TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – After a 48-minute rain delay, Kasey Kalich fanned a pair of Crimson Tide batters with the tying run on second base and the winning run on first as the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies closed out a 6-5 victory in the rubber match against Alabama Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Aggies entered the bottom of the ninth with a 6-4 lead before the Crimson Tide mounted a charge. T.J. Reeves greeted Kalich with a single to leftfield, but Morgan McCullough flied out to centerfield for the first out. A wild pitch put Reeves on second and he scored on a double to centerfield by Tyler Gentry. Drew Williamson drew a five-pitch walk to put the winning run at first. Kalich got ahead on Tyler Ras 1-2 when the umpires ordered the tarp pulled due to a min-monsoon.
After play resumed, Kalich blew his first pitch by Ras for the second out of the frame and then got Joe Breaux to swing-and-miss at a 2-2 offering to claim the win and the series.
It marked Kalich’s 12th save of the season as he moved into fourth place on the Aggies’ single-season list and just two away from the team record of 14 set by Jason Jester in 2013 and equaled by Nolan Hoffman last year.
Mikey Hoehner paced the Aggie offense, batting 2-for-3 with one walk, two runs and two RBI. Bryce Blaum was 2-for-4 with one run, one walk, one stolen base and one RBI. Ty Coleman added two hits and an RBI and Will Frizzell hit a two-run home run.
Aggie starter Christian Roa yielded three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six in 4.2 innings. Chris Weber (4-0) earned the win with 1.0 inning of scoreless relief, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out one. Bryce Miller surrendered one unearned run in 0.2 innings and Joseph Menefee worked 1.2 blank frames with one hit and one strikeout.
Texas A&M improved to 34-18-1 overall and 14-12-1 in SEC play. Alabama dropped to 29-23 overall and 7-20 in league action.
The Aggies close out the regular-season with a three-game Thursday-Saturday against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
T1 | The game started with Alabama leftfielder Reeves dropping a warning track drive by Braden Shewmake for a three-base error. Bryce Blaum plated Shewmake with a single to centerfield. Zach DeLoach was hit by a pitch and Cam Blake pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Hoehner singled in both runners with a rope to centerfield and Frizzell capped off the rally with a two-run home run down the rightfield line. A&M 5, UA 0.
B1 | After Roa caught the first two hitters looking at strike three, McCullough tripled to centerfield and scored on a single to leftfield by Gentry. A&M 5, UA 1.
B4 | Gentry drew a leadoff walk and Drew Williamson gapped a single to right-center field. Gentry moved to third when Ras grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. A four-pitch walk issued to Breaux put runners on the corners and Kolby Robinson plated Gentry with a single up the middle. A&M 5, UA 2.
B5 | With one out, Reeves singled to leftfield and stole second base. McCullough swung-and-missed at strike three for the second out of the frame, but Reeves beat the throw home on Gentry’s single to leftfield to shave another run off the lead. A&M 5, UA 3.
B7 | McCullough reached on a leadoff single and scored an unearned run when A&M centerfielder DeLoach misplayed a single to centerfield by Williamson. A&M 5, UA 4.
T8 | With one out, Hoehner drew a walk and moved to second on a slow grounder back to the mound by Frizzell. Hoehner slid in ahead of the tag at home when Ty Coleman punched a single to rightifeld. A&M 6, UA 4.
B9 | Reeves hit a leadoff single to leftfield and, with one out, he moved to second on a wild pitch. Gentry plated Reeves with a double to centerfield. Drew Williamson drew a walk before a 48-minute rain-delay and two strikeouts ended the rally. A&M 6, UA 5.