COLLEGE STATION, TX – Texas A&M countered UNC Greensboro’s three-run fourth inning with a two-run fifth inning to regain the lead en route to claiming a 5-3 win over the Spartans in the eighth and final game of the Domino’s Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic from Olsen Field on the A&M campus.
The Aggies took home the 2006 Domino’s Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic crown after posting a 3-1 record in the tournament, losing only to Missouri State, 3-2, Sunday night in game six of the event.
UNCG (2-6) finished its participation in the classic with a 1-3 record after losing twice to Texas A&M, once to Missouri State and defeating Utah. The Spartans were involved in two one-run affairs, posting a 1-1 record in those games. UNCG lost to Missouri State 8-7 in 14 innings Saturday before defeating Utah 6-5 Sunday afternoon. For the season, UNCG has been involved in five one-run games in eight games played.
Texas A&M (11-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage after the top of the first as the Aggies put together three consecutive singles to plate the game’s first run. Blake Stouffer started the trio of hits with a single to rightfield followed by Jose Salazar’s successful hit and run single to right to put runners on first and third. Spencer Jackson collected his team-leading 11th RBI of the season with a single to leftfield to score Stouffer.
The Aggies added another run in the second inning when Parker Dalton produced the game’s second run on one of baseball’s rarest of plays. The shortstop reached base with a triple to right just out of the reach of the diving Clinton McKinney and then stole home three pitches later to give A&M a 2-0 lead.
UNCG took its first lead of the game after scoring three runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Jermaine Mitchell led off the frame with a walk and moved to second on a single to right by Guy Welsh thereafter. Greg Matson was responsible for the Spartans’ first run as he showed bunt, but then pulled back and singled up the middle to score Mitchell.
Catcher Adam Deleo advanced both runners on a groundout to the right side and Clinton McKinney followed with his second RBI of the season with a groundout to second base. The Spartans took the lead when Matson sprinted home from third base on a wild pitch from A&M starter Chance Corgan.
A&M wasted little time regaining the lead, plating two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Jose Infante led off with a single and Stouffer followed with a walk to chase Spartan starter Ryan Clear after four innings on the hill. Both runners advanced one base as each were credited with a stolen base and Salazar tied the game with a sac fly to center. Designated hitter Jake Vasquez gave the Aggies the lead with a sac fly of his own to center.
The Spartans nearly scored the game-tying and potential go ahead run in the bottom of the seventh but failed to score with the bases loaded. Salazar, the Aggies’ second baseman, made a nice play ranging to his right to snare a ground ball and retire Matson at first base by a step for the final out of the inning.
Salazar collected his second hit and RBI of the evening in the top of the ninth to give A&M an insurance run with a single to rightfield to score Infante from second.
Matt Ueckert (3-0), the tournament MYP, garnered the win for the Aggies after allowing no runs on one hit in 2-1/3 innings on the hill. Clear took the loss for the Spartans after allowing four runs on six hits in four innings of mound duty. Jordan Chambless came on in the ninth and retired the final batter to earn his second save of the season.
Welsh led UNCG at the plate after going 2-for-3 with a run scored Monday night en route to being named to the all-tournament team. He finished the tournament going 9-for-16 for a .563 batting average during the four days. He also collected three RBI and scored six runs. Greg Feltes also made the squad after going 6-for-14 for a .429 batting average.
UNCG returns to the diamond Friday when the Spartans take on Ohio State at 7 pm in Jacksonville, FL. The game will be played at the University of North Florida’s Harmon Stadium.
Texas A&M 5, UNC Greensboro 3 (Feb 27, 2006 at College
Texas A&M........... 110 020 001 - 5 10 0 (11-1)
UNC Greensboro...... 000 300 000 - 3 7 0 (2-6)
Pitchers: Texas A&M - Corgan; Ueckert(4); Gerald(7); Vasquez, A.(7); Hering(7); Chambless(9).
UNC Greensboro - Ryan Clear; Greg Matson(5); Greg Martin(7); Patrick Currin(9).
Win-Ueckert(3-0) Save-Chambless(2) Loss-Ryan Clear(0-1) T-3:08 A-3541
2006 Domino’s Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic All Tournament team
Matt Weiglarz, Missouri State
INF – Bret Baldwin, Utah
INF – Guy Welsh, UNC Greensboro
INF – Jose Salazar, Texas A&M
INF – Ryan Khoury, Utah
INF – Greg Feltes, UNC Greensboro
OF – Adam Pummill, Missouri State
OF – Blake Stouffer, Texas A&M
DH – Scott Malone, Utah
P – Chris Krawczyk, Missouri State
P – Matt Ueckert, Texas A&M
P – Josh Cooper, Utah
P – Jordan Chambless, Texas A&M
MVP – Matt Ueckert, A&M (2 Wins, 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 6 K, 0 BB)
TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS: Texas A&M
Texas A&M: 3-1
Missouri State: 2-2
UNC Greensboro: 1-3