COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Junior right fielder Tyler Naquin blasted a two-run seventh inning home run to put the No. 4 Texas A&M baseball team ahead just before a lightning and rain delay caused the premature ending of a 4-3 Aggie victory over visiting UTSA Tuesday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
“We were very fortunate to win the game tonight,” Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “I definitely don’t think we deserved to win. I thought Gandy (Stubblefield) did a nice job for four innings, but we allow them to score a run, tie the game, and the eventually take the lead. Tyler (Naquin) was pretty frustrated with some at-bats and he let some of his teammates know it. Then he stepped up and validated it. That’s why he’s our best player. We had multiple situations of runners in scoring position with less than two outs and we weren’t able to get them in. When that happens, you’ve got yourself a ballgame…We weren’t ready to play tonight and that falls solely on me. I can promise you we’ll be ready to play on Thursday night against Oklahoma.”
The Aggies (23-6) took an early lead as they scored in the bottom of the first when junior shortstop Mikey Reynolds caused havoc on the base paths. The Glendale, Ariz., native drew a leadoff walk and after stealing both second and third base, scored on a ground out by Naquin.
Senior second baseman Scott Arthur helped Texas A&M extend its advantage to 2-0 in the bottom of the third as he led the frame off with a double and came home two batters later on a two-bagger by center fielder Krey Bratsen.
After cutting the A&M lead in half with a run in the top of the fourth, the Roadrunners (11-18) tied the game during the visitors’ half of the sixth as a leadoff walk came back to haunt the Aggies when a RBI ground out by UTSA’s Casey Selsor knotted the game at 2-2.
An unlucky bounce brought home the Roadrunners’ go-ahead run in the top of the seventh when the Aggies attempted to turn a double play but a throw hit a runner at second in the back and allowed the run from third to come home.
During the bottom of the seventh, Reynolds led off with a single to center and stole second to move into scoring position. With one out in the frame, Naquin stepped to the plate and got a 1-0 change-up from UTSA reliever Garrett Staudt (0-2), driving the offering high over the wall in right for his second long ball of the season.
Shortly after Naquin’s blast, game officials suspended the game because of lighting and showers in the area and following a delay of 1:33 the game was officially called and A&M awarded the victory.
The Aggies used six pitchers in the contest with Parker Ray (1-0) getting the win by recording the final three outs of the top of the seventh.
Freshman Gandy Stubblefield made his second start of the season for A&M, allowing just four hits and one run in four innings of work.
Texas A&M baseball is back in action on Thursday when it begins a three-game series with Oklahoma on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Cox Sports TV will televise Thursday’s affair before ESPNU comes to Aggieland to broadcast Saturday’s series finale.
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