TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Texas A&M Aggies held Alabama to just five hits but were unable to prevail as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Crimson Tide in the series opener at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Friday evening.
Alabama (26-18, 10-9 SEC) pounced on the Aggies for a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kenny Roberts looped a leadoff single to centerfield. A&M was able to keep the mercurial Roberts at first base with two outs, but he was able to score when Ben Moore hit 1-2 pitch over the leftfield wall for a two-run home run and the 2-0 advantage.
In the second inning, Brett Booth added an insurance run Alabama would need to redeem by game’s end when he led off the frame with a solo home run, hitting a 2-1 offering over the leftfield wall to inflate the cushion to 3-0.
Texas A&M (22-21, 7-12 SEC) mounted a rally in the sixth inning to trim the margin to one run. With two outs, Cole Lankford and Troy Stein both singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Hunter Melton followed with a wall-banger to left centerfield for a two-run double, cutting the Crimson Tide lead to 3-2.
The Maroon and White grounded into two double plays, including one in the ninth inning, and stranded six runners in the loss.
Aggie starter Daniel Mengden (4-3) was the hard-luck loser, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six over 7.0 innings.
Charley Sullivan (4-4) earned the win for Alabama. He yielded two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three over 7.0 innings. Ray Castillo worked the ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season. He walked the first batter he faced, but induced a double play grounder and a fly out to end the game.
Stein registered two of the Aggies’ five hits, going 2-for-3 with one walk and one double.
Georgie Salem recorded two of the Tide’s five hits, going 2-for-4.
The Aggies and Crimson Tide continue the series with game two slated to start at 2:05 pm on Saturday.