The No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies pounded out 14 hits, including three doubles and three home runs, to topple the Ole Miss Rebels, 12-5, in the series opener Friday evening at Swayze Field.
Logan Foster led the hit parade going 3-for-4 with one home run, two runs and one RBI. Braden Shewmake batted 2-for-4 with two home runs, three runs and three RBI. Joel Davis, Cole Bedford and Jorge Gutierrez chipped in with two hits apiece. Bedford batted 2-for-2 with one sac bunt, one hit-by-pitch, one sac fly and two RBI. Gutierrez was 2-for-5 with two doubles, one run and one RBI.
Kaylor Chafin (7-1) earned the win in relief with 3.2 shutout innings of relief. He scattered two hits while striking out five. Chafin has not yielded a run since March 26, a span of 25.1 scoreless frames.
The Aggies pounced on the Rebels for three runs in the top of the first inning. Nick Choruby started the game by roping a single through the right side. With one out, Shewmake was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Davis gapped a single to right-center, plating Choruby for the lid lifter. Blake Kopetsky followed with a single to centerfield, knocking in Shewmake and Davis came around to score on Bedford’s sacrifice squeeze bunt, staking the Maroon and White to a 3-0 lead.
Ole Miss (29-21, 11-14 SEC) shaved a run off the lead in the home half of the first. With one out, Will Golsan slapped a single to centerfield and Cody Bortles was issued a base on balls. Nick Fortes punched a single to centerfield, driving in Golsan before the Aggies turned an inning-ending double play.
Texas A&M (35-15, 15-10 SEC) tacked on three more runs in the top of the third. Logan Foster laced a single through the left side on the first pitch of the frame and Shewmake followed with a two-run dinger that stayed on the fair side of the rightfield foul pole to stake the Maroon and White to a 5-1 lead. The inning continued as Joel Davis drew a base on four balls and advanced to second on a balk. A wild pitch on Kopetsky’s swing-and-miss on strike three allowed Davis to move third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Bedford.
The Rebels responded with their second run of the game in the home half of the fourth. Bortles, Fortes and Ryan Olenek started the frame with consecutive singles to load the bases. Bortles came home when Tim Rowe bounced into a 4-6-3 double play.
Foster stretched the lead back out to five runs in the top of the fifth as his leadoff dinger gave the Maroon and White a 7-2 edge.
Ole Miss scored two in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single by Grae Kessinger and an RBI double by Golsan, cutting the lead to 7-4.
The Aggies answered again with back-to-back doubles by Bedford and Gutierrez in the sixth to inflate the cushion to 8-4.
Ole Miss errors in the seventh and eighth helped the Aggies score a pair of runs and an RBI single by Homan in the eighth and solo home run by Shewmake in the ninth gave Texas A&M a 12-4 advantage before Ole Miss scored a meaningless run in the their last at-bats.
Aggie starter Brigham Hill was left with no decision as he battled through traffic to complete 4.1 innings. He yielded four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
Ole Miss starter James McArthur (3-5) got roughed up to the tune of seven runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three in 5.0 innings.
The Aggies and Rebels return to action Saturday with a 6:02 pm contest.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On the Friday night road win…
“It’s always nice to get a road win. Road wins are never easy in the SEC, especially on Friday nights. The guys had a great approach at the plate today and they were the aggressors from the first inning on. Brigham (Hill) didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but once again Kaylor (Chafin) answered the call when we needed him.”
Freshman INF Braden Shewmake
On his day at the plate…
“It was a great night. It was set up by the guys ahead of me. We did a real good job at the plate making their guys make good pitches.”