Aggies Fall to No. 1 North Carolina at Minute Maid
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 30 Texas A&M Baseball team was doomed by 11 walks issued by Aggie pitchers in a 14-2 loss to the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels in action at the 2013 Astros Foundation College Classic on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
A&M jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Mikey Reynolds was issued a base on balls to start the game and Krey Bratsen pushed him to second with a sacrifice bunt. An infield single by Daniel Mengden, fly out by Jonathan Moroney and walk by Blake Allemand loaded the bases. Troy Stein was hit by a pitch to drive in Reynolds for the game's first run. Logan Taylor had a 10-pitch at-bat, but it resulted in an inning ending line drive to centerfield.
The Tar Heels responded with three runs in the home half of the first to take a 3-1 advantage. Chaz Frank, Landon Lassiter and Colin Moran all drew walks to start the frame. A wild pitch by Aggie starter Rafael Pineda pushed Frank across for the tying run. Skye Bolt was issued a walk to reload the bases, driving Pineda from the mound. Matt Kent came in from the bullpen, allowing an RBI fielder's choice grounder by Cody Stubbs and an RBI single by Michael Russell, before ending the inning with a bunt force out by Mike Zolk and a strikeout swinging by Brian Holbertson.
The Aggies manufactured a run in the top of the second to cut the UNC lead to 3-2. Brandon Wood drew a leadoff walk and with one out he stole second and third base. Reynolds plated Wood with a grounder to short, shaving a run off the lead.
North Carolina (10-0) scored five runs in the bottom of the second to take an 8-2 lead. Lassiter plated the first run of the frame with a double to the gap in left centerfield. Russell drew a walk with bases loaded to give the Tar Heels a 5-2 edge. An RBI double by Stubbs and a two-run single by Holbertson capped off the rally.
The Tar Heels put up four runs in the bottom of the third to inflate their cushion to 12-2. The inning featured an RBI walk by Russell, two-run single by Zolk and an RBI, pinch-hit double by Alex Raburn.
North Carolina added a run in the bottom of the fourth. Frank drew a leadoff walk and Lassiter followed with a single to the gap in left centerfield. A groundout to first base by Moran pushed both runners into scoring position and Frank scored on a passed ball to extend the lead to 13-2.
The Tar Heels capped off the scoring in the fifth with an RBI single by Frank for the 14-2 margin.
Reynolds logged a hit in his 12th consecutive game. Bratsen had an 11-game hit streak snapped.
Lassiter and Moran led North Carolina's offense with three runs apiece. Stubbs, Russell, Zolk and Holbertson had two RBI apiece.
Pineda (1-1) was saddled with the loss for A&M. He allowed three runs, walking all four batters he faced and uncorked one wild pitch.
Chris Munnelly (1-0) earned the win in relief for UNC. He scattered one hit and four walks while striking out five over 2.2 innings. Tar Heels starter Hobbs Johnson allowed two runs on one hit and five walks while striking out one over 2.1 innings.
Texas A&M returns to action on Tuesday with a 6:35 pm contest against the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.