COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies registered their third stellar performance on the mound for the weekend to take the series from the No. 13 LSU Tigers with a 3-1 win Saturday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Kyle Simonds (5-0) battled through 6.2 innings, scattering eight hits while striking out two as he yielded one run on the afternoon. Brigham Hill worked 1.0 blank frame allowing a hit before handing the ball off to Ryan Hendrix who closed things down with 1.1 inning of work. Hendrix walked two and struck out one en route to his fifth save of the season.
Aggie pitchers held LSU (16-7, 2-4 SEC) to 3-of-18 hitting with runners on base, including 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
John Valek III (4-1) was the hard-luck loser for LSU. He allowed two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out one in 6.0 innings.
Texas A&M (21-3, 4-2 SEC) drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Boomer White punched a single to leftfield and stole second base. After Hunter Melton drew a walk, Michael Barash slashed a single to rightfield, plating White for the 1-0 lead. The rally was quelled when Ronnie Gideon bounced into an inning-ending double play.
Deichmann tied the game in the top of the fifth when he blasted a first-pitch offering from Simonds into the visitors bullpen down the rightfield line for a solo home run.
Nick Banks answered immediately with a solo home run to rightfield as the Aggies reclaimed the lead, 2-1.
The Aggies tacked on an insurance run in the eighth. With one out, Ryne Birk slapped a single up the middle and with two outs Hunter Melton rattled into the corner down the rightfield line and got on his horse, plating Birk with a triple.
Barash and Banks each had two hits for the Aggies. Beau Jordan had a game-high three hits for LSU.
Texas A&M returns to action Tuesday as they travel for a 6:30 pm game against the Houston Cougars.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On thoughts on the series... "I thought Kyle (Simonds) was really good today. I was really proud of the way our starters bounced back this weekend after a bad series at Auburn. All three of them gave us quality starts. Today, (Kyle) Simonds was really working the bottom of the zone and getting them to swing on the fastball inside. His breaking ball was also really good, just overall fantastic. Bringing Brigham (Hill) back on a day's rest was really good. He got some big outs there in front of (Ryan) Hendrix. Then, Hendrix was really solid there for us to finish it off. All three of those guys managed the games really well. They really answered the bell. They are all really competitive. I think all the new guys realized last weekend how competitive you have to be week in and week out in this league."
Senior pitcher Kyle Simonds
On what was working... "I thought I commanded the ball really well tonight on both sides of the plate. I tried to mix it up as much as I could. Thought my changeup was my best pitch today, just keeping it down and away to lefties. Really thought I kept them off balance."
On starters bouncing back after last weekend... "I thought we were more prepared this weekend to pick up our hitters. It's going to take everyone doing their part each series during SEC play. Maybe not a weekend to hit but the pitchers really stepped up stymying their offense."
On working with runners on... "I just tried to stabilize the run game. I tried to pick over as much as I could. Mike (Barash) had some pitchouts called that really helped keep them in check. We did as much as we could to try to limit their run game. When they get on base, you just have to limit their extra base hits."
Junior outfielder Nick Banks
On his home run today... "Give a lot of credit to my teammates for believing in me, and the coaches, it was a pretty special moment especially the way our pitching pitched this weekend. Give props to them. They're a lot of the reason for our success."
On his recent performance... "It's baseball. You're going to have your ups and downs and I've obviously had my downs, but great coaches and great teammates can lift you up whenever you are down like that. They just keep believing in you. It's easy to play baseball when you have guys like that on your team."
Senior catcher Michael Barash
On today's win... "This one feels a little bit better to be on the winning side of things. To win a series in the SEC is tough, and to do it against [LSU] is a really good feeling. They're a good team. They have a lot of different weapons on offense. They have a really good defense and solid pitching, but we were the better team today. It was a lot of fun to be out there."
On today's defensive performance... "We pride ourselves on defense and we didn't take care of the ball last night. Luckily, we got a lot of zeros from (Kyle) Simonds to help us get out of innings where we did make errors. Our defense was great, we made a lot of plays to get us off the field to get the leadoff batter off the bases. When do that we're going to be really successful on the mound."