Aggies Salvage Sunday Game

Aggies Salvage Sunday Game

The Texas A&M Aggies capitalized on a strong pitching performance by junior Rafael Pineda to stave off a series sweep by the Auburn Tigers, winning Sunday's finale 4-1 on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

The Texas A&M Aggies capitalized on a strong pitching performance by junior Rafael Pineda to stave off a series sweep by the Auburn Tigers, winning Sunday's finale 4-1 on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Pineda (3-2) scattered six hits and one walk over 7.2 innings, allowing one run while striking out three.

Jason Jester entered with runners on the corners and the potential tying run at-bat with two outs in the eighth and induced an inning-ending fly ball. He retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.

Texas A&M (20-13, 6-6 SEC) pounced on the Tigers early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds drove a single up the middle to start the inning and with the hit-and-run on, Krey Bratsen laced a single through the spot vacated by the shortstop covering second base to put runners on the corners. Blake Allemand plated Reynolds with a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the 1-0 lead. The rally was snuffed out when Cole Lankford grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Auburn (19-13, 3-9 SEC) evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Jordan Ebert's fading line drive eluded the glove of a diving Brandon Wood down the rightfield line for a leadoff triple. Cullen Wacker followed with a single up the middle for the equalizer.

The Aggies reclaimed the lead in the home half of the fourth. Allemand rattled a hit into the corner down the leftfield line for a leadoff double. After Lankford flied out to right centerfield and Wood struck out swinging, Jonathan Moroney hit a wall-banger to centerfield for an RBI triple, giving A&M a 2-1 advantage.

The Maroon and White tacked on insurance runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Allemand singled up the middle, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Lankford drove a double to the gap in right centerfield. In the seventh, Mitchell Nau was hit by a pitch to start the inning. The mercurial J.B. Moss pinch-ran for Nau, stole second base, moved to third on a groundout by Troy Stein and scored on a passed ball for the 4-1 lead.

Will Kendall (0-3) was tagged with the loss, yielding two runs on five hits while striking out five over 5.0 innings.

Allemand paced the A&M offensive arsenal, going 2-for-2 with one walk, one sacrifice fly, one double and one RBI.

The Aggies return to action on Tuesday with a 6:35 pm contest against the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

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