Texas A&M pitching tossed a four hit gem last night in a 6-0 defeat of Stephen F. Austin. With the win, the Aggies saw their record improve to 33-10, and more importantly set the tone for a crucial series against the Baylor Bears this week.
Freshman Clayton Ehlert made his first career start a memorable one. In just his fourth career appearance, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville product tossed five innings of three-hit baseball, striking out three along the way. He did not surrender a free pass in earning his first career victory and lowering his season ERA to 1.50. Matt Ueckert, Kiel Renfro, and Gary Campfield also contributed to the shutout. Renfro struck out three in two perfect innings, while Ueckert and Campfield both struck out and walked a single Lumberjack hitter.
The Aggie bats seemed silent for most the contest, and a five run fourth inning put them into cruise control. That inning saw the Ags send nine batters to the plate, with two of the first three recording outs. After a Josh Stinson single plated Luke Anders, Brian Ruggiano and Parker Dalton/b> would sandwich walks around a Daman Aaron plunking. Dalton's free pass would score Stinson to extend the A&M lead to 2-0.
Brandon Hicks would need just two pitches to blow the game open, as he ripped a single into left field that scored both Ruggiano and Aaron. The very next pitch saw Ben Feltner drive in Dalton with a bunt single, but Matt Deggs' aggressiveness on the basepaths was not rewarded as Hicks was thrown out trying to sneakily take home on the play. The lead remained 5-0.
A&M wouldn't cross home plate again until the seventh, when Blake Stouffer scored Hicks on a groundout to shortstop. The RBI was Stouffer's 53rd of the season, the highest on the team and just 14 short of the A&M "post-Gorilla Ball" record (67 by Cory Patton in 2004).
For the 30th time this year, the Aggie bats put a double digit hit total on the board (10). Hicks led the charge, going 4-for-4 and raising his batting average to .358. His average has risen 31 points in the last four games. Anders finished the contest 2-for-3, and Aaron reached base three times in his four plate appearances.
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