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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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Ags fall 5-4 to Frogs in 16 innings, end season win shy of Omaha

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Timothy Lai

A&M and TCU meetup for post game handshakes during the last super regional game Monday night, June 8th. 

It started back in the cold month of February. It began with a 24 game winning streak and culminated in one of the most successful seasons in Aggie baseball history. After fighting off elimination four times this postseason, A&M needed one more win for the ultimate goal: the College World Series.
Monday night was, in every sense of the word, a baseball classic; two baseball heavyweights battling against one another for the opportunity to advance to college baseball’s biggest stage. Two teams fighting to keep their magical season alive. A&M and TCU played in an absolute barnburner on Monday night, a 16 inning marathon which TCU walked away from with a 5-4 win. It was a night that Horned Frog and Aggie fans will not forget for a very long time.
“If you’re a baseball fan, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” said A&M head coach Rob Childress. “Both staffs did an amazing job. Congratulations to TCU.”
No one could have expected what would lie ahead when the first pitch was thrown at 7 pm.
“This team is as good as any I’ve been a part of,” said Childress. “I had more fun than I’ve had in a long time.”
A&M started left hander Tyler Stubblefield on the mound in only his second start since tearing his ACL just days before the season began. The sophomore delivered a strong performance, pitching five innings, allowing three earned runs on two hits, and even carried a no hit bid into the middle of the game, creating a tension in the air amidst the TCU faithful.  
Michael Barash got A&M on the board first. With two outs, he would smash a ball to left field for his second home run of the season and put A&M in front 1-0 in the second inning.
Stubblefield took a no hitter with him into the fifth inning as the defense worked behind him all game to keep the Frogs in check. After walking the first batter, TCU would finally figure him out. Derek Odell would single to score a run, and a big gap RBI double by Keaton Jones would give TCU a 2-1 lead after five frames.
TCU was not finished there as they jumped on Aggie reliever Andrew Vinson in the sixth inning. With a man on, freshman Connor Wanhanen smashed his first career bomb, a two run shot, to extend the TCU advantage to 4-1 after six.
In theme with the entire Aggie baseball season, late game craziness awaited everyone at Lupton Field.
To help spark the Aggie comeback, Nick Banks would crack a solo bomb to right field to cut the Frog lead, and bring A&M within two runs at 4-2.
As it has all year, ninth inning magic would happen one more time for the Aggies.
With TCU three outs away from victory, the Aggies stepped up again. After hitting Barash with a pitch, TCU walked Blake Allemand and Nick Choruby to load the bases for A&M. Thanks to a few mental lapses from TCU, the Aggies would tie the game off of RBI groundouts from Mitchell Nau and Logan Taylor to silence and stun the Lupton Field crowd. For the second night in a row, A&M and TCU would go to extra innings.
Mark Ecker and Ryan Hendrix would come to A&M’s rescue on the mound in extra innings, as both worked in and out of jams to keep the Aggies alive.
In one of the more odd plays of the game, Hendrix would save A&M by taking a line drive off of his chest with the bases loaded. First baseman GR Hinsley picked the ball up and made the force out at home to keep the Aggies hopeful.
A&M’s biggest chance came in the 16th inning. With two runners in scoring position for A&M, the Aggies could not drive them home, which turned out to be their final chance.
The Frogs would finally win the slugfest in the bottom of the 16th. TCU’s Evan Skoug would smack a liner down the third base line, which Ronnie Gideon had a little trouble fielding. As he threw home to get the runner out, the ball sailed past Barash, and TCU stormed out of the dugout in celebration of the 5-4 win and their advancement to Omaha.
Hitting with runners in scoring position has been a struggle for A&M this postseason, and it proved to be their downfall on Monday night. The Aggies finished 2-for-23 with runners on base, 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, left 17 runners stranded on base and, as a team, struck out 25 times, which set a TCU school record.
Aggie baseball was a wild, magical ride this season. From comebacks, disappointment, and 16th inning showdowns, this team did it all. While this one hurts, this team has unbounding amounts of resiliency. They will certainly be a team to watch for in 2016.
“It stings,” said Barash. “We’re going to have to hang onto this for a while…but we’re going to come out next year and remember how it felt.”

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  • Andrew Vinson was one of many A&M pitchers who fought against TCU on Monday night at super regionals on June 8th. 

    Timothy Lai
  • Mitchell Nau rounds second during the game against TCU on Monday night, June 8th. 

    Timothy Lai
  • Fellow Ags came out to Lupton field at TCU to support A&M in the final super regional game Monday, June 8th. 

    Timothy Lai
  • Patrick Mclendon batted against TCU on Monday, June 8th, in the last super regional game

    Timothy Lai
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