No. 1 Texas A&M Sweeps Twinbill Saturday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Top-ranked Texas A&M broke open a tie game in the sixth inning, posting a 6-3 seven-inning win over Kentucky, improving its NCAA leading record to 30-2, on a perfect Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (18-13, 4-7 Southeastern Conference) was swept at the hands of the Aggies in the two-game series. It marked UK's first two-game SEC weekend since 2005 and just the fifth in the 21st century. After Thursday and Friday's games were rained out, TAMU opened the series with a seven-inning 5-2 win on Saturday, plating five runs in the fourth and fifth innings to erase an early UK lead.
After the Wildcats rallied from behind to even the game heading to the sixth inning, UK hit the leadoff guy to open the frame and the Aggies capitalized with a go-ahead double and a two-run homer for the win.
UK starter Dustin Beggs worked five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walking one and striking out four. Kyle Cody, a preseason All-America selection, took over to start the sixth inning with the game tied 3-3. Cody (2-3) hit the first batter he faced on a 2-2 count, before surrendering the go-ahead double and the two-run homer for the loss. A 6-foot-7, 245-pounder who was rated in the preseason as the 19th best prospect available in the 2015 MLB Draft, Cody worked the final two innings, allowing three hits and a walk, striking out four.
Texas A&M (30-2, 9-2 SEC) starter Matt Kent worked 3.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs, striking out two. With the tying run on second base and two outs in the fourth, TAMU turned to closer Ryan Hendrix (1-0), who allowed the game-tying run to score. Hendrix worked two innings, allowing two hits and a walk for his first win of the year. With the tying run at the plate in the sixth, Mark Ecker took over in relief, getting the final five outs for his fourth save of the year.
UK will return to action on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at No. 7 Louisville.
Texas A&M took a lead it would not relinquish in the top of the first inning as Banks pulled his third homer of the year over the rightfield fence for a two-run lead. The inning was set up by a one-out walk, with UK's attempt at a routine inning-ending double play failing with a throw in the dirt to first base. Banks, the next hitter, belted the game-winning homer.
Bernal cut into the Texas A&M lead with a two-out homer in the bottom of the second inning, lofted over the leftfield fence.
The Aggies got the run back in the top of the third inning as Mitchell Nau hit a two-run homer over the leftfield fence.
UK plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game, starting with a leadoff single from Tom, who stole second and took third on an errant throw. Shelby then forced in Tom with a single, with Bernal scoring Shelby with a one-out single.
GAME NOTES: Sophomore second baseman JaVon Shelby made his team-leading 83rd consecutive start ... Junior centerfielder Kyle Barrett played in his team-leading 122nd career game and made his 106th start ...Junior righty Dustin Beggs made his eighth start of the year ... Senior third baseman Thomas Bernal hit his first homer of the year and the second of his career ... Barrett doubled for the seventh time ... Freshman shortstop Riley Mahan was hit by his second career pitch ... Bernal now has 31 multi-hit games in his career and 12 in 2015 ... Barrett now has 41 multi-hit games in his career ... Shelby now has 13 multi-hit games in 2015 and 24 in his career ... Junior right-hander Kyle Cody made his first relief appearance of the year in his eighth outing and has now appeared in 41 games in his career ... UK is 8-5 at Cliff Hagan Stadium, 4-7 in the SEC and 2-3 in the SEC at home ... UK is 0-2 in April ... UK is 5-8 vs. top-25 foes and 2-6 vs. top-10 opponents ... UK is now 8-10 vs. No. 1 ranked teams under coach Gary Henderson ... Texas A&M leads the series, 5-3, claiming the first ever meeting in Lexington ... UK is 8-2 in doubleheader games in 2015.