March 12, 2010
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M scored three times in the bottom of the seventh inning and the No. 29 Aggies came from behind to beat No. 25 Washington State 4-3 in nonconference baseball at Olsen Field, Friday.
Texas A&M (12-2) trailed 2-1 entering the seventh. Kenny Jackson worked a walk off WSU (9-2) starter Chad Arnold (2-1). Kevin Gonzalez followed with a two-run home run to put the Aggies on top 3-2. A walk, two errors and a pair of fielder's choices led to a run that gave Texas A&M a 4-2 advantage.
In the ninth, Matt Fanelli led off with a line drive home run over the right-center field wall against Aggies' closer John Stilson (3-0). It was the first run and the third hit given up this season by Stilson in 18 and one-third innings. Freshman Brett Jacobs followed with a double, his second of the night and third hit in the game.
Pinch runner Kyle Johnson took third on a ground out by Shea Vucinich, but Stilson struck out pinch hitter Patrick Claussen and Garry Kuykendall to end the game. The Texas A&M pitching staff finished with 18 strikeouts.
"I am proud of the way we fought until the end against a quality opponent," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "We had a chance in the ninth inning to tie the game and that is all you can ask for, but we cannot afford to strikeout 18 times against anyone."
For five innings, Arnold and Texas A&M starter Barret Loux mowed down hitters as the game was 0-0 heading to the sixth.
With one out, Jay Ponciano reached on an error and moved to third on a flare double just inside the left field line by Derek Jones. After Michael Weber walked, Loux, who finished with 11 strikeouts, was replaced by Shane Minks.
The Aggies' reliever induced what should have been an inning-ending double play ball. However, shortstop Adam Smith's relay to first base was low and Ponciano scored the game's first run. Fanelli followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to give WSU a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, Joe Patterson delivered a two-out, RBI-double to bring Texas A&M within 2-1.
The series continues, Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Central/12:05 p.m. Pacific.
Both Texas A&M and Washington State faced their first nationally-ranked opponent of the season...Chad Arnold pitched at least six innings and struck out six for the third-straight start.