Credit to Ben Rikard | Assistant Director, Athletics Communications
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies scored seven unanswered runs to finish off a sweep of Northern Kentucky, 10-7, Sunday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Despite Texas A&M’s (12-4) three-run first inning, Northern Kentucky (8-7) scratched across runs in the third and fifth to get in front of the Aggies, 7-3. But the Maroon & White slowly chipped their way back, scoring twice in the fifth, then one run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to retake the lead.
Hank Bard snapped the 7-7 deadlock with a sacrifice fly to plate Jordan Thompson for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh. The Aggies then tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth to secure the win.
Northern Kentucky had early success at the plate before facing freshman lefty Shane Sdao who weathered the storm and struck out a career-high five batters in 2.1 innings of work, giving up only one run. Will Johnston closed the game and earned his first win of the season, tallying four strikeouts, no hits and no runs in 2.1 innings pitched.
The sweep is the second of the season for the Aggies, the first coming on opening weekend against Seattle U. The win is the seventh win in a row for Texas A&M.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
Jordan Thompson – 1-for-2, 3 RBI, 1 R
Jack Moss – 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB
Austin Bost – 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI
Shane Sdao – 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Will Johnston (W, 1-0) – 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
B1| A&M 3, NKU 0
Kasen Wells lead off the inning with a walk and advanced on a Hunter Haas single to left field. Back-to-back singles hit by Jack Moss and Austin Bost plated Wells and Haas. Jordan Thompson was hit by a pitch to load the bases and a Kaeden Kent infield single scored Moss.
T3| NKU 4, A&M 3
Adam Schneider had a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a groundout hit by Treyvin Moss. Noah Fisher was hit by a pitch. Manny Vorhees singled plating Schneider. Liam McFadden-Ackman walked to load the bases. Colton Kucera singled plating Vorhees and Fisher, John Odom then singled to score McFadden-Ackman.
T5| NKU 7, A&M 3
With an out, back-to-back singles hit by Odom and Nick Wimmers put the Norse on the corners. Schneider reached on a fielder’s choice as Odom was tagged out on first. Moss singled to load the bases and Fisher hit a bases clearing double.
B5| NKU 7, A&M 5
Bost hid a leadoff single and advanced to second on a balk. Ryan Targac was intentionally walked and Jace LaViolette advanced both on a groundout. Thompson singled through the left side to plate Bost and Targac.
B6| NKU 7, A&M 6
With no outs, Hank Bard singled and moved to second when Wells was hit-by-pitch. Ryan Targac walked to load the bases. Moss walked to load the bases and a sacrifice fly hit by Bost plated Bard.
B7| A&M 8, NKU 7
With an out, Thompson walked. Kaeden Kent reached second base on a dropped fly ball which advanced Thompson to third. Thompson then scored on a wild pitch and two pitches later Kent came across on a sacrifice fly from Bard.
B8| A&M 10, NKU 7
With no outs, back-to-back singles hit by Haas and Moss put the Ags in scoring position. Tab Tracy reached on a fielding error allowing Haas to take home. Thompson walked and Moss moseyed on home to tack on one more insurance run.
The Aggies will put their seven-game win streak on the line on Tuesday when they travel back to the Bayou City for a game at Houston. The meeting with the Cougars is set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Schroeder Park.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle
On today’s performance…
“Chris (Cortez) just wasn’t commanding the ball or his off-speed pitches. He had a rough day, but he’s been much better than that and we’ll anticipate him being better next week. But you got to give a lot of credit to Northern Kentucky. They still had to put a lot of good swings on pitches and on a tough day to hit. Really tough day – the balls not going to go out of the ballpark. Both teams did a really good job competing and staying above the ball and hitting the ball the other way. A lot of our left-handed hitters hit the ball the other way. We played five games this week and had a 16-inning game on Sunday. This game is not built to beat the same team three games in a row and definitely not built to win five games in a week so, I’m really proud of how we played today.”
Junior LHP Will Johnston
On the comeback win…
“We played 16 innings against Texas Tech less than a week ago, two mid weeks and played Friday and Saturday. It’s tough to win five ball games in less than seven days. I’m proud of the way we competed. It’s baseball and it’s never going to be perfect, so I’m happy. Coach Schlossnagle reiterated that to us.”
Junior first baseman Jack Moss
On the confidence of the Will Johnston and the pitching staff…
“Willie is incredible. We have all the confidence in him and anybody that comes out of the bullpen. I believe that we have one of the best pitching staffs in the country and Coach Yeskie is going to call a great game and our job is to play behind him and give those guys some confidence.