A four-run ninth to close out the Aggies’ 8-5 loss to Duke on Friday was an encouraging sign to Texas A&M baseball coach Rob Childress, after the Aggies had snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak.
As he predicted, offensive momentum carried over to Saturday in an 11-2 victory over Fordham in an elimination game the Morgantown Regional of the NCAA tournament.
For the first time this season, A&M (38-22-1) blasted four home runs in a game, including two by first baseman Hunter Coleman. The Aggies had hit three in a game three times.
The Aggies wasted no time flexing their muscles, thanks to first-inning homers by second baseman Bryce Blaum and Coleman, a three-run shot. Right fielder Logan Foster added to the fun with an RBI single in the frame.
Coleman’s little brother, third baseman Ty Coleman, made it a family scoring affair in the fourth, driving the Aggies’ third homer over the left-field wall, a two-run shot.
Following an RBI single by center fielder Zach DeLoach in the sixth, Hunter Coleman collected his second home run of the game on a stadium-clearing blast to left. The home run, which landed across the street that runs parallel to the left-field fence, scored two. The first baseman finished the day with a team-leading seven runs batted in.
The Aggies rounded out their score in the eighth on a groundout by left fielder Cam Blake, which allowed shortstop Braden Shewmake to score from third.
Saturday, the Aggies hit at an 8-for-19 clip with runners on base and 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Sophomore starter Asa Lacy (8-4) threw 98 pitches in seven innings, allowing one run on three hits, while striking out seven. He didn't allow a hit until two outs in the fifth.
After lasting just three innings against the Aggies in the opening series of the season, Fordham starter Anthony DiMeglio (6-4) worked 4 2/3 innings Saturday, allowing seven runs on six hits and was saddled with the loss.
Fordham (38-24) broke the shutout in the sixth, thanks to a two-out double by third baseman Matt Tarabek. Aggie reliever Brandon Birdsell labored through ninth-inning mop-up duty and allowed a second Fordham run on an RBI single by pinch hitter Jack Harnisch, which was set up by a hit batter and two walks.
A&M advances to a second elimination game at 11 a.m. Sunday and will face the loser of Saturday evening’s matchup between host West Virginia and Duke. Should the Aggies win their Sunday matinee, they will begin the region final at 5 p.m. Sunday. For A&M to advance to the super regionals, they will need to win that game and a second region final game on Monday.