With a trip to the regional finals on the line, Texas A&M Baseball beat the Iowa Hawkeyes at Cougar Field on Saturday night.
The Aggies entered Saturday evening with an incredible opportunity. If they beat the Iowa Hawkeyes they would be sitting firmly in the driver seat to win the Houston Regional.
As if that wasn’t enough their was some added incentive. 4-Seed Davidson (2-0) had put themselves one win away from winning the North Carolina Regional, which was paired with Houston. Texas A&M knew headed into Saturday that a win against Iowa would give them a strong chance at hosting a Super Regional in College Station next weekend. The 3-Seed Aggies would host the 4-Seed Wildcats.
The Texas A&M baseball team seized that opportunity.
Texas A&M 3 – Iowa 2 (Full Box)
Iowa scratched across a run in the second inning and led the game 1-0 into the fourth inning. That’s when the Aggies found their bats. After failing to put down a squeeze bunt with runners on the corners, Cole Bedford deposited a two strike pitch over the left field wall. That gave Texas A&M a 3-1 lead and they never looked backed.
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Iowa trimmed the deficit in the top half of the next frame with a Jake Adams home run. The dinger was his 28th of the season, a mark that leads all of Division I baseball. The Aggies were lucky there wasn’t anyone else on base.
With the game on the line and Adams at the plate again in the eighth, Cason Sherrod would come in and strike out the side. He got two more outs in the ninth. The last time he was in Houston he walked three straight batters in the ninth inning against TCU. Looks like he saved his best stuff for when it mattered most.
It was Kaylor Chafin, who threw 47 pitches on Friday, who came on to slam the door. Chafin entered with a 2-0 count on the Hawkeye leadoff hitter Chris Whelan. Chafin forced Whelan to pop up and the game was over. In the most high leverage of all situations the Aggies got a huge answer from the most reliable member of the their bullpen.
Player of the Game
It’s not even close. The Aggie bullpen has been up and down in the final few weeks of the season. Extended outings from the starters has been and will continue to be a critical part of Texas A&M’s recipe for postseason success. Hill battled against Baylor but only lasted 5.1 innings. Martin gave Rod Childress everything he had on Saturday night. He finished with a final line of 7+ IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 9 K and 2 BB.
Texas A&M (2-0) advances to play the winner of Sunday’s elimination game between Iowa (1-1) and Houston (1-1). The Cougars eliminated Baylor on Saturday with a 17-3 romp. The Aggies will need to win once in two games to punch their tickets to the Super Regionals. That series may very well be in College Station.
***Stats from SEC Sports***