Aggie Baseball Wins College Station Regional Crown

(Source: Kate Luffman/Texas A&M Athletics)

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Texas A&M exploded for seven runs in the ninth inning to rally for a 15-9 win over TCU and the NCAA College Station Regional championship Sunday night before 6,525 at Blue Bell Park.

The victory gives the Aggies (40-18) their 10th regional title in school history. A&M advances to the Super Regional round and will host the winner of Monday’s Louisville/Michigan game next weekend. Dates, times and ticket information will be released when available.

TCU held a 3-0 lead entering the sixth inning, but the Aggies finally broke the scoring seal with a pair of runs. A&M took its first lead of the game with a 5-run seventh, highlighted by a long three-run home run by Dylan Rock off the batter’s eye in center field.

The Horned Frogs answered right back, tying the game in the bottom of the frame, and erased a brief 8-7 Aggie lead with two more in the eighth to take a lead into the final inning.

Troy Claunch tied the game with an RBI single, Jordan Thompson’s infield groundout gave A&M the lead and Jack Moss, Dylan Rock and Austin Bost added much-needed insurance with two outs to close out the scoring.

Moss was named College Station Regional Most Valuable Player. Micah Dallas, Targac, Minnich, Bost and Rock earned spots on the College Station Regional All-Tournament Team.

SCORING SUMMARY
B3 | With one out, Tommy Sacco was hit by a pitch and subsequently advanced to second on a base hit to right by Brayden Taylor. The throw back into the infield got away, moving both runners into scoring position. Kurtis Byrne then grounded out to second to drive in Sacco. TCU 1, A&M 0

B4 | David Bishop singled up the middle to begin the frame and was safe at second when on a double play attempt Kole Kaler’s foot could not find the bag at second. The error put two on for Gray Rodgers, who dropped a bunt to the mound, but the throw to first was wide allowing Bishop to score. One out later, Elijah Nunez delivered an RBI groundout. TCU 3, A&M 0

T6 | Back-to-back one-out walks ended the night for the starter Austin Krob. Ryan Targac greeted reliever Luke Savage with a run-scoring single that plated Dylan Rock, and Austin Bost came home soon thereafter on a wild pitch. TCU 3, A&M 2

T7 | A Brett Minnich single, Jordan Thompson double and Kaler walk loaded the bases with no outs. Trevor Werner delivered a 1-2 pitch into center field to score Minnich, and Jack Moss followed with a sac fly to center to plate Thompson. After a pitching change, Rock crushed a three-run home run to center on a 3-2 pitch. A&M 7, TCU 3

B7 | Porter Brown and Nunez drew back-to-back walks to begin the inning, and Sacco followed with a full-count single down the left field line to drive Brown home. Taylor, the next batter, hit a three-run home run to right center to tie the game. A&M 7, TCU 7

T8 | Thompson drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on a Kaler sac bunt to the left side. Werner then lined a 2-2 pitch into right center to score Thompson. A&M 8, TCU 7

B8 | Sacco homered to left center field with two outs, plating Brown who reached on a one-out walk. TCU 9, A&M 8

T9 | Bost led off with a single and Ryan Targac followed with a walk. Troy Claunch drove in Bost with a hard single to right and, after a Minnich walk loaded the bases, Jordan Thompson’s slow roller to first scored Targac to give A&M the lead. After another walk and a lineout, Jack Moss drove in a pair with a single to left, Rock doubled to right center to plate two more and Bost singled to plate Rock with the game’s final run. A&M 15, TCU 9

TCU QUOTES

Head Coach Kirk Saarloos

Opening statement…
“Really good baseball game. Obviously, it didn’t go our way, but you have to give a ton of credit to Jim (Schlossnagle) and his ball club. That’s what they’ve done all year. That’s what they’ve really hung their hat on; playing great offensive baseball. It was one of those deals where we just couldn’t get the last three outs. It was kind of a battle of the bullpens there, and ‘who was going to cave first?’ It looked like we both caved. But I’m extremely proud of our guys. After they (Texas A&M) put up a five-spot in the seventh inning to take the lead, you can’t say enough about our offensive ball club and what we did coming back. Tommy (Sacco) hitting the two-run homer. Brayden (Taylor) hitting the game-tying homer. There’s a lot of things that I’ll go back, second-guessing myself the rest of the offseason. In terms of effort and the intent of all of our guys in our program, I couldn’t be happier. We ended on a sour note which will stay with us for a long time, but it was something where the opposing team went out and did something, did a really good job, and they ended up winning the game. It wasn’t anything we did negatively. We would’ve liked to have pitched a little bit better at the tail end there, but I can’t say enough about our guys, our program and the heart they showed. So, congratulations to Texas A&M, and good luck to them the rest of the way.”

