Aggies stave off Sooners, 4-3
Published: Friday, April 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07
It seems when the game is on the line these days, all the Aggie baseball team needs to do is summon the sophomore from Bryan, Texas, Krey Bratsen.
Bratsen hit a walk off sacrifice fly to right field, driving in the winning run to give No. 4 Texas A&M a 4-3 win against No. 22 Oklahoma in a 12 inning affair.
The walk-off hit was the second in three games for Bratsen, the first coming off against Missouri this past Sunday.
“[Krey] likes being up there with the game on the line and he came up big when it mattered most,” head coach Rob Childress said.
"It was a great Friday night game. I thought our effort and attitude tonight was good. I don't care about the scoreboard, if we get those things, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
The Sooners drew first blood in the top of the second inning as the Sooners used aggressive hitting and base running. Aggie starting pitcher Michael Wacha allowed two singles and a stolen base, placing runners at first and second. With runners on second and third after a fielder’s choice advanced the runners, Oklahoma Sooner third baseman Garrett Carey brought home a run on an RBI single to left field putting the Sooners up 1-0. Wacha would then get out of the inning when Aggie All-American right fielder Tyler Naquin threw out Oklahoma’s Tanner Toal as he was trying to advance to third base.
The Aggies would answer back in the bottom of the third inning by applying pressure with hard hitting and aggressive base running. Aggie second baseman Scott Arthur started the rally by getting a single, then stealing second base. The Aggies then got back to back singles by Bratsen and Naquin, giving the Aggies their first lead of the night, 2-1.
The Aggie defense, which has been suspect in the early going of the season, saw highlight reel plays from shortstop Mikey Reynolds and catcher Troy Stein. Reynolds nabbed a hard hit ball, stopping it on a dive then throwing the runner out at first. Stein started a crafty double play when he threw the attempted base stealer at second, only to receive the throw back from Arthur tagging out Oklahoma’s Jack Mayfield at home. The tandem play proved to be crucial as it ended the Sooner’s threat.
“It was a great play on both ends. I mean it was a great throw by the catcher [Troy Stein] and then back to home. We we’re very fortunate,” Coach Childress said.
The Oklahoma Sooners would score a run in the top of the fourth and sixth innings giving the Sooners a 3-2 lead.
Reynolds led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk, hoping to spark a little Olsen Magic into the offense. Naquin continued his hot streak (went 3-5 raising his batting average to a Big 12 best .431)by roping a single past the Oklahoma’s first baseman Hunter Lockwood advancing Reynolds to third setting up the stage for power-hitting first baseman Jacob House. House did his part by hitting a sacrifice fly to deep center field, allowing Reynolds to score from third and tying the game 3-3.
The game went on with each team, unwilling to let this game go to the opponent. In the bottom of the 12th inning however, the Aggies would battle their way to set the stage for Bratsen.
Freshman catcher Cole Lankford drew a walk, then being replaced by pinch-runner Charlie Curl. After a sacrifice bunt and two additional walks, Bratsen came up to the plate with bases loaded, one out, and the entire crowd rallying for the run to be pushed through.
Then, with one mighty swing off of Bratsen’s bat, the ball sailed just deep enough to right field, bringing home Curl, who beat a throw home from right field. The Aggies then rushed out of the dugout to celebrate the victory around Bratsen.
The Aggies will take the field once again on Friday against Oklahoma at 6:35 p.m. at Blue Bell Park. The Aggies will send Ross Stripling (4-1 2.87 ERA) to the mound while the Sooners will counter with southpaw Dillon Overton (4-0 3.54 ERA).