The Texas A&M Aggies dropped the opener of a three-game set with the Auburn Tigers, 2-1, Friday night on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Auburn (24-8, 8-2) opened the scoring with a couple runs in the third off Aggie starter Brigham Hill (5-3). After Dylan Ingram slapped a leadoff single to centerfield, he was replaced at first base by Damon Haecker when the Aggies came a whisker away from completing the 6-4-3 double play on Haecker’s grounder. Will Holland followed with a chopper that went inches over the glove of a leaping George Janca for a single to put two on. Jay Estes snuck a double down the left field line scoring two. Hill limited the damage inducing a 4-6-3 double play.
The Aggies (21-10, 3-7) threatened in the seventh putting Joel Davis on with a walks and Hunter Coleman reaching on a single. Walker Pennington was inches away from tying the game when he roped a ball down the leftfield line, but landed a smidge on the foul side and he ended the at-bat with a strikeout. Again in the eighth, the Aggies put a couple runners on but couldn’t bring anyone home.
Davis got the Aggie faithful juiced with a solo shot to begin the ninth, but a complete rally never materialized as Auburn’s Andrew Mitchell closed it out for the save.
Casey Mize (5-1) got his eighth start of the season on the mound for Tigers. Mize had the Aggies’ number pitching seven scoreless innings and fanning a dozen.
Hill pitched 6.0 innings only allowing the two third-inning runs. He struck out eight and allowed five hits before he was relieved by Cason Sherrod. Sherrod didn’t allow a run in 3.0 innings behind a couple strikeouts.
The two squads will be back out for the middle game of the series at 3:00 on Saturday before wrapping up the set with a 1:00 first pitch on Sunday.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On team’s performance…
“Seventh inning we had our shot and probably missed by inches and they had their opportunity in the third inning against Brigham [Hill] and it happened by inches. I mean a hit and run, missed George’s [Janca] glove by three or four inches and then they hit the double and got the big hit. We had five or six opportunities to get a big hit tonight and [we] didn’t do that. When you’ve got two guys going at it like that, your opportunities are limited and you’ve got to make the most of the ones you do have.”
Senior INF Joel Davis
On Aggie offense not clicking tonight …
“Pitcher made pitches when he needed to make pitches and we didn’t lay off the pitches that he threw. He was a great pitcher and we just couldn’t lay off of his split figure and so that’s something we’ve got to be able to stick to our approach and really just see that ball up.”
Junior RHP Brigham Hill
On loss despite good outing…
“It’s a tough loss. I worked hard out there and defense really did a great job. But in the end, I’ve got to do a better job. I’ve got to get better. In the third inning, they strung together some hits and I’ve got to do a better job of damaging run control.”
On Cason Sherrod’s performance…
“He did a great job. He shut them down and gave us a chance.”