress

Opening statement…

“I’m proud of our team, you know, coming out and taking care of business on Tuesday night after the emotional weekend. We are still fighting things from an offensive standpoint. Give the UTA pitchers credit, they did a nice job. We had some heroes tonight that haven’t pitched in a while. I thought Turner Larkins was big for us for coming out and stopping them in their tracks. Obviously Cason Sherrod for finishing it off. Jonathan Moroney again proves that he’s ready to go coming off the bench. He gets a big hit after we set it up with all of two outs.”

On Jonathan Moroney…

“He just says ‘I’m here, I’m ready and every opportunity I get I’m going to make the most of’ and I couldn’t have asked for anything more the last two days. He’s the hero and certainly getting more opportunities moving forward.”

Sophomore pitcher Turner Larkins

On tonight’s game...

“It felt pretty good tonight. I thought [Mitchell] Kilkenny got us off to a pretty good start. That second inning was a little rough for him, but he just got through it. My mindset was just to come in, build off that and let my defense work.”

On his velocity...

“Like I said, it felt good tonight, which will hopefully carry over into the weekend and into the rest of the year.”

Sophomore pitcher Cason Sherrod

On getting out of the bases-loaded jam...

“When Coach Childress puts me in, he expects me to get the big out. Just throwing the ball over the plate and letting the defense work behind me. It makes it easy when you have one of the best defenses in the country behind you. Just throw the ball over the plate and get an out. ”

On if having a great defense behind you makes it easier to get strikeouts…

“It does. All I do is focus on throwing the ball over the plate, keeping the ball down low and letting them hit it. I know they will make plays behind me to get that big out and get us out of the inning.”

Senior outfielder Jonathan Moroney

On tonight’s grand slam…

“Yeah I knew it was going out off the bat. It’s not very often that I feel a ball come off my bat like that. It was just a great experience, great feeling.”

On the key to being ready…

“I honestly have no idea. I just try to stay ready mentally more than I do physically. I tell myself that I’m going to get my shot, get my opportunity. When the opportunity presents itself I try to do my best. I’m not trying to do too much.”

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