COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Blake Allemand’s walk-off, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth secured a 15-14 win for the No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies over the South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Texas A&M trailed 14-12 entering the bottom of the eighth, but A&M’s Hunter Melton started the frame by belting his second home run of the contest, cutting the deficit to 14-13.
South Carolina (29-22, 11-15 SEC) responded by calling on closer Taylor Widener. Widener got JB Moss to hit a slicing fly ball down the rightfield line, but Elliott Caldwell was not able to come up with the diving catch, putting Moss on second with a double. Logan Nottebrok moved Moss to third with a slow roller to third base. GR Hinsley drew a pinch-hit walk to put runners on the corners and was replaced at first base by pinch-runner Nick Choruby. Allemand got ahead in the count 1-0 before driving a ball into the right-center gap, Moss scored the tying run easily and the mercurial Choruby flew home for the end game.
The Aggies found themselves playing catch-up most of the game, but were never able to bottle the momentum. The Maroon and White erased a five-run deficit early in the contest and a three-run gap in the middle innings, but held the lead just once at 6-5 after five innings. South Carolina’s also owned a 13-9 lead going to the bottom of the seventh.
Texas A&M (42-8, 17-8 SEC) pounded out 15 hits, including 10 extra-base hits. Their five home runs tied a season-high, including two apiece by Ryne Birk and Hunter Melton. The Maroon and White added five doubles on the afternoon.
Three different Aggies amassed three hits. Birk went 3-for-5 with three runs, two home runs and four RBI. Allemand was 3-for-5 with one double, two runs and three RBI. Melton batted 3-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and three RBI. Nottebrok hit 2-for-4 with one double, one home run, two runs and two RBI.
The Gamecocks put on their own offensive displaying, logging 21 hits, including four home runs and three doubles. South Carolina had three players notch four hits apiece, including the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters. Batting eighth, Marcus Mooney went 4-for-4 with two walks, one double, two runs and one RBI. Batting ninth, Clark Scolamiero hit 4-for-5 with one double, one run and two RBI. Max Schrock batted 4-for-6 with one double, one run and one RBI. Elliott Caldwell and Alex Destino both scored three runs and Hunter Taylor tallied three RBI.
South Carolina was doomed by 14 stranded batters.
Texas A&M’s pitching staff weathered a rough outing. South Carolina’s 14 runs, 21 hits and four home runs were all the most relinquished by the Aggies in 2015.
The starting pitchers did not factor in the final decision. Texas A&M’s Ryan Hendrix yielded five runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out seven in 3.1 innings. South Carolina starter Clarke Schmidt allowed six runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four in 4.0 innings.
Kyle Martin (2-0) was credited with the win. He allowed one unearned run on one hit and two walks while striking out one in 1.2 innings. Blake Kopetsky worked a scoreless frame scattering two hits and one walk while striking out two.
Widener (1-4) was saddled with the loss, surrendering the final two runs on two hits and one walk in 0.1 inning.