COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Stephen Kolek threw eight innings of one-run baseball to lead the Texas A&M Aggies over the No. 11 Auburn Tigers, 3-1, Sunday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Kolek (2-2) set career highs in innings and strikeouts in his lights out performance. The sophomore scattered five hits and gave up just one walk, registering four 1-2-3 frames. His only run against came on single in the eighth. Kolek was relieved by Mitchell Kilkenny who notched his fourth save of the season and clinched the series for A&M.
The Texas A&M (22-11, 5-7) bats did their part tallying single-run frames off Auburn (24-10, 8-4) on three occasions. In the first, the Aggies opened the scoring for the first time in the last six games. Nick Choruby lead off the game with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shewmake drove in his 36th run of the season to put up the game’s first run.
They played add-on off throughout the game scoring a run two of the middle frames. Shewmake again delivered with a two-out RBI single in the fifth to put A&M up 2-0.
In the sixth, Hunter Coleman got things started with a double and came around on Walker Pennington’s single. The third Aggie run of the game marked the end of the day for Auburn starter Davis Daniel (2-2). Daniel threw 5.1 innings, struck out five and earned the loss.
In the game, the Aggies put the leadoff man on in 5-of-8 innings and hit 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Cam Blake was perfect hitting 2-for-2 in his second straight start in left.
Next up, the Aggies will host Abilene Christian in a Tuesday matchup before hitting the road for a three-game set with Alabama starting on Thursday.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On Stephen Kolek…
“Without question he was fabulous today, couldn’t be more proud of him. We’ve gone nine innings with the bullpen and for him to give us eight today was a pretty special performance. His stuff was outstanding and he wasn’t going to be denied.”
On the team’s week…
“We played amazing defense. Had a special week. Beat a really good team on Tuesday night in Dallas Baptist and a team (Auburn) that’s playing as good as anybody in our league two out of three this weekend. It’s a start.”
Sophomore RHP Stephen Kolek
On today’s win…
“It feels a lot better than the past few weekends. I definitely owed one to my team and owed one to myself as well. Had to get some confidence back. It was more than just pitching for the team today. I had to get going again for myself. My dad is going through cancer right now so I figured if he can handle chemo I can handle a little bit of pressure on the mound. I had a point to prove today. Had to get back out there and see what I could do.”
On his mindset on the mound…
“Just pitching with a purpose more, not just trying to get ahead and filling up the strike zone, but just really spotting up pitches and making pitches that really matter. Just keeping the ball down.”
Freshman 2B Braden Shewmake
On rebounding with two RBI singles…
“It’s always nice to get hits with runners in scoring position. Each game is a grind. You’re going to go through it. It’s going to happen. You have to stick with what you’ve been doing the whole year and things will work themselves out.”
On A&M’s offensive approach…
“Coaches nailed in our head an approach and we stick to that every day. We had ten hits today and we swung the bat well. Just stick to that approach and swing the bat how you know.”
“You have all of the momentum when you’re in the dugout and you’re at the plate. When you get off the field quick it makes it seem like they’re in the field forever and they get tired, they get lackadaisical. It’s nice.”