Texas A&M rode a strong outing from Rafael Pineda and a big save by Jason Jester to defeat UCSB 5-4 Sunday afternoon and advance to the championship game of the NCAA Corvallis Regional.
The Aggies will meet host Oregon State at 7 p.m. (CT) tonight, and must beat the Beavers to force a second championship game Monday evening.
Freshman Hunter Melton singled home Mikey Reynolds in the first inning to take a quick 1-0 lead. A&M stretched it to a 4-0 advantage in the 3rd inning on the back of two RBI double by Cole Lankford.
The Gauchos cut the lead to 5-4 in a wild seventh frame that saw the umpire call a double play and rule the batter out after UCSB second baseman Joey Woodward slid hard into Blake Allemand at the bag and called for interference.
Jason Jester entered to quell the rally in the inning and closed out the eighth and ninth frames to nail down the victory.
Freshman Grayson Long will get the start for the Aggies against the Beavers Sunday evening.
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