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Simonds Brings Home the Bacon with First Career Complete Game

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – Senior pitcher Kyle Simonds weaved his first career complete-game to lead the No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies to a 6-2 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks in Sunday’s rubber match at Baum Stadium.

Simonds (7-1) yielded two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five over the 9.0 innings. He stayed out of traffic early in innings, allowing just three of the eight hits before two outs.

With the win, Texas A&M (35-9, 14-7 SEC) claimed their fourth straight weekend series and maintained their two-game lead in the SEC Western Division over Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Boomer White and Michael Barash led the Aggies at the plate. White went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Barash went 2-for-4 with one double and two RBI.

Arkansas (26-18, 7-14 SEC) broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Michael Bernal hit a wall-banger to centerfield for a triple. Rick Nomura followed with a four-pitch walk to put runners at the corners. Carson Shaddy knocked in a Bernal with a single to the wall in rightfield, staking the Razorbacks to a 1-0 lead.

Texas A&M benefitted from an Arkansas error as the Aggies put up four runs in the fourth. With one out, Nick Choruby reached first when shortstop Bernal’s throw bounced past the first baseman. White worked the count full before driving a ball down the leftfield line for a game-tying double. After Hunter Melton swung and missed at strike three for the second out of the inning, Ryne Birk drew a six-pitch walk. Barash gave A&M its first lead of the game when he gapped an 0-1 pitch to left-center for a two-run double. Nick Banks capped off the rally with a single to centerfield, sending Barash home for the 4-1 advantage.

The Aggies added to the lead with a run in the sixth. With two outs, Barash reached on an infield single and Banks drew a four-pitch walk to bring Joel Davis to the plate. Davis got ahead in the count, 3-1, before driving a single through the left side of the infield to plate Barash for the 5-1 lead.

Texas A&M tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth. With one out, Austin Homan put down a bunt single. The hit extended his hit streak to 17 games, the longest for an Aggie in 2016. J.B. Moss drew a walk to move Homan into scoring position and White knocked him home with a two-out double for the 6-1 lead.

Shaddy led off the ninth inning with a solo home run, but it was too little, too late as Simonds got a fly out, strikeout and fly out to end the game.

Arkansas starter Keaton McKinney (1-3) was saddled with the loss. He allowed five runs, one earned, on six hits and one walk while striking out five over 5.2 innings.

Shaddy went 3-for-4 with one home run and two RBI.

The Aggies return to action Thursday when they host the No. 7 Vanderbilt Commodores in a three-game series on Olsen Field at Bell Park. Game times for the series are 6 pm on Thursday and Friday and 2:30 pm on Saturday.

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