COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 16 Texas A&M baseball team scored six in the seventh and two in the eighth to take a three-run lead on Sunday, but Baylor scored seven in the ninth to defeat the Aggies, 16-12, at Olsen Field.
“Our hitters fought to get the lead back against their closer,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “You can talk about anything you want to about the first eight innings, but the bottom line is this team had a three-run lead in the ninth at home and we couldn’t finish the game.”
With the loss, the Aggies dropped to 35-11 overall and 11-9 in Big 12 play. Baylor improved to 25-21 and 8-13 in the league. The Aggies won the series, however, winning the first two games of the three-game set.
After a six-run seventh put A&M up 10-9, Ben Feltner and Craig Stinson each hit solo homers in the eighth to give the Aggies a 12-9 lead. It was the first of the year for Feltner and the seventh for Stinson.
A&M closer Kyle Thebeau, who entered in the eighth, was pulled after Shaver Hansen reached on an error by Blake Stouffer at first and a walk to Paul Miles. Jason Meyer (4-1) then gave up a three-run homer to Ben Booker that tied the game. Beamer Weems drove in a run with a double, Dustin Dickerson drove in a run with a single and Matt Czimskey drove in two with a single to give the Bears a four-run cushion. A&M used four different pitchers in the ninth.
Baylor closer Nick Cassavechia (5-1), who had previously surrendered five runs on six hits in the game, recorded three outs in the ninth to get the win.
Weems gave the Bears the early lead with a two-run home run in the top of the first off A&M starting pitcher Clayton Ehlert. Weems popped up into foul territory on the first pitch of the at bat, but it fell harmlessly to the turf after a miscommunication between Stinson, the catcher, and third baseman Dane Carter.
Blake Stouffer answered with two-run shot of his own off Baylor starter Kendal Volz in the bottom of the first. It was the seventh of the year and went over the wall in dead center.
A&M took the lead in the second by scoring two runs on a double squeeze. Josh Stinson scored easily from third on the perfectly executed bunt by Parker Dalton and Kyle Colligan never hesitated rounding third and scored sliding head first when Volz fielded the bunt and threw it to first. Both runs were unearned as an error by Weems at short extended the inning.
Baylor took advantage of an A&M error in the third to cut the lead to 4-3. Chase Gerdes walked and stole second. With two outs, second baseman Parker Dalton booted a ground ball allowing Gerdes to score from second.
The Bears tied the game in the top of the fourth when Matt Czimskey scored on a fielder’s choice by Paul Miles.
Baylor regained the lead when they sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs in the top of the sixth. Rayner Campbell belted a bases-loaded double to plate three runs and back-to-back RBI singles by Weems and Dustin Dickerson made the score 9-4.
The Aggies return to action next Thursday when they begin a three-game series against Dallas Baptist at Olsen Field.
BAY – 201 105 007 – 16 19 3
A&M – 220 000 620 – 12 16 4
BAY: Volz, Draper (5), Matthews (6), Cassavachia (7) and Czimskey; A&M: Ehlert, Rivers (4), Migl (6), Ueckert (7), Thebeau (8), Meyer (9), Renfro (9), Campfield (9) and C. Stinson.
E – BAY: Campbell (11), Weems (10), Hansen (12); A&M: Stouffer (12), Ruggiano (5), Dalton (11)
SB – BAY: Booker (8), Gerdes (14); A&M: Feltner (27)
2B – BAY: Campbell (10), Gerdes (11), Weems (11), Jackson (6); A&M: Anders (9)
HR – BAY: Booker (2), Weems (7); A&M: Feltner (1), Stouffer (7), C. Stinson (7)
Win – Cassavechia (5-1) Loss – Meyer (4-1) Save – none
T – 3:44
A – 4,455