While the pitchers were the stars of the show in Friday’s matchup with 17 strikeouts, Texas A&M baseball’s game on Saturday went a little different.
The Aggies fell behind early to New Mexico State but used a four-run sixth and a three-run seventh inning to top the crimson Aggies 7-5.
A pinch-hit homerun from sophomore infielder Austin Bost scored three runs to put A&M within one, with the maroon and white then taking the lead on a single from senior outfielder Ray Alejo.
“I knew my number was being called with a lefty pitching,” Bost said. “Coach [Justin Seely] said I was up. I walked up ready to drive the ball and do my job with two runners on. We were down by some runs so I wanted to get a base hit, and some good things happened. It couldn’t have felt better. It felt so good to run around the bases and look at my teammates. I couldn’t have asked for a better moment.”
Bost’s homerun was just the second hit of his career and doubled his RBI total. With the hit, which came after a pitching change for New Mexico State, A&M’s momentum shifted.
“For us to be down 5-0 into the fifth and being able to answer back, I’m just as proud of our team as I have been all year long,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “For us to be able to respond that way, for the bullpen to come in and completely shut them down and [Chandler] Jozwiak aggression, his attack. For Austin Bost to be able to come off the bench and take that spot, got us right back into the game with one big swing. Just all around so many heroes tonight. I’m very, very proud of our team.”
The maroon Aggies loaded the bases again in the inning, but were unable to run anyone across as a fly out ended the inning.
Down 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, A&M wasn’t done. The crimson Aggies’ senior pitcher Alex Pinedo hit two batters, with another reaching on a fielder’s choice to load the bases for A&M. Senior Aldo Fernandez replaced Pinedo on the mound and struck out his first batter. It didn’t matter though, as with one out, Alejo hit a single that scored junior infielders Will Frizzell and Logan Sartori and gave A&M the lead.
“The guy was throwing hard and had a good slider,” Alejo said. “I just tried to put the ball on the ground, because I know they couldn’t turn a double play on me. I trust my teammates, and I know if I don’t get the job done then the next guy will.”
The maroon and white loaded the bases again in the inning and with two outs, added to its lead on a wild pitch.
With junior Bryce Miller coming in on the mound to replace Jozwiak in the eighth inning, neither team was able to score again.
Jozwiak earned the win for A&M with no runs on three hits allowed and four strikeouts over 3.1 innings. Starting pitcher Christian Roa allowed five runs on four hits with six strikeouts in 4.1 innings on the mound. Miller got the save in 1.1 innings, with no runs, no hits and two strikeouts.
Roa walked three batters in the second inning to load the bases. New Mexico State took advantage of the scoring position as sophomore infielder Austin Duffy hit a single through the left side, scoring sophomore infielder Kevin Jimenez and senior catcher Jason Bush.
The crimson-and-white Aggies added to their lead in the fifth inning, with three runs on two doubles and a fielder’s choice.
A&M kicked off its rally in the bottom of the sixth. With junior Chandler Jozwiak replacing Roa on the mound and preventing another score in the top of the inning despite loading the bases with two walks.
After Sartori hit a single and Frizzell was walked, senior catcher Hunter Coleman hit a double to advance the pair and score Sartori.
Bost’s homerun and three seventh inning runs followed, lifting A&M over New Mexico State.
The two Aggie teams will face off again at 1 p.m. on Sunday.