COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M junior catcher Troy Stein came up just a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with four RBI as the Aggies registered a 4-1 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday evening.
Stein roughed up the binturong staff for an RBI double in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third inning. He added a single for good measure in the eighth inning. All four of Stein’s RBI came with two outs.
Texas A&M (21-13) drew first blood with a run in the home half of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds lined a single through the left side of the infield to leadoff the frame. The single extended Reynolds’ streak for games reaching base to 34, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. A pair of fielder’s choice groundouts put Blake Allemand on first base in place of Reynolds. With two outs, Stein rattled a first-pitch offering into the corner down the leftfield line to drive in Allemand for the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies pounced for three more runs in the bottom of the third. Reynolds bounced a one-out single up the middle and Allemand laced a two-out single through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners. Stein pounded a 1-1 pitch over the leftfield fence for a three-run home run, his first dinger of the season, staking the Aggies to a 4-0 lead.
Sam Houston State (19-13) scored its lone run in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Luke Plucheck hit a 1-1 pitch from Aggie reliever Matt Kent off the scoreboard in left field for a solo home run, trimming the A&M lead to 4-1.
A&M starting pitcher Corey Ray (3-0) kept the Bearkats’ offense from purring or growling for 6.0 shutout innings to earn the win. He scattered three hits and two walks while striking out two.
Kent allowed a run in the seventh inning on one hit and a strikeout. Parker Ray retired three of the four batters he faced in the eighth for the hold. Jason Jester walked one and struck out one in the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season.
Tyler Eppler (3-2) was strapped with the loss for Sam Houston State. He allowed four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three over 6.0 innings.
Reynolds joined Stein as the only other Aggie to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one run.
Plucheck registered two of the Bearkats five hits, going 2-for-4 with the solo home run.
The Aggies return to action at Blue Bell Park on Friday when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game series. First pitches for the three contests are slated for 6:35 pm on Friday, 12:35 pm on Saturday and 1:05 pm on Sunday.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On the team’s performance: “It was an outstanding night. I thought we carried Sunday over into today and played very good baseball. We faced a really good team in Sam Houston State. Those two pitchers we faced were as good as anybody we’re going to see this year. They’ve got a good team. They’re having a good year. Corey Ray was outstanding on the mound. He got us off to a great start. The bullpen did a really nice job. Troy Stein did a really nice job for us offensively. All four runs we scored were with two outs. We got big-hits when it mattered most.”
Sophomore pitcher Corey Ray
On his pitching performance: “It’s fun to go out there and pitch well. We played great defense and got some timely hits.”
On the offense: “It’s always easy when your offense is producing like it is. Troy Stein had a great day at the plate and a great day catching.”
On getting the win: “It always feels good when you can go out and produce for your team. I just try and throw strikes and let my defense work.”
Junior catcher Troy Stein
On getting hits with runners on-base: “You hope that they fall when there’s guys on-base. We’ve stumbled with that at times as a team. We get into a big situation with runners in scoring position and sometimes we don’t get the big hit. It’s a frustrating process when they don’t fall, but it makes it that much better when they do. I give props to Blake and Krey for being on-base as much as they are. You just hope they’re falling as much as they’re on.”