HOOVER, Alabama - Trailing 6-1 after four innings, the 2-seed Texas A&M Aggies went on a 10-run surge the next three frames and beat the 11-seed Alabama Crimson Tide, 12-8, Friday evening at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium to advance to the semifinals of the SEC Baseball Tournament.
The Aggies entered the game outscoring opponents 127-46 in the fifth and sixth innings and they continued the trend, putting up three runs in both of the frames to take a 7-6 lead.
The Maroon & White tacked on four more runs in the seventh, including a three-run home run by Trevor Werner before Alabama responded with two runs in the home half of the inning. It was too little, too late for the Crimson Tide as Will Johnston slammed the door with a three-inning save.
Dylan Rock's three-run dinger in the fifth inning started the momentum swing.
Alabama's Grayson Hitt was headed to one of the best performances of his career, but his 100th and final pitch of the contest was blasted into the Aggies' bullpen in leftfield, cutting the Tide's edge to 6-4.
Texas A&M staked claim to their first lead in the sixth. Kole Kaler punched a game-tying, two-run single through the left side of the infield and with bases loaded, Rock was hit by a pitch to push the go-ahead run across.
Johnston allowed two inherited runners to score, but he was solid afterward, scattering three hits while striking out five in 3.0 to earn his fourth save of the season.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
Kole Kaler - 2-for-5, 1 R, 3 RBI
Trevor Werner - 2-for-6, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Dylan Rock - 1-for-5, 1 HBP, 4 RBI
B1| Caden Rose knocked a leadoff single through the left side Andrew Pinckney grounded to second base, but wound up on third when the throw to first base in an attempt to complete the double play ricocheted off Pinckney and down the rightfield line. UA 1, A&M 0
T2| Austin Bost bounced a leadoff single up the middle. With one out, Troy Claunch deposited a double in the corner down the leftfield line to put two runners in scoring position. Brett Minnich plated Bost with a sacrifice fly to leftfield. UA 1, A&M 1
B2| With one out, Tommy Seidl singled through the right side. Jim Jarvis singled to centerfield and Jordan Thompson misplayed the ball putting two runners in scoring position. Rose cleared the paths with a triple to rightfield. Rose scored when Pinckney reached on a fielding error at third base. UA 4, A&M 1
B4| Rose laced a one-out single to rightfield, stole second base and scored on a Pinckney single to leftfield. Pinckney stole second base and scored on a two-out single to leftfield by Dominic Tamez. UA 6, A&M 1
T5| Thompson was issued a four-pitch walk to start the frame. With one out, Trevor Werner blasted a single up the middle and, with two outs, Dylan Rock cleared the bases with a three-run home run into the Aggie bullpen in leftfield. UA 6, A&M 4
T6| Ryan Targac drew a walk and Claunch was hit by a pitch as the first two batters of the inning. With one out, Claunch and Targac pulled off the double steal and Thompson drew a walk to fill the bags with Ags. Kole Kaler threaded a single through the left side to tie the game. With two outs, Jack Moss was hit by a pitch to reload the bases and Rock was hit by a pitch to push the go-ahead run across. A&M 7, UA 6
T7| Targac was issued a four-pitch base on balls and moved to second on a wild pitch to get things started. With one out, Minnich singled through the left side to put runners on the corners. With two outs, Kaler lofted a single to centerfield, plating Targac. Alabama reliever Hunter Furtado was offered a rude welcome from Werner who blasted a 3-2 pitch to leftfield to knock in three runs. A&M 11, UA 6
B7| The Tide frame started with a Tamez single to centerfield, Owen Diodati walk and Zane Denton single through the left side. Bryce Eblin clubbed a 2-1 offering into the gap in right-center to knock in two runs. Aggie reliever Will Johnston settled in to strike out the next two batters before inducing an inning-ending flyout. A&M 11, UA 8
T8| Targac worked a one-out walk, stole second base with two outs and scored when Minnich laced a double down the rightfield line. A&M 12, UA 8
11-seed Alabama will face 7-seed Florida in a fourth-round elimination game at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, with Texas A&M waiting to face the winner of that game in a single-elimination semifinal contest later in the day, projected for a 5:30 p.m. ET start. Both games will be televised on SEC Network.