BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 16 Texas A&M baseball team (31-16, 15-10 SEC) mounted seventh-inning rally to secure an 8-7 victory over Mississippi State (25-25, 9-16 SEC) Friday night at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The Maroon & White jumped out to an early four-run lead by scratching three runs across on a series of hits in the first, followed by a solo home run to leftfield by Trevor Werner in the second. The Bulldogs responded by plating seven runs through the following four innings while holding A&M scoreless.
The Aggies entered the home half of the seventh down three runs. Four free bases, including a walk home issued to Kole Kalerset the stage for Troy Claunch’s bases-clearing double to propel the Aggies back in front.
Jacob Palisch entered in the top of the eighth and sat the Bulldogs down in order. Sophomore Will Johnston was called on in relief with two-outs and bases loaded in the top of the ninth and managed to record the final out. Joseph Menefee picked up his fourth win of the season, striking out four and limiting MSU to two hits in 2.1 innings of work.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
Troy Claunch – 1-for-4, 3 RBI, 2B
Austin Bost – 1-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B, BB
Jack Moss – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, BB
B1 | Trevor Werner drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a double by Jack Moss. With no outs, a sac-fly by Dylan Rock plated Werner, followed by a one-out triple by Austin Bost that brought Moss around. Bost went charging home on a single up the middle by Brett Minnichadvancing the Aggies’ lead to three. A&M 3, MSU 0
B2 | With no outs, Werner blasted a solo shot to give the Aggies a four-run cushion. A&M 4, MSU 0
T3 | A double by Mississippi State’s Aaron Downs followed by a two-out homer by RJ Yeager allowed the Bulldogs to pull within two. A&M 4, MSU 2
T4 | The Bulldogs manufactured another run through the combination of a leadoff walk issued to Logan Tanner and back-to-back doubles by Hunter Hines and Brad Cumbest. A&M 4, MSU 3
T5 | MSU tacked two more on by a Luke Hancock single and homer by Cumbest to take a two-run lead. MSU 6, A&M 4
T6 | Kamren James launched a leadoff home run to extend MSU’s lead to three. MSU 7, A&M 4
B7 | With one out, A&M added a run through the series of a four free bases issued to Kole KalerMoss, Rock and Bost before a bases-clearing double courtesy of Troy Claunch put the Aggies back in front, and ultimately ensuring the victory. A&M 8, MSU 7
The Aggies return to action on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for game two against Mississippi State Saturday, May 14 at 2:02 pm
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
On the keys to Friday’s win over the Bulldogs…
“We keep giving up home runs and we keep making bad pitches at inopportune times. But how could you not love the grit of this team? Troy (Claunch) put together a great at-bat in the seventh inning and I thought that Jordan Thompson made some nice plays in centerfield. Will Johnston made the pitches we needed him to make against a really good hitter. “
Graduate catcher Troy Claunch
On providing the go-ahead 3 RBI double in the seventh inning…
“It’s just another day. I’m doing what I can for these guys. I’m not trying to be the hero every chance I get. There are days where I’m going to struggle, and my teammates will be there to pick me “There are days where my teammates are going to struggle, and I’ll be there to pick them up too. It’s a team effort and I’m just doing what I can.”
Sophomore LHP Will Johnston
On helping earn the final out Friday night
“It feels great knowing that coach (Schlossnagle) has that confidence in me. He wants people to go in there and do their job, and that’s something that coach preaches to me all the time. He tells me all the time that he believes in me and that means a ton. I can’t tell you how resilient this team both offensively and all-around. That’s what this team is. “
Sophomore third baseman Trevor Werner
On the battle waged by both teams
“I was thinking as the game was going on that this game was not a typical Friday night fight. The final score was pretty high and both teams scored a ton of runs. Usually, you have two dominant arms going against each other. (Nathan ) Dettmer was alright tonight. Even though he wasn’t feeling his best we had his back offensively. “
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