COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies got hits up and down the lineup en route to a 9-2 win over the Texas State Bobcats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday evening.
The Aggies pounded out 19 hits, including five doubles and two triples. All nine A&M players in the starting lineup recorded hits and the Maroon and White matched a season-high with seven players recording multiple hits.
Troy Stein, Blake Allemand and Nick Banks led the hit parade with three apiece. Stein batted 3-for-4 with two doubles, one triple, two runs and one RBI. Allemand went 3-for-3 with one walk, one double, one sacrifice fly and two RBI. Banks batted 3-for-4 with one run and two RBI. Cole Lankford, Jonathan Moroney, Ryne Birk and Krey Bratsen added two hits apiece.
The Bobcats pinned their tufted ears back early in the contest, loading the bases with no outs on a leadoff single by Cory Geisler, a seven-pitch walk to Colby Targun and a bunt single by Garrett Mattlage. Aggie starter Corey Ray wriggled out of the jam by inducing a pop up to third base by Granger Studdard, enticing Cameron Friess to swing-and-miss at a 1-2 offering and getting Tanner Hill to pop up to second base.
After working out of the precarious top of the first, the Aggies drew first blood in the home half of the first inning. Allemand punched a single to rightfield to lead off the frame and was replaced at first base on a fielder’s choice groundout by Patrick McLendon. Lankford bounced a single up the middle and Moroney followed with an infield single in the hole at short to load the bases. Banks threaded a single though the right side of the infield to plate McLendon for the 1-0 lead. The rally came to an end when Logan Taylor grounded into a double play.
Texas A&M (28-18) tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the second. Stein lead off the inning by hitting a wall-banger to the gap in right-center for a leadoff triple and scored when Birk drove a single to leftfield. After Bratsen reached on a bunt single, the Aggies got two runners in scoring position with a double steal and brought them home with sacrifice flies by Allemand and McLendon to balloon the lead to 4-0.
The procession of runs proceeded in the fourth when Birk rattled a triple in the corner by the rightfield foul pole to start the frame and scored when Bratsen shot a double into the gap in left-center for the 5-0 advantage.
The Bobcats loaded the bases again in the fifth and this time found the missing lynx to get on the scoreboard. Cody Perkins bounced a single up the middle to start the rally. With one out, Targun drew a five-pitch walk and Studdard was issued a two-out walk on six pitches to load bases. Friess chopped a ball down the first base line and it took a bad hop over the head of Lankford at the bag for a two-run single, trimming A&M’s lead to 5-2. Ray prevented further damage by fanning Hill.
The Maroon-and-White re-established a five-run lead in the home half of the fifth. With one out, Moroney launched a double into the gap in right-center and came around to score on a single to rightfield by Banks. Banks moved to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error by Texas State catcher Tyler Pearson. With two outs, Stein doubled to the warning track in dead centerfield, staking the Aggies to a 7-2 lead on Banks’ run.
The Aggies closed out the scoring in the bottom of the eighth. Stein hit a ball over the head of the Texas State centerfielder for a leadoff double to start the inning. With two outs, Allemand doubled down the leftfield to knock in Stein. McLendon became the last hitter in the lineup to get a hit, roping a single in the right-center gap to plate Allemand for the 9-2 advantage.
Ray (5-0) earned the win for the Aggies, his third in a row as a starter, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over 6.0 innings. Ty Schlottmann, Jason Jester and Andrew Vinson combined on three scoreless innings to close out the game. Jester worked 1.1 innings, retiring four of the five batters he faced with one strikeout. Vinson retired three of the four batters he worked against in the ninth.
Chad Young (0-2) was saddled with the loss, yielding five runs on 11 hits and one walk over 3.0 innings.
Texas State (24-21) logged nine hits on the evening with Geisler, Mattlage and Pearson notching two apiece.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday when the Aggies host the No. 5 LSU Tigers in a 6:35 pm contest to start a three-game series on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On the game…
“Corey (Ray) got out of a bases loaded no-out jam in first. I thought he settled in and did a really nice job. The guys behind him did as well. Less a bad hop single, we don’t give up a run tonight. From an offensive standpoint, today with the wind blowing in I couldn’t be more proud of our approach. On a tough night to hit, to have 19 hits against a really good pitching staff—and team in Texas State—I was proud of our guys for staying in the moment and staying in the game that we had.”
On the bullpen…
“To get (Jason) Jester back on the horse, I thought he was really good—the slider looked good. (Ty) Schlottmann got back out there again and he wasn’t as crisp as he was this weekend, but Andrew Vinson was very good.”
On the extra-base hits…
“Like I’ve said for the last two months, we’ve been really good offensively and that’s a tribute to our coaches and our kids being committed to each other, having a plan, and maintaining it, not being a rollercoaster, and being more consistent on a daily basis.”
On Troy Stein…
“He’s playing every day; he’s beat up and worn out. He caught 12 innings on Friday and then again on Saturday. He’s playing good. That’s what a senior should do.”
Texas A&M Senior Catcher Troy Stein
On making more starts at catcher...
"It gives you a chance to stay in the game and keep grinding at it. It's been good."
On the extra-base hits tonight...
"It's always nice to get out and run a little bit. No one thinks I can so it's nice to prove them wrong."
On the team scoring more runs...
"That's a case of people getting on base in front of me and guys in front of me having great at-bats. We're going well right now offensively. We're playing well as a team and everyone is playing together. We're cashing in when we need to."
Texas A&M Junior Infielder Blake Allemand
On the team scoring more runs...
"Hitting is contagious. A lot of guys are having good at-bats. We're seeing the ball well."
On the extra base hits...
"It's a little bit to do with the weather, but we're playing well right now. We're getting good pitches to hit. We're taking aggressive swings and we're barreling a lot of balls up. It's a testament to our approach of getting the pitch we want to hit."