The 'magic' is back at Olsen Field

A&M outfielder Kyle Colligan drives a first-pitch fastball over the left field fence in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday to complete the Aggies' fifth straight Big 12 Conference sweep in dramatic fashion. Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp has complete coverage from Olsen Field, including reaction from both head coaches, Colligan and A&M starter Clayton Ehlert, who threw six brilliant innings.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—After suffering a 15-0 blowout on Saturday afternoon, Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson said, "(The Aggies) are just on fire right now. I don't think it really matters what we do, they're going to find a way to win."

Apparently he was right.

With wind gusts of over 20 mph blowing in from left-center field for most of the afternoon, there were very few people who expected a home run to that side of the field. But all of a sudden, the stiff winds seemed to calm down for a few minutes as Texas A&M outfielder Kyle Colligan stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the tenth and he took advantage of the opportunity.

"As soon as our coaches saw the way the wind was blowing, all we worked on (in pre-game warmups) was hitting ground balls the other way, so I thought I had no shot of hitting the ball out," Colligan said.

But he launched the first pitch he saw over the left-center field fence for his first career walk-off home run, lifting the No. 6 Aggies (37-7, 18-3)to their 15th consecutive Big 12 Conference win with a 3-2 victory over the Tigers (29-14, 12-12).

"That was a lot of fun," said A&M coach Rob Childress. "For us to keep it close and not fall apart when they tied it up (in the ninth) says a lot about our team."

While Colligan provided the late-inning heroics, the story of the day was the unexpected pitchers duel that began between Missouri's Rick Zagone, who went the distance, and A&M starter Claton Ehlert.

Ehlert allowed just one run on three hits through six innings of work before being pulled in the top of the seventh, but he pitched an incredible game for the Aggies.

The Tigers managed just four base runners against Ehlert and only reached scoring position after a walk by Kyle Thebeau, who replaced Ehlert in the seventh.

"Rick Zagone pitched his heart out, and I thought Clayton Ehlert was equally as good," Childress said afterwards. "Clayton did exactly what we needed him to do."

Offensively, the Aggies jumped on the Tigers early when Colligan scored on a squeeze bunt by third baseman Dane Carter, giving the Aggies an early 1-0 lead.

A&M came back in the bottom of the second and added another run on an RBI single by Kevin Gonzalez, who went 4-for-8 with six RBI in the final two games of the weekend series.

The Tigers finally held A&M to a scoreless frame in the bottom of the third after the Aggies had scored at least one run in nine straight innings, and 13 of the previous 14 against Missouri pitching.

In the other dugout, the Tigers were searching for their first run in 18-plus innings of baseball as the seventh inning began on Sunday afternoon.

They finally got it on an RBI single to center field by Andrew Thigpen.

In the top of the ninth, Missouri catcher Trevor Coleman tied the game with an RBI single of his own. The Tigers had the bases loaded but failed to score the go ahead run.

That proved to be costly once Zagone left a fastball over the heart of the plate for Colligan.

"He was trying to get ahead with a fastball and throughout the course of the game he was putting it on the outside part of the plate, but that one was right down the middle," Colligan "He threw a great game and it had to have been fatigue. He doesn't miss his spot."

The win also completed the fifth consecutive conference sweep in Big 12 history (and A&M history). Thanks to Baylor's win over Nebraska in Waco on Saturday, it also gives the Aggies a three-game lead heading into the final six Big 12 games of the year.

But Childress knows the Aggies haven't won anything yet.

"This was a big weekend for us," Childress said. "Whenever you can sweep anyone in this league it's huge. We need to take care of things in the Big 12 one game at a time. That being said, this week coming up is a big RPI week for us. TCU and Dallas Baptist are great teams and, for me, it's just like playing another conference weekend."

of Sunday's 10th inning hero, Kyle Colligan.

of A&M head coach Rob Childress after Sunday's win.

of A&M starter Clayton Ehlert after Sunday's six-inning outing.




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