COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Texas A&M set a school record with six home runs and scored its most runs in an NCAA game since 1989 as the ninth-ranked Aggies downed Houston, 22-4, in a winner’s bracket game at the College Station Regional Saturday night before 5,202 fans at Olsen Field.
A&M (45-16) will play for the regional championship on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. against either Houston (40-23) or UIC. The Flames (35-21) stayed alive in the tournament with a 9-5 win over Dallas Baptist Saturday afternoon. UH and UIC will battle in Sunday’s first game at 12:30 p.m.
The decisive frame was the top of the seventh, one into which the Aggies carried a 9-4 lead. They promptly sent 17 batters to the plate and tied a school postseason record by scoring 12 times to make the score 21-4.
“Once again, we got off to a quick start,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We gave a bit of the momentum back there in the third inning, but eventually we were able to just overwhelm them offensively. I was proud of the way we played tonight.”
Kyle Colligan set the tone for the night on the second pitch of the game, belting a 1-0 offering from starter John Touchton (5-4) off the batter’s eye in center field. The Aggies would score twice more in the inning to take a 3-0 lead before the Cougars stepped to the plate.
After U of H put a run up in their half of the first, Brodie Greene launched his fourth home run of the year over the video board in left center in the top of the second to make the score 4-1.
A pair of two-run shots in the third—courtesy Darby Brown and Kevin Gonzalez—upped the lead to seven, but Cougar first baseman Jimmy Cesario answered with a two-out, three-run shot to right in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Aggie advantage to 8-4.
After Ryan Lormand followed the long ball with a single, A&M freshman starter Barret Loux was outstanding, retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced. Loux (6-2) went six complete and allowed the only four hits the Cougars would get on the night.
“Barret had a very good outing,” Childress said. “He tweaked his back early but was able to gut it out. He gave everything he had for his teammates, and that was special to watch.”
The Aggies pushed two across in the seventh before loading the bases with one out. UH reliever Barrett Bruce induced a potential double-play ball, but his throw to the plate sailed high and off the backstop to plate a pair and make the score 13-4. The floodgates would open after that—Colligan added a two-run shot to left and Anders followed two batters later with a long three-run blast to right field.
A&M would add three more in the frame and a single run in the eighth to close out the scoring.
Michael Heard, Carson Middleton and Blake Rampy each threw a shutout inning of relief, allowing no hits and one walk between them.
Anders and Brown each drove in four, while Greene, Gonzalez and Colligan—who tallied his second career multi-homer game—notched three RBI apiece.
Both of Sunday’s games at the NCAA College Station Regional will be televised by FSN Southwest and can be picked up nationally via satellite.
The 12:30 p.m. game between Houston and UIC will air live on FSN Houston FSN Southwest (in all markets but Dallas/Fort Worth) and will also be carried nationwide on DirecTV Channel 660 and Dish Network Channel 450. FCS Central will also pick up the broadcast.
Sunday’s regional title game at 6:30 p.m. will air nationwide on DirecTV Channel 660 and Dish Network Channel 450, as well as FCS Central. FSN Plus affiliates will also be able to see the game. Fans locally in Bryan/College Station can watch on Suddenlink Channel 22, while those around the state are asked to check local listings.
“I told the guys after the game that we still haven’t done anything yet,” Childress said. “We’ve put ourselves in a good position but we still haven’t won anything. Tomorrow is big and when we start the game it’ll be zero-zero. The players understand that.”
TEXAS A&M POSTGAME NOTES:
• A&M’s 22-run output marked the most scored by an Aggie team since a 25-6 win at Texas on April 30, 1995…it was the most runs scored by A&M in an NCAA tournament game since a 25-6 win over BYU on May 26, 1989.
• Saturday marked the fourth time in school history that A&M scored 20 runs in an NCAA game (25-4 vs BYU, 5/26/89…23-3 vs Jackson State, 5/25/89…20-3 vs Clemson, 6/5/99).
• Texas A&M’s six home runs set a new school record in an NCAA Tournament game…it was also one shy of the overall school record (set in 1978 against Baylor and equaled on April 25, 1998 at Kansas).
• The Aggies matched a school NCAA tourney game record with 12 runs in the seventh inning…A&M put up 12 runs in the fifth inning of a win over Jackson State on May 25, 1989.
• The 12-run seventh marked the second most ever scored by a team in an NCAA tournament game…LSU put up 18 runs in a frame against Georgia Tech on May 26, 1996.
• Texas A&M improved to 53-49 all-time in NCAA play and 42-32 in regional action…the Aggies have now won five straight regional games and nine of their last 11.
• Game-time temperature was 94 degrees with clear skies and winds blowing out to left center at 10 miles per hour.
NCAA COLLEGE STATION REGIONAL SCHEDULE/RESULTS:
• FRIDAY: Houston 9, Dallas Baptist 5; Texas A&M 15, UIC 1
• SATURDAY: UIC 9, Dallas Baptist 5 (DBU eliminated); Texas A&M 22, Houston 4
• SUNDAY: Houston vs UIC, 12:30 p.m.; Texas A&M vs Houston/UIC winner, 6:30 p.m.
• MONDAY: Texas A&M vs Houston/UIC winner (if necessary), 6:30 p.m.