You cannot keep Kody Clemens in the park tonight…
HR NUMBER 2 IN THE BOOKS!
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 3, 2018
Kody Clemens set the tone with a three-run homer in the first inning, powering the Texas Longhorns past the in-state rival Texas A&M Aggies 8-3 Saturday night at the NCAA Austin Regional.
Clemens, the Big 12 Player of the Year, hit two homers on the day and produced four RBI.
With the victory, the Longhorns moved into Sunday night’s regional championship game at Disch-Falk Field against either Indiana or Texas A&M.
Indiana and A&M will play Sunday afternoon, with the winner earning a shot against Texas Sunday night. If either Indiana or A&M beat Texas, a deciding game would be played Monday at Disch-Falk.
Regardless of the opponent, the Longhorns appear to have a good shot at winning the tournament and advancing to the NCAA Super Regional round for the first time since 2014.
UT fans were into the game from the beginning as Clemens, a left-handed hitter, greeted A&M righty and starter Mitchell Kilkenny with a three-run homer over the right field wall in the first.
In the third, the Aggies of the Southeastern Conference rallied against UT pitcher Nolan Kingham to pull within 3-1 on an RBI bunt single from Michael Helman.
But the Big 12 regular-season champions would explode for two runs each in the fourth and the fifth innings and another in the sixth for an 8-1 lead.
DJ Petrinski hit a solo homer in the fourth and Clemens added a solo shot in the sixth.
It was Petrinski’s second home run in two nights and his eighth on the season. For Clemens, the son of former UT and major league star Roger Clemens, he increased his team-leading total to 21.
Pitching against a team with a .285 batting average, Kingham (8-3) worked effectively through 7 and 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked one. Kingham yielded nine hits and three runs, two of them earned.
Zach DeLoach and Logan Foster, who both had three hits in Texas A&M’s 10-3 victory Friday over Indiana, produced only one hit between them. Helman, Chris Andritsos and Will Frizzell had two hits apiece.
Kilkenny, the first of five A&M pitchers, lasted only four innings. Even though he worked out of trouble a few times, he gave up five runs on seven hits.
Texas A&M 40-21
Officials announced a sellout crowd of 7,046 for UT and A&M, longtime intra-conference rivals in the Southwest Conference and the Big 12. A&M left the Big 12 and joined the SEC for the 2012-13 season.
Kilkenny (8-5) took the loss. Kingham (8-3) was credited with the win.
Earlier in the day Saturday, Indiana of the Big Ten stayed alive in the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Texas Southern. The loss eliminates the Tigers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
— Texas A&M Baseball (@AggieBaseball) June 3, 2018