LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior first baseman Jacob House went 3-for-4 at the plate Saturday afternoon as the No. 2 Texas A&M baseball team secured a series win over Kansas with a 6-4 victory at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Aggie offense was methodical against the Jayhawks as it pounded out 12 hits to score in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings while building a 6-0 lead. House led the way with three knocks and was joined by senior designated hitter Matt Juengel, junior left fielder Brandon Wood and senior second baseman Scott Arthur, who each singled twice to enjoy multi-hit games.
On the mound, senior Ross Stripling (6-1) turned in another solid performance by working eight strong innings. The Aggie right-hander scattered six hits and was able to keep the Jayhawks off the scoreboard until the bottom of the seventh inning while notching seven strikeouts and walked just two during his 117-pitch outing.
For Stripling, the victory was the 27th during his four-year Texas A&M career and moved him into a tie for fifth all-time in program history with former A&M pitcher Casey Fossum (1997-99). Up next is Ryan Rupe, who won 30 games for the Aggies from 1991-93. Stripling also sits in seventh place for career wins by a Big 12 pitcher, joining Fossum, Jason Jennings of Baylor (1997-99) and Texas’ Adrian Alaniz (2005-07).
Texas A&M improved to 28-7 on the year with a record of 9-2 in Big 12 games. The Aggies will don their camouflage jerseys on Sunday as they go for a sweep for the third time in their last four weekend series.
The Aggies drew first blood in the contest during the top of the third inning as they plated two runs off KU starter Wes Benjamin. Junior shortstop Mikey Reynolds drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a balk. Following a sacrifice bunt that moved him to third base, Reynolds was able to score the contest’s opening run on a House single to left field. Juengel tacked on a second run with a single through the left side to score Tyler Naquin, who walked earlier in the inning.
Benjamin (2-4) took the loss on the mound for the Jayhawks, allowing four runs on seven hits during four innings of work.
An RBI single off the bat of Arthur in the top of the fourth and a Troy Stein sacrifice fly in the fifth extended the A&M lead to 4-0, before the Aggies put up another two-spot on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth.
Arthur, who went 2-for-4 in the contest, kick started the sixth-inning rally with a single up the middle. Reynolds followed with a single of his own moving Arthur to third. Bratsen got the first run home with a sac fly to right before House chipped in with a run-scoring single through the left side.
Kansas (12-23, 2-9 Big 12) attempted to rally as it notched three hits and pushed across three runs against Stripling in the home half of the seventh. However, the Aggie right-hander snuffed out any further comeback plans and bounced back with a scoreless eighth.
Junior Kyle Martin worked the ninth, yielding only one unearned run while striking out two to record his second save of the season.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. when the Aggies send redshirt sophomore Rafael Pineda (5-0, 2.01 ERA) to the mound to oppose KU right-hander Thomas Taylor (3-4, 4.13 ERA).
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