COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M Aggies scored 13 runs in a record-setting third inning and coasted to a 19-4 win Tuesday night against the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
With the score tied 2-2 after two frames, the first 11 batters of the third inning registered hits, tying the NCAA Division I record for most consecutive hits (11 - Oakland vs Southern Utah - May 16, 2008; Cal State-Los Angeles vs UC Santa Barbara - May 21, 1977)
The third inning rally started with a solo home run by Blake Allemand. Ryne Birk followed with a triple. Mitchell Nau, Nick Banks and Logan Taylor strung together singles with Nau plating one and Taylor driving in two. Ronnie Gideon drove in two runs with a titanic home run. Singles by JB Moss and Hunter Melton put runners on the corners, setting up a three-run home run by Logan Nottebrok, staking A&M to an 11-2 run. Batting for the second time in the frame, Allemand singled to leftfield and Birk doubled past the third baseman for the 11th consecutive hit.
The streak was snapped when Nau grounded out to second, but the cavalcade of runs continued as the play scored a run. Banks singled up the middle to drive in another run and after Taylor struck out for the second out of the inning, Gideon hit his second dinger of the inning, another two-run job to give Texas A&M a 15-2 cushion. (Records of another Aggie hitting two home runs in an inning could not be found. The effort ties the NCAA record set by numerous players.)
By the time the third inning was over, A&M had sent 17 batters to the plate, logging 11 runs and 13 hits. The 13 hits is a new NCAA Division I record for hits in a third inning. The old record was set by UNLV in 1981 and equaled by Clemson in 1998 and Long Island in 2000. The inning featured four home runs, one double and one triple. The four home runs in an inning set a new Texas A&M record.
The Maroon and White pounded out 18 hits, including five home runs. Birk came up a single shy of the cycle. He homered in the first inning and hit a triple and double in the third. He was robbed of the cycle in the eighth inning when Sam Houston State's rightfielder dove to snare a sinking liner and keep the single off the board. Birk finished 3-for-6 with three runs and two RBI. Alllemand batted 3-for-5 with one home run, three runs and two RBI. Gideon ended the day going 2-for-3 with three runs, one hit-by-pitch, one walk, two home runs and four RBI.
The Bearkats (14-17) pounced on the Aggies for a pair of runs in the top of the first. With one out, Colt Atwood drew a five-pitch walk and came around to score when Spence Rahm hit a gapper to right-center for a double. Rahm moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to rightfield by Dylan Ebbs, staking Sam Houston State to a 2-0 lead.
Texas A&M (28-2) wasted no time in offering a response, knotting the game at 2-2 just five pitches into the home half of the first. With a 3-1 count, Blake Allemand bounced a ball through the right side of the infield for a leadoff single and Ryne Birk launched a first-pitch offering over the 375 sign in left-center for a two-run dinger.
March went out like a lion for the Aggies who batted .392 (76-for-194) over the last five games, including eight doubles, one triple and 10 RBI.
The Aggies return to action on Thursday with a three-game at Kentucky. First pitches for the games at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington are 6 pm Central on Thursday and Friday and Noon Central on Saturday.