CANYON, Texas –For the second week in a row, the West Texas A&M baseball team had a chance at the series sweep. This time, the No. 17 Buffs came through with a 7-6, 13-inning victory over No. 10 Angelo State Sunday afternoon at Wilder Park. With the win, the Buffs improved to 20-4 on the year and 10-2 in Lone Star Conference play. ASU fell to 16-9 overall and 6-6 in league play.
A bloop-single in the bottom of the 13th by junior Ryan March put two on with one out for the Buffs. A hit batter loaded the bases for senior Joshua Weyker, who came in to hit earlier to pinch-hit. Weyker, normally in the starting rotation and winner of game two Saturday, hit a ground ball to short as ASU shortstop Christian Summers made his third error of the game and seventh of the series as the winning run scored.
The Buffs banged out 13 hits in the game and battled back from a 6-1 deficit in the seventh with five runs over the final three innings, including four in the eighth, to force extras. Junior Aaron Blair was 4 for 5 in the game with a run scored and a double. Junior Justin Hargrove went 3 for 5 with a RBI, while senior David Hebert was 1 for 5 with a team-high two RBI.
WT used five pitchers in the game as senior Sam Ouellet relieved starter Ashton Sivigliano in the first down 3-0. Ouellet pitched 6.1 innings, allowing four hits, three runs - one earned, with two walks and four K’s. From there, the Bullpen held ASU scoreless for the final 6.1 innings and just three hits. Junior Kyle Olason (3-0) earned the win going the final two innings allowing one hit and fanning two.
ASU reliever Graylon Brown (2-2) took the loss as he pitched the final 6.2 innings for starter Dillon Baker went 6.0 innings allowing five hits, two runs – one earned and he fanned four. Brown gave up seven hits, five runs – two earned, one walk and he fanned four. David Goggin was the leader for the Rams offensively as he went 3 for 6 with a run scored and two RBI. Cameron Massengill went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
The 13 innings marked the longest game of the season and second consecutive game on Sunday to go extras. The Buffs had the chance at the sweep last weekend at Eastern New Mexico, but couldn’t close the door falling 6-5 in 11 innings. The game against marked the fourth extra-inning game of the season as WT improved to 2-2 in extras.
It marked the first four-game series sweep for the Buffs since downing Cameron in four Mar. 16-18, 2012. The sweep also was just the second time in 10 years ASU had been swept in a four-game series (Abilene Christian, 2010).
Angelo State came out firing after being outscored 9-2 in the first three games as it plated three runs in the top of the first. Sivigliano went 0.1 innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs and two walks before Ouellet entered.
WT junior Nick Chapman reached on a miscue in the bottom of the fourth and Blair hit an infield single off ASU Becker for runners at the corners and nobody out. Chapman scored on a double play to bring WT within 3-1.
Angelo State pushed the lead back to three at 4-1 with a double and stolen base from Nehwon Norkeh and a Goggin RBI ground out in the top of the fifth. ASU put runners at the corners with two down in the top of the seventh as Norkeh singled to left. Norkeh stole second to attempt to get into a run down and a miscue on the throw paid off, allowing Massengill to score. Goggin singled home Norkeh for a 6-1 lead and a pitching change for the Buffs.
WT responded in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff single by senior Tyler McKnight. The Rams made a call to the bullpen in favor of Miles Gully as Becker went six innings with five hits allowed, one unearned run and four strikeouts.
A walk put two on for the Buffs with nobody out and Hargrove singled loading the bases as the Rams went to the pen for the second time in the inning. The Rams brought in Brown who retired the first batter he faced, but junior Ryan March scored a run on a ground out to second for a 6-2 score. Brown got another ground out to end the threat.
WT loaded the bases once again in the eighth with nobody out. Junior Dylan Dyson snapped a 0 for 12 streak in the series with a single through the right side. McKnight reached on an error for a 6-3 score. Senior David Hebert then doubled home two more runs for a 6-5 deficit with nobody out. A sacrifice fly by Hargrove tied the game at six in the four-run inning.
In the top of the ninth, the Rams had Tyler Coughenour on first, who tried to steal second, but was gunned down with a great throw from Hargrove to end the threat.
A single and the third miscue of the game for the Rams put runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the ninth. A fielder’s choice out at third put two away. Brown got out of the jam with a strikeout to send the game to extra innings.
The fourth error of the game for the Buffs put runners at the corners with two down in the top of the 10th. A pop out got Lujan out of the jam preserving the tie.
A walk and sacrifice bunt put the Rams in scoring position in the top of the 11th. Massengill singled to right, but right fielder Ryan March gunned down Brett David at the plate with a great throw to preserve the tie. Lujan got a strikeout to end the frame.
WT now heads on the road with a quick turnaround as it travels to Southwestern Oklahoma State Tuesday for a 2 p.m. start in a makeup game from earlier in the season. The Buffs then head to Tarleton State for a four-game set this weekend.
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