Texas A&M Cruises Past Texas Southern, 7-1
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies were paced by a pair of true freshmen as they registered a 7-1 win over Texas Southern in non-conference baseball action Wednesday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. First-year Aggies Grayson Long and Jonathan Moroney helped tame the Tigers as A&M won its fourth consecutive game to improve to 4-1 on the year.
Making his first collegiate start, true freshmen Grayson Long (1-0) cruised through 5.2 innings of work, yielding just one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five.
Texas A&M's bullpen entered the game allowing just two runs in 12.1 innings of work on the year, and the Aggies improved on the mark with 3.1 innings of shutout relief on Wednesday. Ty Schlottmann retired the only batter he faced to get out of the sixth inning. Zach Brashear and Matt Kent each worked a blank frame with one strikeout apiece and true freshmen Andrew Vinson and AJ Minter combined both pitched in a scoreless ninth.
Moroney went 2-for-4 with one triple and three RBI to lead the Aggies offense.
The Aggies pounced on the Tigers early with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Cole Lankford, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, rattled a triple in the corner along the rightfield line to start the inning and Moroney followed with a single down the other line to stake A&M to a 1-0 lead.
A&M inflated the cushion to 4-0 with three runs in the home half of the third. With one out, Mikey Reynolds reached on a bunt single, stole second base and scored when Krey Bratsen bounced a single up the middle. Daniel Mengden was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. After Lankford lined out to short for the second out of the frame, Moroney tripled to leftfield, knocking in Bratsen and Mengden for the four-run lead.
The early flow of runs continued with two runs in the fourth. Charlie Curl hit a leadoff single to centerfield and Blake Allemand was hit by a pitch to start the inning. After JB Moss pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Reynolds drew a walk to saturate the bases. A wild pitch allowed Curl to score and after Bratsen drew a walk to reload the bases, Mengden plated Allemand with a sacrifice fly for the 6-0 lead.
Texas Southern (3-2) shaved a run off the lead in the top off the sixth. With one out, Sebastian Stargell drew a walk and Corbin Smith reached on a bunt single. Chris Deleon broke the scoring seal for the Tigers with a single to leftfield, cutting the gap to 6-1. But Long would get Ellis Stephney to line out to third base and Schlottmann came in from the bullpen to induce a rally-killing double play from Tyler Flanagan.
The Aggies capped off their scoring in the eighth inning. Allemand was issued a base on balls to lead off the inning, stole second base and scored on an error off a Bratsen grounder to short.
Deleon led Texas Southern at the plate, going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Tigers' starter Adrian Losoya (1-1) was saddled with the loss. He allowed four runs on five hits while striking out two over 3.0 innings.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies start a three-game series with the Pepperdine Waves. First pitch for the opening contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park is set for 6:35 pm. Start time for Saturday's game has been pushed back to 6:05 pm. The Sunday finale will start at 1:05 pm.