No. 11 Aggies Top Wildcats at Big 12 Tourney

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. No. 11 Texas A&M used an aggressive offense to score four runs in the first three innings and was able to hold off Kansas State for a 7-2 win Saturday afternoon in Big 12 Tournament action at Bricktown Ballpark.

 

With the loss, the Wildcats moved to 34-24 on the season and were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament championship game, while Texas A&M improved to 43-16 and remained alive for a title game appearance. K-State, which recorded the most wins in a season since 1976, finished the week with a 1-2 record in the tournament and now is 3-4 all-time in Big 12 Tournament play.

 

The Aggies wasted no time on Saturday as Brian Ruggiano stretched a single into a double on the first pitch of the game and came around to score on a Blake Stouffer ground out to give Texas A&M the early 1-0 lead. K-State, which stranded 14 runners on base for the game, had a great opportunity to score in the bottom of the first after putting runners at second and third with one out but Byron Wiley struck out swinging and Eli Rumler flied out, after Brett Scott had walked, to end the inning.

 

Texas A&M then pushed its lead to 3-0 with two more runs in the top of the second as a hit batsman, a triple and a bunt hit led to two Aggie runs. The Cats got on the board in the second as Rob Vaughn blasted a solo homer to left and K-State threatened for more but Wiley grounded out to second to end the inning to leave the bases loaded for the second straight inning.

 

In the third, Ben Feltner led off with a walk for Texas A&M and promptly stole second and third before scoring on a Stouffer sacrifice fly as the Aggies took a 4-1 lead. Then, a two-out walk to Stouffer led to another rally for the Aggies as a stolen base and a single upped the margin to 5-1.

 

Kansas State inched a little closer with a run in the sixth as Derek Bunker’s single up the middle scored Vaughn, who had walked. But, after the Cats had runners at the corners with one out, Eddie Vasquez struck out and Adam Muenster grounded out to end the frame, leaving the score at 5-2. A two-out single from Craig Stinson in the top of the seventh got the run back for the Aggies as they went ahead 6-2 and later added a seventh run on a safety squeeze in the eighth inning.

 

Bayuk (5-6) gave up four runs in the first three innings but really settled down nicely and went the next four allowing just two more runs. For the game, the junior tossed 7.0 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and five walks.

 

Aggie starter David Newmann (10-1) picked up the win after tossing 5.0 innings of five-hit action, while Travis Starling tossed the final 3.2 shutout innings to earn his first save of the season.

 

Six different Wildcats recorded hits on the day, led by Ruch and Vasquez’s two hits.

 

Kansas State now turns its attention to the NCAA selection show on Monday morning as the field of 64 teams for regional play will be announced at 11 a.m. on ESPN.

 

 

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