COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Down 1-0 in the series and facing elimination, Texas A&M came up with a 7-1 victory over TCU at Olsen Field on Saturday night, launching four home runs and dominating from the mound.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Aggies victory over the Horned Frogs
Back, back, back for Game 3
It didn’t take long for the Aggies to jump out ahead in the second of a three-game Super Regional in College Station. Senior outfielder J.B. Moss took the second pitch of the game from TCU starting pitcher Mitchell Traver over the fence in left center field for an early 1-0 lead.
Traver settled in and recorded two quick outs, including a strikeout of former TCU Horned Frog Boomer White. Recent Houston Astros draft selection Ryne Birk poked a single 2-2 single up the middle to keep the inning alive before Michael Barash came through with a single of his own to put runners on first and second. Jonathan Moroney reached on a throwing error by third baseman Elliott Barzilli that allowed Birk to score. Barash introduced his cleats to home plate minutes after on an RBI single from Joel Davis to push the lead to 3-0.
Moroney further altered the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run off Travor to give A&M a 4-0 advantage. Shortstop Austin Homan tacked on another run in the frame with an RBI double down the left field line to plate Davis.
In the eighth inning, Barash sent the Aggies third home run of the game over the left field fence. Texas A&M first baseman Hunter Melton added the fourth big fly of the game two batters later, bouncing an 0-2 offering off the Olsen Field scoreboard for his 12th home run of the season for a 7-0 lead.
The A&M victory sets up a win-or-go-home game three against the two squads, with first pitch scheduled for 8 p.m. CT.
Already with a no-hitter on his resume this season, senior Kyle Simonds was sent to the hill by A&M coach Rob Childress to keep the Aggies postseason hopes alive. A 14th-round selection by the Washington Nationals, the 6-foot-4 Simonds pushed back the start of his professional career a bit longer by scattering four hits across 7.2 innings of work.
Designated hitter Luken Baker entered the series on an absolute tear, and extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a second-inning double off Simonds. When a groundout to second base pushed Baker to within 90 feet of home plate, the right-hander settled in and induced another ground ball to close the frame.
In the seventh inning, with runners on the corners for TCU, Dane Steinhagen dug into the batter’s box with a chance to chop the deficit, but lined an 0-1 pitch to fellow center fielder Moss to end the threat.
Simonds struck out six of the 29 batters he faced, throwing 69 of his career-high 118 pitches for strikes to earn the victory.
Between the eighth-inning home runs of Barash and Melton, Davis strolled to the plate having collected two hits and a walk.
After fouling back a pitch, Davis looked down to his hand and wrist area in obvious pain. After being checked out by the Texas A&M staff, he was pulled from the game in favor of Nick Choruby, who inherited a two-strike count from Davis and struck out on the following pitch. Choruby remained in the game in center, pushing Moss to left for the final two innings in the field.
The Aggies starting left fielder, Davis is hitting .293 on the season. At the time of this posting, no update on his health has been given.