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Aggies Two-hit Missouri in Series Opener

May 03, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M starting pitcher Daniel Mengden allowed Missouri to get a leadoff single and score a run in the first inning, but the Tigers were held scoreless and managed just one hit over the next eight innings as the Aggies posted a 2-1 victory in the series opener Friday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Mengden (5-3) registered a career-high with 10 strikeouts and allowed one run on two hits and three walks over 8.0 innings. After the first inning, Missouri’s only other hit came in the fifth when Kendall Keeton was called safe on a bang-bang play at first after a chopper to short.

Jason Jester earned his 11th save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning. He issued a one-out walk, but ended the game with a grounder to first base and a strikeout. The 11 saves is tied with Scott Centala (1988) for second on A&M’s single-season list and two behind the school record of 13 set by Scott Beerer in 2003.

Missouri’s Rob Zastryzny (2-9) was the hard-luck loser, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven in the complete-game effort.

The Tigers pounced on the Aggies for a run in the top of the first inning. Logan Pearson hit a leadoff single to centerfield, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dillon Everett and moved to third on a grounder to short by Dane Opel.  Keaton Steele put runners on the corners with an eight-pitch walk and Pearson came around to score when the fourth ball issued to Dylan Kelly was in the dirt for a wild pitch.

Texas A&M (24-22, 8-13 SEC) staked claim to a 2-1 lead with a two-spot in the home half of the fourth inning. Troy Stein served as the rally’s catalyst by legging out an infield single on a grounder to short to start the frame. Hunter Melton followed with a single to the gap in right centerfield to put runners on the corners. Mitchell Nau plated Stein with a single to leftfield for the equalizer. After Jonathan Moroney pushed two runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Brandon Wood knocked in Melton for the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout to second base.

Stein and Melton each went 2-for-4 with one run to lead the Aggie offense. Mikey Reynolds reached on a two-out double in the third inning, reaching base in his 44th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the nation. It also extended a 14-game hit streak.

Missouri (15-26, 7-15 SEC) only managed singles from Pearson and Keeton along with four walks and a hit batsman.

The Aggies and Tigers return for game two of the series on Saturday at 2:05 pm. The game is slated to be televised on Fox Sports Southwest with 12thManTV’s Will Johnson and Matt Simon calling the action.

Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach Rob Childress
On Daniel Mengden: “Daniel no doubt wants the ball on Friday night. He’s learning on the job. It’s hard on Friday night when you almost have to be perfect. Last week he made one mistake and it cost us the game. This week he made a mistake in the first inning but we were able to overcome it with two runs. He keeps getting a little bit better each time and he’s turning into a guy who has control and command. He’s able to throw his secondary stuff and locate his fastball on both sides of the plate. He’s getting better. That’s the most encouraging thing.”

Sophomore pitcher Daniel Mengden
On his performance: “I started off slow. I wasn’t making good pitches; they were all just around the zone. I made an adjustment and got in a groove there at the end.”

Freshman third basemen Hunter Melton
On getting the win: “It’s great having a Friday night guy come out and give you eight innings. It’s always good being able to win on Friday especially against the guy we faced tonight. He’s one of the strongest guys we’ve faced all year so it’s huge for us to get a win here.”

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