The Texas A&M Aggies capitalized on a strong pitching performance by junior Rafael Pineda to stave off a series sweep by the Auburn Tigers, winning Sunday's finale 4-1 on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Pineda (3-2) scattered six hits and one walk over 7.2 innings, allowing one run while striking out three.
Jason Jester entered with runners on the corners and the potential tying run at-bat with two outs in the eighth and induced an inning-ending fly ball. He retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.
Texas A&M (20-13, 6-6 SEC) pounced on the Tigers early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds drove a single up the middle to start the inning and with the hit-and-run on, Krey Bratsen laced a single through the spot vacated by the shortstop covering second base to put runners on the corners. Blake Allemand plated Reynolds with a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the 1-0 lead. The rally was snuffed out when Cole Lankford grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Auburn (19-13, 3-9 SEC) evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning. Jordan Ebert's fading line drive eluded the glove of a diving Brandon Wood down the rightfield line for a leadoff triple. Cullen Wacker followed with a single up the middle for the equalizer.
The Aggies reclaimed the lead in the home half of the fourth. Allemand rattled a hit into the corner down the leftfield line for a leadoff double. After Lankford flied out to right centerfield and Wood struck out swinging, Jonathan Moroney hit a wall-banger to centerfield for an RBI triple, giving A&M a 2-1 advantage.
The Maroon and White tacked on insurance runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Allemand singled up the middle, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Lankford drove a double to the gap in right centerfield. In the seventh, Mitchell Nau was hit by a pitch to start the inning. The mercurial J.B. Moss pinch-ran for Nau, stole second base, moved to third on a groundout by Troy Stein and scored on a passed ball for the 4-1 lead.
Will Kendall (0-3) was tagged with the loss, yielding two runs on five hits while striking out five over 5.0 innings.
Allemand paced the A&M offensive arsenal, going 2-for-2 with one walk, one sacrifice fly, one double and one RBI.
The Aggies return to action on Tuesday with a 6:35 pm contest against the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Aggies Salvage Sunday Game
Aggie Digest Top Stories
Evans Leads Defensive MaturityTexas A&M senior safety Justin Evans met with the media Tuesday in advance of the Aggies Saturday road match-up with South Carolina.
Aggie DigestTuesday at 10:15 AM
Game Week Media: South CarolinaThe Texas A&M Aggies have solidified themselves in the top 10 heading into their week's SEC road game with South Carolina. The Aggies met with the media Tuesday in advance of this…
Aggie DigestTuesday at 9:52 AM
Post Game Media: ArkansasThe Texas A&M Aggies moved to 4-0 on the season with a 45-24 win over Arkansas inside AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Kevin Sumlin and several players spoke with the media afterwards.
Aggie DigestSunday at 7:22 AM
Game Balls: ArkansasThe Texas A&M Aggies squared off with the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday in their annual game in Dallas. The Aggies came away with an impressive 45-24 win.
Aggie DigestSunday at 5:45 AM