OMAHA, Nebraska – Texas A&M was doomed by Louisville’s five-run second inning as the Aggies dropped an 8-4 decision to the Cardinals Sunday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.
Louisville (53-10) drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning. The Cardinals’ rally was sparked by four consecutive singles to start the frame. Brendan McKay slapped a leadoff single to leftfield and Drew Ellis golfed a single to shallow rightfield to put runners on the corners. Devin Hairston threaded a single through the right side to break the scoring seal and Colin Lyman followed with a hit down the leftfield line to send home a second run. A sacrifice bunt by Josh Stowers pushed both runners into scoring position and Tyler Fitzgerald swung-and-missed at a 3-2 pitch for the second out of the frame. The Maroon and White looked like they might limit the damage to two runs, but Colby Fitch slapped punched a two-run single to rightfield, driving Aggie starter Corbin Martin from the game with A&M trailing 4-0.
Brigham Hill relieved Martin on the bullpen and gave up a bloop single to Devin Mann as the Cardinals stretched the lead to 5-0 before the second ended.
After getting the leadoff man aboard in each of the first three innings without anything to show for it, Texas A&M finally produced dividends in the fourth. Cole Bedford drew a six-pitch walk to commence the frame and Blake Kopetsky rattled a double into the corner down the rightfield line to put two runners in scoring position. Walker Pennington plated Bedford with a sacrifice fly and George Janca bounced a single up the middle to trim the Cardinals’ advantage to 5-2.
Texas A&M (41-22) shaved two more runs off the lead in the top of the sixth. Bedford roped a leadoff single through the left side and came around to score when Kopetsky blasted a double to left-center. Pennington gapped a single to right-center, scoring Kopetsky and bringing the Aggies to within one run at 5-4.
Louisville stretched the lead back to three runs in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Lyman singled to rightfield and Stowers bounced a single through the left side. Cason Sherrod relieved Hill on the hill and issued a base on balls to Fitzgerald to load the bases. The Aggies induced a potential double play ball to second base, but Braden Shewmake’s toss pulled shortstop Austin Homan off the bag and Lyman scored. A seven-pitch walk by Fitch pushed another run across to inflate the cushion to 7-4.
The Cardinals tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI double by Fitch.
Martin (7-4) worked 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and one walk while striking out one. Hill pitched 3.2 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks while striking out four in 3.2 innings.
McKay worked 5.0 innings, plus three batters in the sixth inning for the Cardinals. He yielded four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six. Sam Bordner was stellar in relief, retiring all nine batters he faced and Lincoln Henzman worked a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the game.
Kopetsky batted 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and one RBI. Choruby added two hits.
Fitch paced Louisville with four RBI. Fitch, Hairston and Lyman each logged two hits.
Texas A&M returns to action Tuesday when they will face either Florida or TCU in an elimination game at 1 pm.