Aggie baseball defeats Texas Tech in game two of series, 7-2
Published: Monday, May 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
The No. 9 Texas A&M baseball team used a historic performance from senior pitcher Ross Stripling and quartet of long balls to eventually seal the 7-2 victory over Texas Tech.
“I’m real proud of our team,” Childress said. “Every time they scored today, we answered back. Ross settled in and had an amazing performance, as good as he’s had all year long.”
The game in which the thermometer reached upwards of 95 degrees began ominously when Tech lead off batter Jamodrick McGruder drilled a pitch into Stripling’s chest. The ball, which ricocheted toward first as McGruder took the base cleanly, left the Aggie pitcher bruised and winded.
Childress said that his All-American displayed “an awful lot of toughness” in dealing with the early-inning scare as well as the heat.
“He’s in great shape and he’s a grinder,” Childress said. “I’m glad he’s on my team. There’s no way I could’ve gone eight innings today, I’ll guarantee you.”
The Southlake, Texas, native lasted eight innings and struck out 13 batters, a career-high. He also joined Casey Fossum (1997-99), Jeff Granger (1991-93), and junior Michael Wacha (2009-present) as the only players in school history to notch 300 career strikeouts.
“That’s a great list to be on,” Stripling said, “But that’s something I’ll look back on in five or ten years. Right now we’re just trying to make a run through the postseason. As I climb up some Aggie leaderboards and what not I’ll look back and think how great it is, but right now we’re just taking it one game at a time like we always do.”
As Stripling led the way on the mound, a fellow senior took initiative at the plate for the home team. First baseman Jacob House sent a pair of pitches over the outfield wall and was joined in the home run column by sophomore left fielder Brandon Wood and sophomore center fielder Krey Bratsen.
“We got some big hits today,” Childress said. “That’s not our offense, hasn’t been all year long, but we do have power in our lineup.
House’s two-run first inning bomb gave the Aggies a 2-1 lead, and Bratsen knocked a two-run score in the second by pulling a pitch over the left field wall for his first career home run.
“As a little kid, you always want to be the guy to hit the home run,” Bratsen said. “I hadn’t done it at all last year so the pressure was kicking in a little bit. I was glad. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
The local product from Bryan High School went 1-for-3 from the plate and scored two runs for the Aggies in one of his best recent performances.
“The last couple of games I’ve been struggling,” Bratsen said. “It was great to finally get a hit again. I’ve hit a lot of balls hard sometimes lately right at somebody and I couldn’t catch a break. I had to hit one over to get a break and it worked out perfectly—there’s nobody over the fence [to potentially catch the ball].”
Wood’s rope over the wall in left-center gave the Aggies a 6-2 advantage after four innings of work, and House tacked on the insurance run in the fifth for his team-leading 7th home run of the season. The scoreboard would not change after House’s contribution, and freshman reliever Corey Ray threw a scoreless ninth to secure the series win.
The Aggies will sport their camouflage jerseys Sunday as they seek to sweep the Red Raiders. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.