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SEC TOURNAMENT - 4th ROUND AT HOOVER AL

Aggies run-rule Dores in Quarterfinals

729 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Michael Wade

HOOVER, Ala. - Kyle Simonds (9-3) had a career day, propelling No. 3 seed Texas A&M (43-14) past No. 6 seed Vanderbilt (43-17), 13-3, eliminating the Commodores from the 2016 SEC Baseball Tournament.

Simonds only allowed six hits and threw a career-high 10 strikeouts with 101 pitches in seven innings. Simonds threw a no-hitter against Vandy during the regular season.

"He was really good for us today," Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. "After that performance you knew Vanderbilt was locked in and they were going to have great at-bats against him. After the first inning he was really good through all three pitches for a strike and was able to expand the zone late in the count."

Vanderbilt's Alonzo Jones hit an RBI double in the top of the first to give the Dores an early 1-0 lead.

Texas A&M responded by jumping all over Vandy pitcher Kyle Wright, scoring seven runs off of seven hits in the first inning.

"It's nothing new to us, facing Vandy," Texas A&M junior Ryne Birk said. "They got arms for days and we just kind of stuck to our approach. We're not trying to do so much on the other side of the field and it worked out for us."

The inning started with back-to-back singles by J.B. Moss and Nick Banks. After Wright retired Boomer White (infield fly), the Aggies took a 2-1 lead with back-to-back RBI singles by Birk and Michael Barash.

Wright then struck out Jonathan Moroney for the second out of the inning.

The Aggies then went on a five-run tear in their next three at-bats.

Joel Davis started the scoring streak with an RBI single. Hunter Melton then hit a 2 RBI double to right field. Austin Homan closed out the bottom of Texas A&M's rotation with an RBI double, putting the Aggies up 6-1.

Homan then scored when a wild pitch prompted him to steal third, which resulted in catcher Jason Delay committing a throwing error when attempting to throw Homan out at third, allowing Homan to score Texas A&M's final run of the inning.

The Aggies' third inning started much like the first, with back-to-back singles by Barash and Moroney. Both runners advanced when Davis grounded out.

For the second time in just three innings Texas A&M scored off a wild pitch. Barash crossed the plate Wright through a pitch in the dirt, then bounced off the catcher's mask. Two batters later, Homan hit a sacrifice fly to score Moroney, giving the Aggies a 9-1 lead.

Simonds held Vanderbilt to one hit over four innings, from the second to the fifth, retiring 11-of-12 batters.

The Dores got some offense going in the top of the sixth inning, starting when Bryan Reynolds hit an RBI single. Jones then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing Jeren Kendall across the plate to bring the score to 10-3.

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin started the bottom of the sixth by calling reliever Ben Bowden in to pitch. Banks blasted Bowden's third pitch high over the center-field wall for his seventh home run of the season. Bowden retired the next three Texas A&M batters in just seven pitches, ending the inning with the Aggies up 11-3.

The Aggies put runners on the corners early in the bottom of the seventh. Moroney reached first on a throwing error, advanced to second off a Walker Pennington single and then to third on a Melton fly out. Moroney put the Aggies within striking distance of the run-rule win when he scored off a throwing error.

J.B. Moss closed out the game by bringing Pennington home off a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh.

This is the second run-rule loss in the last three SEC Tournaments for Vanderbilt.

UP NEXT: Texas A&M plays No. 7 Ole Miss Saturday at 1:00 pm ET / Noon CT on SEC Network in the Semifinal round of the 2016 SEC Baseball Tournament.