Texas A&M ousts rival Longhorns from CWS with 10-2 victory
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Trevor Werner hit a tiebreaking single in a four-run second inning and No. 5 national seed Texas A&M broke a nine-game College World Series losing streak Sunday with a 10-2 victory over rival Texas, ending the Longhorns’ season.
The Aggies (43-19) spotted Texas (47-22) a two-run lead before taking control of the first CWS game between programs that had met 373 times since 1904.
Their first win in five Omaha appearances since 1993 moved Texas A&M to another elimination game Tuesday against Notre Dame. Oklahoma beat Notre Dame 6-2 on Sunday night.
Aggies starter Micah Dallas acknowledged there was added satisfaction to knocking out the Longhorns.
“There is a little extra oomph behind everything, especially when it’s Texas, because you just look at the fan bases, there’s a lot of like genuine hate between each other,” Dallas said. “We kind of feed off of it. We respect them. They’re a great ballclub. But there’s a little more, I don’t know, competition.”
Leading 8-2, the Aggies faced a stressful situation in the sixth inning when Jacob Palisch walked Mitchell Daly to load the bases with two outs and Ivan Melendez coming to bat. Palisch struck out the national home run leader and .393 hitter, catching him looking at a fastball at the knees on the inner half of the plate.
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Palisch pumped his fist as he walked off the mound and Dallas (7-3), whom he replaced four batters earlier, let out a celebratory scream in the dugout and rushed to greet the left-hander.
“That was a massive part of the game,” Aggies coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
Dallas had two forgettable outings for Texas Tech in the 2019 CWS, and things didn’t start great for him Sunday as the Longhorns scored single runs in the first two innings. He held them scoreless the next three before Palisch came on after the first two batters in the sixth reached.
Texas starter Lucas Gordon (7-2) lasted just 1 2/3 innings for the shortest of his 16 career starts, and that was after a 10-pitch 1-2-3 first inning.
Grinding out long at-bats is the Aggies’ offensive identity, and they executed it perfectly in the second to put pressure on Gordon. No turn at the plate was better than Werner’s. He fouled off seven balls and worked the count from 0-2 to full during an 11-pitch at-bat that ended with him slapping a liner into left field for a two-run single and a 4-2 lead.
That was it for Gordon, who threw 43 pitches in the inning before Jared Southard came on as the first of five relievers. The Aggies scored single runs in the third and fourth and two in the fifth to go up six runs.
“We all had the same goal, and that was to have a dog pile at the end,” Austin Todd said. “I don’t think it’s really truly hit me yet. We fight for this and this is everything that we worked for. It’s just one of those things that we didn’t get it done today.”
The Aggies also beat Texas in a regular-season game in Austin and now have won four straight against the Longhorns, who they played regularly when both were in the Big 12 and the old Southwest Conference.
They’ll reunite in the Southeastern Conference when Texas becomes a member, no later than in 2025.
KICKING EXTRA POINT, ER, RUN
A quirky play in the third inning led to a Texas A&M run. Troy Claunch grounded to third, but Skyler Messinger’s throw pulled first baseman Melendez up the line and the ball tipped off his glove.
Ryan Targac, who had walked, was heading for third as Melendez chased down the ball and kicked it into the Texas dugout. Targac was awarded home since the ball was out of play.
Texas had no home runs in consecutive games for only the second time since March 1. The Longhorns came to Omaha with a program-record 128, most of any CWS team and tied for third nationally.
Texas finished with just one extra-base hit, a double by Douglas Hodo III against the Aggies. The Longhorns came into Sunday tied for second nationally in doubles with 156.
Austin Todd’s RBI single that put Texas up 1-0 made this the first CWS in the event’s 75-year history that there has been a run scored in the top of the first inning in each of the first five games.
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