Feb. 18, 2011
WACO, Texas - Caleb Shofner went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Michael Wacha tossed four innings of shutout relief to lead Texas A&M to a 6-2 win over Texas State Sunday evening in the final game of the QTI Baylor Classic before 2,601 fans at Baylor Ballpark.
The win was the second in a row for the Aggies (5-2), who finished in second at the tournament, while the Bobcats fell to 3-3. Western Kentucky went undefeated on the weekend to claim the title.
"This was great for us to come out tonight and build off the momentum we got yesterday," A&M coach Rob Childress said. "We got off to a good start, Nick Fleece allowed us to build a lead and he gave us everything he had. Michael Wacha then came in and was about as good as you could be out of the bullpen. We swung the bats well all weekend long and that continued tonight."
Shofner, a native of nearby Hewitt, put the Aggies on the board with a two-run home run to left field in the second inning that scored Joe Patterson. The long ball was Shofner's team-high third of the season.
Texas A&M would tack on a run one inning later to take a 3-0 lead. Left fielder Brandon Wood began the frame with a walk, stole second and moved to third on an Andrew Collazo sacrifice bunt. Tyler Naquin then lifted a sacrifice fly deep into foul territory down the left field line to score Wood easily from third.
The Bobcats answered back in the fifth. After Andrew Stumph and Jordan Kopycinski started the inning off with back-to-back hit, a fielder's choice put runners at the corners with one out. Tyler Sibley then chopped one into the hole on the left side, where shortstop Kenny Jackson knocked it down but had no play. The infield RBI single made the score 3-1.
Texas State made its move in the top of the sixth. Kyle Livingstone led off the frame with a home run to left and Jason Martinson followed with a line-drive single to center that chased Aggie starter Nick Fleece. Wacha then entered the game and got Shaun Garcia to hit a tailing fly ball towards the left-field line. Wood made a diving catch, rolled over and threw the ball back in to double up Martinson, who was standing at second base. Wacha gave up an ensuing single but followed that with a flyout, and the Bobcats never threatened again.
"(Wood's catch) was the play of the game," Childress said. "It changed the whole complexion of the game for us. They were coming at us and it was a one-run game, and to get the double play and get through that inning that was huge."
Kevin Gonzalez's solo home run in the seventh made the score 4-2, and A&M would tack on two more runs in the eighth to close the scoring.
Along with Shofner's 3-for-4 effort, Joe Patterson and Kenny Jackson each had two hits apiece for the Aggies, who pounded out 11 on the evening.
Tyler Sibley (3-for-4) and Stumph (2-for-4) combined for five of the Bobcats' nine hits in the game.
Fleece (1-0) picked up his first win of the year. He lasted five-plus and gave up seven hits, two runs and a walk while striking out four. Wacha earned his first collegiate save, scattering a pair of hits and fanning four over four shutout innings. He did not walk a batter.
TSU starter Brian Borski (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing seven hits, four runs and two walks over seven innings while striking out four.
Following the game, Gonzalez, Shofner, Greene, Andrew Collazo and John Stilson earned all-tournament honors, with Shofner being tabbed the classic's Most Outstanding Hitter after posting a .500 average with the home run and four RBIs.
Texas A&M returns to action on Wednesday when the Aggies host BYU (2-4) at Olsen Field. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. to allow fans to attend both the baseball game and the men's basketball team's final home game of the year against Oklahoma State (8:05 p.m., Reed Arena).
"We need to go back home and continue to improve," Childress said. "We have a day off tomorrow, Tuesday we'll practice and then we have a good BYU team coming in to Olsen Field."