COLLEGE STATION, Texas - For the second time in three games, sophomore center fielder Krey Bratsen had the final say in an Aggie victory as the No. 4 Texas A&M baseball team defeated No. 22 Oklahoma 4-3 in 12 innings Thursday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The Bryan, Texas, native, who collected a walk-off RBI single to lift the Aggies to a win over Missouri on Sunday, notched a game-winning sacrifice fly in the home half of the 12th on Friday to break a 3-3 tie and help the Aggies improve their overall record to 24-6 with a 5-2 mark in Big 12 play.
"It's an important win for us," Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. "[Krey] likes being up there with the game on the line and he came up big when it mattered most. I thought our effort and attitude tonight was good. I don't care about the scoreboard, if we get those things, the scoreboard will take care of itself. We were very fortunate tonight and know tomorrow will be another dog fight. Coach Golloway will certainly have those guys ready to play."
In addition to Bratsen, another Aggie who came up big in the victory was junior Kyle Martin (4-2). The right-hander entered the game in relief of starter Michael Wacha and tossed a career-high four innings of hitless baseball to blank the Sooner from the ninth inning on.
"It was a great Friday night game," Childress added. "Michael (Wacha) wasn't very sharp early with his command and they made him pay. We were very fortunate to get out of the second inning having only given up one run. I felt like the last three innings he pitched were outstanding. [Kyle Martin] couldn't have been any better than he was. He was very crisp and I'm really proud of his performance."
After Oklahoma was able to jump ahead on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the second, the Aggies took their first lead of the night in the home half of the third.
Senior second baseman Scott Arthur singled with one out in the frame and following a steal of second base was able to come home to score on a single by Bratsen.
Junior All-American outfielder Tyler Naquin, who went 3-for-5 on the night to raise his Big 12-best batting average to .431, singled in the next at bat and Bratsen came home to make the score 2-1 as the play was extended on a Sooner throwing error.
Oklahoma (18-12, 4-6 Big 12) knotted the score at 2-2 on a run-scoring double by Cody Reine in the top of the fourth and retook the lead in the sixth on a RBI ground out by Reine.
Senior first baseman Jacob House evened the game at 3-3 with a sac fly in the bottom of the eighth before the game settled into a pitching battle between Martin and OU reliever Steven Okert (4-4).
Martin escaped a jam in the top of the 12th after the first two men of the inning walked and reached on an error, respectively. The Aggie right-hander tied his career-best with five punch outs in the contest, including four looking.
The fateful bottom of the 12th began with a walk by freshman catcher Cole Lankford, who was lifted for pinch runner Charlie Curl. A sac bunt by Blake Allemand moved the winning-run into scoring position and was followed by a wild pitch and back-to-back walks issued to Mitchell Nau and Mikey Reynolds to set the stage for Bratsen.
After getting ahead 1-0 in the count, Bratsen lifted Okert's second offering to medium deep right field allowing Curl to just beat the tag a home following a great throw from OU outfielder Erik Ross.
The two teams are back in action on Friday during a 6:35 p.m. contest as the Aggies sent RHP Ross Stripling (4-1, 2.87 ERA) to the mound to face OU lefty Dillon Overton (4-0, 3.54 ERA).