AUSTIN—Senior All-American Ross Stripling tossed eight strong innings and was backed by a 14-hit attack as No. 9 Texas A&M cruised to a 12-4 victory over No. 20 Texas Saturday afternoon in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown before 7,716 fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The Aggies (31-12, 11-6 Big 12) took advantage of five Longhorn errors in the first four frames to build a solid lead for Stripling, who allowed nine hits and three runs on the day. A&M tacked on four insurance runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach and hand Texas (24-16, 11-6) its first Big 12 series loss of the year.
“I’m just really proud of the way we played,” head coach Rob Childress said. “Ross was fantastic, we played very good defense behind him, we took advantage of some defensive mistakes and got we some big hits. We got a lot of big two-out hits as well.”
The victory was the Aggies’ third straight overall and handed A&M its first series victory over UT since 2003. In addition, A&M’s 12-run output on Saturday was its most at Disch-Falk Field since 1995. The Aggies will look for the series sweep on Sunday with first pitch set for 2 p.m.
“We showed an awful lot of toughness coming back from the Baylor series,” Childress said. “With things not going our way we continued to stay together, continued to play hard and we’re getting paid back for it, at least at this point right now. Every game is going to be a fight and a battle and I’m just proud of the toughness we’ve shown the last two weeks.”
Texas A&M struck first off Texas starter Parker French, scoring two in the second inning.
With one out, two singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for center fielder Krey Bratsen. The sophomore chopped a 2-0 offering high over the mound, driving in the game’s first run as he was thrown out at first base. Mikey Reynolds then followed with a grounder near third base that was misplayed by Erich Weiss, allowing Troy Stein to come home and make the score 2-0.
The Aggies extended their lead in the fourth, taking advantage of four UT errors in the frame to open up a 5-0 advantage.
Bratsen began the scoring with a one-out single to left center to score Stein, who reached on an error to open the inning. One out later, Scott Arthur grounded back to French, who kicked the ball off his glove and then threw wide of first and down the right field line. The two-miscue play brought in Mikey Reynolds to make it 4-0 A&M. After another error put runners on the corners, Arthur broke for home against the new hurler—lefty Hoby Milner—who went to first base to try and pick off Tyler Naquin. Arthur slid home without a throw, and the stolen base bumped the Aggie lead to five.
The teams traded runs in their next at-bats, as Jonathan Walsh led off the Texas fourth with a solo home run to right and Allemand answered for the Aggies in their next at-bat with an RBI groundout to short.
Holding a three-run lead in the seventh, A&M would get another big at-bat from Allemand. The freshman ripped a bases-loaded single through the left side, plating two runs and putting the Aggies up 8-3.
A&M added four in the ninth inning on a two-run single by Arthur and a two-run opposite field home run by Naquin.
Arthur paced the Aggies’ 14-hit attack, going 3-for-6 with two RBIs. Allemand had two hits and a game-high three RBIs on the day, while Naquin, Stein and Jacob House had two hits apiece as well.
Stripling got the win, improving to 7-2 on the year. He did not walk a batter and fanned four in his eight innings of work.
French (5-2) lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and five runs—although only one of those was earned. He did not walk or strike out a batter.
The series will conclude Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Sophomore Rafael Pineda (5-1, 2.87) is set to take the mound for the Aggies, and fans can listen to the game live on the Texas A&M Sports Network (WTAW-AM 1620 locally in Bryan/College Station).
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