BATON ROUGE, Louisiana - Capped off by Walker Pennington's three-run dinger, the Texas A&M Aggies scored four runs in the top of the ninth to beat the No. 8 LSU Tigers, 4-3, in Saturday's rubber match at Alex Box Stadium.
Down 3-0 with one out in top of the ninth, Joel Davis fell behind 0-2 in the count, but fouled off three of the next seven pitches to draw the walk. George Janca followed with a single through the left side to put two runners on. After Logan Foster struck out looking for the second out of the inning, Hunter Coleman slapped a first-pitch offering up the middle to drive in Davis and bring the geaux-ahead run to the plate in the form of Pennington. The senior leftfielder took a ball before unloading on the next pitch with a moon shot to leftfield for the three-run homer, his third of the season.
Closer Mitchell Kilkenny worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his second save of the season. He fell behind the leadoff man, Greg Deichmann 3-0 before inducing a grounder to shortstop. Rankin Woley popped up to second base and Nick Choruby made a diving catch at the warning track in left-center on a blast by Josh Smith to end the game.
In his longest career outing, Corbin Martin (3-2) grinded out the win. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five in 8.0 inning.
Tigers' starter Eric Walker was outstanding in the start, scattering three hits and one walk while striking out seven in 7.0 innings. Closer Caleb Gilbert (1-1) blew the save and was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs on three hits and one walk while striking out two in the ninth.
LSU (19-10, 5-4 SEC) drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning. After going hitless the first three frames, the Tigers finally got to Aggie starting pitcher with a leadoff single up the middle by Antoine Duplantis and a home run over the left-center wall by Kramer Robertson, staking LSU to a 2-0 lead. The Aggies (19-10, 3-6 SEC) left four runners on base in the first two innings, including the bases loaded in the second, but managed just two baserunners over the next six frames, both on hits by Choruby.
Choruby, Janca and Coleman each had two hits for the Aggies, but Pennington's dinger and three RBI were the difference
LSU managed just four hits on the day with Duplantis collecting two and Robertson's two-run dinger providing the most damage. Texas A&M returns home for a Tuesday game against the Dallas Baptist Patriots. First pitch is slated for 6:32 p.m.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress On the win game...
"I'm very proud of our guys. We lost a tough one yesterday. Corbin (Martin) came out and had a great performance. He kept it close and gave us a chance there at the end. You know it's never over until that get that last out. And our guys believed that today. Mitchell (Kilkenny) came out and gave us a great ninth."
On Corbin Martin's outing...
"It's as good as I've seen him pitch during his career at Texas A&M. You can see him start to transform into a pitcher instead of just a young man with a great arm."
On Walker Pennington's ability to hit big home runs... "He's got a penchant for the ones that matter. He doesn't hit the ones that don't matter. He hits them when they matter most. He didn't start the game, but he stayed engaged and came off the bench and delivered."
Junior RHP Corbin Martin On his outing... "I was tagging the zone early in the counts and I was trusting my defense behind me. They played really good defense today. When Kramer (Robertson) hit that two-run home run I knew I had to do a better job of locating and trusting the guys behind me and (Hunter) Coleman and Coach (Childress) calling the pitches. Once I started executing pitches I was getting outs early and the count and that helped me in the later innings. On winning a road series in an environment like Alex Box Stadium... "It's huge. It's tough to win one game here any day of the week, but to take two one the weekend is great. Something big to build on."
Senior OF Walker Pennington On his home run...
"Coach Seely just told me to get my best swing off. I swung and luckily I hit it. It was a great team win. Luckily we battled back. I have to give credit to the guys ahead of me. I was the sixth man up in the inning, so if they don't do their job, I never get to bat. Joel (Davis) did a great job of battling from being down 0-2 in the count to get a walk and Georgie (Janca) and Hunter (Coleman) got big hits to pass it on to the next guy." On Corbin Martin's outing... "He was phenomenal. We didn't give him any run support, but he just kept going out there throwing up zeroes. They had a couple innings where they scored some runs, but he did a great job of limiting the damage and keeping us in the game."