Texas A&M Baseball edged the Baylor Bears in Game 1 of the Houston Regional. Brigham Hill picked up the win and put the Aggies into the winners bracket.
The Aggies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning before the game hit an extended rain delay. Upon resumption Baylor answered in the third with a grand slam to take a 4-2 lead.
Texas A&M would not go quietly. They put up five runs in the sixth to take a 7-4 lead. Baylor would add one more in the sixth, before the Aggies answered with their final run in the eighth. View the full box score here.
With one game in the books the maroon and white are 1-0. You can’t ask for better than that, but what can we takeaway from the Game 1 win?
Base running is still a problem
Nick Choruby had a tremendous day at the plate and an awful day on the base paths. The senior who has been an offensive catalyst all season went 4-for-5 but was thrown out on the bases twice. The first mistake came trying to stretch a double into a triple with no outs. The second came on a bases loaded single where he was thrown out after leaving first base. He was inches from being out on his eighth inning double too.
Choruby had a bad day on the bases today, but the problem has bogged down the Aggie offense all year. The power of last year’s lineup made base running errors forgivable. This year’s club doesn’t have the same pop. They can’t afford to give away these outs if they want to keep playing past Sunday.
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Texas A&M drew five walks in the sixth inning. They scored five runs in that frame. That’s not a coincidence. The Aggies worked the count against Baylor starter Montana Parsons, forcing him to throw 96 pitches in five innings of work. That patience was amplified by two rain delays, the second of which lasted 42 minutes. Nothing the Aggies had done following the rain delay had garnered any runs until the Aggies rallied for that five-spot in the sixth. They wore Parsons out and Baylor paid for it. Those runs ended up being the determining factor in Friday’s game.
The Legend of Braden Shewmake
When Baylor hit their third inning grand slam the air was sucked out of the stadium full of Texas A&M faithful. It was the Bears’ second grand slam in the last four innings they’d played against the Aggies. The game had taken on a feel similar to the Friday loss against Vanderbilt in which Hill had given up a lead-changing home run. The Aggies couldn’t score after that and dropped the game 4-3.
That didn’t happen again this Friday. Thanks to Braden Shewmake. Shewmake blasted a 3-2 pitch off the scoreboard and the game was tied. Shewmake finished 2-for-5 with 2 RBI. That’s a decent line on a box score, but his impact to the game was monumental.
Texas A&M (1-0) advances to play 4-seed Iowa who took down 1-seed Houston 6-3 on Friday night. That game is scheduled for first pitch on Saturday, June 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
***Stats from CBS sports.com***