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Texas A&M edges TCU 3-2

FORT WORTH, Texas – Matt Vern’s bid for the game-winning home run fell just short of the left center field fence and the #5 Texas A&M Aggies escaped with the 3-2 victory over the TCU Horned Frogs Tuesday night. A school-record 4,294 fans were on hand for the tightly contested game. The Aggies picked up an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Matt Carpenter and Vern both finished with two hits in the contest.

The Frogs had a golden opportunity to score in the first inning as Ben Carruthers doubled to lead off the inning. With one out, Carruthers moved to third on a wild pitch from Aggie starter Scott Migl. The Aggie defense came up big as Migl and company retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.

Texas A&M saw an opportunity of its own go by the wayside in the second inning as they failed to take advantage of two hit batters with one out. TCU starter Seth Garrison wiggled off the hook with two ground balls to strand the runners at the corners.

The Aggies finally took advantage of the free passes as Kyle Colligan was hit to lead off the top of the third inning. Garrison looked to be out of the jam, but a two-out two-strike triple off the bat of Jose Duran plated the game’s first run. After hitting another batter, Garrison struck out Darby Brown to end the inning.

A lead-off double in the fifth for the Aggies turned into another run as they took a 2-0 lead. The Aggies used small ball to get the run home as Blake Stouffer sacrificed Colligan to third and Dane Carter lined a sacrifice fly to center.

TCU charged back in the bottom of the inning, getting the game tied at two. Carpenter singled to right to open the inning and moved to second on a Hunt Woodruff sacrifice bunt. Matt Vern singled up the middle to drive in Carpenter and moved to second on a fielding error by the center fielder. The error was costly as Vern raced home on a single through the left side from Bryan Kervin. Head’s up base running by Kervin allowed him to reach second and Clint Arnold’s bid to give the Frogs the lead was stolen by a great play up the middle by Stouffer.

Another opportunity for the Frogs to take their first lead of the game presented itself in the seventh inning. Carpenter drew a lead-off walk and again moved to second on a Woodruff sacrifice. A wild pitch moved Carpenter to third and Vern put runners on the corners with a one-out walk. Vern promptly stole second, but Carruthers bounced into a fielder’s choice and Carpenter was erased trying to score.

A&M pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning without the benefit of a hit. Brodie Greene drew a lead-off walk and moved to second when Colligan was hit for the second time in the contest. A passed ball moved runners up 90 feet and Greene raced home on a wild pitch from Andrew Cashner (7-3).

In the bottom of the frame Woodruff was hit by the pitch with two-outs and Vern drove the Kyle Thebeau offering deep, but not deep enough as Greene tracked it down for the final out of the game.

Garrison pitched seven strong innings for the Frogs. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out six. Cashner tossed the final two innings, allowing an unearned run on one hit with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Frogs fall to 29-16 overall with the loss. They return to the diamond Wednesday night as they make the trek across town to Arlington for the second and final meeting of the season against UT-Arlington. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

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