COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies pounded out 24 hits, including six doubles and two home runs, as they coasted to a 22-2 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in NCAA Division I Baseball Championship play Saturday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The win sends the Aggies to the title portion of the College Station Regional where they will have two opportunities to secure one win against the victors of Sunday afternoon’s elimination game between Minnesota and Wake Forest (3 pm).
Texas A&M (47-14) had 11 different players log hits, including nine players with multiple hits. Austin Homan led the hit parade going 4-for-7 with two doubles, two runs and one RBI. Boomer White batted 3-for-4 with two walks, four runs, one home run and four RBI. Ryne Birk hit 3-for-4 with two doubles, two walks, two runs and one RBI. Jonathan Moroney batted 2-for-4 with one home run and six RBI.
The 22 runs are the most for the Maroon and White in NCAA Championship play since a 22-4 victory over the Houston Cougars at the 2008 College Station Regional.
The Aggies drew first blood in the top of the first inning. With two outs, White slapped a single to rightfield and Birk drew an eight-pitch walk. Michael Barash laced a single through the right side of the infield to plate White for the 1-0 lead. Barash’s single extended his career-best hit streak to 12 games.
The Demon Deacons wasted no time knotting the score with a run in the bottom of the first. With one out, Nate Mondou pounced on a 2-0 pitch, sending it to rightfield for a solo home run.
Texas A&M reclaimed the lead with a vengeance in the top of the second inning. With one out, Hunter Melton bounced a single up the middle and Homan doubled down the leftfield line to put two runners in scoring position. After J.B. Moss was hit by a pitch to fill the bags with Ags, Nick Banks rattled a double in the corner down the leftfield line to drive in two runs. White followed by sending a full-count offering to the rec center construction zone in leftfield for a three-run dinger, staking Texas A&M to a 6-1 lead.
The Aggies tacked on two runs in the fourth. Moss got things rolling with a leadoff double and came around to score on a one-out single by White. After a Birk double and Barash hit-by-pitch, Moroney knocked in White with a sac fly, inflating the cushion to 8-1.
The Maroon and White would tack on six runs in the fifth and five in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Brigham Hill (9-1) earned the win for the Aggies. He allowed two runs on five hits and four walks while recording a career-high 10 strikeouts over 6.0 innings. Stephen Kolek, Ryan Hendrix and Corbin Martin worked scoreless frames to close out the game.
Drew Loepprich (3-2) was saddled with the loss. He yielded seven runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out one in 3.1 innings.
The Aggies face either Minnesota or Wake Forest at 8:04 pm on Sunday. A win would send Texas A&M to next week’s Super Regional action. A loss would send the teams to a winner-take-all game on Monday.