Wacha, Reynolds Power No. 2 Aggies Past Kansas 8-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Junior Michael Wacha threw a complete game shutout and shortstop Mikey Reynolds connected on a three-run home run to lift the No. 2 Texas A&M baseball team to an 8-0 victory over Kansas on Friday night at Hoglund Ballpark.
The victory was the 13th for the Aggies in their last 15 games as they improved to 27-7 on the year with an 8-2 mark in Big 12 games. Kansas, meanwhile, fell to 12-22 this season and 2-8 in league play.
Friday the 13th was not unlucky for Wacha (5-0) as the Texarkana, Texas, native scattered four hits and allowed only two KU base runners to reach as far as second base. The right-hander notched six strikeouts while not walking a single batter during his second shutout of the season, the last of which came on March 23 at Pepperdine.
After not getting a base runner through the first three innings of the contest against KU starter Frank Duncan (3-5), the Aggies finally got into the hit column during the top of the fourth. Sophomore center fielder Krey Bratsen singled up the middle to kick start the A&M rally and quickly scampered to third on a single by Tyler Naquin in the next at bat. Senior first baseman Jacob House followed and capitalized on the scoring opportunity with a RBI single to right center, giving the Aggies a 1-0 advantage.
Reynold's blast in the top of the fourth extended the visitors' lead as the three-run long ball put the Aggies up 4-0. Sophomore catcher Troy Stein, who went 3-for-4 in Friday's contest to tie his career high for hits in a game, led the frame off with a single and was followed by freshman third baseman Blake Allemand, who reached on a fielder's choice when KU made an error trying to get the Stein at second. With one out in the frame, Reynolds connected on a 1-0 pitch from Duncan, driving the offering over the wall in right field for his first home run of the season.
Wacha found his groove on the mound during the middle innings as beginning with the last two batters in the bottom of the fourth he retired a string of 15 consecutive hitters before a ninth-inning single ended the streak.
The Aggies took advantage of a trio of KU errors in the top of the eighth as they batted around and padded their lead with four runs. The frame featured a sacrifice fly from Allemand as well as RBI singles from Brandon Wood and Stein to give the game its final score at 8-0.
The series continues Saturday at 1 p.m. when Texas A&M sends senior right-hander Ross Stripling (5-1, 2.74 ERA) to the mound to face KU freshman lefty Wes Benjamin (2-3, 3.93 ERA).