No. 18 Texas A&M baseball scored five runs in the first inning to win game three against Alabama 6-5, earning the SEC series win.
Junior infielder Braden Shewmake’s leadoff triple in the first at-bat of the game kicked off an explosive first inning for A&M. Junior infielder Bryce Blaum followed up with an RBI single that scored Shewmake and gave the Aggies the early lead.
Sophomore outfielder Zach DeLoach joined Blaum on base after being hit by a pitch. The pair then converted their position into points after an Alabama fielding error on a single by junior catcher Mikey Hoehner.
The Aggies continued their early assault on the Crimson Tide with a two run RBI by sophomore infielder Will Frizzell that gave A&M the 5-0 lead after the first inning.
A&M faced four different Alabama pitchers in the game, while putting five on the mound. Chris Weber earned the win for A&M, pitching one inning and allowing two hits with one strikeout.
Sophomore pitcher Christian Roa got the start on the mound for the Aggies, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits and throwing six strikeouts.
Roa struck out the first two batters he faced, but junior infielder Morgan McCullough managed a two-out triple on a fielding error by A&M to put Alabama in scoring position. Sophomore outfielder Tyler Gentry then knocked an RBI single to put McCullough over home and put the Tide on the scoreboard.
Two scoreless innings followed as both teams struggled offensively, only managing one hit between them.
The Tide ended the drought, scoring Gentry on a two-out single by junior infielder Kolby Robinson. That was the extent of Alabama’s fourth inning rally attempt as the inning ended on the next pitch.
Alabama continued their slow and steady comeback attempt through the next three innings, with defensive efforts keeping the Aggies at bay. Three Tide pitchers — senior Sam Finnerty, freshman Chase Lee and sophomore Brock Guffey — combined to allow only three hits during the three innings.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, freshman outfielder T.J. Reeves notched a single, then stole second to put the Tide in scoring position. Gentry continued his attack on the Aggies with a single to put Reeves over home plate and put Alabama within two runs.
Gentry was crucial to keeping Alabama in the game, leading the Tide with three RBIs, three hits and one run.
The Tide mounted another rally attempt in the sixth, using two singles and a walked batter to load the bases with two outs.
Sophomore Bryce Miller then took over on the mound for A&M, pitching a strikeout against the first batter he faced to put an end to the Tide’s comeback hopes.
Alabama wasn’t ready to give up just yet, though. With McCullough on first, freshman Drew Williamson hit a single up the middle that slipped through DeLoach’s glove and allowed McCullough to score and make the score 5-4.
The Aggies added an insurance run in the eighth after a walk put Hoehner on base. He converted into a score on a single by freshman infielder Ty Coleman, extending A&M’s lead to 6-4.
Alabama again attempted to close in on the Aggies’ lead in the bottom of the ninth as Gentry doubled to bring Reeves home. However, after a 48-minute rain delay, any momentum the Tide had managed to garner was long gone as two strikeouts ended the inning.
The Aggies will close out the regular season with a three-game SEC series against Arkansas. First pitch of game one is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday.