Stripling’s Complete Game Lifts Aggies over Sooners
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Senior Ross Stripling tossed his seventh career complete game Friday night as the No. 4 Texas A&M baseball team came from behind to defeat No. 22 Oklahoma 5-2 on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
"I was really proud of our team," Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. "I thought we played about as well as we have since we were at Pepperdine. Ross had a great performance. They had him wobbling there in the fourth inning with runners on second and third but he was able to pitch out of that jam. They were able to get back at him there in the fifth and we were fortunate it was only two runs. From that point on he didn't allow another hit and was dominant."
The victory was the 11th for the Aggies in their last 12 games and improved their overall record to 25-6 with a 6-2 mark in Big 12 games.
For Stripling the win was his 26th while wearing the Maroon & White, a figure that places him in a tie for sixth all-time at Texas A&M with former pitcher Clint Thomas (1973-76). The Southlake, Texas, native also climbed into the top 10 all-time for wins by a Big 12 pitcher as he scattered two runs on seven hits during his effort Friday night.
Impressively, Stripling (5-1) struck out eight batters while walking none.
However, Oklahoma (18-13, 4-7 Big 12) collected four hits off Stripling in the top of the fifth to build a 2-0 lead in support of Dillian Overton (4-1), who did not allow an Aggie hit until a Troy Stein single in the bottom of the fifth.
"There was no panic in our dugout, we just kept grinding," Childress added. "I felt like we had good at bats even though we didn't get a hit until the fifth inning. I thought we played really well tonight."
Stein's hit kicked off an Aggie rally in the home half of the fifth as he was able to advance to third on a single by freshman Blake Allemand and come home to score A&M's first run on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Allemand factored in the next Aggie rally, which came in the bottom of the seventh and gave the home team its first lead at 3-2. The Boerne, Texas, native doubled to right center to score Brandon Wood, who led the frame off with a double. Senior Scott Arthur followed and put the Aggies ahead during the next at bat as he collected on RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field.
During the bottom of the eighth, senior designated hitter Matt Juengel provided the Aggies with some insurance as he connected on a full-count offering from Overton and drove the pitch an estimated 422 feet over the wall in right for his first home run of the season.
It felt great (finally getting the home run)," Juengel said. "I've been pressing a little bit lately, and my teammates have kind of been giving me grief for it. It was good to finally get it off my chest and I'm glad I was able to go out there and help us extend the lead."
The series concludes Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. contest that will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Texas A&M will send redshirt sophomore Rafael Pineda (4-0, 1.84 ERA) to the mound to face Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray (2-3, 5.26 ERA).