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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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Vanderbilt shuts down Aggie offense, evens series

Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Kyle Wright pitched seven innings and gave up zero runs along with three hits.

After taking game one with a “bend but don’t break” pitcher duel, A&M entered game two looking to take the series from Vanderbilt.
Friday however, the Aggies bent and this time, they broke.
Vanderbilt starter Kyle Wright stole the show, taking control of the Aggie lineup and two costly A&M errors culminated to a 6-1 Commodore win in game two of the series.  
“We walked or hit six guys and set up some innings for them,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “They put some pressure on us, we made mistakes and they capitalized on it. They played a lot better than we did tonight.”
It took three innings, but Vanderbilt (36-11, 14-9 SEC) got on the board first thanks to an Aggie mistake. Vandy’s Jeren Kendall laid down a bunt single with two on and no outs that A&M’s Brigham Hill fielded, but a throwing error allowed a run to cross and gave the Commodores the 1-0 lead. In the next at-bat, A&M turned a double play but another run crossed the plate. Vanderbilt led 2-0.
Kendall finished 3-for-4 with three stolen bases and was the only player in the Vanderbilt lineup with multiple hits.
With two on again in the fourth, another Aggie blunder cost two runs. An error on Austin Homan, his third in the last two games, allowed two Commodore runners to score and Vanderbilt took a 4-0 lead after four.
“That is just the game of baseball,” Boomer White said. “It does not happen very often. You can say its bad timing or unlucky but some of those balls were hit hard. It is something we have to avoid…it is a collective effort and today, we could have done much better.”
Vanderbilt put up another run in the fifth. After loading the bases, Alonzo Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to right and extended the Commodore lead to 5-0.
The night at the plate was difficult for the Aggies (36-11, 14-9 SEC), to put it lightly. A&M tallied six hits on the evening, with SEC hitting leader Boomer White accounting for two. The Aggies finished 3-for-18 with runners on and 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. By nights end, the Aggies left eight total runners stranded on base.
“We did not get our best swings off on mistakes [Wright] made,” White said. “He did not make a lot of them, but that is what good pitching staffs do and we have to be better tomorrow from an offensive standpoint.”
Commodore starting pitcher Kyle Wright quelled the powerful Aggie lineup right out of the gate. The sophomore righty hurled seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out six. He commanded the strike zone and gave the Aggies a dose of medicine they have not tasted much of this season.
“[Wright] threw everything for a strike. He was the aggressor and we have not been treated that way very often this year,” Childress said. “He was special, competed really well…when you’re chasing that many runs against a team like Vanderbilt; it is usually an uphill climb.”
Defensively, A&M committed two errors on the night, both of them leading to a combined three runs.
In the bottom of the ninth, A&M tried to muster a rally. Ryne Birk led off with a double then Michael Barash drove him in with a single to cut the lead to 6-1. However, that is all the Aggies would get and a 4-6-3 double play ended the game.
For Vanderbilt, the win knots the weekend series at one game apiece. The two will square off in a rubber match Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. 

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