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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Baseball team wins second consecutive

No. 13 Texas A&M needed six pitchers and eight innings to beat UT Arlington on Tuesday at Olsen Field.
In their second consecutive win after riding a five game losing streak, the Aggies won 11-8.
Freshman Randall Thorpe made his second career start in the game. His father Randy Thorpe played for UT Arlington in the 1970s. Despite hitting a home run against Missouri on Sunday, Thorpe’s encore was less successful, going 0-for-1 at the plate with a sacrifice hit.
The Mavericks took an early lead with a run in the first inning, marking the fourth consecutive game A&M has allowed its opponent to score in the first inning.
However the Aggies struck back in the bottom half of the first after senior centerfielder Kyle Colligan led off with a single to left field. Sophomore second baseman Caleb Shofner drove him home from second base with a single to right field to tie the game.
Shofner paced the Aggies with three hits and a career-high four RBIs in the game.
“It was a good night, I was seeing the ball well,” Shofner said. “They left some pitches up in the zone, and I was able to put a good swing on them and put the ball in play.”
Shofner scored from third base when junior third baseman Nick Anders hit a two-out infield single to third base.
UT Arlington came back with two runs each in the fourth and fifth inning, giving the Mavericks a 5-2 lead. The two runs in the fifth inning were on a two-out two-run home run over the left field wall by Mavericks’ right fielder Matt Otteman.
Otteman led UT Arlington with three hits and three RBIs.
The Aggies tied the game in the bottom half of the fifth inning, hitting around the lineup and reaching base seven times to score three runs on two hits. A&M scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 8-5 lead.
“We have left a lot of runners in scoring position,” Shofner said. “It was big tonight to have guys step up and get big hits in those situations.”
Childress made his fourth pitching change to start the eighth inning, sending senior reliever Kyle Thebeau to the mound. Despite his veteran status, Thebeau has struggled in 2009 with a 4.82 ERA and a .280 opponent batting average.
Thebeau gave up two singles before striking out the next two batters. He then gave up two more singles, giving up three runs and allowing the Mavericks to tie the game, before Childress went back to the bullpen for sophomore reliever Nick Fleece.
Fleece closed the game, pitching 1.1 innings and allowing one hit, earning the win.
“I just came in and really tried to throw strikes,” said Fleece, who started the season as a designated hitter before moving to the bullpen. “I just threw my fastball and my curveball, that’s about it. The curveball is pretty much my out pitch. Those are the only pitches I throw.”
In the bottom half of the eighth inning, the Aggies scored the go ahead run, pushing three across home plate. Sophomore left fielder Brooks Raley led the inning off with a walk then stole second base. Raley leads the Big 12 with 15 stolen bases.
Raley scored from second base when Shofner hit a single to center field. Senior first baseman Luke Anders and junior designated hitter Dylan Petrich each scored a run later in the inning to round out the scoring for an 11-8 Aggie win.
“Offensively, I thought our approach tonight was the best it’s been in a long time,” Childress said. “We only struck out three times tonight, and 10 or 11 times we had positive at-bats with two strikes. I liked what I saw tonight. We gave up the lead a couple of times tonight, found ourselves down, and we answered back every time.”

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