Aggies Rally for 13-8 Victory

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Texas A&M scored 12 runs over three innings, including seven in the seventh frame, to take game two from Kansas State, 13-8, Saturday evening at Olsen Field. With the win, the 16th-ranked Aggies earned the series win and improved to 25-6 overall and 8-3 in Big 12 play. K-State fell to 15-14 overall and 2-6 in conference action.


The Aggies batted around in both the seventh and the eighth innings as they turned a six-run deficit into a six-run advantage. Texas A&M was powered by the top four hitters of its order as Kyle Colligan, Blake Stouffer, Dane Carter and Jose Duran each recorded multi-hit games and combined to go 10-for-18 with two doubles, two triples and a home run.


Kansas State held a 7-1 lead after four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth. However, Texas A&M came roaring back with 12 runs in the next three innings. Stoffer and Carter hit back-to-back doubles to leadoff the sixth inning, the latter scoring Stoffer from second. Carter advanced to third two batters later on a groundout and then scored on a wild pitch to plate the second run of the inning.


The floodgates then opened in the seventh as the Aggies pushed across seven runs on five different K-State pitchers. Wildcat starter Justin Murray walked Brian Ruggiano to leadoff the inning and, after a strikeout, gave up a hit to pinch hitter Brooks Raley, which moved Ruggiano to second and knocked Murray out of the game. Trevor Hurley came in to face Colligan and gave up a single to load the bases. The Cats then went to freshman Thomas Rooke (3-1) looking for a double-play ball to get out of the inning, but Rooke walked Stouffer on four-straight pitches to bring in a run to make the score 7-4.


Carter followed with a bases-clearing and game-tying triple which would be the end for Rooke. Another freshman, Justin Aragon came in, but the results remained the same as Duran backed Carter’s triple with a three-bagger of his own to give the Aggies their first lead of the evening at 8-7. Duran was then brought home on a sacrifice fly by Darby Brown. With two outs and the bases clear, the Cats looked to get out of the inning only down two runs, but Aragon walked Luke Anders, who moved to second on a bunt single by Ruggiano and scored on a single by Ben Feltner to complete the seven-run inning and give the Aggies a 10-7 lead.


Travis Starling, who replaced Texas A&M reliever Hank Robertson (1-0) in the sixth, shut down the Cats in the eighth and ninth innings to pick up his seventh save of the season.


Kansas State, down 1-0 after a Texas A&M run in the second, put up four runs in the fifth and another three in the sixth to take its first lead of the series. Rob Vaughn led the fifth inning off with an infield single and was bunted over to second by Brett Scott. Jordan Cruz and Adam Muenster recorded back-to-back singles to score Vaughn and give the Wildcats runners on first and second with one out. Following a fly out, Justin Bloxom hit a 0-2 pitch down the leftfield line for a two-out, two-RBI double to score both Cruz and Muenster. Bloxom was then driven home by Jason King, who doubled to deep left centerfield and pushed the Cats out to a 4-1 lead.


In the sixth, Vaughn, who homered on Friday night, hit another solo home run to left centerfield. Scott followed that up with a walk, which chased Aggie starter Barret Loux out of the game. Two batters later, Nate Tenbrink forced a two-out walk to give K-State runners on first and second before Bloxom recorded his second two-RBI hit of the night on a single to left center to bring home both Scott and Tenbrink and give Kansas State its 7-1 advantage.


Bloxom led K-State offensively by going three-for-five with four RBI. Kansas State also received a three-hit outing from Cruz, who was three-for-four with two runs scored.


Kansas State and Texas A&M conclude their three-game series Sunday with a 12 p.m. first pitch at Olsen Field.