COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies were unable to make up a six-run deficit, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the series opener Friday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
After falling behind 6-0 in the top of the sixth, the Maroon & White responded with two in the home half of the sixth and two in the eighth. The Aggies had a chance to tie it in the ninth with runners in scoring position and one out, but were unable to come up with the equalizer.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Aggies who are now 13-3 on the season. Gonzaga (5-6) won its third game in a row coming off the heels of a doubleheader sweep of Southern Miss.
Texas A&M hitters pounded out 14 hits, including six players with two apiece, including Bryce Blaum, Logan Foster, Braden Shewmake, Mikey Hoehner, Cam Blake and Ty Coleman. Hunter Coleman added a solo home run.
Aggie starter John Doxakis labored through 4.0 innings, yielding three runs on seven hits while striking out two. Kyle Richardson was solid in relief in the seventh and eighth innings, scattering one hit and two walks while striking out four in his two scoreless frames. Bryce Miller struck out two of the three batters he faced in a blank ninth.
The difference in the game was batting with runners in scoring position with Gonzaga batting .333 (5-for-15) while the Maroon & White came up just a hit short at .250 (4-for-16).
Game two of the series is slated for Saturday at 2:02 p.m.
T1| After the first batter of the game lined out on the first pitch, Gonzaga started a rally with two infield hits, including Guthrie Morrison with a shot to short and Austin Pinorini with a trickler to third. After Ryan Sullivan flied out to leftfield for the second out of the inning, Troy Johnston knocked in a run with a Texas Leaguer to shallow center and Josh Bristyan plated a run by driving a ball to rightfield. Zags 2, Ags 0.
T3| Pinorini gapped a double to right-center and Sullivan was hit by a pitch to start the inning. The Aggies were slow on turning a double play on a grounder by Johnston, putting runners on the corners. Bristyan singled through the right side to knock in Sullivan. Zags 3, Ags 0.
T6|Isaac Barrera hit a leadoff single to leftfield and Mason Marenco drew a seven-pitch walk off reliever Mason Cole. After Carson Breshears fouled off a 1-2 offering trying to put down a sacrifice bunt, Ernie Yake punched a gapper to left-center to score Barrera. With the infield drawn in, Marenco was tagged out at home on a grounder to first base by Morrison for the second out of the inning. Pironini capped off the scoring in the frame with a two-run double to right-center. Zags 6, Ags 0.
B6| With two outs, Hunter Coleman blasted a 2-1 offering over the fence in left-center for a solo home run. Blake doubled to leftfield, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Ty Coleman’s single through the left side. Zags 6, Ags 2.
B8| With one out, Blake singled to leftfield and Ty Coleman singled through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners. Will Frizzell threaded a single through the right side of the infield to plate Blake and Coleman came around to score on a double by Logan Foster. Zags 6, Ags 4.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On leaving runners on base…
“Give Gonzaga a lot of credit, they came out and threw the first punch. They more ready to go than we were to start the game, and got John Doxakis out after four innings. They did a great job against him, unlike nobody else has done this season or the end of last season. Give Gonzaga’s hitters all the credit and for us, we just had a lot of missed opportunities. We had a bunt single in the first, with runners in scoring position, Shewmake setup for a big inning with four and five coming up, and we can’t cash in. The next big hit we got was in the sixth inning, and between that there were six opportunities that we did make count. In the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, we had some really good ABs, we just couldn’t get a big hit.”
On pitcher’s control issues…
“Their hitters had us on our heels, on the mound, and Kyle Richardson did a real nice job, so did Bryce Miller getting us back on attack. Just give their hitters credit, they were ready to rock, and they got after it tonight.”
Junior LF Cam Blake
On almost completing a comeback…
“We’re never out of the fight, we know that. We trust in each other. We trust in our plan, so it doesn’t matter how much we are down, we’re just going to keep coming. We’re not playing the scoreboard, we’re playing for each other.”
On the mood in the dugout…
“Depending on the situation, it can get a little more heated, but, we all love each other, so if you’re getting yelled at, it’s because we expect so much out of each other because we love each other and play for each other. Other than that, we’re just going to keep coming.”
Junior LHP John Doxakis
On the game’s difficulties…
“It was lack of focus, you know, not giving my team the chance to win in the beginning, not competing enough, and hats off to Gonzaga too. We were making pitches and they were hitting them. Their two-strike approach was amazing, and not being able to get them on that slider throws you off sometimes, and they were ready to hit the mistakes you made, and that’s what they did the whole game.”
On the performance of the bullpen pitchers…
“It was good to see KR (Kyle Richardson) out there again. You watch him all fall, and he’s got great stuff. We’ve just got so many great arms, and being able to see him get out there and prove himself like he has all fall, that’s good to see. I was talking to him and I said ‘man your stuff looks great’ and he’ll probably get more chances now and that just adds another weapon we have in the bullpen.”