OKLAHOMA CITY – No. 11 Texas A&M pounded out a season-high 20 hits en route to earning its first Big 12 Tournament championship on Sunday with a 14-6 win over Baylor at Bricktown Ballpark.
A&M catcher Craig Stinson led the way going 4-for-6 with two RBI. He was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after going 11-for-19 with a home run and nine RBI.
“It was our day today,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “I saw it in our players’ eyes when we met up before the game.”
It is the third Big 12 Championship for the Texas A&M baseball team, who won the regular-season titles in 1998 and 1999.
Gary Campfield (2-0) threw the final 4 1/3 innings and became the third pitcher for A&M to have a career-long outing in this year’s tournament. Campfield allowed one run on six hits, while striking out five and walking just one.
“Gary really stepped up today,” Childress said. “We had guys do it all week. It also helped that we played sound defense behind them.”
A&M made just one error in its four tournament games and fielded at a .993 clip.
A&M took the early lead with a pair of runs off Baylor starting pitcher Wade Mackey in the top of the first. Ben Feltner and Blake Stouffer walked and Stinson and Luke Anders delivered back-to-back RBI singles.
The Aggies scored three more times in the second to increase their lead to 5-0. Dane Carter and Brian Ruggiano executed a double steal to make the score 3-0 and Brandon Hicks doubled to left center with two outs to plate a second run. Blake Stouffer immediately followed with a RBI triple down the right-field line to chase Mackey from the game.
Baylor touched A&M starter Scott Migl for a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to three. Paul Miles belted a two-out, two-RBI triple over the head of center fielder Kyle Colligan.
Two unearned runs in the fifth gave the Aggies a 7-2 lead. Carter delivered an RBI single and Feltner drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Migl could not get out of the fifth and was replaced by Gary Campfield with two outs. Shaver Hansen started the inning with his third home run of the year and back-to-back two-out RBI hits by Chase Gerdes and Beamer Weems reduced the A&M lead to 7-5.
A perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Colligan scored Stinson in the sixth and a four-run seventh increased the A&M lead to 12-5. Three-straight RBI singles by Hicks, Stouffer, and Stinson and an RBI groundout by Anders did the damage.
Baylor added a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Gerdes, but the Aggies scored twice more in the top of the eighth on an RBI goundout by Carter and another RBI single by Hicks.
Migl went 4 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking two.
Mackey (4-3) lasted 1 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on six hits.
The Aggies advanced to the championship game by winning two of three games in pool play earlier in the week. A&M and Texas finished with identical 2-1 records, but the Aggies advanced by virtue of their 7-2 win over the Horns on Thursday. Baylor went 3-0 in pool play to advance.
A&M will be one of 16 hosts sites for the NCAA Tournament and the NCAA baseball committee will announce the tournament pairings on the selection show which will be shown live on ESPN at 11:30 a.m.
Upload your photo, with a caption of your reason to smile, then watch the last half hour of BVTM from 6:30A - 7A Monday mornings to see if your photo makes it.