COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Junior shortstop Mikey Reynolds went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate while driving in a season-best three runs Sunday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park as the No. 5 Texas A&M baseball team completed a three-game sweep of visiting Michigan State with a 9-8 victory.
The win was Texas A&M’s sixth in a row and improved its overall record on the season to 11-1. Michigan State, meanwhile, dropped to 4-6 with the loss.
“I’m real proud of our guys, it’s tough to win six games in a row,” Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “The bullpen did an amazing job, and offensively we continued the roll we got started last Sunday.
The game got off to a disappointing start for the Aggies, who committed three first-inning errors to allow the Spartans to grab a quick 4-0 lead.
Reynolds spearheaded the Texas A&M comeback attempt during the second inning as he brought home the first Aggie run of the day by being hit with a bases-loaded pitch from Michigan State starter Mike Theodore. A MSU error in the fourth allowed a second A&M run to score, whittling the visitor’s advantage down to 4-2.
Texas A&M starter Rafael Pineda threw four innings in the contest and was charged with four unearned runs against his ledger before being lifted for senior lefty Estevan Uriegas (2-0) to begin the fifth. The senior from Round Rock, Texas, was again a steady force out of the Aggie bullpen, holding the Spartans off the scoreboard with two perfect innings to pick up his season win of the season.
During the bottom of the sixth the Aggie comeback kicked into high gear as senior first baseman Jacob House tied the game with a two-run single off Spartan reliever Jeff Kinley (1-2). Following a pitching change, junior left fielder Brandon Wood put the Aggies on top for the first time in the contest as he notched a run-scoring single to right center.
The Aggie offensive surge continued in the bottom of the seventh as Reynolds tripled into deep center field to drive home two more A&M runs. Junior right fielder Tyler Naquin plated Reynolds and made it back-to-back triples during the next at bat before scoring himself on a Matt Juengel RBI single to give A&M a 9-4 lead.
A scary moment ensued during the top of the eighth as Wood tracked a deep fly ball off the bat of MSU first baseman Ryan Krill before slamming at full speed into the left field wall. Krill rounded the bases for an inside the park home run, cutting the A&M lead down to 9-7.
Wood was attended to by athletic training staff and team doctors before leaving the field on a cart while giving a Gig’em sign to the crowd of 4,528.
“Brandon probably has a broken nose,” Childress added shortly after the game. “We’re taking him to the hospital right now. We certainly appreciate his effort and playing the game the way we expect each other to play it. He’s going to be okay and hopefully we’ll have him back next weekend.”
Freshman closer Daniel Mengden, pitching on three consecutive days for the first time in his career, allowed a run in the top of the ninth but record the game’s final three outs for his second save of the season.
Texas A&M baseball is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Prairie View A&M on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m.