Rob Childress
Kaylor Chafin
George Janca
Cole Bedford
Texas A&M Baseball

Late comeback attempt comes up short, Aggies fall to Kentucky, 11-7

March 19, 2017
2,010

Game #21: Kentucky 11, Texas A&M 7
Records: Kentucky 15-6 (3-0 SEC); Texas A&M 14-7 (0-3)
WP: Justin Lewis (3-1)
LP: Mitchell Kilkenny (2-1)
Save: None


Marcus Carson laid down what seemed to be a fairly innocuous bunt in the seventh inning of the series finale between Texas A&M and Kentucky, but as the ball rolled foul, a couple of A&M assistant coaches jumped out of the home dugout and proceeded to have a heated exchange with the Kentucky third base coach.

Both head coaches got in on the action as well, and it perfectly exemplified the Aggies' frustrating weekend as Kentucky racked up 11 runs on 17 hits to complete the sweep of A&M, 11-7. 

"It wasn't the right situation for it," third baseman George Janca said of the bunt attempt. "We bounced back from it well, fought back late in the game, and that's all we can ask for."

The Wildcats got the scoring started early with a relentless barrage of hits that chased A&M starter Mitchell Kilkenny from the game in the second inning. Kentucky cranked out a single and a double to score two in the first and followed that up with five singles and three runs in the second.

Kilkenny threw only 29 of his 44 pitches for strikes, and when he threw it over the plate, the Kentucky hitters made him pay.
Kilkenny threw only 29 of his 44 pitches for strikes, and when he threw it over the plate, the Kentucky hitters made him pay. Six different Wildcats recorded multi-hit games, including three who had three hits.

"Everything kind of fell for them," catcher Cole Bedford said.

The Aggies responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first via a Logan Foster RBI-single. After leaving two men on base in the second, though, they did not get another baserunner until the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Kentucky kept scoring. Tristan Pompey blasted a solo home run off of reliever Kaylor Chafin in the fourth, and then the Wildcats got three consecutive run-scoring hits off Chafin in the fifth to extend their lead to 9-1.

The last of those runs came on one of the Aggies' two errors of the afternoon. Carson laid down a bunt that Chafin flipped with his glove to first baseman Jorge Gutierrez, and the ball caught the tip of Gutierrez's mitt. The ball rolled along the right field grass, allowing Heady to charge home from third.

The Aggies did their best to mount a comeback in the later innings, scoring three runs each in the seventh and eighth to make the final score respectable.

Bedford started the seventh with a double, and Janca followed with a single to end Kentucky starter Jordan Lewis' outing. Next up, Nick Choruby welcomed reliever Colton Cleary with an RBI infield single down the third-base line, and after Austin Homan flied out to left, Braden Shewmake came through with a two-run single through the right side.

Lewis, a 6-7 righty, allowed five hits and three runs in 6.1 innings.

In the eighth, Jorge Gutierrez reached base on a one-out infield single, and Bedford hit his second double of the game. Moments later, Janca lined a 3-1 fastball over the fence in left field for his first career home run.  

"We needed runs, so I got a good pitch to hit and handled it," Janca said.

Bedford and Janca were two of the Aggies' bright spots on the afternoon, with Bedford going 3-for-4 to raise his average to .400 and Janca going 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Bedford and Janca were two of the Aggies' bright spots on the afternoon, with Bedford going 3-for-4 to raise his average to .400 and Janca going 2-for-4 with three RBI.

"We have some guys doing some good things. It's a matter of putting it all together," head coach Rob Childress said.

With Childress having to go to the bullpen in the second inning, the Aggies got some much-needed long relief out of a trio of relievers. Kaylor Chafin gave A&M 3.2 innings of relief, Turner Larkins allowed two runs in 2.1 innings and  Lee May Gonzalez finished the game with 1.2 scoreless frames.

"Certainly Gonzo came in and did a nice job. Chafin gave us a bit of a hold, and we're trying to get Larkins' pitch count up little by little," Childress said.

The Aggies will return to the diamond Tuesday against Rice. The Owls will bring a 6-16 record to Olsen Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. 

"Our concern is Rice on Tuesday," Childress said with a road series against LSU looming. "They're going to give us their best shot, so we need to make sure they get ours."
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Late comeback attempt comes up short, Aggies fall to Kentucky, 11-7

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