Tuesday May 21, 2013Texas A&M Ousts Florida Baseball From SEC Tournament, 6-3
Texas A&M sophomore right-hander Daniel Mengden (8-3) registered 11 strikeouts in a complete-game effort and freshman Hunter Melton (2-for-4) drove in four runs, highlighted by a three-run homer, as the ninth-seeded Aggies (31-25) dealt eighth-seeded Florida (29-28) a 6-3 setback in the opening round of the 2013 SEC Tournament on Tuesday afternoon at the Hoover Met.
With the victory, Texas A&M advances to meet top-seeded No. 1 Vanderbilt (48-7) tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. ET to start the double-elimination portion of the event. The Gators will now await the announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field on Monday at 12 p.m. on ESPNU.
Florida had seized a 2-0 lead in the second inning on two runs, three hits and a pair of Texas A&M errors. Sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) reached on a leadoff error by sophomore second baseman Blake Allemand, took second on a balk by Mengden and went to third on a failed pickoff attempt. After senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) opened the scoring with an RBI grounder to second base, redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) punched a base-hit into right field and freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) singled up the third-base line. With sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) at the plate, the Gators executed a double steal, with Powers moving to third and Bader swiping second base. With two down, senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) came through with an infield single to bring home Powers and Bader was cut down at the dish on a 4-6-2 putout to complete the inning.
Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) (4-2) retired the first 10 Aggies of the contest before plunking Allemand (1-for-3, two runs) with one down in the fourth inning. Sophomore Cole Lankford (1-for-4, two runs) dropped a single into center field that pushed Allemand into scoring position and Magliozzi had junior Troy Stein pop up to sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) for the second out. Melton then cranked a three-run homer over the wall in left center to give the Aggies a 3-2 advantage. It was his team-leading fifth round-tripper of the season.
Florida evened the score in the fifth, when Tobias scored from third base on a two-out wild pitch by Mengden. Tobias had opened the frame with a single into left field and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Dent. A grounder by freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) nudged Tobias to third and the Gator tied the game on a two-strike pitch to Turgeon that eluded Stein.
Texas A&M scored twice in the sixth on two runs and two UF errors to grab a 5-3 lead. Allemand singled into right field with one down and Lankford reached on a fielding error by Dent for a pair of Aggies aboard. Stein was hit by a pitch to fill the bags full of Aggies and Melton delivered a single into center field to collect his fourth RBI of the day and give A&M a 4-3 edge. A fielder’s choice by sophomore Mitchell Nau enabled Lankford to come in for a two-run margin and a throwing error by Tobias on the play resulted in two runners in scoring position. Magliozzi stranded the runners by having senior Brandon Wood fly out to center field.
Magliozzi retired the first two Aggies in the seventh, including a strikeout of junior Jace Statum that tied his career high of six punch-outs. The righty plunked Reynolds, who stole second base with two down, and then issued a walk to Allemand. Freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) came in for Magliozzi (6.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 K, 1 BB) and the Aggies stole second and third. The southpaw reliever caught Lankford looking on strikes to end the inning.
Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) took over for Young (0.1 IP) prior to the eighth stanza and Stein led off with a base-hit into center field. A wild pitch allowed Stein to reach second base and Harris had Melton ground out. After Stein stole third base, Harris fanned Nau and had Wood fly out to right field.
The Aggies tacked on another run in the ninth to finalize the 6-3 score. Statum singled into right center and stole second before senior Mikey Reynolds walked. Junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) was summoned for Harris (1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and a fielder’s choice by Allemand erased Reynolds at second base but moved Statum to third. With two down, Texas A&M sent Allemend to second base and although he was caught stealing, Statum scored before the putout to provide the Aggies with a three-run cushion.
Mengden struck out seven of the final eight Gator hitters in going the distance. The righty yielded five hits and three runs (one earned), with 11 K and one walk.
· Today was the first meeting between the Aggies and Gators since the 2007 season.
· Texas A&M has claimed seven of the eight encounters between the programs.
· Freshmen Harrison Bader and Richie Martin have each reached base in the last 16 games.
· Bader raised his hitting streak to seven games and was 1-for-3 with a stolen base.
· The Gators stole three bases this afternoon: Bader (14), sophomore Casey Turgeon (9) and redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (5).
· Sophomore righty Johnny Magliozzi went 6.2 innings in his SEC Tournament debut.
· The Aggies held a 6-5 edge in hits and each squad committed two errors.