COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies rode early offense from Braden Shewmake and Bryce Blaum and a stellar night on the mound by three pitchers to defeat the No. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks, 6-2, Friday evening on Olsen Field on Blue Bell Park.
Starter John Doxakis (7-3) earned the win in 5.2 inning of work. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks, while fanning eight.
Aggie relievers Bryce Miller and Joseph Menefee came in clutch to close out the game, just yielding two hits in their 3.1 innings of relief. Miller spelled Doxakis in the top of the six, in a two-out, bases-loaded situation and blew three pitches by Jordan McFarland for the strikeout. He worked 1.2 inning, giving up just one hit and one walk, while striking out two. Menefee pitched the final 1.2 innings, giving up one hit while fanning a season-high five.
The Aggies’ pitching staff recorded their 36th double-digit strikeout performance of the season. The 15 strikeouts moved them to third on the Texas A&M single-season strikeouts list with 591, 21 shy of the school record 612 set in 2010.
Texas A&M plated runs in four different frames to stump the Razorbacks. The Maroon & White got off to a hot start with Shewmake and Blaum going yard in back-to-back at-bats to start the game, and then added a pair of runs in the second on a two-run double by Shewmake. The Razorbacks took a jab at the lead in the fourth, with a two-run bomb, but the Aggies struck back right away in the home half of the fourth and seventh, with single runs in each.
The first two hitters in the lineup sparked the offense, recording four hits, two runs, two walks and five RBI. Shewmake stole the show going 2-for-4 with one run, one double, one home run, one walk and three RBI. Shewmake’s three RBI performance bumped him up to number seven on the Texas A&M career RBI list with 159, the Aggies’ top run producer of the 21st century. Blaum was 2-for-4 as well, with one run, one home run, one walk and two RBI, while Jonathan Ducoff added one hit, two runs and one walk.
The Aggies improved to 35-19-1 overall and 15-13-1 in SEC play, while the Razorbacks dropped to 40-14 on the season and 20-9 in league action.
The Aggies and Razorbacks play the rubber match Saturday at 11:02 a.m.
B1| The Aggies didn’t take long to strike, going yard in back-to-back at-bats to start the game. Shewmake drove the second pitch he saw over the right-center wall, while Blaum deposited a 1-2 offering over the leftfield wall. A&M 2, ARK 0.
B2| Logan Foster and Jonathan Ducoff drew consecutive one-out walks, before scoring on a wall-banger roped down the rightfield line by Shewmake for a double. A&M 4, ARK 0.
T4| Heston Kjerstad got things started with two outs, singling to leftfield, before being plated on a two-run jack by Jack Kenley. A&M 4, ARK 2.
B4| With one out, Ducoff singled to second base, and advanced to second on an infield single to third by Allonte Wingate. Ducoff moved to third on a fielder’s choice, and touched then home on another infield single, in the shortstop-third base gap, by Blaum. A&M 5, ARK 2.
B7| Hunter Coleman began the inning drawing a six-pitch base on balls, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mikey Hoehner. Cam Blake was issued an intentional walk to fill first and bring up Foster. Foster proceeded to lace a double down the leftfield line, plating Coleman. A&M 6, ARK 2.