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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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A&M falls to Arkansas 9-8 in resumed Game 2

Logan Taylor rounding the bases after hitting a homer into left field.
Kathryn Perez

Logan Taylor rounding the bases after hitting a homer into left field.

The Texas A&M baseball team dropped game two of the three-game series with Arkansas, 9-8, Sunday afternoon at Blue Bell Park in College Station.

The Aggies (35-4, 12-4) established an 8-3 lead through six innings yesterday before inclement weather suspended play to this afternoon.

On Saturday, Arkansas (23-17 , 8-9 ) got on the board first when their three-hole hitter, Andrew Benintendi poked one out into shallow left center field. Benintendi stole second and was driven in by cleanup hitter Tyler Spoon, who hit a hard ground ball up the middle to second base. Arkansas led 1-0 heading to the bottom of the first.

In the bottom of the second, Michael Barash came to the plate with Jonathan Maroney and Ronnie Gideon on first and second base, respectively. A wild pitch allowed them to advance one base each. Facing a 1-2 count, Barash roped a line drive ground ball into the heart of the 5-6 hole, scoring both Moroney and Gideon and giving the Aggies a 2-1 lead.

It appeared the Aggies would exit the bottom of the third in three up, three down fashion when Logan Taylor teed off on a pitch from Arkansas starting pitcher Dominic Taccolini. The crowd at Olsen knew it was gone as the ball left the bat and eventually rain-bowed over the left field fence at scoreboard height. The Aggies added another run, in addition to the solo shot, as part of a two out rally to extend their lead to 4-1.

The home run marked Taylor’s team best, tenth home run of the year and his second of the day after recording a three-run shot in game one of the doubleheader earlier Saturday. In game one, Taylor finished 3-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored as the Aggie bats lit up Arkansas 13-6.

A&M starting pitcher Ryan Hendrix exited the game after a rough stint in the top of the fifth inning. Down 4-2, Arkansas’s Benintendi stretched a line drive to left field, similar to the one he hit in the first, into a double. Chad Spanberger then knocked one off the fence in right center to score Benintendi before the Aggies elected to go with a pitching change.

A&M’s Hendrix finished with 4.1 innings pitched, striking out five, walking two, while allowing three runs on eight hits. A&M led 4-3.

Ryne Birk opened the bottom half of the sixth for the Aggies with a rope down the right field line. Birk took second and then advanced to third base after a Ronnie Gideon line drive single to center field. J.B. Moss pinch ran for Gideon and stole second, placing two runners in scoring position for the Aggies.

Arkansas opted for relief pitcher Zach Jackson with one out in the inning. Jackson walked his first batter faced, loading the bases for A&M. Blake Allemand struck out swinging, leaving the RBI duties to Nick Banks, who came to the plate batting 0-3 with two strikeouts on the night. This did not phase Banks, however, and he lifted a belt high fastball just beyond the reach of Arkansas’s Spoon in right field for a grand slam, his fifth home run on the year.

The Aggies led 8-3 after six completed innings, but then the storms descended upon Olsen field, forcing the grounds crew to spread the tarp and officials to delay play. After a one hour and fifty minute wait, play was finally suspended for the evening and resumed today at 12 noon in the top of the seventh.

A walk, a wild pitch, and some miscommunication on a fly ball that dropped between three fielders characterized a slow re-start for the Aggies in the seventh. Under the pitching guidance of Kyle Simonds, the Aggies escaped the inning only surrendering one run and retaining an 8-4 lead.

In the top of the eighth, though, A&M exhausted what was left of its lead, giving up five runs highlighted by a bases loaded triple credited to Arkansas’s Joe Serrano. The Arkansas lineup batted around and added two more runs to take its first lead at 9-8 since yesterday’s first inning.

The Aggies showed fight in the bottom of the ninth, managing to get runners on first and second, but failed to convert them as a Logan Nottebrok strikeout concluded the game. 
Game three will start today as planned at 3:03 pm, but will only feature seven innings of play per SEC rules.

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