Aggies shed weekend blues, drop Northwestern State
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 00:02
Sophomores Corey Ray and Mitchell Nau — the Aggies’ pitcher and catcher, respectively — enjoy a familiarity that dates back to high school. Starting opposite one another for Texas A&M during the Tuesday night matchup against Northwestern State, the two noted the connection that stretched from the mound to the plate.
"Corey's Corey," Nau said. "I've been catching him since I was 15, so it's kind of a brotherly thing out there."
Working off this brotherly relationship, Texas A&M surged to a 9-5 victory over the Demons on Tuesday night at Olsen Field. Ray (2-0) earned the victory over six and one-third innings, striking out four while allowing five hits.
Nau led the Aggies in their scoring rampage, notching one double and three RBI on a 2-for-3 night, after a drought in the 1-2 series loss against Pepperdine this past weekend. Texas A&M scored more runs in Tuesday's game than they did during the three-game series.
Head coach Rob Childress said it was a great turnaround.
"They rose to the challenge," Childress said. "We were able to grab the lead early in the third inning. We had a lot of hitters step up and show some courage with big two out hits."
During the second inning, Ray’s pitching truly came into focus.
The sophomore started off rough, walking three Demons to load the bases. Two outs later and the batter holding a 0-2 count, Ray pitched a strike to help maintain the score at 0-0.
He said his defense deserves a lot of credit.
"The defense played great," Ray said. "They played great and showed a lot of toughness."
Texas A&M looked to be in a little trouble in the eighth inning with runners on first and second and no outs. Working off a strong bullpen, the Aggies escaped the inning with only three runs scored. The offense added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning to seal the victory.
Childress said overall he was impressed with the pitching performance.
"Corey gave us a good start," Childress said. "[Freshman pitcher] A.J. Minter blew out a couple of good batters. [Sophomore] Zach Brashear came in and kind of settled things down a bit and [junior] Jason Jester finished things in the ninth."
Texas A&M completes the series with Northwestern State Wednesday afternoon at Blue Bell Park. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.