COLLEGE STATION, Texas—No. 20 Texas A&M saw an early two-run lead erased as Northern Colorado came from behind in game two to defeat the Aggies, 4-2, and sweep a Saturday doubleheader before 4,735 fans at Olsen Field. The Bears (2-1) won the first game of Saturday’s twinbill, a seven-inning contest, 3-1.
“We never really could build anything today,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “The balls we hit hard we hit right at them, and they made the plays they were supposed to make. We’ve got a really good team, but at times you have tip your cap to your other team as well when they do things right. Northern Colorado definitely did that. Their pitchers did a nice job today.”
The Aggies (1-2) would strike first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third against Northern Colorado pitcher T.R. Keating.
Catcher Brian Ruggiano continued his hot opening weekend at the plate, blasting a solo homerun well over the fence just to the left of the center field batter’s eye. It was the Aggies’ first long ball of the season and the second of Ruggiano’s career, who is hitting .600 on the young season.
Two outs later, A&M’s Kyle Colligan doubled to right center and Dane Carter followed that by ripping the first pitch he saw off the first base bag and down the right field line, plating Colligan with the game’s second run.
The Bears would tie it at two with a pair of long solo home runs—Cody Henry to center in the fourth and Kevin Sandberg off the light pole in left in the fifth—both off A&M true freshman Barret Loux.
UNC took the lead with two in the seventh off A&M sophomore Clayton Ehlert. Sandberg blasted his second home run of the game, this one to center, leading off the frame. Three batters later, a Cory Morales sacrifice fly to right made the score 4-2 in favor of the visitors.
The Aggies would threaten in the bottom of the ninth, as pinch-hitter Keith McInnerney and Ruggiano both notched one-out singles to bring the winning run to the plate, but A&M could not cash in.
Loux, making his first career start, did not factor in the decision. He lasted five complete innings, striking out nine and allowing three hits, two runs and three walks.
Ehlert (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs and two hits over two innings of work. He walked one and fanned one.
Junior transfer Hank Robertson was impressive in his first outing as an Aggie, tossing two innings of one-hit ball. He did not allow a run or a walk and struck out three.
UNC senior Sean Peery allowed only three hits and no runs in three innings of relief to earn the save, his first of the season. He walked one and struck out four in the game.
Keating (1-0) went six for the Bears to get the win, giving up four hits, two runs and issuing one walk while fanning five.
“I told the guys after the game that we’ve got a great team,” Childress said. “We’ve got a very good lineup, and some pitchers have really impressed me, come out for the first time and shown we can really count on them. When our guys get going again it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it isn’t tomorrow.”
The series concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. and tickets are available at the gate or online at aggieathletics.com. The game also marks the first at which fans can take advantage of the new “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” ticket promotion, through which kids 12 and under will receive free admission with a paid adult. There is a limit of four kids per adult and all seats are general admission.
The game will be broadcast locally on WTAW-AM 1620, with the broadcast beginning at 12:45 p.m. Fans can also watch free live video of the contest on aggieathletics.com.
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