Aggies Withstand Early Rebellion to Topple No. 6 Ole Miss

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OXFORD, Miss. – The Texas A&M Aggies erased a five-run first-inning deficit en route to 10-6 win over the No. 6 Ole Miss Rebels on Swayze Field at Oxford-University Stadium. The victory gave the Aggies a sweep of Sunday’s doubleheader and a road series win on A&M’s first-ever venture into SEC enemy territory.

The A&M comeback was keyed by multiple runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings. The Aggies’ offensive arsenal included five extra-base hits and four sacrifice bunts, including three squeeze bunts.

Trailing 5-0, the Aggies began chipping away in the top of the second inning. Cole Lankford roped a double into the left centerfield to lead-off the inning and with one out, Troy Stein plated him with a wall banger to the game in right centerfield for a triple. Brandon Wood laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to knock Stein in, cutting the lead to 5-2.

A&M tied the game at 5-5 with three runs in the top of the fifth. Stein reached on a leadoff walk and Wood followed with an infield single to knock Ole Miss starter Sam Smith from the game. Charlie Curl loaded the bases with a bunt single off reliever Tanner Bailey. Mikey Reynolds chipped a single into shallow centerfield to knock Stein. Krey Bratsen plated Wood with a sacrifice fly to centerfield and Blake Allemand sent Curl home with the equalizer with a squeeze bunt.

The Aggies pounced on the wounded Rebels with four more runs in the sixth. Lankford singled through the right side of the infield to start the inning. With one out, Stein bounced a single back up the middle and Brandon Wood gave A&M its first lead of the game, rattling a double into the corner down the leftfield line to drive in Lankford. Curl reached first when the Rebels were unsuccessful trying to tag Stein at home on a squeeze bunt, giving A&M a 7-5 edge. After Reynolds was intentionally walked, Bratsen fell behind 0-2, but drew a 10-pitch walk to send Wood home. Allemand capped off the rally with a single to centerfield, scoring

A&M capped off the cavalcade of runs with a score in the seventh. With two outs, Stein singled to leftfield and Wood followed with an RBI double down the leftfield line for the 10-5 lead.

Ole Miss scored an inconsequential run in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Austin Anderson singled to left centerfield and with two outs, Andrew Mistone drew a walk. Pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock plated Anderson with a single, to trim the lead to 10-6. Will Allen ended the game as he struck out looking on an 0-2 count.

Ole Miss drove Aggie starter Jason Freeman from the contest quickly. With one out, Auston Bousfield drew a walk and stole second base. Anderson broke the scoring seal with an RBI single to left centerfield. Stuart Turner was issued a base on balls to put two runners on and and Freeman was relieved by Parker Ray. Mistone hit a first-pitch offering through the left side of the infield to send Anderson home for the 2-0 lead. After a pop up by Sikes Orvis accounted for the second out, Allen drew a walk to load the bases. Will Jamison plated two runs with a single to leftfield and a throwing error allowed Allen to score for the 5-0 lead.

Matt Kent (2-1) entered the game in the second inning for the Aggies and worked 5.0 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. He scattered three hits and one walk while striking out three.

Chris Ellis (1-1) was strapped with the loss for Ole Miss. He allowed four runs on three hits and two walks while striking out one over 1.0 innings.

Wood, who entered the game without a hit in 12 at-bats in 2013, went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs, one sac bunt and three RBI. Stein went 3-for-3 with one walk, four runs and one RBI. Bratsen and Allemand each knocked in two runs.

The Aggies return to Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park for a Tuesday night game against UT Arlington. First pitch versus the Mavericks is slated for 6:35 pm.

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