Late Rallies Come Up Short; Aggie baseball swept by Kentucky

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies scored six runs in the last three innings, but it wasn't enough to erase a 10-run deficit as the Maroon and White dropped an 11-7 decision to the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Texas A&M (14-7, 0-3 SEC) were powered by the bottom of the order. Eight-hole hitter Cole Bedford batted 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs. Nine-hole hitter George Janca was 2-for-4 with one home run, two runs and three RBI.

Trailing by 10 runs, Texas A&M mounted a rally in the home half of the seventh. With one out, Bedford gapped a double to left-center and Janca flared a single to leftfield, driving Kentucky starter Justin Lewis from the game. With Colton Cleary on the mound, Choruby pushed a run across with an infield single and Braden Shewmake knocked in two with a single through the right side to cut the Wildcat advantage to 11-4.

In the eighth inning, Jorge Gutierrez reached on an infield single with one out and, with two outs, Bedford doubled to leftfield. Janca got ahead in the count 3-1 before unleashing his first career home run, a three-run shot, to leftfield, trimming the UK edge to 11-7.

The Aggies were unable to sustain the charge in the ninth, going down in order.

The Wildcats pounced on Aggies for two runs in the top of the first inning. With one out, Tristen Pompey worked a five-pitch walk and Kole Cottam singled to left. After Mitchell Kilkenny got Luke Becker to swing and miss on strike three for the second out, Riley Mahan hit a wall-banger to centerfield to drive in both runners for the 2-0 lead.

The Aggies responded with a run in the home half of the first. Leadoff batter Nick Choruby was issued a base on balls and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Homan. After Shewmake flew out for the second out of the inning Logan Foster slapped a single to centerfield, plating Choruby.

Kentucky (15-6, 3-0 SEC) stacked up three more runs in the top of the second. Troy Squires singled to left and an error on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Marshall put runners on the corners with no outs. Connor Heady put down a squeeze bunt to knock in Squires. Carson, Pompey and Cottam strung together three consecutive singles with the last two driving each driving in a run to inflate the Wildcats' cushion to 5-1.

The Wildcats strung the lead out to 11-1 with one run in the fourth, three in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Kilkenny (2-1) struggled in the start, allowing five runs, four earned on seven hits and one walk while striking three in 1.1 innings.

Lewis (3-1) earned the victory going 6.1 innings, yielding three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four in 6.1 innings.

The Aggies return to action Tuesday as they host the Rice Owls in a 6:02 pm contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.


On this weekend's series…
"It's a bad taste. Certainly Kentucky played at a very high level, has a good team. For us, it's a tough week. We found every way to lose all week long and today when we went to the bullpen in the second inning, we started chasing runs and that's an uphill climb."

On bouncing back…
"The sun's going to come up tomorrow and the week begins. Rice is going to show up on Tuesday and they'll have a chip on their shoulder and be ready to play. We need to make sure we do the same. How we handle failure is going to ultimately determine our success. Our guys understand that. We're going to grow from this weekend certainly."

On this weekend's series…
"It was a tough weekend. I felt like the starting pitching was pretty good day in and day out. I think we're just beating ourselves up a little bit. We'll be fine come Tuesday. We'll bounce back."

On Kentucky's offense…
"I thought they collectively had a good approach. I felt like if we made a mistake they were on it. Whatever they were asked to do, they did it pretty well."

On the tough week…
"I think we are still on a good track. We had one hiccup this weekend, with the loss to Texas and then the three this weekend. We are a young team and we will bounce back. It's just a learning thing. I think it will be good for us to go through this. It's the first week in the SEC you can't start burning bridges now."

On pitching from behind…
"It's my job to come in as first relief out of the bullpen and just try to do what I can to slow them down and give us a chance to win the game."

On the frustrating week…
"They came to play that's for sure. They were on the ball and they were definitely ready as a team. They were ready to hit whatever we threw at them. It's definitely frustrating as a team to start like that but, we have a great group of guys. We are close-knit and we'll be ready to bounce back big time."

On his three-run homer…
"I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit. We had runners on and we needed the runs badly. I got a good pitch to hit and was able to handle it. We swung the bat well today. We had a lot of hard-hits balls that were caught. We just have to keep going at it, keeping hitting the balls hard and putting men on base. We were able to knock some down today and that's a good thing to build on."