COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The eighth-ranked Texas A&M baseball team dropped a 6-3 decision to Ole Miss Saturday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park to put the Aggies on the brink of elimination from the NCAA College Station Regional.
"I thought it was a hard-fought ballgame," Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. "Give Ole Miss credit, I thought they played better than we did. We certainly had opportunities to get big hits and drive in runs but we just didn't do that."
Texas A&M (43-17) will face the regional's No. 2 seed, TCU, on Sunday in a 12:35 p.m. contest which will see the loser eliminated and the winner move on to face Ole Miss at 6:25 p.m.
Aggie starter Ross Stripling turned in a gritty performance on the mound, but was tagged with the loss after allowing five earned runs in 7.2 innings of work.
"I thought Ross battled hard," Childress said. "He gave us as good of performance as he could. We made a couple of mistakes defensively in the fourth and the sixth that cost us runs."
Junior All-American Tyler Naquin got the Aggies on the board first during the top of the third as he laced a two-out RBI double to right field to score Mikey Reynolds, who led the frame off with a single up the middle.
Naquin came around to score during the next at bat on a Rebel throwing error to make the score 2-0 Aggies.
Ole Miss (37-24) quickly tied the game during the bottom of the inning, scoring on a double by Tanner Mathis and a single up the middle by Matt Snyder.
The Rebels took their first lead of the night during the bottom of the fourth, pushing across two runs on a Snyder double to take a 4-2 advantage.
After the Rebels extended their lead to 6-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Aggies attempted to rally in the visitor's side of the seventh. Reynolds, who went 2-for-3 with two runs in the contest, singled with one out in the frame and came home during the next at bat as sophomore centerfielder Krey Bratsen doubled down the left field line.
The Aggies could not complete the comeback despite getting the tying run to the plate during the top of the ninth before Ole Miss' R.J. Hively got the final two outs to record his fourth save of the year.
"I think we were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position," Childress added. "When you do that you usually get what we got tonight, and that's a loss."
Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers (6-3) earned the win, working into the seventh inning while limiting the Aggies to just three runs on four hits and racking up nine strikeouts.
"Whenever we had the opportunity to get a big hit, Ole Miss' pitchers made pitches," Childress said. "That's what you've got to do in a game of this magnitude. Bottom line: they won the game and played better than we did."