COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies dropped the rubber match of a three-game non-conference series with the Pepperdine Waves, 2-1, Sunday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Knotted at 1-1, Pepperdine broke the tie in the top of the ninth inning. Sam Meyer bounced a leadoff single up the middle off Aggie reliever Zach Brashear (0-1). Drew Hacker replaced Meyer at first base as a pinch-runner, moved to second on a passed ball and was advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt by Chris Amezquita. Brashear intentionally walked Nate Johnson to put runners on the corners and set up the potential for the double play.
Jason Jester came in to relieve Brashear and induced a grounder by Bryan Langlois, but it was hit too softly for the double play and Hacker scored the go-ahead run, giving Pepperdine a 2-1 advantage.
Pepperdine tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh. Amezquita hit a double to the wall in left centerfield, moved to third on a grounder to second by Johnson and scored on a wild pitch for the equalizer.
Texas A&M (5-3) drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning. Logan Taylor registered his first career hit, rattling a ball in the corner down the rightfield line for a double. Cory Raley followed with his first career hit, a single through the right side of the infield to put runners at the corners. Mikey Reynolds plated Taylor with a sacrifice fly to leftfield, staking A&M to a 1-0 lead.
Bratsen went 3-for-4 and a stolen base to lead the Aggies offense. He moved into fifth place on A&M’s career stolen base list his 55th swipe.
Rafael Pineda was left with no decision despite a strong start on the mound. He allowed one run on six hits while striking out three over 7.0 innings. Brashear (0-1) was saddled with the loss, allowing one unearned run on one hit and one walk over 1.0 inning.
Eric Karch (3-0) earned his second win of the weekend in relief. He scattered three hits and two walks over 2.0 innings. Michael Swanner picked up his second save of the season, allowing one walk, but erasing the runner on a game-ending double play as he faced just three batters in the ninth. Jackson McClelland had a solid start, allowing just one run on six hits and one walk while striking out one over 6.0 innings.
The Aggies return to action on Tuesday with a two-game series against the Northwestern State Demons. First pitch for Tuesday’s game is 6:35 pm. They will meet in a 3:05 pm matinee on Wednesday.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach Rob Childress
On young guys at the bottom of the lineup: Those guys can play. Logan Taylor is an outstanding hitter. Some of these guys are going to get more and more opportunities. [Cory] Raley is a good athlete who is going to keep getting better. It’s exciting; we have some young guys who are going to be really good players. We just have to understand that we have talent, but that will only take us so far. There has to be an edge, and when there is a chance to win a series, you have to show up. Start fast, and finish fast, and we didn’t do either.
On message at end of game: You’ve got to play with a chip on your shoulder. If you don’t play with a chip on your shoulder, then we will be 5-3 every eight games. If you play with a chip on your shoulder, you have a chance to be pretty good. Until you find that, we’re just an average team.
On great play early in the game: We executed on defense to get out of that first and second no out jam. That mistake at second base, we just kind of sat back on it, it really didn’t cost us anything, but that wild pitch cost us, obviously.
Junior centerfielder Krey Bratsen
On having an edge: That’s exactly what we just got done talking about in our meeting with Coach Childress, the only thing he really pointed out. We have a great team, and if we don’t come out with an edge, the other team like that is going to come out and beat you every time.
Junior right-handed Rafael Pineda
On picking up the loss after having a good outing: It’s early in the season, and I don’t think all gears are clicking on the same cylinders right now. Our guys are doing the best we can right now; we’re fighting, we’re grinding. Today we came up a little bit short.