Aggies take baseball series from Wildcats

By The Mercury

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Kansas State baseball team spotted No. 8 Texas A&M an early five-run lead and battled back to bring the tying run to the plate in the fifth, but the Wildcats were unable to record the timely hit, as the Aggies went on to a 7-2 victory Sunday at Blue Bell Park.

Texas A&M, which moved to 16-5 with the win, took the first Big 12 series of the year from the Wildcats after K-State won Friday’s opener. K-State fell to 12-8 with the loss heading into a four-game homestand this week.

The Aggies scored a run in the second inning off K-State starter Kayvon Bahramzadeh (3-1) on an RBI triple from Brandon Wood, and Texas A&M came right back with four more in the third. The biggest hit in the frame was a two-run single by Jacob House, while Matt Juengel and Blake Allemand followed with run-scoring singles to make the score 5-0.

K-State fought back with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Matt Giller scored from third when Texas A&M catcher Troy Stein overthrew pitcher Rafael Pineda. Tanner Witt and Ross Kivett led off the Wildcat fifth with a pair of singles before being sacrifice into scoring position.

The Aggies then elected to intentionally walk Jared King to face Wade Hinkle, but the first baseman could only muster a RBI groundout before Pineda struck out Giller to end the inning.

“We were one swing away,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said. “If Wade can execute a good swing there, he singles, scores two runs and we’re right back in it. We only got one run out of that, which really hurt us because I felt like we were still right there within striking distance.

“I felt as the game went on, we got more pressed and we didn’t take comfortable swings. It’s part him (Pineda) and part us. We had a plan today, we just didn’t execute it.”

Pineda, who followed Ross Stripling’s complete game on Saturday by going the distance himself, surrendered just two runs — one earned — on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. After seeing K-State put runners on first and second with one out in the sixth, the right-hander went on to retire the final 10 Wildcats to finish the game, while he received two more runs of support in the fifth on a Stein home run.

Bahramzadeh suffered his first lost of the season, allowing the five early runs on six hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts in three innings of work.

K-State relievers Jake Doller, Robert Youngdahl and Caleb Wallingford combined for a scoreless 3 2/3 innings to finish the game. Doller struck out a pair of Aggies after Stein’s fifth-inning homer. Youngdahl entered the game with runners on the corners and one out in the sixth and kept the Aggies off the board with a strikeout and a fly out.

Texas A&M was led at the plate by Allemand and Mikey Reynolds with two hits apiece. Stein and Tyler Naquin each drove in a pair of runs and Juengel, Wood and Allemand added one RBI. K-State received a pair of two-hit performances from Giller and Blair DeBord.

K-State returns home for a four-game homestand beginning on Tuesday, as the Wildcats host Creighton at 6:30 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.

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