Aggies Slow Down Cowboys

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Kyle Nicholson fanned a career-high nine hitters over 8 1/3 innings and Ben Feltner went 4-for-4 Friday night to lead No. 14 Texas A&M past No. 15 Oklahoma State, 4-2, at Olsen Field.

Nicholson (9-1) allowed eight hits, including four in the ninth that led to a pair of Oklahoma State runs. The runs broke a streak of 24 innings in which Nicholson did not allow an earned run. The two earned runs increased Nicholson’s season ERA to 1.24 in 79 2/3 innings.

“I thought Kyle Nicholson did a great job against one of the best hitting teams in the country,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “He had a three-pitch mix all night long and was in total control until the ninth.”

Tyler Mach started ninth with a single and pinch runner Dusty Harvard scored on a triple by Matt Mangini. A throwing error by third baseman Blake Stouffer allowed Mangini to score and Rebel Ridling to reach. After a pinch-hit single by Kendall Horner moved pinch runner Dylan Brown to second, A&M right fielder Brodie Greene gunned down Brown at the plate on a single to right by Donnie Webb.

Kyle Thebeau entered and fanned Kevin David and coaxed Keanon Simon to harmlessly flyout to center to end the game and earn his fourth save of the year.

“Thebeau is our closer now and he came in and got two big outs when they for sure had the momentum,” Childress said. “This was a huge win for us tonight.”

With the win, A&M improved to 32-8 overall and 9-6 in the Big 12 Conference while the Cowboys dropped to 29-10 and 8-5. The series resumes Saturday at 1 p.m. at Olsen Field.

With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the first, Blake Stouffer, Kyle Colligan and Luke Anders delivered three-straight doubles off OSU starter Jeff Breedlove to take a 2-0 lead.

The Aggies increased their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second with an unearned run. Darby Brown singled and Brandon Hicks reached on a bunt single. Feltner then legged out an infield single and Brown scored when second baseman Tyler Mach threw wildly to first.

A&M stretched its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth and chased Breedlove in the process. Anders singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Craig Stinson. After a walk to Brown, Cowboy reliever Tyler Lyons got pinch hitter Brodie Greene to ground into a fielder’s choice, before Anders scored on a two-out bunt single by Parker Dalton.

Breedlove (0-2) lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs – three earned – on 11 hits.

OSU – 000 000 002 – 2 8 1

A&M – 210 001 00x – 4 13 4

OSU: Breedlove, Lyons (6), Adams (7) and Falvell; A&M: Nicholson, Thebeau (9) and C. Stinson.

E – OSU: Mach (7); A&M: Stouffer 3 (11), Brown (6)

SB – OSU: Ptak (5); A&M: Stouffer (16), Greene (5), Dalton (3)

2B – OSU: Mangini (11); A&M: Stouffer (13), Colligan (5), Anders (7)

3B – OSU: Mangini (2)

Win – Nicholson (9-1) Loss – Breedlove (0-2) Save – Thebeau (4)

T – 2:42

A – 4,388