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A&M Claims Series vs No. 5 LSU

May 04, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies used late-inning heroics for the second straight day to claim the series win over No. 5 LSU with Sunday’s 4-3 caging of the Tigers in front of 6,325 fans on at Blue Bell Park.

Sunday’s success on a sun-soaked Olsen Field came one day after Cole Lankford hit a walk-off single for the 3-2 win. A SportsCenter Top Play by LSU leftfielder Jared Foster in the Tigers’ 10-inning, 5-4, win on Friday was the only thing standing between the Aggies and the series sweep.

Texas A&M (30-19, 12-12 SEC) was aided by a strong performance on the mound by starting pitcher Grayson Long. The sophomore threw 6.0 innings, giving up seven hits and two runs while walking two and striking out three. Andrew Vinson (2-1) earned the win in relief, facing just six batters in the eighth and ninth innings, with the only base runner getting caught stealing.

Ronnie Gideon (3-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI) and Nick Banks (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) paced the offense with three-hits apiece.

Gideon provided the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning. With the game knotted at 3-3, the freshman led off the frame facing LSU closer Joe Broussard. Gideon gave Broussard’s first-pitch offering enough of a jolt to clear the leftfield fence by a foot, with the ball finding the glove of a leaping leftfielder Jake Fraley before hitting the pavement of Aggie Alley for the 4-3 advantage.

Pinch-hitter Chris Sciambra hit a lead-off single to start the bottom of the ninth, but he was gunned down at second by Troy Stein in a theft attempt. Andrew Vinson closed out the game with strikeouts of Conner Hale and Tyler Moore to cap off the conquest.

LSU (35-13-1, 13-10-1 SEC) was aided by the sun for the second-straight game in rightfield, en-route to an early lead. Andrew Stevenson led off the first with a triple that Banks lost in the sun. Mark Laird hit a sacrifice fly to center to knock in Stevenson and give the Tigers a 1-0 edge.

The Aggie freshman redeemed himself in the bottom of the first, however. Blake Allemand led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a groundout by Patrick McLendon. Lankford drove a ball to centerfield, allowing Allemand to move from second to third before Banks belted a ground-rule double to straightaway center, pushing across the equalizer.

LSU threatened again in the top of the third after Moore led off the frame with a double into the rightfield corner. Christian Ibarra grounded out to the right side of the infield to push more to third. A shallow popup by Stevenson and a groundout to first by Laird quelled the rally.

The Aggies put runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the fourth, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Lankford drew a leadoff walk an went first-to-third on a single through the right side by Banks. Ryne Birk struck out and Lankford was thrown out on a failed safety squeeze attempt. Stein flew out to center to end the frame.

LSU reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth on a leadoff home run to left by Hale for the 2-1 advantage.

The Maroon and White wasted no time in knocking over the cats' saucer of milk, however, scratching across the tying run in the bottom of the fifth off LSU reliever Cody Glenn. Gideon doubled down the leftfield line to open the inning and scored two pitches later when Jace Statum singled up the middle to knot the game at 2-2. Bratsen reached via an error by the Glenn on a grounder back to the mound, before Allemand lined out sharply to short for the first out of the inning. McLendon worked a walk to load the bases before the Tigers brought Zac Person on in relief. With the bases loaded, Lankford drove a ball to deep left field, scoring Statum on the sacrifice fly to give the Aggies their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2.

The Tigers clawed back to knot up the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh. Hale led off the frame with a single up the middle to chase Long from the game. Ty Schlottmann entered in relief and made a diving catch on a bunt of the first batter he faced. Ibarra banged a double off the wall in left, allowing Hale to score the tying run. The lefty induced back-to-back groundouts to first to get out of the inning.

LSU nearly used all the king’s men on the mound with seven pitchers toeing the rubber. Starter Alden Cartwright allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out two over 4.0 innings. Broussard (3-1) was saddled with the loss, allowing one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of work.

Texas A&M will be in action again on Friday when it travels to Arkansas to conclude its SEC road slate. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 in Fayetteville. To learn more about the baseball team, visit and follow @Aggie_Baseball on Twitter.


Head Coach Rob Childress
Overall thoughts…
“We stayed in the fight. We stayed in the fight the last couple weeks and gave ourselves a chance. Troy Stein threw out two big base runners. We go to the bullpen. (Ty) Schlottmann gets the lefties; he doesn’t get the 9-hole hitter. (Christian) Ibarra gets the big hit and just like that they grab the momentum back. (Andrew) Vinson came in and gave us two great innings, and the freshman third baseman gets the big hit. I thought the biggest play of the game was Troy throwing out the hit-and-run in the ninth.”

On answering back…
“We answered back in the fifth inning with two when they scored one, and we had other opportunities early in the game. First and third no outs early, bases loaded one out, and we don’t score. We had a chance to really open that game up and we didn’t. It came down to making a big play, and making a big pitch, and getting a big hit. Troy (Stein) made the big play, Ronnie (Gideon) got the big hit, and (Andrew) Vinson made the big pitches at the end.”

Sophomore starting pitcher Grayson Long
On being in this position all year…
“I felt like I didn’t have my best stuff today. But I relied on the defense, and the offense, and Troy (Stein) behind the plate to make all the great plays they made today.”

On bouncing back from the first inning…
“That’s a tough break, but it’s baseball. The sun is going to get in your eyes every now and then, but he came in the dugout and said ‘I got you.’ He comes up with the RBI single in the first to tie it, so I could pitch with a lead and not worry about getting guys on.”

Freshman third baseman Ronnie Gideon
On getting a chance late to come through…
“The first couple of days were rough. They pitched me well. I talked to Coach Sawyers and he straightened me out. He kept me through the middle of the yard. That’s what really helped me today.”

On the home run pitch…
“It was a fastball up, right down the middle. I was sitting dead red fastball, and he gave it to me.”

On the tough competition…
“Lately we have been playing amazing. SEC games—every game is a big game. There are no big games anymore. Every game is the last and best game you’re going to play.”

Sophomore relief pitcher Andrew Vinson
On the back-and-forth game…
“It was a fun game, fun series, the whole thing. Great clutch hits—Ronnie (Gideon) with great home run. That was huge, and took some pressure off me on the mound. After I gave up that leadoff hit, Troy (Stein) throwing him out at second base that took a lot of pressure off of me. A lot of credit goes to him.”

On Blake Allemand’s play to snag Troy Stein’s throw, catching LSU’s Chris Sciamba stealing in the ninth…
He made a great play on the ball. That’s something he’s done all year, something I’m not too shocked that he made, because I and used to him making those plays. He’s an athlete—our whole infield is. We played great defense the whole time, that’s what won us these games.”

Game Suspended After Six Innings
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