Three Texas A&M pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout on Tuesday evening as the Aggies cruised to a 7-0 win over UT Arlington on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
After failing to record an out in his last two starts, Rafael Pineda cruised through the first seven innings, facing just 22 batters.
Pineda finally hit a rough patch in the eighth inning, when UT Arlington collected two one-out singles and a hit batsman to load the bases. AJ Minter came in from the bullpen and struck out the only two batters he faced on 11 pitches.
Andrew Vinson worked the final inning, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Pineda (2-2) earned the win, scattering three hits and one hit batsman while striking out three over 7.1 innings.
The Aggies staked claim to an early lead with a run in the home half of the second inning. Troy Stein hit a wall-banger to centerfield for a leadoff triple. After Cole Lankford reached base when the Mavericks' catcher was unable to corral the third strike, Mitchell Nau knocked Stein home with a grounder that was mishandled by UTA's shortstop.
The Maroon and White mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. After Charlie Curl and Mikey Reynolds were retired, Krey Bratsen chopped a ball over the third baseman's head and down the leftfield line for a double and Blake Allemand and Stein were issued walks to load the bases. Lankford smacked a single back up the middle to drive in Bratsen and Allemand for the 3-0 lead.
Daniel Mengden tattooed the first pitch of the fourth inning for a solo home run over the leftfield fence, inflating the Aggies' cushion to 4-0.
Texas A&M (18-8) scored a pair of runs in the sixth to extend the lead to 6-0. Brandon Wood reached on a throwing error by the Mavericks' third baseman and Curl singled to the gap in left centerfield. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Reynolds knocked in Wood with a grounder back to the pitcher and Bratsen drove Curl home with an infield single.
Curl tacked on the last run of the game, hitting a leadoff dinger over the leftfield fence for the 7-0 margin.
Keegan Hucul (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Mavericks. He yielded four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two over 4.0 innings.
Curl went 2-for-3 with two runs, one home run and one RBI. Bratsen went 2-for-5 with one double, one run, one stolen base and one RBI.
J. M. Twichell logged two of UT Arlington's four hits.
The Aggies return to action Thursday when they head to the Palmetto State for a three-game series against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Thursday night game is slated for 6:30 pm Central on ESPNU.
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