Two sacrifice fly RBIs in two innings from second baseman Bryce Blaum put No. 18 Texas A&M over the top in Tuscaloosa, defeating Alabama 3-2 in game one of the series.
The A&M offense took care of business early in the game, posting all three of its runs within the first four innings.
Starting left-hand pitcher John Doxakis took home his sixth win on the mound, throwing seven strikeouts while maintaining his sub-two ERA. Closer Kasey Kalich also captured his 11th save of the season.
The Crimson Tide threw the junior lefty into a jam in the first inning after a reach on error from left fielder T.J. Reeves, a single from second baseman Morgan McCollough and a walk from right fielder Tyler Gentry.
Alabama first baseman took advantage of the bases loaded with a single RBI to first base, pushing Reeves over home plate. However, the Aggie defense seized the opportunity on a double play, and ended the inning before the Tide could run up the score.
The Aggies bounced back in the second inning, posting a pair of runs after a single RBI from leadoff hitter Braden Shewmake and a sacrifice fly RBI from Blaum.
Shewmake put first baseman Will Frizzell over home on the second pitch, causing Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon to take starting pitcher Davis Vanier off the mound in favor of right-hand pitcher Will Freeman.
Blaum hit his first sacrifice fly RBI of the night off of Freeman after two strikes, leading outfielder Ty Condel to an unearned score.
The Tide answered immediately in the third inning with Reeves tying the game off a wild pitch from Doxakis.
A&M took the game in the fourth, with Blaum hitting his second sacrifice fly RBI after the Aggies found themselves on second and third base.
Condel and Shewmake reached on errors on consecutive plate appearances, with Condel taking third base after Shewmake’s at bat.
Blaum hit a pop-fly to center field, putting Condel over home plate for the second time in the game.
Doxakis continued to hold Alabama on offense, only allowing one hit in his last four innings on the mound. The lefty finished with seven strikeouts, five hits, two runs and four walks in seven innings pitched.
“I thought [Doxakis] was outstanding,” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “He has been fabulous all year long, and especially the last month. But tonight I thought he was just on point with his fastball/slider command.”
Relievers Joseph Menefee and Kasey Kalich finished the game on the mound for the Aggies, with Menefee throwing four strikeouts and only allowing a hit between the two.
“Hopefully we’ll get another great performance from Asa Lacy and find a way to win the series,” Childress said. “We did a lot of great things offensively tonight, had a lot of opportunities to drive in runs and certainly did enough to win the game. But if we get enough of those opportunities, we’re going to knock those two-run hits and drive in some more runs.”
A&M will face Alabama for the second game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network +.