No. 7 Baseball edges Texas A&M, 6-5
COLLEGE STATION, Texas-- Snapping a 5-5 tie with a run in the top of the ninth and having four relievers allow only one run on three hits over seven innings, No. 7 Texas pulled out a 6-5 win over Texas A&M in front of 6,410 fans at Olsen Field during the second game of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on Sunday, April 30.
With their victory over the Aggies (21-25, 4-16 Big 12), the Horns (31-15, 15-4 Big 12) not only secured a series victory over A&M by capturing the first two games of the series, but have now won three in a row overall.
UT jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Hunter Harris (Tulsa, Okla.) came up with a two-out, two-run double to left-center field with runners on the corners. A&M then immediately tied the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the frame courtesy of a one-out, two-run home run off the bat of Kyle Colligan. One inning later in the second, the Aggies strung together three consecutive singles to open the frame to take their first lead of the contest at 3-2. With Texas A&M now having two on and no outs, Texas starter Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas) got a strikeout followed by back-to-back groundouts to escape further trouble.
Looking to respond in the third, the Horns loaded the bases with no outs via a leadoff single from Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas) and consecutive bunt base hits by Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) and Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas). A Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) double then scored two runs before a double-play grounder plated another and staked Texas to a 5-3 lead. Reacting to the challenge, the Aggies loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning after a double, a walk and a hit batter. Even so, reliever Kyle Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) allowed only one run to score on a one-out sac fly from Craig Stinson to make it a 5-4 game as he registered a pair of strikeouts to keep the Longhorns on top.
Following two scoreless frames for both sides, Texas A&M put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff walk and a single from Austin Boggs. A double steal then put both runners in scoring position with one away, but Walker induced a foul pop-up and posted his sixth strikeout of the afternoon to end the threat unscathed. A&M starter Kyle Nicholson, meanwhile, set down 15 of his next 16 to hold the UT offense in check through the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Aggies used a leadoff walk to Colligan and a single from Adam Hale to put runners on the corners with no outs. While a pinch-hit sacrifice fly from Jake Vasquez would tie the game at 5-5, UT had to work out of further trouble after a hit-and-run single from Stinson with two outs put the go-ahead run 90 feet away. Texas then got a break when a pickoff throw to third deflected off of Peoples to shortstop Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif) who threw out the runner from third at the plate and ended the inning.
After both teams went in order during the eighth, the Longhorns loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth as Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) was hit with a pitch, Kyle Russell (Tomball, Texas) came up with a bunt single and Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) reached via an error on a sacrifice bunt. While Nicholson got his next batter to ground into a force out at the plate, his next pitch hit Peoples and gave Texas a 6-5 lead. Two Aggies relievers would then manage to work out of further trouble with a shallow fly out to center and a strikeout to bring their offense back to the plate. With a chance to now bring the tying run to the plate three times in the bottom of the ninth, the Aggies faced reliever Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas), who retired the side in order to notch his third save in as many outings and seventh overall. While Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas) earned the victory by tossing two innings of one-hit relief for Texas, Nicholson shouldered the tough loss for A&M despite working 8.1 innings.
Paving the way for the UT offense on the day was Peoples, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, Harris, who drove in two runs during a 2-for-3 effort, and Kainer, who doubled in two runs and also scored once. On the other side of the ledger, A&M had its attack led by Colligan, who scored three times while also tallying two RBI during a 2-for-4 effort, and the duo of Boggs and Stinson, who each posted a pair of hits. Of additional note for UT, Walker struck out a career-best six over a career-high four innings of one-hit relief, Wood moved into a tie for ninth on the school single-season list for saves (7) and Stubbs extended his current hit streak 12 games.
This series now shifts to Disch-Falk Field for the finale at 2 p.m. Central on Monday, May 1.