March 8, 2014
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Louisiana Tech (4-10) attempted a comeback for the second straight game, but fell just short against No. 25 Texas A&M (11-4), 6-5, Saturday afternoon at a rain-soaked Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Texas A&M scored six runs in the first four innings thanks to four LA Tech errors, but was held scoreless after that, allowing the Bulldogs to scratch away at the lead up until the eighth when LA Tech scored to make it a 6-5 deficit. The Aggies' Jason Jester then came on in the ninth and shut down the 'Dogs in the final frame for his second save of the weekend.
"We are growing up this weekend," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "Our guys are fighting all the way until the end and they believe in each other. We had one inning we let get away from us, but our guys did not quit. They are not going to quit."
Parker Ray (2-0) earned the win for Texas A&M after pitching five innings and giving up two runs on four hits with three walks. Ray was taken out in the sixth in exchange of Tyler Stubblefield, who gave up two runs - both unearned - on one hit and two strikeouts. Ryan Hendrix, A.J. Minter and Andrew Vinson all three combined to set up Jester (2), who came on in the ninth for his second save of the weekend.
Junior right hander Phil Maton (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing six runs - three earned - off nine hits in four innings. Maton struck out one batter and walked three Aggie players. Freshman Mark Baughman came on in the fifth and impressed as he held the Aggies scoreless, while allowing just two hits and walking one in 3.1 innings of work. Laetten Galbraith finished things off for the Bulldogs in the eighth, facing three batters and walking one, while not allowing a hit.
With the game tied at 1-1 after three and a half innings of play, Texas A&M took advantage of three Bulldog errors in the bottom half of the fourth inning, scoring five runs and stretching the lead to 6-1 over LA Tech.
The inning began with a double by Logan Taylor, followed by an RBI single by Patrick McLendon and a catcher's interference call on Tyler Qualls. Krey Bratsen then hit a fly ball right behind second base that dropped in for a fielder's choice, giving the Bulldogs' an opportunity to throw out a runner at second, but a throwing error by Tech kept the inning alive for the Aggies. Two more base hits followed to give Texas A&M a five-run lead.
Louisiana Tech began to chip away at the lead in the sixth when Colby Johnson led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ervine then walked and he and Johnson both advanced to second and third on a ground ball by Taylor Love. Stephen Gandy then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Johnson and cut the Aggies' lead to four runs.
The Bulldogs picked back up the next inning when senior Taylor Burch led off the seventh with a double down the left field line. Conner Tobias came on as a pinch hitter and walked to bring up Bre'shon Kimbell with one out. An error by the Aggie shortstop allowed Kimbell to reach first and Burch to score from second to make it 6-3 Texas A&M. Tech then had a double steal with Kimbell reaching second and Tobias stealing home on the next play to cut the lead to two runs.
The final run of the day for the Bulldogs came in the eighth when Gandy hit a solo home run, the first of the season for the senior, to left field, making it 6-5 in favor of Texas A&M.
Burch and Love each had two hits apiece on the afternoon with Love recording an RBI and Burch scoring a run in the game. Gandy was 1-for-3 in the game with two RBI, a home run and a sacrifice fly. Kimbell also had a hit for the Bulldogs for a total of six LA Tech base hits.
Cole Lankford led the Aggies with a 4-for-5 performance with an RBI and run scored, while Bratsen, Hunter Melton and Taylor each had two hits each for Texas A&M. As a team, the Aggies totaled 11 hits in the win.
The third and final game of the series between LA Tech and Texas A&M begins at 1:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
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