OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – No. 11 Texas A&M used an aggressive offense to score four runs in the first three innings and was able to hold off Kansas State for a 7-2 win Saturday afternoon in Big 12 Tournament action at Bricktown Ballpark.
With the loss, the Wildcats moved to 34-24 on the season and were
eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament championship game, while Texas
A&M improved to 43-16 and remained alive for a title game appearance.
K-State, which recorded the most wins in a season since 1976, finished
the week with a 1-2 record in the tournament and now is 3-4 all-time in
Big 12 Tournament play.
The Aggies wasted no time on Saturday as Brian Ruggiano stretched a
single into a double on the first pitch of the game and came around to
score on a Blake Stouffer ground out to give Texas A&M the early 1-0
lead. K-State, which stranded 14 runners on base for the game, had a
great opportunity to score in the bottom of the first after putting
runners at second and third with one out but Byron Wiley struck out
swinging and Eli Rumler flied out, after Brett Scott had walked, to end
Texas A&M then pushed its lead to 3-0 with two more runs in the top of
the second as a hit batsman, a triple and a bunt hit led to two Aggie
runs. The Cats got on the board in the second as Rob Vaughn blasted a
solo homer to left and K-State threatened for more but Wiley grounded
out to second to end the inning to leave the bases loaded for the
second straight inning.
In the third, Ben Feltner led off with a walk for Texas A&M and promptly
stole second and third before scoring on a Stouffer sacrifice fly as
the Aggies took a 4-1 lead. Then, a two-out walk to Stouffer led to
another rally for the Aggies as a stolen base and a single upped the
margin to 5-1.
Kansas State inched a little closer with a run in the sixth as Derek
Bunker’s single up the middle scored Vaughn, who had walked. But, after
the Cats had runners at the corners with one out, Eddie Vasquez struck
out and Adam Muenster grounded out to end the frame, leaving the score
at 5-2. A two-out single from Craig Stinson in the top of the seventh
got the run back for the Aggies as they went ahead 6-2 and later added
a seventh run on a safety squeeze in the eighth inning.
Bayuk (5-6) gave up four runs in the first three innings but really
settled down nicely and went the next four allowing just two more runs.
For the game, the junior tossed 7.0 innings and gave up six runs on
eight hits with two strikeouts and five walks.
Aggie starter David Newmann (10-1) picked up the win after tossing 5.0
innings of five-hit action, while Travis Starling tossed the final 3.2
shutout innings to earn his first save of the season.
Six different Wildcats recorded hits on the day, led by Ruch and
Vasquez’s two hits.
Kansas State now turns its attention to the NCAA selection show on
Monday morning as the field of 64 teams for regional play will be
announced at 11 a.m. on ESPN.