COLLEGE STATION, Texas --The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies jumped out to an early lead and tacked on four runs late to topple the No. 13 LSU Tigers, 6-1, Thursday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
J.B. Moss continued his hot hitting on the season, going 3-for-5 with two runs, one double, one RBI and three stolen bases. Moss has reached base in all 21 of his games and he's scored a first-inning run in each of the last five games. Boomer White added three hits, going 3-for-5 with two RBI. George Janca added two sacrifice bunts, scored a run and plated a run.
Jace Vines (4-0) earned the win on the mound. He allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out four in 6.0 innings. Brigham Hill earned his first career save, scattering two hits over 3.0 innings.
The Aggies put a run on the board in the first inning for the fifth consecutive game. Leadoff batter Moss slapped the first pitch he saw through the left side of the infield for a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Ryne Birk followed with a single off the pitcher's mitt to put runners on the corners. After White swung and missed at strike three for the first out of the inning, Hunter Melton knocked in a Moss with a shallow fly ball to centerfield for the sacrifice and the 1-0 lead.
The Maroon and White tacked on another run in the second. Michael Barash drew a four-pitch walk to start the frame and Walker Pennington followed with a single through the left side. A fielder's choice grounder to second by Nick Choruby put runners on the corners and George Janca put down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to plate Barash for the 2-0 lead.
LSU (15-6, 1-3 SEC) broke the scoring seal in the sixth. Jake Fraley led off the inning with a ball that got lost in the lights in deep right centerfield for a triple and scored on a single by Antoine Duplantis, trimming the A&M lead to 2-1. It was all the Tigers could manage in the game.
Texas A&M (20-2, 3-1 SEC) tacked on two runs in the seventh. Janca started the frame with a five-pitch walk and with one out he moved to second on a single by Birk. White followed with an RBI single to left-center and Melton and Banks followed with walks to push Birk across for the 4-1 lead.
The Aggies added two more insurance runs in the eighth. Choruby started the inning by threading a single through the left side of the infield and stealing second. Janca bunted Choruby to third and he scored when Moss punched a single up the middle with the Tigers' infield playing in. Moss stole second and third and scored on another single by White to cap off the scoring.
Jared Poche' (2-3) was saddled with the loss. His outing was doomed early when he had to throw 44 pitches in the first two frames. He ended evening with a tally of two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out five in 5.0 innings. Doug Norman and Parker Bugg were each touched up for two runs in relief.
The squads return to action Friday evening for game two of the series at Blue Bell Park. First pitch is slated for 8:02 pm.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On the win...
"I'm really proud of Jace Vines, he kept the ball down low and that's what it takes to be successful. It all starts with the guy on the mound. He got us off to a great start. We were able to score a few runs then, LSU made a run and at us and we managed to get out of a few jams. We went to the bullpen and Brigham (Hill) and the defense behind him couldn't have been better."
On getting the big hits...
"It is concerning when you don't get the clutch hits early. When you don't get those big hits early. You would think if you can't get those hits that it's going to be a close game. We were fortunate to be able to get those big hits in the late innings to really pull away from them.
Sophomore pitcher Jace Vines...
On his outing...
"The defense was what was working for me. We had big plays all around. I felt like I had a tough outing at Auburn and I was able to bounce back and throw strikes tonight. You just have to have a short memory. That was my first start and it felt good to have my command back and have the defense that was so excellent behind me tonight, getting everything that was put in play."
Senior outfielder J.B. Moss
On the early runs...
"It's huge to get those runs early against anybody, but especially against LSU, they have a lot of talent on the mound and a lot of big hitters offensively. It's of the utmost importance to get off on the right foot. The pitchers did a good job setting the tone and were able to put a few runs on the board. Anytime we have those things going, it makes us feel good at the plate."