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

The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Aggies squeeze past Tigers

 
 

After splitting the first two games of a tight series, the Texas A&M baseball team outlasted No. 5 LSU Sunday afternoon before a packed crowd of 6,325 fans at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, winning 4-3.
Sunday’s game was decided in the eighth inning by a solo home run from freshman Ronnie Gideon.
After losing a pop fly in right field that was ruled a triple and led to the Tigers scoring a run in the top of the first, freshman Nick Banks ripped an RBI ground-rule double to center field that plated Blake Allemand in the bottom half of the inning.
Back-to-back singles by Cole Lankford and Banks put runners on first and third with no outs for the Aggies in the bottom of the fourth, but they were unable to score.
LSU second baseman Conner Hale led off the top of the fifth with a booming solo home run to left field that hit halfway up the scoreboard to put the Tigers up 2-1.
A&M answered immediately in the bottom of the fifth with Gideon greeting LSU relief pitcher Cody Glenn with a double to left field. Three pitches later, senior Jace Statum drove him in with a single up the middle. After two pitching changes and with the bases loaded and one out in the inning, Lankford drove in Statum with a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Aggies their first lead of the game, 3-2.
“We answered back in the fifth inning with two when they scored one, and we had other opportunities early in the game,” said head coach Rob Childress. “It came down to making a big play, and making a big pitch and getting a big hit. Troy [Stein] made the big play, Ronnie [Gideon] got the big hit and [Andrew] Vinson made the big pitches at the end.”
Sophomore starting pitcher Grayson Long was pulled in the seventh inning after he allowed a lead-off single. Lefty Ty Schlottmann came on in relief trying to hold the one-run lead, but surrendered an RBI double to Tiger nine-hole hitter Christian Ibarra that tied the game at three.
Long threw 89 pitches, going six-plus innings, allowing seven hits, three runs, two walks and fanning three.
“I felt like I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Long said. “But I relied on the defense, and the offense and Troy [Stein] behind the plate to make all the great plays they made today.”
On the first pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning, Gideon capped his 3-for-4 day at the plate with a solo home run to left field that gave the Aggies the lead.
“It was a fastball up, right down the middle,” Gideon said. “I was sitting dead red fastball, and he gave it to me.”
Sophomore relief pitcher Andrew Vinson closed out the ninth and sealed the victory for A&M.
On Friday night, LSU built a four run lead for Tiger ace Aaron Nola, who took a shutout bid into the ninth inning. The Aggies rallied and scored four runs off of Nola and reliever Joe Broussard to tie the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded in a 4-4 ball game in the bottom of the ninth, Blake Allemand hit what appeared to be a game-winning line drive, but the ball was snared by LSU left fielder Jarred Foster who made a diving catch to send the game to extra innings.
The Tigers plated a run in the top of the tenth and held the lead to take the first game of the series, 5-4.
Saturday afternoon A&M jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring a run in both the first and second innings. The Tigers answered in the fourth inning with two runs off of Aggie junior starting pitcher Daniel Mengden.
With the game still knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, junior first baseman Cole Lankford knocked in the game-winning run to even the series.
Mengden – who threw a complete game going allowing five hits, two runs, a walk and striking out five – got the win.
A&M (30-19, 12-12 SEC) will travel to Fayetteville this weekend to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks with just seven games remaining in the regular season.

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