Texas A&M starting pitcher Nathan Dettmer found himself on the wrong end of a 13-8 loss to future SEC foe Oklahoma in the Aggies’ opening game of the 2022 College World Series. After getting the nod from head coach Jim Schlossnagle, Dettmer failed to get out of the 2nd inning, giving up 7 runs — all earned — on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out just 1.

The loss dropped the Aggies into the elimination bracket, where they defeated Texas 10-2 on Sunday. On Tuesday, Dettmer got the ball once more with the Aggies looking to stave off elimination once more, and this time he delivered an absolute gem, going 7 innings, striking out 6 and walking none in a 5-1 A&M win that set up a rematch with Oklahoma on Wednesday.

“The fact that he had only thrown 44 pitches gave us an opportunity to do that, and him being a sinkerball guy, they can be a little better on short rest,” Schlossnagle said of his decision to start Dettmer on such short rest, and after being shelled against the Sooners.

It also meant that the Aggies didn’t have to dig into their bullpen all that much.

“We have to play three games in three days. That saves every possible pitch,” Schlossnagle said. “This is that point that every college coach talks about all year long. Now you need something from somebody who hasn’t shown it all year long.”

And it ended up being the right decision. The Aggies’ next challenge: beating the Sooners, who haven’t lost in Omaha yet, twice to advance to the best-of-3 championship series and that much closer to the 1st national title in program history.