COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Freshman Barret Loux allowed two runs over 7 2/3 innings and struck out nine to lead No. 8 Texas A&M to a 10-3 victory over Oklahoma Saturday night before 7,092 fans at a sold-out Olsen Field.
Loux (2-1) matched his season highs in both innings and strikeouts, as he pitched the Aggies (29-6) to their 12th straight win and first place in the Big 12 standings at 11-3. The Sooners fell to 22-12-1 and 3-7-1 in league play.
“I thought Barret did an incredible job,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “He kept pounding the strike zone and was able to get into the eighth inning, and that’s what we expect out of him week in and week out. Then again, we have to remember he is just a freshman and is learning to pitch at this level. But I was really proud of his performance tonight.”
Oklahoma took an early 1-0 lead in the first off Loux courtesy an RBI groundout by Jarod Freeman.
The Aggies would take the lead for good in the second, scoring a pair of runs off OU starter Andrew Doyle without the benefit of a hit.
After the inning began with a groundout, a hit batter, walk and error loaded the bases. Doyle then hit catcher Andrew Gonzalez and walked Kyle Colligan to give A&M a 2-1 lead.
Blake Stouffer led off the fifth with a single, A&M’s first hit of the evening. Kyle Colligan followed with a double down the left field line and Jose Duran belted a two-run single up the middle on consecutive pitches, extending the Aggie lead to 4-1 and chasing Doyle.
Ben Feltner executed a squeeze bunt later in the frame with the bases loaded to score Duran with the fifth A&M run.
After OU scored a run in the top of the sixth, Darby Brown delivered a two-out, two-run double down the line in left to make the score 7-2. The Aggies would add three more in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Three Aggies posted two hits apiece, led by Duran’s 2-for-5, three RBI night. Stouffer and Carter each scored three runs along with a pair of knocks.
“I was proud that we stayed focused on the game and not let all the external stuff distract us,” Childress said. “Our kids stayed calm and kept their cool and just played the game. We took advantage of some walks and hit batters, got some big hits and were able to chip away and build a nice lead.”
There were four ejections on the night. Three members of the A&M staff were tossed in the bottom of the third inning following a hit batsmen, and OU center fielder Doug Buser was ejected in the fifth after bumping into Anders on a tag play.
Hank Robertson allowed a hit and a run in relief of Loux, tossing the final 1 1/3 and striking out one batter.
Doyle (5-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing three hits and five runs (four earned) over four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out three.
The series concludes on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. The Aggies will send sophomore Clayton Ehlert (4-2, 3.38 ERA) to the mound. Tickets are available at the gate or by logging on to aggieathletics.com. The game will be televised live nationally by FOX College Sports.
“(First place) is where we want to be, and we’ll see how long we can stay there,” Childress said. “Everyone else in the league is playing well, and we’ve just got to focus on one day at a time and just come out and worry about tomorrow.”
Kids 12 and under can receive free admission with a paid adult through the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” promotion. There is a limit of four kids per adult and all seats are general admission. In addition, all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases following the game.
TEXAS A&M POSTGAME NOTES:
• Saturday’s crowd of 7,092 was a season high.
• Dane Carter has now hit safely in 16 straight games and 33 of the Aggies’ 35 overall…Carter, who is on his second 16-game hit streak of the year, has reached base safely (hit or walk) in all 35 contests.
• Blake Stouffer extended his hit streak to 11 games, one shy of his career best.
• Texas A&M now trails the all-time series, 29-27, and leads 21-20 since the inception of the Big 12…the Aggies have now won the first game of the series with the Sooners each of the last five years.
• Game-time temperature was 69 degrees with clear skies and winds blowing in from left field at 10 miles per hour.