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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Aggies rally late, advance to SEC Championship

1261 days ago
SEC Staff

HOOVER, Ala., -- No. 3 seed Texas A&M (44-14) beat No. 7 seed Ole Miss (43-17) in a 12-8 shootout, sending them to the SEC Championship for the first time since joining the league in 2012. The game lasted four hours and 21 minutes, the longest nine-inning game in tournament history.

Texas A&M's offense hit 12-of-38 with 10 RBI, three doubles and one home run against four different pitchers.

The Aggies scored seven runs in the final two innings to put the game out of reach for the Rebels. Texas A&M pinch-hitter Walker Pennington blasted a go-ahead, three-run home run in the top of the eighth.

Ole Miss started right-hander Chad Smith, who retired the first two batters. Smith then put Aggies on first and second, walking Boomer White and Ryne Birk. Michael Barash hit an RBI double for the first score of the game.

Jonathan Moroney then reached first base on a fielding error. Moroney's ground ball was scooped up by Ole Miss shortstop Errol Robinson, whose throw was caught by first baseman Will Golsan, when Golsan's glove slipped off his hand with the ball in it. Moroney was called safe resulting in an unearned run by Birk to put the Aggies up 2-0.

Ole Miss responded in the bottom of the second. Facing two outs, Robinson hit an RBI single up the middle to score Ryan Olenek, making the score 2-1 Aggies.

Smith found himself facing a bases-loaded situation but had the Aggies down two outs in the top of the third. Smith had walked White, allowed a Birk single to left field and then walked Barash. Ole Miss third baseman Colby Bortles mishandled a Joel Davis grounder, bringing White in for the score to put the Aggies up 3-1.

The Rebels were down two outs early in the bottom of the third after J.B. Woodman grounded out and right-hander Stephen Kolek struck out Henri Lartigue. The Rebels then hit three singles over the next three at-bats.

The Ole Miss rally kicked off when Olenek, facing a full count and two outs, singled through the left side, scoring Tate Blackman. Holt Perdzock loaded the bases with a single, followed by a Kyle Watson 2 RBI single. Perdzock stole home on the next play when catcher Barash attempted to throw out Watson, who was stealing second, giving the Rebels a 6-3 lead.

Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress called Mitchell Kilkenny from the bullpen. Kilkenny struck out Golsan to close the inning.

Texas A&M started the top of the fourth inning with singles by Homan and Moss. After a Bank fly-out and Smith walking White, Birk hit a sac fly to left field to bring Homan across the plate, making the score 6-4.

The Aggies added another run in the fifth to make it a one-run game. Smith started the inning by walking Moroney before Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco called Dallas Woolfolk in to pitch. Woolfolk retired the next two batters before a Birk sac fly brought Homan in for the Aggies' fifth run of the game.

Kilkenny had retired the first 7-of-9 Ole Miss batters before Robinson hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 5th to extend the Rebels' lead to 7-5.

Ole Miss extended their lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the seventh when Robinson hit an RBI single.

Woolfolk retired one batter and gave up a double to White before Bianco brought in reliever Wyatt Short. Short walked Birk then gave up an RBI single to Barash bringing the Aggies within two.

Birk advanced to third and Barash advanced to second on a passed ball. Next up for the Aggies was Moroney, whose RBI single brought the Aggies within one run, 8-7.

Childress opted to send in pinch-hitter Pennington, who blasted Short's first pitch over the left-field wall for a three-run home run, giving the Aggies a 10-8 lead.

Short struck out the next two batters to close out the inning.

The Aggies added put the game out of reach with two runs in the ninth. The first came when Moss (hit by pitch) scored off an RBI double by Banks. Barash brought in the final run with a sac fly, his third RBI of the game.

UP NEXT: Texas A&M faces the winner of No. 5 seed LSU vs. No. 4 seed Florida in the SEC Championship on Sunday at 3 pm ET / 2 pm CT on ESPN2.