COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M shortstop Cliff Pennington scored on a two-out, bases-loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning as Texas A&M (30-23-1, 9-16 Big 12) defeated No. 3 Texas (41-12, 14-10 Big 12) 8-7 in front of 7,213 fans at Olsen Field on Friday, May 20. The night overshadowed a career-hitting performance by David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas), who collected his first career multi-home run game while driving in a career-high four runs behind three hits.
The Longhorns broke on top 1-0 in the top of the first as Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.) singled off the pitcher to extend his hitting streak to seven games, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a RBI-single off the bat of Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas). A&M immediately countered in the bottom of the inning by putting together back-to-back singles from Pennington and Brandon Glover in between a stolen base to tie the score at 1-1. The Aggies then got a one-out RBI-single from Ryan Hill followed by a run-scoring double just inside the third base line from Austin Boggs to stake themselves to a 3-1 lead. In the very next inning, Maroul's sixth home run of the year with two outs in the frame pulled the Horns back within one at 3-2.
After the next two half innings went by scoreless, A&M utilized two infield hits and a passed ball to plate an unearned run in the bottom of the third and pull in front 4-2. Rallying right back, UT placed runners on second and third with two down in the top of the fourth via a fielder's choice and a double before Maroul singled to bring in one run. The inning then ended when Carson Kainer (Tomball, Texas) tried to score from second on Maroul's hit and left fielder Keith Stein Jr. made a perfect throw to catcher Justin Pouk to record the third out. Following a scoreless fifth for both sides, Texas received a leadoff single from Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) in the sixth that combined with a sac bunt and a two-out base hit from Kainer to deadlock the game at 4-4. Still alive in the inning, Maroul then came up hit an 0-1 pitch over the center field wall for his second round-tripper of the game and a 6-4 Texas lead.
Again responding after going behind, the Aggies managed to load the bases on a walk, a single and an intentional walk with two outs before a wild pitch and two more walks tied the game brought in two runs to tie the game at 6-6. Zeroes in both halves of the seventh then moved the game to the eighth where Texas catcher Todd Gilfillan (Austin, Texas) reached on an error, move to third on a sacrifice and a groundout before Maroul struck out on a ball in dirt that Pouk threw down and hit him in the helmet with to allow Gilfillan to score and stake UT to a 7-6 advantage. The Aggies would quickly challenge the lead in the bottom of the frame as Pennington drew a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third with two outs on a groundout, but Texas reliever J. Brent Cox (Bay City, Texas), who came on in the seventh, induced his next batter to hit a ground ball to Maroul at third to end the inning. Down to their final three outs after the Longhorns went in order in the top of the ninth, A&M loaded the bases with one out on a single, an error and a walk before a fielder's choice grounder from Parker Dalton tied the game at 7-7. Cox then got his next batter to send the game into extra innings.
Texas would threaten in the top of the 10th when Nick Peoples (Round Rock, Texas), who was inserted as a pinch-runner, tried to score on a one-out double from Kainer, but the Aggies again turned in a perfect relay from the outfield to record the out at home and keep the deadlock in tact. Texas A&M then loaded the bases for the second time in as many innings behind a walk and two singles before a two-out wild pitch brought in Pennington with the winning run. Picking up the win in relief for the Aggies was Kevin Whelan, who fanned six over 2.2 innings, while Cox shouldered the tough loss despite working a solid 3.2 frames.
UT's 11-hit attack was led by four players with multi-hit outings, including Kainer and Maroul who each tallied three hits while combining for three runs scored and five RBI. On the other side of the ledger, A&M had its offense highlighted by designated hitter Ryan Hill, who went 2-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI, and Pennington, who scored two runs during a 1-for-2 effort. Of additional note for Texas, sophomore Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) had his career-long hitting streak of 19 games, which was tied for the fourth longest streak on UT record, halted despite walking once in three official plate appearances.
This State Farm Lone Star Showdown series now shifts to Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas, for its final two games as these clubs meet on Saturday, May 21 at 6 p.m. Central and Sunday, May 22 at 12 p.m. Central. Of note, while Saturday's game is being televised by Fox Sports Net, Sunday's contest will be broadcast by ESPN.