On the impact senior shortstop Tommy Sacco had at TCU…
“Coming from a guy who played phenomenal defense his first three years here, he got off to a good start in 2020 just as COVID hit, and last year was not indicative of what he was as an offensive player. I think it says a lot about the character of Tommy in terms of taking a poor year and going to work, still believing in himself. Coming back, he ended up with 14 homers, a ton of doubles and played as one of the best shortstops in the country. I think, moving forward, any Major League Baseball team that’s looking for a guy that has had some struggles and came out on the other end, that’s the name of the game in professional baseball. He’s going to get an opportunity to do that. It’s easy when things are going good, but a lot of times, teams are looking for a guy who, when things aren’t going well, is able to rebound. That’s what Tommy did in terms of carrying this ball club the whole year, defensively, offensively, and from both sides of the plate. I can’t say enough about him.”

On the difficulties presented by A&M’s lineup…
“I thought Austin Krob was phenomenal in terms of what he did in the first six innings. He did just enough in terms of pitching ahead, and then threw some really good breaking balls. Ultimately, it’s a lineup that has an idea of what teams are trying to do to them. You can see, they did it to Louisiana as well. They just seem to get better as the game goes along. It’s an older group. They (Texas A&M) went in the portal and did a really good job of identifying some hitters. You look at the Mosses and the Rocks, a bunch of those guys that they brought in, Claunch too. Those are guys that have had a ton of at-bats in their career. It’s not like they’re facing something or doing something they haven’t done before. They’ve done it at really good universities prior to coming in. They just do a good job. When they get a little bit of momentum, especially at home, it feeds off itself. We just couldn’t get it stopped.”

Senior shortstop Tommy Sacco

On playing in an instant classic…
“For a regional championship, that’s a pretty good ball game. When they (Texas A&M) scored those five runs, we believed in our offense and came in saying ‘let’s do something weird. Let’s see what we can manage to come out with.’ We ended up coming back, but unfortunately it didn’t fall in our favor. This whole year we just kept believing in our offense, and our offense kept coming through. Our pitching came through when we needed it to. We just didn’t get that result tonight.”

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
Opening Statement…
“I am super excited for our team and our players. I told my team I love our players at Texas A&M as much as I love my children, but you have to understand that ninety percent of the guys over there I love as much and this time last year we were going through the same battle. I am excited that we were the team that won, but I am way more excited to move on. I want to congratulate TCU on their season, the Big 12 champions. What a ball game. When you think our guys are going to give in they don’t. They are the most resilient team I have ever coached, and it is an honor to be in the dugout with them.”

On when he felt they had won the game…
“I felt good when Brad (Rudis) got the first out. As long as he didn’t flip that lineup over and get back down to Tommy (Sacco) and Brayden (Taylor) to give them a chance to get it back to one swing. I can promise you, when we went up by one run, I didn’t celebrate anything until it was over. Every added-on run was enormous for us.”

Graduate leftfielder Dylan Rock

On the message for the team when trailing before the ninth inning…
“Just keep fighting. Never give up. Just keep going. Winning pitches. Just do what we do. We’ve been in that situation the whole year, and nothing changes.”

On his 2 RBI double in the top of the ninth…
“You just have to remind yourself, as much as you can, to stay as level as possible. As soon as your emotions start to roll, it’s hard to get back to being centered. You have to be under control of yourself. But I didn’t think it was over. There was still a lot of baseball to be played. We just had to go out there, compete and keep going.”

Sophomore first baseman Jack Moss

On what went through his mind following the last out…
“I’m just super grateful for the opportunity to still play. I think that’s what it’s all about. I know how hard this team has worked. I know the adversity that everyone on this team has faced, whether that was in the transfer portal, fighting through injuries, or whatever the case may be. It was just kind of a moment of relief, I guess you could say that. But we still have work to do, and we’re not done.”

 

COLLEGE STATION REGIONAL RESULTS

Friday, June 3
Game 1: Texas A&M 8, Oral Roberts 2
Game 2: Louisiana 7, TCU 6

Saturday, June 4
Game 3: TCU 3, Oral Roberts 1 (ORU eliminated)
Game 4: Texas A&M 9, Louisiana 6

Sunday, June 5
Game 5: TCU 6, Louisiana 1 (UL eliminated)
Game 6: Texas A&M 15, TCU 9

COLLEGE STATION REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
1B – Jack Moss – Texas A&M*
2B – Ryan Targac – Texas A&M
SS – Tommy Sacco – TCU
3B – Holden Breeze – Oral Roberts
OF – Dylan Rock – Texas A&M
OF – Brett Minnich – Texas A&M
OF – Carson Roccaforte – Louisiana
C – Kurtis Byrne – TCU
DH – Austin Bost – Texas A&M
P – Cam Brown – TCU
P – Micah Dallas – Texas A&M

* most valuable player