NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Troy Claunch and Ryan Targac combined for 10 RBI as the Texas A&M Aggies won Saturday’s rubber match against the No. 22 Vanderbilt Commodores, 12-4, at Hawkins Field.
Targac batted 3-for-5 with two titanic home runs and six RBI. He hit an RBI single in the second, clubbed a two-run dinger in the fifth and a three-run tater in the eighth.
Claunch hit 4-for-5 with two runs and four RBI. Jack Moss and Austin Bost added two hits apiece and Bost scored three runs.
The Aggies trailed 3-2 after the first frame, but strung together five runs with two outs in the second to stake claim to a 7-3 advantage. The Maroon & White tacked on two runs in the fifth and three in the eighth.
Joseph Menefee (2-2) worked a career-long 5.1 innings in relief, yielding just one run on two hits and three walks while posting a career-high nine strikeouts. Will Johnston closed out the game with 2.2 scoreless innings, scattering three hits while striking out four.
The Aggies claimed their fourth consecutive series, including their third in a row against a top 25 opponent. The Maroon & White dispatched of then-No. 10 Georgia two weeks ago and last week topped then-No. 3 Arkansas. Texas A&M also topped then-No. 8 LSU in a road series to start conference play.
The Maroon & White are 11-4 this season against teams ranked in the USA Today Coaches Top 25, including 7-3 on the road.
T1| With one out, Dylan Rock drew a seven-pitch walk and stole second base. With two outs, Austin Bost reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners and Brett Minnich was issued a base on balls to fill the bags with Ags. Troy Claunch gapped a single to right-center, plating two runs. A&M 2, VU 0
B1| Enrique Bradfield drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a one-out grounder to second base by Spencer Jones. Dominic Keegan threaded a single through the left side to push Bradfield across and Calvin Hewett hit a two-run dinger to leftfield. VU 3, A&M 2
T2| Trevor Werner worked a leadoff walk and with one out Kole Kaler punched a single to centerfield. With two outs, Jack Moss and Bost logged back-to-back RBI singles and after Minnich drew a walk to load the bases, Claunch slapped another two-run single to centerfield. Ryan Targac capped off the scoring with a single to left-center to drive in Minnich. A&M 7, VU 3
T5| Claunch slapped a leadoff single to right-center and Targac blasted a 2-2 offering out of the stadium in right-center. A&M 9, VU 3
B6| Jones was hit by a pitch and Keegan drew walk to start the frame. With one out, a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position and Kolwyck plated Jones with a grounder to short. A&M 9, VU 4
T8| With one out, Bost drew a walk. With two outs, Claunch sinlged to rightfield and Targac followed with a three-run dinger over the batters eye in centerfield. A&M 12, VU 4
The Aggies return to the corner of Bush & Olsen on Tuesday when they host the UT Arlington Mavericks in a 6:32 pm contest.