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36-26, 14-16 (SEC)
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Aggies Drop Series Opener to Kentucky, 6-3

April 18, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies were unable to take advantage of a stellar relief appearance by sophomore Ty Schlottmann, dropping a 6-3 decision to the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park in the series opener Friday night.

Schlottmann, whose longest career outing entering the fray was 3.1 innings last weekend at Vanderbilt, weaved 6.2 innings of scoreless relief, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out five.

The Wildcats pounced on the Aggies for three runs in the top of the first inning. Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn and AJ Reed jumped on A&M starter Jason Jester for three straight singles to start the frame. Cousino was retired at home trying to score on a wild pitch for the first out of the inning with Kuhn and Reed each moving up a base. Michael Thomas drew a seven-pitch to load the bases and a nine-pitch walk issued to Ka’ai Tom broke the scoring seal for Kentucky. Thomas Bernal drove Jester from the contest with a two-run single down the leftfield line, staking the Wildcats to a 3-0 lead. Schlottmann entered the contest and induced a fly out and ground out to get out of the jam.

Schlottmann worked a 1-2-3 second inning to help A&M slow the Kentucky momentum and the Maroon and White knotted the game in the home half of the inning. An infield single sparked the rally for the Aggies. With one out, Kentucky third baseman Kuhn was unable to come up with a Baltimore chopper by Logan Nottebrok who reached on the infield hit. Troy Stein fisted a single down the rightfield line to put runners on the corners and Jonathan Moroney put the Aggies on the scoreboard, punching a single into centerfield to plate Nottebrok. Ronnie Gideon followed with a double down the leftfield line to drive in Stein and Krey Bratsen delivered the equalizer with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to send Moroney home and the game was knotted at 3-3.

Reed hung zeroes on the board for the next six innings and Schlottmann matched him for five innings before being spelled by Parker Ray in the eighth.

Kentucky’s decisive frame would come at the expense of Ray in the ninth. JaVon Shelby started the rally by slapping a leadoff single to leftfield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cousino. Kuhn was hit by a pitch on a 2-2 offering and a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Reed was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Ray got Thomas to whiff on a 2-2 pitch for the second out and got ahead of Tom 1-2, but to no avail. Tom blooped the 1-2 offering into rightfield for a single to score Shelby with the go-ahead run. Bernal followed with a grounder up the middle that took a wicked hop over the head of second baseman Blake Allemand for a two-run single and the 6-3 lead.

Moroney led off the ninth with a single off Reed, but Kyle Cody came in and got three straight Aggies to ground to second base to end the game.

The Aggie offense was paced by Moroney who went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Nottebrok was 2-for-3 with one run.

Bernal inflicted the most damage for Kentucky, going 3-for-5 with four RBI, but Tom delivered the go-ahead run and went 1-for-3 with two ribbies.

Ray (4-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two over 1.2 innings. Jester allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over 0.1 innings.

Reed (7-1) battled through 8.0 innings of work to pick up the win for the Wildcats. He allowed three runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out four. Cody retired all three batters he faced, coming in to pitch in the ninth inning with a runner on first base, to pick up his fourth save of the season.

Texas A&M and Kentucky continue the three-game series on Saturday with game two beginning at 2:05 pm on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.


TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Texas A&M Head Coach Rob Childress
On the team’s performance…
“Ty Schlottmann did a fantastic job. He went 6.2 innings of scoreless relief tonight and really kept us in the game. We answered right back against one of the best pitchers in the league. We were unable to kick the door in and take the game. This game was ours for the taking and they grabbed it in the ninth. “

On Ty Schlottmann…
“This was far and away his best performance here at A&M. He just keeps getting better and better. Tonight was a culmination of that for him. I feel bad for Jester. He prepared well. I didn’t feel his stuff was as good as it should have been tonight. I think he would say the same thing.”


Sophomore pitcher Ty Schlottmann
On his performance…
“You have to give a lot of credit to them. Kentucky is a good ball club and they fought the whole night. I was just focused on throwing strikes and keeping them off the scoreboard. The next time I looked up it was the seventh inning.”

On what he’s improved on…
“I’ve just been focused on throwing strikes and throwing strikes with all three pitches. You’ve got to have that to compete.”

On dropping the series opener…
“It’s frustrating, but that’s baseball. Parker came in and did the best he could do. Parker did everything he could. We didn’t play as well as we could have. We just have to have a short memory and come back out tomorrow.”


Sophomore outfielder Jonathan Moroney
On the team’s performance…
“AJ Reed is an awesome pitcher. He’s 7-1 now. We came out with our heads high after the 20-2 win on Tuesday. We had confidence in our swing. Everyone got up and battled their hearts out. Things were falling for us in the second inning. That’s the game of baseball.”

On Ty Schlottmann…
“Ty is a great pitcher. Last year he didn’t get all the chances he wanted. This year, he’s been thrown in the fire. Tonight he was down 3-0 and came in and pitched his heart out.”

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