Aggies Explode Late, Run-Rule Cats

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Texas A&M centerfield Kyle Colligan went two-for-four and recorded five RBI, four coming on one swing of the bat, as No. 16 Texas A&M defeated Kansas State, 14-4, Sunday afternoon at Olsen Field. With the victory, the Aggies improved to 26-6 overall and 9-3 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats fell back to .500 at 15-15 overall and 2-7 in league action.


The Aggies scored runs in the first three innings of the game to hold a 6-3 lead, but Chase Bayuk came on in relief of K-State starter Lance Hoge (1-2) and silenced the A&M bats by throwing three scoreless innings to allow his offense to get back into the game. However, after putting up seven runs in the seventh inning on Saturday, Texas A&M plated six runs in the seventh on Sunday to blow the game wide open.


Texas A&M first baseman Luke Anders was two-for-five with four RBI and belted two home runs, including one in the eighth to end the game on a run rule. The Aggies received multi-hit games from seven of their top eight batters en route to a 17-hit performance.


Kansas State scored a run in the first inning for the first time in the series as they pushed across one to start the game. Jordan Cruz went after the first pitch of the contest and pushed it down the leftfield line for a leadoff double. Adam Muenster followed with a single, which moved Cruz to third, but Muenster was caught stealing during the next at bat for the first out of the inning. Nate Tenbrink then hit a sacrifice fly to leftfield to score Cruz and give K-State an early 1-0 lead.


Texas A&M came right back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead. Colligan and Blake Stouffer recorded back-to-back singles to give the Aggies runners on first and second with no outs. Dane Carter followed with a double to deep left centerfield to score Colligan and move Stouffer to third. Stouffer then plated the second Aggie run of the inning on a RBI groundout by Darby Brown.


The Aggies scratched another run in the second when Brian Ruggiano led off with a single and moved to second on a Blake Feltner hit-by-pitch. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt and Colligan drove in Ruggiano from third on a sacrifice fly to push the A&M lead out to 3-1.


Texas A&M extended its lead to 6-1 after three runs in the bottom of the third. The Aggies scored one run on three-straight singles by Carter, Jose Duran and Brown, the latter scoring Carter, but Duran was thrown out trying to go first to third. With Brown on first and one out, A.J. Morris relieved Hoge and faced Anders, who hit a 2-1 pitch over the rightfield wall for a two-run home run.


Kansas State started to mount a comeback in the fourth as the Cats scored two runs in the inning. Drew Biery started things in motion for K-State with a two-out single up the middle and was followed with another single by Brett Scott to put runners on first and second. Cruz came up and hit his second double of the afternoon, this one down the rightfield line, which brought in Biery from second and Scott from first. However, Cruz was out at third on the play trying to stretch his hit into a triple, which end the inning and kept K-State’s deficit at three.


Bayuk relieved Morris in the fourth and threw three scoreless innings, recording three strikeouts, to keep the Aggie lead at three. The senior lefty retired the Aggies in order in both the fourth and fifth innings and got out of the sixth inning after a leadoff single.


The Wildcats used the momentum provided by Bayuk to chip away at the A&M lead as the Cats scored another run in the top of the seventh inning. Muenster hit a one-out single through the middle, which knocked A&M starter Clayton Elhert (4-2) out of the game. Kyle Thebeau came on in relief and Tenbrink, who had been hitless in the series, jumped on the first pitch he saw and drove it into right centerfield to score Muenster from third and cut the lead to two at 6-4.


Following K-State’s run in the top of the inning, Texas A&M blew the game wide open with six in the bottom half of the inning. Carter hit a leadoff infield single and scored from third on a double to right centerfield by Brown. Following a strikeout and a walk, Bayuk was lifted for Tyler Ruch and the inning got away from the Wildcats. Ruch walked three-straight Aggies to bring in a run and kept the bases loaded for Colligan. On a 0-1 pitch, Colligan laced a ball over the rightfield wall for Texas A&M’s second grand slam of the series to put the Aggies out in front 12-4.


A&M collected another two runs in the eighth on a home run by Anders, which ended the game at 14-4 in the eighth inning due to the Sunday run-rule.


Muenster, who went three-for-four, led the way offensively for Kansas State as he extended his career-long hitting streak to 15 games. The streak is the longest since both Joe Roundy and Brandon Farr also had 15-game hitting streaks in 2006.


Kansas State will look to regroup on Tuesday as the Wildcats host in-state rival Wichita State. First pitch from Tointon Family Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.