Tigers Defeat Aggies 4-3 to Even Series
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A final Aggie rally fell just short when the tying run was gunned down at the plate for the game's final out in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday afternoon as the No. 6 Texas A&M baseball team saw its seven-game winning streak snapped during a 4-3 loss to Missouri.
"There weren't a whole lot of opportunities for us today," Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. "Their left hander did a real nice job. We hit a lot of balls hard; unfortunately they were all right at them and they made all the plays."
The Tigers (16-10, 3-2 Big 12) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth as right fielder Blake Brown connected on his seventh home run of the season and designated hitter Scott Sommerfeld added an RBI ground out.
During the top of the fifth Missouri tacked on a pair of runs off Texas A&M starter Ross Stripling (4-1) to build a 4-0 advantage.
Stripling was tagged his first loss of the season as the Southlake, Texas, native worked into the eighth inning allowing four runs on seven hits while notching six strikeouts.
Missouri starter Blake Holovach (5-0), was impressive early in the contest as he did not yield a base hit until the bottom of the sixth when Aggie shortstop Mikey Reynolds singled sharply through the left side of the infield.
Texas A&M (21-6, 3-2 Big 12) hit the comeback trail during the home half of the seventh as senior designated hitter Matt Juengel led off the frame with a double and came in to score on a RBI single by catcher Troy Stein.
Reynolds pulled the Aggies to within a single run at 4-3 as he brought two more A&M runs home with a single to left.
Lefty Estevan Uriegas helped the Aggies escape the top of the eighth by stranding two runners before junior reliever Kyle Martin worked a scoreless top of the ninth, setting the stage for the dramatics during the Aggies' final turn at bat.
In the bottom of the ninth, Stein drew a one-out walk and was lifted for pinch runner Jace Statum, who reached second on a ground out in the next at bat.
Freshman Chance Bolcerek was summoned off the bench to pinch hit with two outs in the frame and brought the season-high 5,535 in attendance alive with a single into center field. However while trying to score the game-tying run; Statum was called out after sliding into home plate on a bang-bang play.
"This game was definitely a reality check for us," Reynolds said. "We know we have to show up every day and compete. We have to expect to win and compete at all times. We competed every inning today but the call just didn't go our way there at the end."The series will conclude Sunday as the two teams square off in the rubber match of the three-game set. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.