COLLEGE STATION, Texas – For much of the afternoon, top-ranked Vanderbilt held No. 19 Texas A&M in check offensively. Then, things escalated quickly.
By Vanderbilt Release
The Aggies erased a five-run deficit, scoring as many times in the eighth, before walking it off in the ninth behind a two-out RBI-single from Jonathan Ducoff for an 8-7 win on Saturday afternoon at Blue Bell Park.
Texas A&M (16-5, 1-1 SEC) was aided by three walks and a hit by pitch in the eighth inning. Left fielder Cam Blake provided the big hit, lining a three-run, game-tying triple past a diving Pat DeMarco in center field to square things at seven.
Vanderbilt (15-4, 1-1 SEC) shortstop Ethan Paul delivered a three-run home run in the fifth inning as part of a five-RBI day. One inning later, Paul (2-for-3) lined a two-out, bases-loaded single into left center, stretching the advantage to 5-0.
With the game scoreless, Pat DeMarco swatted a leadoff double – the first extra-base hit of the season against Aggie starter Asa Lacy – into right center. Philip Clarke worked a six-pitch pitch walk and Paul deposited his 22nd career homer into the right-field bullpen.
Vanderbilt starter Patrick Raby tossed five scoreless innings, scattering three hits alongside three walks and two strikeouts. Commodore reliever Zach King (0-2) was saddled with the loss, permitting four hits and four runs while walking a pair without a strikeout in 1.1 innings.
Texas A&M capitalized on Raby’s exit, using a Ty Coleman sacrifice fly and Ethan Smith wild pitch to cut the deficit to three. Smith settled down, inducing a groundout to third before punching out Zach DeLoach to strand two in scoring position.
Third baseman Austin Martin returned the favor in the seventh, clocking a two-run home run off the scoreboard in left. The long ball was his second of the season and plated Cooper Davis who reached on a one-out single through the right side.
The clubs return for the series finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The matchup can be seen on the SEC Network Plus and heard on VUCommodores.com and WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.