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Aggies Blank Auburn, 9-0, in Series Finale

March 15, 2014
Courtesy: Ethan Erickson
(photo: Ethan Erickson)

AUBURN, Alabama – Grayson Long and Jason Jester combined on an eight-hit shutout and the Aggies pounded out 15 hits in a 9-0 win over the Auburn Tigers in the series finale at Plainsman Park on Saturday afternoon.

Long (2-0) earned the win with his longest career outing. The sophomore right-hander scattered seven hits and one walk while striking out seven in 8.0 scoreless innings. He worked around three hits in the first inning before retiring 11 in a row. He wriggled out of a bases-load situation in the sixth and left two runners aboard in the seventh.

Troy Stein paced the Aggie offense with a career-high four hits. He went 4-for-5 with one run and three RBI. Cole Lankford, Jonathan Moroney and Logan Taylor each added two hits. The Aggies batted 9-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

The Aggies drew first blood in the top of the third inning. Taylor hit a 1-2 offering into the right centerfield gap for a leadoff double. An error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Jace Statum put runners on the corners and Blake Allemand sent Taylor home with a sacrifice fly to rightfield, staking A&M to a 1-0 lead.

Texas A&M (14-7, 1-2 SEC) inflated the cushion to 2-0 in the top of the fourth. Stein flared a leadoff single to centerfield, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Moroney and advanced to third on a passed ball. With the Auburn infield drawn in, Nick Banks bounced a single through the right side of the infield to drive in Stein for the two-run advantage.

The Aggies added two insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning. Lankford roped a double down the rightfield line to start the frame and with one out, Moroney poked a single to centerfield to give A&M runners at the corners and driving Auburn starter Justin Camp from the contest. Krey Bratsen punched a perfect single down the first-base line for a pinch-hit single, plating Lankford for the 3-0 lead. Moroney moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a squeeze bunt by Nau for the four-run margin.

The Maroon and White hung another deuce in the top of the seventh. Taylor slapped a single to leftfield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Statum. A single to leftfield by Allemand, sac bunt by Patrick McLendon and an intentional walk issued to Lankford filled the bags with Ags for Troy Stein. The senior catcher lashed a single to leftfield, sending Taylor and Allemand home for the 6-0 edge.

The Aggies cobbled together three runs in the top of the ninth to build an unassailable lead. Statum got the engine revving with a leadoff single to the gap in right centerfield. With one out, Statum stole second and scored when McLendon deposited a double down the leftfield line. After Lankford singled to centerfield, Stein knocked in McClendon with a bouncer through the left side of the infield. Moroney capped off the cavalcade of runs with a single to rightfield, plating Lankford for the 9-0 advantage.

Camp (1-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four in 5.1 innings.

Auburn (13-7, 2-1 SEC) logged eight hits with Dan Glevenyak, Connor Short and Damon Haecker logging two hits apiece.

Despite the win, Texas A&M dropped the weekend series at Auburn.

The Aggies open a five-game homestand on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park with a non-conference tilt against the Columbia Lions at 6:35 pm on Tuesday.

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