Early Grand Slam Sink Cats

COLLEGE STATION, Texas No. 16 Texas A&M scored four runs in the first inning and homered three times Friday night as the Aggies defeated Kansas State, 7-2, in game one of a three-game series at Olsen Field. With the win, Texas A&M improved to 24-6 overall and 7-3 in the Big 12, while Kansas State fell to 15-13 and 2-5 in conference play.

 

A&M’s Dane Carter was two-for-3 with a RBI, while Darby Brown was one-for-four, but made his one hit count as he collected the first-inning grand slam.

 

Aggie starter Brooks Raley (5-0) picked up the win an efficient 6.1 innings, allowing just one run on six hits and striking out four, while walking two. The freshman worked his way out of jams in the third, fourth and fifth innings before allowing his lone run of the evening in the seventh.

 

Kansas State’s Adam Muenster was two-for-four on the night, extending his career-long hitting streak to 13 games. Texas native Rob Vaughn was one-for-four with a home run.

 

Texas A&M jumped out in front with four runs in the first inning, all coming on one swing of the bat. K-State starter Brad Hutt (3-3) hit Kyle Colligan to lead off the inning, and Blake Stoffer and Dane Carter followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Texas A&M shortstop Jose Duran was next, but hit a grounder to Hutt, who wisely threw to Vaughn to get the lead runner at the plate for the first out. However, Brown followed and hit a 1-0 pitch over the right centerfield wall for the grand slam and to put the Aggies on top 4-0.

 

Hutt settled down the next two innings, shutting out the Aggies and giving his offense a chance to get back into the game, but A&M scratched across one run in each of the next three frames to put the game out of reach. In the fourth, Brian Ruggiano hit a ball over the left field wall, just inside the foul pole, for a one-out solo home run.

 

Colligan led the fifth inning off with a double, moved to third on a fly out, and the scored on a sacrifice fly by Carter to push the lead to 6-0.

 

Texas A&M hit another solo home run in the sixth, this one by first baseman Luke Anders, to extend its lead to 7-0.

 

K-State broke up Raley’s shutout in the top of the seventh as Vaughn blasted a leadoff solo home run to left centerfield. The Wildcats threatened to do more damage in the inning as Brett Scott followed with a single to right field. Following a fly out and a strike out, Muenster forced a two-out walk to give the Cats runners at first and second with two outs. However, Nate Tenbrink struck out to end Kansas State’s last scoring threat of the night.

 

Kansas State continues its three-game series against Texas A&M on Saturday. First pitch from Olsen Field is set for 6:30 p.m.