COLLEGE STATION – The No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies gave up the deciding run on a squeeze bunt in the ninth inning as the Kentucky Wildcats came away 7-6 winners Saturday afternoon.
Kentucky’s Marcus Carson led off the ninth with a double down the leftfield line and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tristan Pompey. Zach Reks got ahead in the count 2-0, but was fouled off two bunt attempts to even the count. The bunt sign was still on for Reks who pushed it down the rightfield line. Pitcher Cason Sherrod scooped the ball up and his throw to catcher Cole Bedford appeared to be in time, but Carson was called safe on the play and an official review did nothing to overturn the decisive call.
Logan Salow worked a 1-2-3 ninth for Kentucky to earn his third save of the season.
Texas A&M broke the scoring seal with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. Braden Shewmake unloaded on a first-pitch offering, depositing it over the rightfield fence for his third dinger of the season and the 1-0 lead.
Kentucky put up four runs in the top of the seventh to wrangle the lead from the Aggies. Reks sparked the rally doubling down the rightfield line. Luke Becker followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners. Riley Mahan plated Reks with a sacrifice fly to shave a run off the Texas A&M cushion. Kole Cottam singled up the middle to put runners on first and second and drive Aggie starter Stephen Kolek from the contest.
With John Doxakis on the mound, pinch-hitter Luke Heyer snuck a ball just under the glove of shortstop Austin Homan, who was en route to turning an inning ending double play. The resulting single allowed the tying run to score. Corbin Martin spelled Doxakis on the hill and got a strikeout of T.J. Collett before issuing a walk to Connor Heady to load the bases. Carson slapped a 2-2 pitch into rightfield, pushing two runs across for the 4-2 advantage.
The Aggies offered an immediate response in the home half of the seventh to reclaim the lead. Walker Pennington started the rally with a double to left-center and Baine Schoenvogel reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Austin Homan bounced to short, scoring Pennington and the double play attempt got away putting Homan on second. George Janca followed with a single to score Homan, tying the at 4. . After Nick Choruby drew a four-pitch walk, an error throwing error on a grounder by Shewmake knocked in Janca and a balk sent Choruby home for the 6-4 lead.
Kentucky rallied back to tie the game in the eighth. Reks poked a leadoff single to centerfield off Logan Miner and Becker drew four-pitch walk. With one out, Kole Cottam was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sherrod entered the game and got ahead in the count, 1-2, to pinch-hitter Storm Wilson before yielding a two run single to right for the equalizer.
Kolek got no-decision for his effort, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two in 6.1 innings. Cason Sherrod was saddled with the loss, yielding one run on two hits while striking out one in 1.2 innings.
The defense was the highlight of the day for the Aggies, turning four double plays on the afternoon.