COLLEGE STATION, Texas—No. 7 Texas scored three runs in the 10th inning and held on for an 11-9 win over No. 14 Texas A&M in the series opener Friday night before 8,343 fans at Olsen Field.
The Longhorns got a Russell Moldenhauer RBI single and scored its final two runs on a wild pitch and a double play to take the three-run lead into the bottom of the 10th. A lead triple by Kyle Colligan and an RBI single by Joe Patterson brought the tying run to the plate for the Aggies, but UT’s Austin Dicharry entered the game and retired the final three batters to end the game.
The loss, just the second at home for A&M in Big 12 play, dropped the Aggies to 32-17 and 13-9 in Big 12 play. Texas improved to 35-11-1 and 16-8-1.
In one of the wilder clashes on the diamond between the schools in recent memory, the teams combined for 12 runs in the sixth and seventh innings, with the Longhorns taking an 8-7 lead into the last of the eighth.
True freshman Adam Smith delivered a huge game-tying hit in the inning to help Texas A&M complete a five-run comeback. With two outs and down by a run, Smith stepped to the plate with the tying run at second base. He fouled off a pair of two-strike offerings from Texas closer Austin Wood before skying a 3-2 pitch high in the air to left center field. The ball hit off the top of the wall and caromed back into center field, scoring pinch runner Scott Arthur easily. Smith, trying for an inside-the-park home run, was called out on a controversial play at the plate, and the game remained deadlocked at eight entering the ninth inning.
Neither team threatened in the ninth, sending the contest into extra innings.
The game began like a typical Friday in the Big 12, however, as UT held a 3-0 advantage after five. The Longhorns scored single runs off A&M starter Brooks Raley in the second, third and fourth frames. Two of the runs came off the bat of Preston Clark, while Connor Rowe added a solo home run.
The Aggies finally got some traffic off Texas starter Chance Ruffin in the fifth, loading the bases with no outs on an error, hit batter and bloop single. Ruffin got out of the jam unscathed, however, as he punched out back-to-back hitters and got an inning-ending fly ball to center to preserve the three-run lead.
A&M tied the game in the sixth. With one out, Luke Anders drew a five-pitch walk and Kyle Colligan was hit by a pitch to bring Joe Patterson to the plate. After fouling off a 1-2 offering from Ruffin, Patterson smashed the next pitch high over the fence in right to bring the Aggies even at 3-3.
After Texas loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs, Tant Shepherd doubled off the top of the wall in left to clear the bases. Brandon Belt followed two batters later with a two-run single through the right side to extend the lead to five.
The Aggies answered back quickly, however. With one out and Smith at first base, Brodie Greene hit his 10th home run of the season down the line in left field to pull within three. After a strikeout, Luke Anders chopped a single to left and Kyle Colligan homered off the top of the fence in right to make the score 8-7.
Alex Wilson (5-6) suffered the loss in relief, giving up three runs (two earned) on a pair of hits in 3.2 innings of work. He walked two and struck out three. Raley gave up nine hits and eight runs over 6.1 innings, while issuing one free pass and fanning five.
Wood (5-1) picked up the victory after going 2.2 innings on the night. He gave up six hits, four runs and one walk while punching out one. Ruffin allowed three hits and five runs in 6.1 innings, striking out nine. Dicharry picked up his first save of the season.
Patterson led the Aggies with a career-high four RBIs, while Colligan and Greene had two hits apiece. Rupp had a game-high three hits for the Longhorns.
The series now shifts to Austin and UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. and the game will be televised FOX Sports Net (check local listings).Freshman Ross Hales (4-1, 4.10 ERA) will take the mound against Texas sophomore Cole Green (4-1, 2.65). The game will air on WTAW-AM 1620 and worldwide free of charge on radioaggieland.com and aggieathletics.com.
• Friday’s crowd of 8,343 was the third largest in school history…it was the largest since May 16, 2003, when the Aggies beat Texas, 6-4, before a stadium-record crowd of 8,847.
• Texas A&M hit three home runs for the fourth consecutive game…the Aggies have hit 18 home runs in the last eight contests.
• Brodie Greene’s seventh-inning home run was his 10th of the season, tying him for the team lead—for a few hitters at least, until Kyle Colligan hit his 11th three batters later.
• Game-time temperature was 89 degrees with clear skies and winds blowing out to center at 20 miles per hour (gusting to 32).
HEAD COACH ROB CHILDRESS: “I felt like our guys competed their tails off. To me, it comes down to three innings. In the fourth, we load the bases with no outs and don’t come away with any runs. But our guys kept answering back. Every time they scored, we scored. Going out in the seventh inning, Brooks Raley was at 71 pitches and had just struck out the side in the sixth, and we left him in probably two hitters too long. That’s my fault. We still answer back and tie the game. And in the ninth, we chose to not bunt with (Dylan) Petrich at the plate and he hits into a double play. That’s the way the game goes, and that’s our call too. Our players played well tonight.”
(on the offensive approach) “I was very impressed with what we did tonight. We competed from start to finish. Things didn’t go our way the first five innings but we came all the way back and definitely had a chance to win it. I was proud of the way we got after it tonight.”
(on putting the game behind and heading to Austin) “Without question, we’re down. The team is disappointed. They hate losing more than they enjoy winning. But in this league you have to have a short-term memory. We definitely have to do that in this case because we tee off tomorrow at noon. It’ll be a quick turnaround for us, but I like the way we fought tonight and I expect that to carry over to tomorrow.”
FRESHMAN SS ADAM SMITH: “It was a great game. Overall as a team we fought back, we kept coming back. Every time we got knocked down, we got right back up. There was nothing else we could do, we fought our tails off tonight.”