Texas A&M junior catcher Troy Stein came up just a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with four RBI as the Aggies registered a 4-1 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday evening.
Stein roughed up the Bearkat staff for an RBI double in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third inning. He added a single for good measure in the eighth inning. All four of Stein's RBI came with two outs.
Texas A&M (21-13) drew first blood with a run in the home half of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds lined a single through the left side of the infield to leadoff the frame. The single extended Reynolds' streak for games reaching base to 34, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. A pair of fielder's choice groundouts put Blake Allemand on first base in place of Reynolds. With two outs, Stein rattled a first-pitch offering into the corner down the leftfield line to drive in Allemand for the 1-0 lead.
The Aggies pounced for three more runs in the bottom of the third. Reynolds bounced a one-out single up the middle and Allemand laced a two-out single through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners. Stein pounded a 1-1 pitch over the leftfield fence for a three-run home run, his first dinger of the season, staking the Aggies to a 4-0 lead.
Sam Houston State (19-13) scored its lone run in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Luke Plucheck hit a 1-1 pitch from Aggie reliever Matt Kent off the scoreboard in left field for a solo home run, trimming the A&M lead to 4-1.
A&M starting pitcher Corey Ray (3-0) kept the Bearkats' offense from purring or growling for 6.0 shutout innings to earn the win. He scattered three hits and two walks while striking out two.
Kent allowed a run in the seventh inning on one hit and a strikeout. Parker Ray retired three of the four batters he faced in the eighth for the hold. Jason Jester walked one and struck out one in the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season.
Tyler Eppler (3-2) was strapped with the loss for Sam Houston State. He allowed four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three over 6.0 innings.
Reynolds joined Stein as the only other Aggie to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one run.
Plucheck registered two of the Bearkats five hits, going 2-for-4 with the solo home run.
The Aggies return to action at Blue Bell Park on Friday when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game series. First pitches for the three contests are slated for 6:35 pm on Friday, 12:35 pm on Saturday and 1:05 pm on Sunday.
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