BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M Aggies used a 10-run fourth inning to blow past Prairie View A&M for a 13-3 midweek victory in seven innings on Wednesday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The Aggies (23-14) homered three times in the inning, scoring the most runs in a single frame this year. Kaeden Kent hit his first career homer in the inning, an opposite-field dinger that scored a pair and put A&M ahead for the first time in the game.
The freshman finished with a game-high four RBI, a mark equaled by Brett Minnich on one swing with his second career grand slam in the 10-run fourth. Kent was also one of four Aggies with two hits in the game, aiding an offensive effort that made a winner out of reliever Matt Dillard for the first time in a Texas A&M jersey.
Dillard struck out a pair of hitters in 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Ty Sexton who also struck out four Panthers (14-22) of his own. Chris Cortez threw 2.0 perfect innings of his own with four punchouts and Jaren Warwick closed it out with a scoreless seventh.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
- Jack Moss - 2-for-3, 1 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BBB
- Brett Minnich - 1-for-3, HR, 4 RBI
- Ryan Targac - 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B
- Kaeden Kent - 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 1 R
- Jordan Thompson - 2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
- Matt Dillard - (W, 1-1) 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
- Chris Cortez - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
T1 | PVAM 2, A&M 0 Prairie View put together a solid frame in the top of the first, connecting on three straight one-out singles to push home its first run of the game when Alex Martinez plated Ahmar Donatto. Two batters later Benjamin Ybarra reached on an infield single and Tyran Norris got a great break with two outs on the play, scoring all the way from second base to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
T2 | PVAM 3, A&M 0 A four-pitch walk with one out to Zachary Trevino gave Prairie View something to workt with in the second and he worked his way into scoring position by swiping second base on a strikeout of Garrett Weiss. Donatto then dumped a bloop single into shallow right field to score him with the third run of the game.
B2 | PVAM 3, A&M 1 The Aggies returned the favor by taking advantage of a one-out walk of their own in the home half of the inning. It was Austin Bost who drew the free pass from Panther starter Elijah Breeden and after moving up to second base on a ground ball, the senior came in to score on a sure single by freshman Kaeden Kent.
B3 | PVAM 3, A&M 2 Hank Bard got another rally going for the Aggies by doubling off the left-field wall. Two batters later Jack Moss picked up an RBI by trading places with him with a hard double into the right-field corner.
B4 | A&M 12, PVAM 3 The Aggies erupted for a its biggest inning of the season to take hold of the game in the bottom of the fourth, sending 14 batters to the plate and hitting three home runs in a frame for the first time this season. A single by Ryan Targac started the inning harmlessly enough, but Kent followed it up with his first career home run, a two-run shot that put A&M in front for the first time. Jordan Thompson followed with a single and consecutive walks to Bard and Hunter Haas loaded the sacks. Trevor Werner and Moss then each looked at four straight pitches out of the zone, driving in a run apiece. Brett Minnich followed that up with the big blast of the game, hitting his second career grand slam out to right field off of Daniel McKay. The Aggies tacked on two more runs three batters later with a two-run blast by Thompson off the fourth pitcher of the inning for Prairie View.
B6 | A&M 13, PVAM 3 Targac got the Aggies quickly in position to put the run-rule into effect, tripling to left field on the second pitch of the inning. One batter later Kent capped his night with a fly ball to left field, scoring Targac with the sacrifice fly that pushed it to a 10-run advantage.
Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
On the Importance of High Scoring Innings...
"When you have big innings like that, you need some help. We had some free bases. Then you get the big swing like Minnich and Jordan Thompson had. When the wind is blowing the way it is, our team has a chance to hit some home runs, and if you set the table for us you're gonna get some big innings."
On Matt Dillard Emerging in the Lineup...
"He's done a really nice job, starting to mix in all of his pitches and throwing strikes on both sides of the plate with his fastball. Even though his numbers are very skewed for the beginning of the season, I've always had great confidence in him. He's an awesome young man and has a great presence about him. He's very mature and I trust him. He's a strike thrower that I trust."
Freshman Left Fielder Kaeden Kent
On His Home Run...
"I was putting together some good at-bats, getting good pitches to hit and putting a good swing on it. It felt good to be able to get a home run tonight and make the most of my at-bats."
Senior LHP Matt Dillard
On his accumulated nine scoreless innings...
"It is just staying true to what I am and not letting the results side of it get to me at all. I trust what Coach Yeskie puts in the wristband and trust in the guys playing defense behind me, we have an incredible defense. Travis Chestnut had two great plays the last time I was out, Hunter Haas has been a tremendous shortstop all year long and Ryan Targac made a funny play today off my foot. Just great defense and trusting my defense."
The Aggies next hit the road for a key series at No. 13 Kentucky, beginning Friday night at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington. The game will be streamed on SEC Network+ and can be heard locally on 1150 AM/93.7 FM The Zone.