Aggies Complete Super Series Sweep at Mississippi State, 10-5 - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Aggies Complete Super Series Sweep at Mississippi State, 10-5

STARKVILLE, Mississippi – For the first time since 1987 No. 3 Texas A&M reached double digits in the runs column in five consecutive league games, as the Aggies registered a 10-5 win over No. 8 Mississippi State to dampen spirits at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday.

The victory completed the Super Bulldog Weekend sweep. The Aggies handed Mississippi State their first series sweep at Dudy Noble Field since the 2010 season.

Texas A&M (29-8, 10-5 SEC) logged 17 hits on the day and scored 10 or more runs for the sixth consecutive game. J.B. Moss, Nick Banks, Boomer White and Joel Davis all smacked three hits on the day. Banks went 3-for-6 with three RBI.

The Aggies fired the opening salvo in the top of the second. Michael Barash blooped a single into shallow left-center and Davis threaded a single through the right side of the infield. Nick Choruby loaded the bases with a bunt single to drive Mississippi State starter Konnor Pilkington from the contest. Reliever Ryan Rigby got Austin Homan to bounce into a 3-2-3 double play, but Moss followed with a single through the right side of the infield to knock in Davis and Choruby for the 2-0 lead.

Mississippi State responded with a run in the home half of the third inning. With one out, Hunter Stovall was issued a base on balls and Jake Mangum doubled down the rightfield line to give the Bulldogs two runners in scoring position. Gavin Collins drew a seven-pitch walk to load the bases. With Nathaniel Lowe batting, a pitch got by A&M catcher Barash, allowing Stovall to come home. Aggie starter Kyle Simonds settled in to get Lowe to pop out to shallow leftfield and get Brent Rooker swinging and missing at strike three to end the frame.

The Aggies manufactured a run in the fourth inning. With one out, Choruby and Homan each drew walks and Moss singled to right field to load the bases. After Choruby was retired at home on a fielder’s choice grounder by Banks, White drew a walk to plate Homan and stake A&M to a 3-1 advantage.

Texas A&M took advantage of a Mississippi State error to score a run in the fifth. With one out, third baseman Collins sailed a throw to first base on a grounder by Barash. Davis followed with ground-rule double to right-center, putting two guys in scoring position. Choruby punched a ball up the middle through a drawn-in infield, knocking in Barash for the 4-1 lead.

The resilient Bulldogs wrestled the lead from the Aggies in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Mangum singled through the left side of the infield and Collins blasted a first-pitch offering, from Aggie reliever Ryan Hendrix, over the leftfield fence for a two-run home run. Lowe followed with a single up the middle. Hendrix appeared to regroup when he got Reid Humphreys to strikeout swinging, but Rooker tied the game with a triple down the rightfield line. Mitchell Kilkenny spelled Hendrix on the mound and gave up the go-ahead double by Elih Marrero who lofted a 1-1 pitch over a shallow Aggie outfield, giving Mississippi State a 5-4 margin.

The Aggies offered an immediate and equal response in the top of the eighth. Homan started the inning with a bunt single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Moss. Banks slapped a 1-2 pitch into the hole on the right side and it took a bad bounce over the second baseman’s glove for an RBI single. White followed with a single through the left side and Hunter Melton rattled a double into the corner down the leftfield line, plating two for the 7-5 edge. Melton moved to third on a throwing error by the leftfielder and scored on a sacrifice fly Birk to inflate the cushion to 8-5.

Banks put the game away with a two-out double in the ninth.

Simonds worked 4.0 innings plus one batter in the fifth, yielding one unearned run on four hits and three walks while striking out one. Kilkenny (2-0) worked 2.1 scoreless innings to earn the win. He allowed one hit while striking out one.

Pilkington lasted just one inning plus three batters in the second, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three.

Mangum led Mississippi State with three hits. Rooker and Marrero added two apiece.

Texas A&M returns to action Tuesday when the Aggies host the Texas State Bobcats in a 6:34 pm contest on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Head coach Rob Childress

On the series…

“I couldn’t be more proud of the whole team this entire weekend. We showed toughness all weekend especially today. We let a three-run lead get away, but we answered a four-spot with a four-spot of our own. We had seven incredible at-bats in a row. And then in the ninth inning with two outs and nobody on, just like that we get a walk and a single and Nick Banks stays in the fight long enough to get a double to extend the lead.”

On big innings…

“Teams that put up a big inning are usually going to win. It was so important for us to cancel theirs out with one of our own. That four-run inning made the eighth and ninth so much easier from a pitching standpoint. Give credit to Mitchell Kilkenny. If he doesn’t throw strikes, Mississippi State could get right back in it. He is continuing to grow right in front of our eyes.”

Junior third baseman Boomer White

On the game…

“We showed a lot of heart. We could have got discouraged after they took the lead in the seventh, but we counterpunched in the eighth and delivered the knockout runs in the ninth

Senior first baseman Hunter Melton

On his go-ahead hit in the eighth…

“I wasn’t really trying to do too much. I was trying to stay opposite field. He was coming with a two-seam. I was trying to look for something out over the plate. I was lucky to get a fastball over the plate and was able to get a good swing on it.”

On scoring 10 or more runs each of the last six games…

“I think it’s sticking to a team approach. If one through nine stays within themselves and takes good at-bats, it wears out the other team’s pitching staff. It makes it easier when you’re going through the lineup the second and third time.”

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