Stuart McNair

Alabama has dropped first two baseball games in Texas A&M series

Alabama and Texas A&M conclude series Saturday

Texas A&M had pitching and hitting and at the end of the evening Friday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium the Aggies had an 8-2 win over Alabama in a Southeastern Conference baseball game.

The win improved A&M to 25-11 overall and 7-7 in the SEC, while Alabama fell to 14-21 overall, 2-12 in the conference.

Texas A&M has taken the first two games in the three-game series, which concludes at 2 p.m. CDT Saturday at Sewell-Thomas. Senior right-hander Nick Eicholtz will be starting pitcher for Bama, while Texas A&M calls on sophomore righty Stephen Kolek.

“Their guy (Corbin Martin) was very good tonight,” said Alabama Coach Greg Goff. “He was dominant, and his fastball was coming out of his hand pretty good – that’s the kind of guy that this league is full of. There are going to be nights where you run into those guys, and I thought he had really good stuff. I just thought that he beat us tonight."

Texas A&M starter Corbin Martin (4-2) picked up his fourth win of the season with seven innings of one-run baseball. The Aggies right-hander allowed four hits and issued a pair of walks while striking out five. Crimson Tide starter Dylan Duarte (2-3) was chased early after 4 1/3 innings and took the loss. The threesome of Zac Rogers, Mike Oczypok, and Sam Finnerty combined to hold the Aggies to just one run over the final 4 2/3 frames.

The Aggies struck first on Friday, scoring one in the top of the first. A leadoff single followed by a groundout placed a runner in scoring position for A&M, before a two-out single brought across the game’s first run to give A&M a 1-0 lead after the first half inning.  In the top of the third, the Aggies put up four runs on a pair of hits, including a three-run home run by designated hitter Cole Bedford, to move the advantage to 5-0.

Texas A&M made it a 7-0 game in the fifth, putting together a pair of runs to widen the margin. The Aggies used a leadoff single and a wild pitch to put a man in scoring position before a single in the next at-bat allowed one run to cross. After a walk and a single loaded the bases for the Aggies, a sacrifice fly scored the inning’s second run, pushing the A&M advantage to seven.

The Crimson Tide was able to strike for one in the sixth to trim the deficit. Walker McCleney began the inning with a leadoff single before stealing second and advancing to third on an errant throw by the A&M catcher. Chandler Avant followed with a sacrifice fly to right to plate McCleney, making it 7-1.

A pair of hits for A&M in the top of the eighth added the Aggies’ final tally, before the Tide crossed a run of its own in the home half of the inning. After drawing a one-out walk, Avant moved into scoring position on a groundout. One out later, Cobie Vance collected his second hit of the day with a RBI-double to right to score Avant.

?Vance led Crimson Tide in hitting, finishing 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Avant, Chandler Taylor, and McCleney each contributed one hit, with Avant having an RBI. Avant and Vance each extended their hitting streaks, with Avant now sitting at nine consecutive, Vance with a hit in eight straight.

Bedford led the Aggies at the plate with a 4-5 performance, including his three-run homer. Nick Choruby was 3-4 with three runs scored. A&M banged out 15 hits.

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