Claunch sends Texas A&M past Louisville 5-4 in series opener
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Catcher Troy Claunch singled with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and No. 5 overall seed Texas A&M stranded 17 runners on base before posting a 5-4 victory over No. 12 seed Louisville in the first round of the College Station Super Regional on Friday night.
Texas A&M (41-18) and Louisville (42-20-1) will play again Saturday. A win by the Aggies would send them to the College World Series for a seventh time. A win by the Cardinals, aiming for their sixth CWS appearance, would force a winner-take-all game on Sunday.
Claunch gave Texas A&M a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Cardinals got a two-run single from Logan Beard and a sacrifice fly from Ben Bianco in the top of the second to grab a 3-1 lead.
Brett Minnich doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Jordan Thompson in the third to pull the Aggies within a run.
Ben Metzinger doubled in a run in the fifth to put the Cardinals up 4-2, but Thompson tied the game with a home run in the seventh — after Claunch led off with a single.
Claunch’s game-winning hit came after Louisville reliever Michael Prosecky loaded the bases on a single, walk and a hit batter. Prosecky (2-1) came on in the eighth with one out and one on via a walk and walked two more before striking out Kole Kaler to end the threat.
Jacob Palisch (6-3) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to get the win. The Aggies finished the game with 11 hits, 10 walks and had four batters hit by pitches.
More AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.