TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In his first career start, Parker Ray went a career-long 7.2 innings, but the Texas A&M Aggies were unable to capitalize on the outing in a 3-2 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Ray (0-1) allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four over 7.2 innings. Prior to the outing, Ray had worked 33 career games out of the bullpen for the Aggies.
Alabama (27-18, 11-9 SEC) converted a pair of doubles into a run in the third inning to jump out to the early lead. Mikey White hit a leadoff two-bagger into the gap in left centerfield. Andrew Miller pushed White to third base with a sacrifice bunt and he stayed at third when Chance Vincent popped up to shortstop, but Kenny Roberts laced a 0-1 offering down the leftfield line to send White home for the 1-0 lead.
The Crimson Tide tacked on two runs in the fourth inning. Kyle Overstreet singled up the middle to start the frame and moved to third when Ben Moore doubled down the leftfield line. Austen Smith and White both plated runs with groundouts to the shortstop to inflate the cushion to 3-0.
Texas A&M (22-22, 7-13 SEC) cut the lead to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the eighth. Hunter Melton drew a six-pitch walk to start the inning and with one out, Jonathan Moroney singled up the middle to put a pair on. Mitchell Nau pinch-hit for Charlie Curl and roped a double down the rightfield line to send both runners home and trim the margin to one run. With JB Moss pinch-running for Nau at second base, Blake Allemand and Krey Bratsen both struck out to end the rally.
Moore and Overstreet each had two hits for Alabama with identical lines of 2-for-4 with one run.
Texas A&M stranded just four runners in the game, but had two runners caught stealing, one runner thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch and the Aggies grounded into one double play.
Justin Kamplain (1-0) earned the win for Alabama. He worked 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five. Ray Castillo allowed one walk and recorded a strikeout in a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.
The Aggies and Crimson Tide wrap up the series with a 1:05 pm contest on Sunday.