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Aggies Outduel Long Beach State, 3-1

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M pitchers Stephen Kolek and Nolan Hoffman held the Long Beach State Dirtbags to one run on six hits as the No. 8 Aggies churned out a 3-1 victory to open the series Friday evening on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Kolek (3-1) fell behind, 1-0, after six pitches, but it would be all he would give up in 7.1 innings. He scattered five runs and two walks while striking out three. Hoffman inherited two runners in scoring position with one out in the eighth and responded with a strikeout of Chris Jimenez and a grounder to short by Brooks Stotler to end the frame. He retired five of the six batters he faced, including three strikeouts, in 1.2 innings to pick up his second save of the season.

The Aggie bats took time go get started, but the Maroon & White ended up with eight hits, including two doubles and one home run. Cole Bedford paced the Aggies with two hits, Logan Foster hit a solo home run and Michael Helman and Braden Shewmake added RBI.

The Aggies improved to 14-1 on the season, including 12-0 at home. The victory ran A&M’s home win streak to 14 games. Long Beach State dropped to 5-9 on the year.

T1 | Jarren Duran slapped the first pitch of the game down the leftfield line for a double. Duran moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored when Jimenez bounced a single up the middle to give the Dirtbags a lead after just six pitches. LBSU 1, A&M 0.

B7| With one out, George Janca poked a 2-2 pitch up the middle A hard hit ball by Zach DeLoach resulted in a lineout to centerfield and it looked like the Aggies’ might misfire with a runner on base for the sixth consecutive inning. Helman would have none of it, driving a first-pitch offering down rightfield line for a game-tying double. An error on the relay throw by second baseman Duran allowed Janca to move to third and it would prove costly as Shewmake followed with a laser that fell in front of the rightfielder to score Janca with the go-ahead run. A&M 2, LBSU 1.

B8 | Foster gave a rude greeting to reliever Eli Villalobos, launching his first pitch of the game 416 feet over the fence in left-center for his second home run of the season. A&M 3, NSU 1.

The Aggies and Dirtbags return to action Saturday with a 2:02 p.m. first pitch.

Head Coach Rob Childress 
On Shewmake’s game-winning hit after going 0-for-6 last game…
“He’s got a hitter’s heart. He is going to keep swinging and he is going to get his. Certainly his one hit tonight couldn’t have been bigger. He gave us the lead and he played amazing defense all night.”

On the Friday-night battle…
“That’s exactly what it was, a Friday night fight and two great pitchers and they certainly scratched first. Stephen [Kolek] kept the game close the rest of the night and we played great defense behind them.”

Sophomore SS Braden Shewmake
On the defense…
“Stephen [Kolek] did a phenomenal job pitching to contact and getting weak contact at that. We, as a whole, played great defense behind [Kolek] when the ball was put in play and we were able to make plays for him. You have to give all the credit to [Kolek] he went out and he battled, they scored a run early but that didn’t faze Stephen. He’s a competitor.”

Junior RHP Stephen Kolek
On the approach tonight…
“It’s the same approach as always. I’m just trying to fill up the strike zone and let our defense do their job. They did an excellent job behind me. I wouldn’t have been able to get to the seventh without them. They really picked me up.”

On facing Long Beach State…
“We knew coming into the game that they weren’t the type of team to let us run away with one. They are going to keep it close, scratch and claw, and try to keep the game as close as they can keep it. They got off to a 1-0 lead and it was a wake-up call. We weren’t able to get one until the seventh. We had to fill up the strike zone and play good defense.”

Junior RHP Nolan Hoffman
On his outing…
“I was trying to go in and pick Steve up. I just happened to get the strikeout. I was just looking to get it over the plate and luckily, I got to two strikes where I could get to an approach where I could go after the K.

On facing lefty-loaded Long Beach…
“Coming in tonight, I knew they had a lot of left-handers. I was focusing on working on my change-up. I knew it would be a good test tonight to prove that I could get lefties out as well.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Mar 10 2018. Filed under Sports.
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