HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 11 seed Texas A&M beat No. 7 seed Auburn 4-2 to secure a spot in the SEC baseball tournament semifinals. The is the Aggies' third trip to the semifinals in the past four seasons.
The Aggies built a lead while facing Auburn ace Casey Mize (9-5). The right-hander struck out seven A&M batters, but Zach DeLoach hit an RBI single in the third and Braden Shewmake delivered a two-RBI double in the sixth to put Texas A&M in front 3-0.
Texas A&M starter John Doxakis (7-5) held the Tigers hitless through seven innings and threw a career-high 10 strikeouts, the most of any pitcher so far in the 2018 tournament. Auburn senior Jay Estes broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the eighth. Conor Davis doubled to bring Estes across the plate and put the Tigers on the board.
DeLoach delivered again for the Aggies with another RBI in the eighth on a sacrifice fly. His three-hit performance made it the seventh game this season that he had three or more hits.
The Tigers looked to rally in the ninth when an RBI single from Estes cut into the Aggies' lead. The game ended on a groundout with two Auburn runners left on base.
Texas A&M junior Nolan Hoffman earned his 14th save of the season, the most in the conference this year and tied for the most in a single season at Texas A&M.
"I thought (John) was really aggressive in the strike zone with all three of his pitches, and he knew he had to be at his very best facing Casey Mize," said Texas A&M coach Rob Childress. "If you're a baseball fan and you got a chance to be at the game tonight, you saw two pitchers going toe-to-toe and it was fun to watch those guys going at it."
UP NEXT: Texas A&M advances to Saturday's first semifinal game, airing at 1 p.m. ET on SEC Network. Auburn plays in an elimination game against No. 2 seed Ole Miss Friday at 4 p.m. ET on SEC Network.