Junior Ross Stripling tossed 7.2 solid innings on the mound and freshman Krey Bratsen drove in a pair of runs as the No. 6 Texas A&M baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Kansas at Olsen Field with a 3-1 victory on Sunday.
The sweep ensured the Aggies would remain atop the Big 12 standings with a 5-1 league mark to compliment their 19-5 overall record. It was also the first sweep by Texas A&M over a Big 12 opponent in College Station since 2009 when the Aggies defeated Nebraska in all three games of a weekend series.
Stripling (4-1) continued the string of dominating performances by Aggie pitchers as he worked into the eighth inning before giving way to the bullpen. The Southlake, Texas, native scattered just six hits in his outing while walking three and striking out seven.
The lone score against Stripling proved to be an unearned run as Texas A&M allowed just three runs in the entirety of the three-game series, all of them unearned.
Junior third baseman Adam Smith jump started the Aggie offense during the bottom of the third as he led the inning off with a double to right center for his second extra-base hit in as many games.
Following a bunt single by freshman second baseman Charlie Curl, who finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of runs scored, Smith was able to come home as the Jayhawks tried unsuccessful to turn a double play.
Bratsen, who went 2-for-3 in the contest for his team-leading 11th multi-hit game of the season, made it 2-0 Texas A&M in the bottom of the fifth as he blistered a run-scoring single up the middle to score Curl from second.
During the home half of the seventh, it was again Bratsen who made an impact and helped the Aggies extend the lead to 3-0. The Bryan, Texas, native executed a safety squeeze to plate Curl, who singled through the left side earlier in the inning.
For the weekend, Bratsen batted .583 (7-for-12) with a pair of runs and five RBI against the Jayhawks.
After allowing just one runner to reach second base while cruising through the first six innings of the contest, Stripling allowed a one-out double to KU’s Brandon Macias in the top of the seventh. A single in the following at bat threatened to kick start a Jayhawk rally but Bratsen gunned down Macias at third base after playing the ball on a hop in center field. Stripling retired the next batter on a called third strike to put yet another zero on the visitor’s half of the scoreboard.
Returning to the mound for the eighth, Stripling issued a one-out walk to give Kansas a base runner. Following the free pass, the Aggie defense committed a pair of errors in the field to allow the Jayhawks to plate a run and cut the lead down to 3-1.
Senior reliever Nick Fleece came on to quell the KU rally and did just that, striking out Macias to get A&M out of a bases-loaded jam.
During the top of the ninth, the Aggies brought on senior Joaquin Hinojosa to close and the McAllen, Texas, native turned in a 1-2-3 inning, shutting the door on the Jayhawks and recording his fourth save of the year.
Texas A&M baseball is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Arlington, Texas, to face UT-Arlington in a 6:30 p.m. contest at Clay Gould Ballpark.