HOUSTON -- No. 6 Texas A&M had a 2-1 lead heading into the ninth inning on Friday night, but No. 1 Rice scored a run to tie the game and plated one more in the 10th to hand the Aggies a 3-2 loss in the opening game of the NCAA Super Regional at Reckling Park.
The Aggies (48-18) must now win two straight games to advance to the College World Series. The Owls (53-12) need just one win to punch their ticket to Omaha. Game two will be played Saturday at 5 p.m. A&M must win to force a series decider on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Aggie ace Kyle Nicholson (11-3) entered the game to start the seventh and threw two scoreless innings, before an RBI single by Diego Seastrunk scored Jordan Dodson to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
After a scoreless 10th for the A&M, Rice mounted the winning rally in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and nobody on, Danny Lehmann legged out a bunt single and moved to second when Joe Savery walked. Gary Campfield replaced Nicholson on the mound and the first man he faced, Dodson, singled to left to score the game winner.
Rice reliever Bobby Bramhall (5-2) retired eight of the nine men he faced to earn the win.
The Aggies struck first in the top of the second with a run off Rice starting pitcher Ryan Berry. Blake Stouffer started the inning with a double down the right field line and moved to third on a ground out by Craig Stinson. Luke Anders then laced a single to right to allow Stouffer to easily trot home.
A&M used two more doubles in the third to stretch the lead to 2-0. With two outs and nobody on, Kyle Colligan and Brandon Hicks delivered back-to-back doubles to score the second run of the game.
Rice capitalized on a pair of A&M errors in the bottom of the fifth to cut the A&M lead to 2-1. J.P. Padron reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Brian Ruggiano and pinch runner Derek Myers scored when a grounder by Brian Friday went through the legs of Hicks at shortstop.
A&M starter David Newmann allowed one unearned run in six-complete innings. He struck out four and walked four.
Berry fanned 10 over his 7 1/3 innings on the mound, while allowing two runs on six hits.
TEXAS A&M 011 000 000 0 – 2 6 3
RICE 000 010 001 1 – 3 8 0
2 outs when winning run scored
A&M: Newmann, Nicholson (7), Campfield (10) and C. Stinson; RU: Berry, Bramhall (8) and Lehmann.
WP – Bramhall (6-2) LP—Nicholson (11-3)
2B – A&M: Colligan, Hicks, Stouffer
A – 5,075
T – 2:59
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