COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Kyle Thebeau struck out a career-high 10 hitters in eight innings and the No. 19 Texas A&M baseball team survived a furious late rally by New Mexico to defeat the Lobos, 6-5, in third day action of the Domino’s Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic at Olsen Field.
After walking the first man he faced in the game, Thebeau retired 12 men in a row before allowing a lead double in the fifth. The only other two hits came in the eighth inning and were a double by Dane Hamilton, who later scored on a ground out, and a solo home run by Derek Pilkington that made the score 6-2.
Thebeau attempted to finish the game, but walked Jay Russel to start the ninth. Gary Campfield entered the game and allowed a single and a walk to load the bases, before Matt Hibbits singled to score a run. Kyle Colligan misplayed the ball in center to allow another runner to cross and make the score 6-4.
Still with no outs in the ninth and runners on first and second, reliever Michael Heard recorded an out on a sacrifice bunt that moved both runners into scoring position. Kyle Nicholson replaced Heard and immediately uncorked a wild pitch to get the Lobos to within one and move the tying run to third.
Nicholson enticed Drew McDonald to sharply ground out to a drawn-in infield and Ian Hollick to hit a chopper back to the mound to end the game and earn his second save of the season.
“That is why you play nine innings and you have to get 27 outs,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “Thebeau had a great start and after the first six pitches of the game he was pretty good. We made a lot of good defensive plays and hit a lot of balls hard.”
With the win, A&M improved to 15-1 overall and to 3-0 in the Aggie Classic. It was the 14th-straight win for A&M. New Mexico dropped to 6-11
The tournament concludes Monday. New Mexico plays Saint Louis at 10:30 a.m., followed by Texas A&M versus Oregon State at 2:30 p.m.
After going hitless the first two innings, the Aggies scored three runs off New Mexico starter Jacob Norton. Parker Dalton walked and Brandon Hicks singled. After a double steal, Dalton scored and Hicks advanced to third on a single by Ben Feltner. Blake Stouffer then singled to plate Hicks and Kyle Colligan lifted a sacrifice fly to score Feltner.
A&M tacked on two more runs in the top of the third to increase its lead to 5-0. With two outs and nobody on, Dalton singled and Hicks walked. Feltner and Stouffer then followed with RBI singles, each one’s second RBI of the game.
The Aggies made the score 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single by Dalton.
Ben Feltner had two hits and two RBIs to increase his hitting streak to 12 games.
Jacob Norton (0-4) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits. He walked five and struck out two.
In the first game of the day, No. 9 Oregon State shut out Saint Louis, 2-0. The Beavers improved to 13-3 overall and to 2-1 in the Aggie Classic, while the Billikens dropped to 1-8 and 1-2.
UNM – 000 000 023 – 5 5 0
A&M – 003 210 00x – 6 8 1
UNM: Norton, Skelton (6), Gracey (8) and McDonald; A&M: Thebeau, Campfield (9), Heard (9), Nicholson (9) and C. Stinson.
E – A&M: Colligan (2)
2B – UNM: Hibbitts (1), Hamilton (2)
HR – UNM: Pilkington (1)
SB – Hicks (13), Dalton (7)
Win: Thebeau (1-0), Loss: Norton (0-4), Save: Nicholson (2)
T – 2:38
A – 3,005