Moroney’s pinch-hit grand slam caps Texas A&M's comeback vs. Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Texas A&M freshman Jonathan Moroney delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning to give the Aggies a 5-3 win against No. 10 Arkansas on Friday at Baum Stadium.
With the Aggies trailing 3-1 after seven innings, Cole Lankford and Troy Stein laced singles through the infield off reliever Jalen Beeks to start the eighth inning. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, but Lankford was thrown out at home on a grounder to shortstop by Hunter Melton to put runners on the corners with one out. Mikey Reynolds drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases. The base on balls extended Reynolds' streak of reaching base to 37 games.
Arkansas brought in Chris Oliver to face Moroney, who was pinch-hitting for left fielder Brandon Wood. Oliver’s first two offerings were low before Moroney launched the third pitch over the fence in left-center field to stake the Aggies to a 5-3 advantage.
Jason Jester came in from the bullpen and retired all six Razorbacks he faced, including two strikeouts, in the eighth and ninth innings for his 10th save of the season.
Arkansas (25-15, 9-7 SEC) broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the second inning. Brian Anderson singled through the left side of the infield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dominic Ficociello. Matt Vinson drew a walk and a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Jordan Farris sent a deep fly ball to right field to score Anderson. Vinson was able to touch home when Aggie second baseman Charlie Curl mishandled the relay throw, giving the Hogs a 2-0 lead.
The Razorbacks inflated the cushion to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Anderson looped a leadoff single to center field, moved to second on a balk with one out and scored when Vinson rattled a double in the corner down the left field line.
Texas A&M (22-17, 7-9 SEC) shaved a run off the Razorbacks’ lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, Jace Statum drew a seven-pitch walk and moved to third on a throwing error by Arkansas pitcher Brandon Moore on a pickoff attempt. Blake Allemand hit a deep fly ball to right field to plate Statum, cutting the margin to 3-1.
Allemand, Lankford and Stein had two hits apiece for Texas A&M. Melton drew three walks in his four plate appearances.
Daniel Mengden allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out six in six innings in the no-decision. Zach Brashear (1-1) earned the win after retiring the only batter he faced to end the seventh inning.
Barrett Astin was left with a no-decision, despite pitching 5.1 shutout innings in the start for Arkansas, scattering five hits and four walks while striking out three. Beeks (4-1) was saddled with the loss, yielding three runs on two hits and one walk in 0.1 innings.
Anderson had three of Arkansas’ five hits, going 3-for-4 with two runs.