Texas A&M Eliminates K-State in Extra Innings

Chase Graskewicz went 3-for-4 with two RBI

May 28, 2011

Final Stats | Photo Gallery 

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Texas A&M catcher Kevin Gonzalez singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning, sending the Aggies to a comeback 9-8 victory Saturday over Kansas State in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at RedHawks Field at Bricktown.

The loss eliminated the Wildcats from the tournament with a 2-2 record against a pair of top-15 teams. K-State fell to 36-23 on the season, the second-most wins in school history through play at the conference tournament. The Wildcats must now wait until Monday to find out their postseason fate when the NCAA tournament bracket is announced.

Texas A&M improved to 40-18 on the year and advanced undefeated to Sunday’s title game as the winner of Division Two with a 3-0 record in the tourney.

With K-State holding an 8-4 lead in the eighth inning, the first five Texas A&M batters reached base off relievers Jared Moore and Kayvon Bahramzadeh. Gonzalez tallied a RBI single to score one run, then Bahramzadeh uncorked a wild pitch to make the score 8-6.

After a walk loaded the bases with still no outs, the Wildcats went to closer James Allen, who had recorded saves in the Cats’ two tourney wins. The right-hander struck out Kenny Jackson before walking Andrew Collazo, allowing the Aggies to pull within a run. Tyler Naquin then hit a slow roller to short, allowing the tying run to score.

K-State went down in order in the ninth and 10th innings. Freshman Johnny Fasola (0-1) worked around two walks in the ninth and set A&M down in order in the 10th. The right-hander allowed a leadoff double to Matt Juengel to begin the 11th, which was followed by a single and an intentional walk to load the bases. K-State brought in Jake Doller to face Gonzalez, who chopped a single through the left side of the infield for the game winner.

“We were on the other side of it today,” head coach Brad Hill said. “We felt pretty good going into the eighth. What you hope you do is continue to throw strikes and make them beat you swinging the bat. Unfortunately, we quit throwing strikes and kind of helped them out, gave them a little bit of help for them to be able to tie it up. It made it very difficult, which really deflated us. We really lost momentum and we couldn't get anything back. We couldn't generate a run there to swing it.”

Juengel led the Aggies by going 3-for-6, while Gonzalez and Adam Smith both recorded two RBI. Kyle Martin (2-1) pitched three no-hit innings of relief with three strikeouts to pick up the win.

The Wildcats were led offensively by Chase Graskewicz, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Jason King and Tanner Witt added two hits apiece. King extended his career-long hitting streak to 16 games and ended play the Big 12 Championship by going 10-for-16.

K-State jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning fueled by a leadoff home run by Kent Urban. Following a pop out, K-State had five-straight batters reach base, including a Mike Kindel squeeze bunt and a two-RBI double down the right-field line by Graskewicz to make the score 4-0. Jake Brown completed the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Texas A&M came back with three in the bottom half of the inning, including two on a single by Smith, and the Aggies got to within a run at 5-4 on a rundown with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth.

The Wildcats plated two in the sixth on a wild pitch and a RBI ground out by Ross Kivett, and Kivett came back with another RBI in the seventh on a squeeze bunt before A&M tied the game up in the bottom half of the inning.

The 2011 NCAA Baseball Championship Selection Show will be aired at 11:30 a.m. (CT), on Monday on ESPN. The 16 host sites will be announced Sunday afternoon on www.ncaa.com.