No. 3 Texas A&M matches 2014 win total with victory against UT Arlington
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 3 Texas A&M scored in each of the first three innings and used six pitchers Tuesday afternoon to score a 4-2 win against UT Arlington on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
With the win, Texas A&M (36-5) equaled its win tally from 2014 when the Aggies finished 36-26. The Maroon and White also notched their 17th consecutive midweek win and their 29th consecutive regular-season non-conference victory.
The Aggies hit leadoff home runs in the first two innings with Blake Allemand blasting his fourth dinger of the season to leftfield in the first and Hunter Melton launching his fourth homer of the season over the centerfield wall in the second. It marked A&M’s 13th game of the season with two or more home runs.
Texas A&M mounted a rally in the third inning to stretch the lead. JB Moss threaded a double down the leftfield line and scored when Nick Banks snaked a single through the left side of the infield. Banks stole second base and scored when Mitchell Nau bounced a single through the left side, staking A&M to a 4-0 lead.
Aggie starting pitcher Turner Larkins escaped trouble in both the second and third frames. In the second inning, UTA loaded the bases with one out, but third baseman Logan Nottebrok went horizontal for a diving catch, robbing Dalton DeLeon of a possible base-clearing, extra-base hit. Nottebrok was able to tag third base with his glove to complete the inning-ending double play.
The Mavericks would get two runners on to start the third, but Travis Sibley bounced into a double play and Larkins got Levi Scott to swing at strike three to end the frame.
UT Arlington (17-22) finally broke the scoring seal in the fifth. With one out, DeLeon singled to centerfield and Christian Hollie drew a walk. Matt McLean hit a grounder to second base, but it was too slow to finish off the double play, putting runners at the corners. Sibley grounded to short, but a throwing error by Allemand gave the Mavericks their first run of the game, cutting the lead to 4-1.
UTA scored again in the seventh using a two-out rally. Hollie laced a double down the leftield line and scored when Nottebrok was unable to make a diving snare of a McLean shot down the line at third, cutting the lead to 4-2.
The Mavericks would bring the potential winning run to the plate in the eighth. With one out, Ty Schlottmann came in from the Aggie bullpen. Pinch-hitter Jerame Littell hit a towering ball to centerfield that Moss was unable to corral while sprinting towards the fence, and Littell ended up at third on the triple. Darien McLemore was hit by a Schlottmann pitch, putting runners at the corners. The Aggies summoned Mark Ecker to pitch in relief and fanned Cody Farrell and Eric Tate to put out the fire.
Ecker earned his eighth save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Larkins (5-1) was on a limited pitch-count for the game and picked up the win, working 3 scoreless innings, scattering two hits and three walks while striking out three with 41 pitches.
Brad Vassar (2-5) was saddled with the loss for UT Arlington, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out one in 2.0 innings.
The Aggies head to Baton Rouge for a three-game series against No. 1 LSU at Alex Box Stadium. It is a Thursday-Saturday series.