OXFORD, Mississippi - The No. 11 Aggies pounded out four home runs, including a grand slam by Brett Minnich, as Texas A&M topped Ole Miss, 12-5, at Swayze Field to claim the outright SEC Western Division title.
The Aggies, who stood at 4-5 after the third week of SEC play, won seven consecutive series to end the regular season, finishing with a 19-11 league ledger, one game ahead of Arkansas. It marks A&M's first SEC West crown and the Maroon & White became the first team since the league went to seven-team divisions to go from worst to first in the SEC West.
Texas A&M trailed 5-2 going into the fourth inning, but Dylan Rock, public enemy number one in Oxford this weekend, greeted a chorus of boos with a game-tying, three-run dinger. Minutes later the crowd was stunned as Minnich delivered a two-out grand slam on a 1-2 offering and the Aggies staked claim to a 9-5 lead.
Ol' Sarge's bullpen kept the Rebels at bay until Ryan Targac and Jordan Thompson delivered ninth-inning home runs to put the game to bed.
Joseph Menefee (6-2) earned the win out of the bullpen, yielding one run on three hits and one walk while striking out six in 4.0 innings. Jacob Palisch walked a Rebel, but induced a double play and got a strikeout in his 1.1 frames. Ben Hogan retired the only batter he faced to finish the eighth and Will Johnston worked a 1-2-3 ninth, including a strikeout to close it out.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
Dylan Rock - 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Brett Minnich - 1-for-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB
Trevor Werner - 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R
Joseph Menefee - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, W - 6-2
The Aggies return to action Wednesday at the SEC Tournament. The Maroon & White are the No. 2 seed and play the second game of the day, which will start shortly after the conclusion of the 9:30 a.m. contest. Their opponent will be the winner of Tuesday's elimination game between No. 7 seed Florida and No. 10 seed South Carolina.
T1| Trevor Werner hit a wall-banger to left-center for a leadoff triple and Jack Moss knocked him in with a single to leftfield. A&M 1, UM 0
B2| Hayden Dunhurst hit a leadoff home run to rightfield. A&M 1, UM 1
T3| With one out, Dylan Rock stroked a single to leftfield and he stole second base with two outs. After Ryan Targac was hit by a pitch, Troy Claunch sent Rock home with a single to rightfield. A&M 2, UM 1
B3| Jacob Gonzalez sent the second pitch of the frame over the rightfield wall for a tying home run. Tim Elko drew a walk and Kevin Graham singled to centerfield. With two outs, Peyton Chatagnier hit a 1-2 pitch over fence in leftfield for a three-run home run. UM 5, A&M 2
T4| With one out, Kole Kaler reached on a bunt single and Werner rattled a double in the corner down the rightfield line to put two runners in scoring position. With two outs, Dylan Rock stroked a three-run home run to straightaway centerfield. A single by Bost and walks by Targac and Claunch filled the bags with Ags and Brett Minnich launched a 1-2 offering for a grand slam. A&M 9, UM 5
T9| Austin Bost stroked lead leadoff single to right field and Targac blasted a two-run tater to an Aggie fan in rightfield. With two outs, Thompson added a cherry on top with a home run to left-center. A&M 12, UM 5