COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies saddled the Texas-Pan American Broncs with 6-2 defeat in a Wednesday matinee on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Texas A&M, winner of six of its last seven games, improves to 13-5 while UTPA saw its season ledger drop to 9-9.
For the second time in as many days, the Aggies put up two runs in the bottom of the first. Patrick McLendon punched a fly ball down the line, just out of reach of diving rightfielder Alex Howe, legging out a triple. With two outs, Hunter Melton drew a five-pitch walk. McLendon scored and Melton advanced to second on a wild pitch, giving the Aggies a 1-0 lead. Mitchell Nau drove a single back up the middle, scoring Melton from second for the second run of the frame.
The Maroon and White threatened again in the bottom of the second, getting runners to second and third with one out, but a failed suicide squeeze attempt and a fly out to rightfield ended the threat.
A&M tacked on a run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Melton gapped a double to right centerfield and a single through the left side of the infield put runners on the corners. Logan Taylor bounced into a fielder’s choice grounder to second base, scoring Melton for the 3-0 advantage.
UTPA cut into the deficit in the top of the sixth. Reliever Corey Ray issued a leadoff walk to Alberto Morales and then surrendered a single to Dillon Engelhart before exiting the game. Ty Schlottmann retired two of the three batters he faced, but didn’t allow a ball to leave the infield. After Shane Ammon singled off Schlottmann’s glove, Brandon Rousch knocked in Alberto Morales with a groundout to third base. After Blake Thomas lined to shortstop for the second two out, Andrew Vinson came in from the bullpen. The sophomore walked the first batter he faced to load the bases before throwing a wild pitch allowing a run to score, trimming the lead to 3-2. The final out was cut down at the plate trying to score from second on the aforementioned wild pitch.
A&M wasted no time responding to the Broncs’ rebellion. McLendon picked up his fifth RBI in the midweek series by chopping a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Gideon from second, pushing the lead back to two. After a groundout by Lankford moved the runners to second and third, Melton laced a single through the left side, plating two runs for a 6-2 edge.
Matt Kent started on the mound for the Aggies, but received a no-decision after going 3.0 innings, yielding four hits and two walks of shutout baseball. Ray (1-0) earned his first win of the season, allowing two runs on two hits and one walk over 2.0 innings of relief.
Melton went 2-for-3 at the plate with one double, two runs and two RBI. McLendon went 2-for-4 with one triple, two runs and one RBI.
Broncs starter Matt Daniels took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks over 3.0 innings. Alex Howe picked up two hits for UTPA in the loss.
Alex Howe went 2-for-4 with one stolen base for the Broncs.
Texas A&M will be in action again this weekend as it opens up SEC play on Friday in Auburn against the Tigers. To learn more about the baseball team, visit AggieAthletics.com and follow @Aggie_Baseball on Twitter.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head coach Rob Childress
“The biggest challenge was for us to come out and validate last night’s performance. I felt like we did. We pitched the ball, played great defense, and our offensive approach was very good. Obviously a completely different day today than it was yesterday based on the wind, but I felt like our swings were flat and we committed to the middle of the field. We took our walks and set up some innings for ourselves. I’m proud of our guys.”
On answering back...
“We’ve been really good at that. They hadn’t had anything go their way yesterday or today early, and they finally break through there to score a couple runs to put the pressure back on us. We come back and answer their two with a three spot and take them out of the game. Vinson came in and threw a very good inning. AJ Minter looked really good. I thought his velocity was very explosive. Jester’s stuff was really good in the ninth as well.”
Sophomore designated hitter Hunter Melton
On his two-run single...
“Coach told me before I went up there, ‘With two outs, have a good approach and get a good pitch to hit.’ I got a fastball in and drove it through the six hole.”
On the two wins...
“These two wins are big going into SEC play this weekend. Getting two wins in the middle of the week, scoring 13 and then keeping the ball flat to score six runs today is a big step for us going into the weekend against Auburn.”