Horns Win In The Ninth, Go For Sweep Monday

Texas collected nine hits vs. Texas A&M pitching Sunday afternoon at Olsen Field, but it took an Aggie hit -- a hit-by-pitch, that is -- for the Horns to score the winning run in a 6-5 nailbiter.

With the game tied at 5 and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, A&M starter Kyle Nicholson plunked Nick Peoples, sending Kyle Russell home from third for the unearned but go-ahead, winning run. Randy Boone earned the 'W' with two innings of scoreless relief and Austin Wood pitched a perfect ninth to grab his seventh save of the season, and second in two days vs. the Ags (21-25, 4-16). Nicholson (3-5) took the loss.

Texas (31-15, 15-4) desperately needed the win given the results from around the Big 12. Nebraska (36-6, 15-3) completed a three-game sweep of Texas Tech to stay atop the league standings, while third-place Oklahoma (35-11, 13-5) stayed on the heels of the second-place Horns by taking two of three from Kansas. The Huskers and the Sooners square off the final weekend of the regular season.

Against the Aggies, Texas jumped on top in the first when Hunter Harris doubled in Peoples and Carson Kainer, but A&M responded with two off UT starter Adrian Alaniz in the home half of the first. The Ags plated another run off Alaniz in the second before Carson Kainer's top of the third double scored two and Bradley Suttle's groundout plated Drew Stubbs for a 5-3 Longhorn advantage.

Alaniz lasted just one batter into the bottom of the third inning, giving way to Kyle Walker after allowing a leadoff double to Aggie CF Kyle Colligan. Colligan eventually came around to score, pulling the Ags to within one at 5-4 and closing the book on Alaniz, who surrendered four earned runs on five hits in his short stint. Walker, though, turned in the best performance of his young career. The true freshman lefty gave up just one hit in his four innings of relief, striking out a career-best six while walking four.

When Tom Holliday again went to the 'pen and Joseph Krebs to start the bottom of the seventh, Texas still owned that one-run advantage. Three batters, and one pitching change later, that advantage had vanished when Colligan again scored, this time on an RBI flyout. The Aggie threat continued with Randy Boone on the hill, but Texas got out of the inning when a Preston Clark throw bounced off 3B Peoples but right to SS Chais Fuller, who threw back to Clark at home to gun down Adam Hale trying to score the go-ahead run. Boone retired the side in order in the eighth, keeping the scored knotted at 5 and setting up the decisive ninth.

The final game of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at the Disch.

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