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Texas A&M breaks through in the eighth to defeat Arizona in NCAA regional

Arizona went in the order in the ninth against Ross Stripling. Cole Frenzel bounced out to shortstop. Robert Refsnyder flied out to center. And then pinch-hitter Johnny Field also flied out to center.

Texas A&M, on the strength of its two-out rally in the eighth, won 3-0 to take the final game of an NCAA regional in College Station, Texas. The Aggies advance to an NCAA Super Regional against Florida State.

The Wildcats, who had seven hits, end the season with a record of 39-21.


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Texas A&M’s leading hitter, Big 12 Player of the Year Tyler Naquin, got into scoring position in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out double.

With relievers Bryce Bandilla and Matt Chaffee ready, coach Andy Lopez stayed with starter Kurt Heyer … but his first pitch to Krey Bratsen was hit up the middle for an RBI single, giving the Aggies a 1-0 lead.

Bandilla came in, and Bratsen stole second base. Arizona then issued an intentional walk so the lefty-Bandilla could face left-handed-hitting Jacob House, who nonetheless delivered a two-run double for a 3-0 lead.

Kyle Simon finished the inning for Arizona by getting one out.

One final at-bat for the Cats …

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Arizona had something cooking in the eighth against Texas A&M reliever Nick Fleece. A two-out single by Seth Mejias-Brean and an infield hit by Joey Rickard set the table for Bryce Ortega, who bounced into a force out to the third baseman.

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More blanks going into the eighth inning. Each starter, pitching on short rest, has been superb but could be nearing the end of the road.

Arizona’s Kurt Heyer needed his defense to turn a slick double play to help get out of the sixth inning, but he breezed through the seventh with two strikeouts.

No score …

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Arizona threatened to score in the top of the fifth inning, with runners on first and third with one out. Jett Bandy tried to score from third on Alex Mejia’s bloop single to center, although Bandy had to initially hold up, not knowing if the ball would be caught.

Center fielder Krey Bratsen made a good throw to the plate to beat Bandy in a close call.

There is no score going to the sixth inning.

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There is no score through three innings, as each team’s ace is sharp early. Arizona’s Kurt Heyer has allowed two hits, striking out one. Texas A&M’s Michael Wacha has yielded one hit, striking out three.

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The Arizona Wildcats baseball team tries to advance in the postseason today when it plays at Texas A&M in the winner-take-all game of an NCAA regional in College Station, Texas.

The game will start at 10:35 a.m. Tucson time. You can watch a live internet stream here or follow on GameTracker.

The game was originally scheduled for Monday night, but storms postponed the matchup until today. The extra day allows Arizona coach Andy Lopez to come back with staff ace Kurt Heyer, who pitched Friday morning and suffered a loss against Seton Hall, throwing 98 pitches. He is 8-4 with a 2.41 ERA.

On the other hand, the Aggies can counter with their No. 1, too. Michael Wacha is 8-3 with a 2.24 ERA.

“Hey, if you’re going to play for a regional championship,” Lopez told 1290-AM’s Brian Jeffries in the pregame show, “you want your best starters out there.”

The winner will advance to play at Florida State in a best-of-three Super Regional, beginning Saturday.

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