OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Oklahoma capitalized on three Texas A&M errors to score four unearned runs on Wednesday and defeat the ninth-ranked and top-seeded Aggies, 4-1, in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship before 5,190 fans at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
With the loss, the Aggies fell to 42-15 on the year and 0-1 in pool play, while the Sooners improved to 33-23-1 and 1-0.
“I thought it was a really good game,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “(OU starter) Andrew Doyle pitched an incredible game. He was a guy we got to at our place earlier this season, but I thought he did a great job today keeping us off balance. Our pitching staff, Scott Migl and Kyle Thebeau, did a good job too. The team that made the fewest mistakes definitely won the game today.”
OU scored in the first off Migl. A leadoff error and a base hit put runners at second and third with no outs. Sooner second baseman Mike Gosse’s ensuing groundout to short scored Jamie Johnson from third and give OU the early 1-0 lead.
Aggie redshirt freshman catcher Kevin Gonzalez tied the game with one out in the third, connecting on a 1-1 pitch and sending it into the bleachers in left for his second home run of the year. The run, however, would be A&M’s only one of the afternoon.
A three-run top of the sixth would prove to be the difference in the game.
With one out, left fielder Casey Johnson reached on an error, and moved to second on a base hit by DH Jarod Freeman. First baseman Aaron Baker gave the Sooners a 2-1 lead with a deep double over the head of A&M left fielder Brooks Raley.
The next batter, shortstop Bryant Hernandez, lifted a fly ball to right field. The throw home to try to double up the runner coming home sailed wide and went into the third-base dugout. Two runs scored on the play to extend the OU advantage to 4-1.
It would be all the run support Sooner starter Andrew Doyle (8-4) would need, as he tossed a complete-game five hitter and struck out a career-high 12 batters.
Migl (3-3) lasted six innings, giving up six hits and a pair of walks while fanning four. All four runs he allowed were unearned. Thebeau allowed one hit in three shutout innings of relief.
“I told our guys after the game that the reason we are where we are is we have fun and we play hard,” Childress said. “Today we played hard, but I don’t know how much fun we had. That’s what we have to get back to doing—playing with a swagger and enjoying it, and knowing if we do make a mistake we can overcome it. We have definitely been learning a lot about ourselves both as a team and individually over the last week and a half, and we’re going to come out on the other end smelling like a rose, I can promise you that.”
Texas A&M continues play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Thursday when the Aggies face No. 5-seed Texas at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Freshman Brooks Raley (6-1, 3.73 ERA) is scheduled to start for A&M against UT junior Austin Wood (4-3, 4.76). Fans in Bryan/College Station can listen to the game on WTAW-AM 1620. Those around the country can follow the action with free live video on aggieathletics.com and big12sports.com.
TEXAS A&M POSTGAME NOTES:
• Missouri defeated Texas, 3-2, in 10 innings in the first game of pool play on Wednesday morning…following the A&M/UT game on Thursday, the Tigers will face Oklahoma.
• The Aggies dropped their opening game at the tournament for the third straight appearance (2004, 2007)…last season, A&M fell to Nebraska in the first game before winning three straight and claiming the program’s first Big 12 postseason championship.
• Brian Ruggiano posted his 21st multi-hit game of the season.
• A&M is now 15-17 all time at the Big 12 Championship, and 13-11 all-time at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
• OU now leads the all-time series with Texas A&M, 30-29…A&M is now 4-4 all-time against the Sooners at the Big 12 Championship.
• Game-time temperature was 76 degrees with partly sunny skies and winds blowing towards the left field corner at 13 miles per hour.