June 2, 2013
Texas A&M eliminates UC Santa
By Patrick Meyers
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Texas
A&M started off strong Sunday and managed to keep the lead late
from a rallying UC Santa Barbara. The Aggies led 4-0 going into
the seventh, when the Gauchos scored three, but it wasn’t enough
as Texas A&M survived with a 5-4 win.
Rafael Pineda gave the Aggies a strong start, but
the game could have gone either way late with the Aggies
slumping and the Gauchos streaking, but the Aggies’ pitching
staff cooled down the late-burning Gauchos. Pineda was pulled in
the seventh after giving up two hits, a walk and hitting a
“I am proud of our guys,” Texas A&M coach Rob
Childress said. “We played well and our backs have been up
against the wall for at least the last six weeks. Since we have
been in that position, I don’t think our team has had a whole
lot of fear.”
In the third, Aggies first baseman Cole Lankford
hit a double to bring in Jace
Mikey Reynolds. By the end of the inning, A&M (34-28) had a 4-0
lead and seemed in control.
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the
bats got going for the Gauchos (35-25).
UCSB got to Pineda when Tyler Kuresa singled in a
run. Pineda left with two outs after hitting a batter and
walking another one. Kyle Martin relieved, and pinch-hitter Joe
Winterburn singled to center to score two and cut the deficit to
5-4. Jason Jester entered and got out of the inning and finished
with 2.1 innings of one-hit relief for his 14th save.
Pineda (6-5) finished with 6.2 innings, seven
hits and four runs (three earned).
“I didn’t put any added pressure on myself,”
Pineda said. “I needed to just stay in the moment and know that
the strike zone was going to be the same that it has for the
last 56 games.”
In the end, the Gauchos came up a run short.
“Another close ball game,” UCSB coach Andrew
Checketts said. “Texas A&M played a nice game, put pressure on
us early and we weren’t able to hold them off. Our closer came
in and did a nice job. I’m proud of our kids and their effort,
where our program has come and the turnaround in our season.”