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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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Late spark produces three runs to notch A&M win over Rice

Turner+Larkins+started+at+pitcher+for+the+ninth+time+in+his+career+in+Tuesdays+win.
Tanner Garza

Turner Larkins started at pitcher for the ninth time in his career in Tuesday’s win.

Time and time again, Texas A&M has had its back against the wall late in games. Tuesday night, the No. 1 Aggies again came through late to earn a hard-fought 4-3 win over the No. 13 Rice Owls.

“What a great game for the fans,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “Two great teams going at it, two great starts, and a lot of moments that defined that game.”

Two home runs in the seventh inning from Logan Nottebrok and JB Moss led the A&M comeback, and Ronnie Gideon garnered the game-winning RBI in the eighth.

The Aggies (31-2) were the first to score off a Mitchell Nau RBI double to right center field, which gave A&M the early 1-0 lead. Rice responded with a run of its own in the very next frame to tie the game at 1-1, then a two-run fifth inning helped Rice gain a 3-1 advantage over the Aggies.

A&M tried to gain momentum in the sixth. Nau ripped a ball down the right field line, but was called out trying to leg out a double, a call with which the Olsen Field crowd strongly disagreed. After that play, A&M ended up with no runs or hits in the sixth

The seventh inning was massive for A&M. Trailing 3-1, the Aggies hit back-to-back home runs to tie the game 3-3. Moss hit the first one over the scoreboard in left field to make it a 3-2 game, and then Logan Nottebrok smashed a ball to straight away center field to tie the game. The Aggies have now hit 12 home runs in the last four games combined.

“I was happy to come through and be a spark for the team and get that monkey off our back,” Moss said. “We went a few innings in a row without getting a run across. But tonight was not about me. I was able to be the spark, but we had guys up and down the lineup that I think did really well. [Nau] had three hits, he was great at the plate tonight, but it just happened to be in my name.”

The eighth inning resembled what has come to be known as Olsen Magic. A&M managed to put runners on the corners, and Ronnie Gideon smacked a ball to shortstop and Nau crossed the plate to give A&M the game-winning run.

Freshman Turner Larkins got the start on the mound for A&M. He went 4 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits. Behind him, the Aggie bullpen had another fine showing. Head coach Rob Childress played strategic baseball, using a total of seven pitchers in the ballgame. Ryan Hendrix earned his second win of the season, and Mark Ecker came on in the ninth to nail the door closed for his fifth save this season.

Mitchell Nau and Logan Nottebrok led the offensive charge for the Aggies. Nau went 3-for-3 on the night with one RBI, and Nottebrok went 2-for-3 with the huge seventh inning home run to tie the game. The win moves A&M to 10-0 in midweek games, and the Aggies are outscoring their opponents 77 to 20 in those contests.

“It’s good,” Moss said. “In our conference, there are no big games, every weekend is a big weekend, every game is a big game, and every win matters the same. But, it’s good to beat Rice. They’re a good team that can hit and pitch. Really proud of us tonight and how we came back. We could have easily said ‘hey, today is not our day’ and move on to the weekend. But the way we responded late in the game, I am happy with my teammates.”

The Aggies will continue their nine-game home stand this weekend, as they open a series against Mississippi State on Friday night.

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  • Freshman Turner Larkins delivering a pitch in the 4-3 victory over Rice Tuesday night.

    Tanner Garza
  • Sophomore Ryne Birk rounding the bases off an Aggie hit.

    Tanner Garza
  • Turner Larkins gets the out at first before the Rice opponent can slide safely.

    Tanner Garza
  • Bubbles collapse in the dugout after an Aggie home run

    Tanner Garza
  • A&M head coach Rob Childress accessing the situation.

    Tanner Garza
  • Turner Larkins remains 4-1 on the series after 4-3 win over Rice.

    Tanner Garza
  • Texas A&M players huddle at the mound for a pitcher’s meeting.

    Tanner Garza
  • Senior Blake Allemand reaches back to first base safely before the pitcher can react.

    Tanner Garza
  • Logan Nottebrok hit a home run in the seventh to tie it at 3-3.

    Tanner Garza
  • Logan Nottebrok quickly gets player out before he can reach first base.

    Tanner Garza
  • Olsen Field was in an uproar when Rice tagged Mitchell Nau out at second in the sixth inning.

    Tanner Garza
  • Mitchell Nau was called out after attempting to slide into second base in the sixth inning.

    Tanner Garza
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