COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Red Raiders pushed across four runs in the top of the 12th inning Sunday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park to defeat the ninth-ranked Texas A&M baseball team 8-4 and avoid a sweep in the three-game series.
“It was a hard-fought game and obviously a disappointing loss,” Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We came all the way back in the ninth to tie the game, but just couldn’t get a big hit to win the game … I thought Texas Tech played really well today, give them all the credit”
The Aggies (34-14; 13-8 Big 12) struck first in the contest as during the bottom of the second freshman right fielder Chance Bolcerek notched a one-out single and was able to come home later in the frame on an RBI base knock by shortstop Mikey Reynolds.
Texas Tech (27-24; 6-15 Big 12) responded in the top of the third with a run on a fielder’s choice and took its first lead of the afternoon during the fifth inning when second baseman Jamodrick McGruder connected on a solo home run to right for his first long ball of the season.
Aggie junior right fielder Tyler Naquin, who went 3-for-4 in the contest to bring his Big 12-leading batting average up to .397, tied the game at 2-2 with a run-scoring double during the home half of the fifth.
After the Red Raiders scored in both the seventh and eighth to open a 4-2 advantage the Aggies needed a pair of late-inning runs to send the game into extra innings.
Naquin again sparked the A&M offense when he led off the bottom of the eighth with his second double of the day and came around to score on an RBI double by senior first baseman Jacob House.
During the bottom of the ninth, House again came through for the Aggies as his sacrifice fly to center field knotted the sides at four runs apiece and send the game into extras.
Texas A&M reliever Kyle Martin (5-5) kept the Aggies in the contest as he threw a career-high five innings on the mound.
“We got a really gutsy performance out of K-Mart today,” Childress added. “It was an incredible performance for him, having a career high in innings pitched as well as number of pitches. He gave us everything he had.”
The Red Raiders took the lead for good during the top of the 12th when first baseman Stephen Hagen homered off Martin to lead off the inning. Following an A&M pitching change, Tech tacked on three big insurance runs with a bases-clearing double from designated hitter Scott LeJeune to give the game its final score.
Sophomore lefty Andre Wheeler (1-0) picked up the win for the Red Raiders.
The Aggies return to action on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park next weekend when they host San Diego State in a three-game series.
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