COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies broke a 2-2 deadlock with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and held on for a 6-5 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Tuesday night at Blue Bell Park.
The Kats (35-18) had things tied up after plating a pair of runs in the third inning, but Allonte Wingate broke the tie with an RBI single in the sixth and Zach DeLoach and Michael Helman followed with an RBI each in the inning to put the Aggies (35-17) up for good.
It was the first win for Texas A&M over the Kats since 2015 after Sam Houston had won each of the past two seasons in College Station.
The Bearkats finished with 10 hits for the game, but five came in the opening three frames against starting pitcher Kaylor Chafin and reliever Chandler Jozwiak, including three in in the third before getting three more in a three-run ninth.
Sam Houston nearly came all the way back from a 6-2 deficit with that three-run rally, but Aggie stopper Nolan Hoffman was able to finish it off for his 11th save of the year.
Gabriel Sequeira took the loss for Sam Houston, falling to 4-3 on the year. He pitched a clean fifth inning before allowing all three runs in the sixth, punching out one and allowing four hits. That came in relief of starter Riley Gossett who allowed a pair of runs with a strikeout on five hits in 4.0 innings.
For Texas A&M, Hunter Coleman was one of three Aggies with multiple hits, opening up the scoring with an RBI triple in the first inning. Will Frizzell and George Janca added two hits each and the Aggies used four arms on the night with Cason Sherrod picking up the win to go to 5-2. He struck out four and allowed just one hit in 2.2 innings of relief.
The Bearkats will now travel to the Alamo City for its final regular-season series of the season at UIW. With one more win the Kats would clinch the outright Southland Conference title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament. The series opener is set for Thursday at 6:00 p.m. from Sullivan Field.
A one-out hit batter cost Gossett in the Aggies first trip to the plate when Coleman followed it up two batters later with a triple to right-center field that scored Helman with the game’s first run. Will Frizzell followed that up with a single to left field, bringing in Coleman and giving Texas A&M a 2-0 lead after an inning of play.
The Kats got those two runs back in the third in an inning that started on consecutive singles by Riley McKnight and Blake Chisolm to open the inning. After Andrew Fregia was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out, Clayton Harp beat out a potential double-play ball and Braden Shewmake’s throw from shortstop went wild, allowing a pair of runs to plate to knot things up at 2-2. A single by Eric Bohnert and a walk to Jaxxon Grisham followed, but reliever Asa Lacy entered to get a ground ball from Chase Cryer to leave the bases loaded.
Texas A&M untied things in the sixth on three consecutive one-out singles against Sequeira. The third came from Wingate into right field to score Aaron Walters with the go-ahead run. DeLoach followed with a sacrifice fly to bring another one home before Helman capped the scoring with an RBI single of his own, bringing the lead to 5-2 after six frames.
The Aggies added another key run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth, which proved to be a big insurance run after the Kats mounted a rally in the ninth against Hoffman. Down 6-2, Chisolm singled and Hunter Hearn doubled for the second time to kickstart the rally. Fregia then kept a two-run double inside the third-base bag to cut the lead to 6-4. But Hoffman was able to get a pair of grounders after that, the second from Ben Haefner which scored Fregia to trim it to a 6-5 game; however, he was able to get a third grounder, this one from pinch hitter Cross Austin, to finish it off.