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Aggies clutch win over Bobcats

1513 days ago
Texas A&M Athletics
Photo: Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Logan Nottebrok's two-out, walk-off single in the 11th inning led the No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies to an 8-7 win over the Texas State Bobcats on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park on Tuesday evening.

After coming just a few feet left of winning the game twice in the 10th inning, Nottebrok poked a single into leftfield to score Michael Barash with the game-winning run in the 11th. Barash, entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, started the frame with a six-pitch walk. Logan Taylor was hit by a pitch and Hunter Melton pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. The Bobcats elected to intentionally walk Jonathan Moroney to fill the bags with Ags. Texas A&M responded by sending Nick Choruby to the plate as a pinch-hitter. He worked the count full before swinging and missing at strike three.

In the 10th, Nottebrok hit a pair of moon shots that drifted just foul down the leftfield line before popping up to short to start the frame, but he ended the game in the 11th by stroking a 1-0 offering into the outfield for his third career walk-off hit at Blue Bell Park.

The extra-innings ending overshadowed a brilliant relief appearance by Matt Kent. The Aggie southpaw entered the game in the top of the third with A&M trailing 3-0 and runners on second and third with two outs and a 2-0 count on Jared Huber. He got Huber to swing and miss at strike three starting a string of 16 consecutive outs for the Bobcats. Kent ended the game with 5.1 perfect innings, including seven strikeouts.

The Aggies also got solid relief performances from Andrew Vinson, Mark Ecker and Jason Freeman. Vinson worked 1.0 inning, walking one and striking out two. Ecker allowed one hit while striking out three in 2.1 blank frames. Freeman (3-0) struck out two of the four batters he faced in the 11th inning to earn the win.

Texas State's Tyler Giovanoni (0-1) was saddled with the loss despite a yeoman's effort out of the bullpen. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out six in 4.1 innings.

Neither starter factored in the decision. Turner Larkins worked just 0.2 innings for Texas A&M, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. Jeremy Hallongquist yielded three runs on four hits and four walks in 2.0 innings.

The Bobcats pounced on the Aggies for three runs in the top of the first. The inning was highlighted by Colby Targun's RBi single and Ben McElroy's two-run double.

The Aggies trimmed a run off the lead in the home half of the first when Melton stroked an RBI single to rightfield.

Texas A&M tied the game with a pair of runs in the third. Mitchell Nau and Taylor drew walks to start the frame and reliever Pasquale Mazzoccoli balked both runners into scoring position before throwing his first pitch. Melton knocked in Nau with a grounder to second base and after Ronnie Gideon drew a walk to put runners on the corners, Birk plated the tying run with a sacrifice fly to leftfield.

The Aggies appeared to get a stranglehold on the game with four runs in the sixth. With one out, Birk reached on an error by the second baseman and Nottebrok drew a walk. After JB Moss struck out for the second out of the inning, Allemand roped a single to leftfield to give A&M's its first lead of the game, 4-3. Braden Pearson relieved Mazzoccoli and immediately uncorked a wild pitch to allow Allemand to move into scoring position. Nick Banks outran Pearson to the bag to leg out an infield single deep in the hole on the right side, plating Nottebrok. Allemand came home to score when Pearson mishandled the throw by first baseman Tanner Hill. After Banks stole second base, Nau knocked him home with a single, staking the Aggies to a 7-3 advantage.

Texas State (18-25-1) clawed back in the game with a slew of singles in seventh. With Ty Schlottmann on in relief of Kent, David Paiz, McElroy and Huber all singled to load the bases. Schlottmann fanned Luke Sherley for the first out of the frame and was then replaced by Corbin Martin. Cory Geisler laced a single through the right side of the infield to plate one run and Cedric Vallieres followed with a sacrifice fly to left to cut the A&M lead to 7-5.

Blake Kopetsky spelled Martin on the mound and yielded a two-run, game-tying single to Granger Studdard. Texas State would get two more singles in the inning, from Hill and Targun, to load the bases before Vinson put out the fire, inducing a fly out by Paiz.

Allemand led the Aggies at the plate, going 3-for-6. Texas A&M pounded out 12 hits, but they were all singles. The Maroon and White were nearly doomed by 10 runners left on base and three double plays.

The Aggies return to action on Friday as they start a three-game series against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. The games are scheduled for 5 pm Central on Friday, 6 pm Central on Saturday and 1 pm Central on Sunday.