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The Battalion

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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Lankford swats walk-off double

 
 

A late-inning push led to the third walk-off win of the season for the No. 23 Texas A&M baseball team as it beat the Columbia Lions 8-7 before a Tuesday night crowd of 3,526 at Blue Bell Park at Olsen Field.
With one out in the 11th inning, junior first baseman Cole Lankford hit a double to the gap in right-center that drove in Blake Allemand for the game-winning run.
“I told our team I’m very, very proud of them,” said head coach Rob Childress. “There have been a lot of moments that have made me proud so far this year, but tonight’s by far and away the most.”
Allemand, who scored from first base after a one out single, ran through the stop sign of third base coach Andy Sawyer on his way to the plate.
“I didn’t even know he gave me a stop sign until after I got up from scoring,” Allemand said. “I’m not going to lie to you, the ball landed as I got to second base and I said, ‘I’m scoring regardless.’ Luckily it worked out, otherwise it would have been a bonehead play.”
Freshman starting pitcher Tyler Stubblefield (3-1, 1.91) doubled his season total of earned runs when he gave up three in two innings pitched. Stubblefield walked one, allowed five hits and did not record a strikeout in 45 pitches.
The Aggies (15-8, 1-2 SEC) responded in the bottom of the second when sophomore shortstop Logan Taylor ripped a double to the right-center gap that scored freshman left fielder Nick Banks.
Sophomore southpaw Matt Kent relieved Stubblefield and went 2.2 innings giving up three hits, two earned runs and striking out two on 48 pitches. Kent worked out of a jam in the third inning after an error and a single put two Lions on with one out recording back-to-back groundouts.
In the fourth, Lion left fielder Robb Paller ripped a 0-1 pitch over the visiting bullpen in right field to put Columbia up 5-1.
A&M chipped away at the lead – scoring one run in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Banks crushed a triple that hit just under the 400 sign in center field to drive in senior catcher Troy Stein – who had reached on a single – in the bottom half of the sixth.
Senior center fielder Jace Statum walked and then advanced to second on a Patrick McLendon single. As junior third baseman Blake Allemand attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, Statum was thrown out at second after getting too big of a lead.
Junior first baseman Cole Lankford salvaged the seventh inning for the Aggies when he laced an RBI double inside the first base bag scoring McLendon, making the score 5-4. Lankford’s 15 runs batted in are second on the team behind junior Logan Nottebrok’s 16.
The Lions put up two runs in the top of eighth to make the score 7-4.
Stein and sophomore left fielder Jonathan Moroney struck out to start the Aggie eighth – putting A&M four outs away from a loss. Banks, who finished the night a home run shy of the cycle, popped a ball into left field and legged out a double.
Taylor drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate in junior Mitchell Nau – who was pinch hitting for Statum. Nau sent a 3-1 pitch over the fence to tie the game at seven, bringing the dwindling home crowd to their feet.
“I just got thrown into that situation,” Nau said. “That was my duty. I was going to come in against a lefty that they threw. It’s a one-on-one battle every time you go up to the plate for me – that’s how I look at it. I won today.”
A&M hosts the Florida Gators for its first SEC series this weekend beginning at 6:35 p.m. Friday at Olsen Field.

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