June 6, 2010
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Texas A&M rallies past
By Christina De Nicola
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Through seven innings it looked as though
might win its second postseason game after waiting 23 years in
between its last.
But Kevin Gonzalez hit a solo home run to left
field in the top of the ninth to give Texas A&M a 4-3 win over
the Big Green in an elimination game at the Coral Gables
Regional at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Gonzalez, who pinch-hit for starting catcher
Gregg Alcazar in the seventh, connected on his eighth homer of
the season for the game winner off of the Ivy League’s all-time
saves leader Ryan Smith (3-2).
Smith went 2.2 innings and allowed two runs on
two hits, both solo shots, for the loss.
“Both of them were fastballs. The first one I
just left it up, got it to the outside corner, but good teams
like that will make you pay,” Smith said. “The second one, I got
behind 3-2 and didn’t want to walk the leadoff hitter, so I left
it over the plate a little bit.”
Starter Kyle Hunter, who pitched two innings
yesterday, was superb for the Big Green (27-19), allowing just
two runs on four hits in 6.1 innings with seven strikeouts.
“Today I just came in and knew I was going to be
on a short pitch count for physical reasons,” Hunter said. “I
just tried to make them get themselves out early in the count
and not throw a lot of pitches.”
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, Joe Patterson
connected on his ninth homer, a solo shot to left, to tie the
game up for the Aggies (42-20-1).
Dartmouth had come into today’s game 23-0 when
leading after six innings.
Following a 67-minute rain delay Chris O’Dowd led
off with an infield single, advanced to second on a groundout to
the pitcher and went to third on a single through the hole by
With runners at the corners, second baseman Adam
Smith threw out Jake Carlson, who drove in a run earlier, on a
backhand for the final out to end the threat.
The Big Green stranded nine total runners,
including two in the bottom of the ninth.
After collecting two quick strikeouts on 97-mph
fastballs, John Stilson (9-1) faced some trouble when he walked
Joe Sclafani and Sam Bean dropped a hit in front of the left
fielder to put runners on the corners.
Stilson, who pitched three
scoreless innings of three-hit ball when he came into the game
in the seventh, got O’Dowd on four pitches to strike out the
side and send Texas A&M into a game against
Dartmouth sent eight batters to the plate and
took a 3-2 lead in the fourth with three runs on three hits and
a botched double play on an errant throw by Smith.
After Jason Brooks singled to center with one
out, Smith’s turn went into left field and put runners at second
and third. Following a walk of Zack Bellenger to load the bases,
Carlson blooped an RBI single to right.
Brett Gardner, the ninth batter, lined a ball
through the hole at short for a two-out two-run single.
“When people make mistakes you get extra outs
from teams and good teams make you pay,” Gardner said. “It can
be any of us. We’re a complete team. A different guy does the
job every day. I just happened to be in that spot.”
Texas A&M got on the board in the first when Matt
Juengel produced with a two-out RBI bloop double and Brodie
Green sent a ball over the left-field wall to make the score 2-0
for his 14th homer of the year.
“When the season comes to an end, at some point
this summer in the middle of nowhere in a corn field where I’ll
be driving at about 3 o’clock in the morning to find the next
group of guys it’ll come to me that we had a really tremendous
year,” Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen said.