Indiana eliminates Texas A&M from the NCAA playoffs

Trailing by nine runs early, the Texas A&M Aggies stayed patient.

They kept chipping away, inning by inning, until they pulled to within two runs with two runners on base in the ninth.

In the end, A&M’s comeback bid wilted in the 100-degree heat.

Indiana turned a double play to close it, claiming a 9-7 victory in the NCAA Austin Regional.

As a result, the Aggies’ season is over after a second straight loss in the tournament, while the Hoosiers earned a chance to take down Texas for the championship.

Texas can win the regional tournament with a victory tonight. Indiana hopes to win to force a deciding game Monday.

Indiana stunned Texas A&M by exploding for nine runs in the first inning.

The big blows came on a two-run home run by Scotty Bradley and a three-run shot by Matt Lloyd.

Lloyd, who started the game at first base, led Indiana with two runs scored, three hits and three RBI.

He also figured into the game as a pitcher, working part of the eighth and closing out the ninth.

For Texas A&M, Logan Foster produced three hits. Chris Andritsos had two hits and three RBI.

Relievers Cason Sherrod and Nolan Hoffman held the Hoosiers scoreless from the second through the ninth inning.

The loss sent Texas A&M home from the NCAA tournament shy of the Super Regional round for the first time since 2014.

Records

Texas A&M 40-22
Indiana 40-18

Texas A&M coach shrugs off Clemens’ theatrics

Texas A&M coach Rob Childress is trying to get his team ready to play the Indiana Hoosiers this afternoon at the NCAA’s Austin Regional.

The Aggies and Hoosiers are both 1-1 in the regional and facing elimination.

The winner would advance to play Texas tonight in the championship round.

Texas A&M fans would like nothing more than another shot at the Longhorns after what happened Saturday night.

Not only did the Longhorns beat the Aggies 8-3, but UT star Kody Clemens stirred it up with some theatrics.

After a first-inning, three-run homer, Clemens rounded third and stared briefly into the Aggies’ dugout.

During media interviews later, Childress brushed off a question about the incident.

“We are all competitors, and it’s the biggest moment, Saturday night in a regional, and he is in the moment and if you don’t like it, make a better pitch is the way I look at it,” Childress told reporters.

Added Childress: “They feed off him, and he is an incredible player, very competitive, very good approach as a baseball player and he loves the moment.

“He did a great job for them tonight, certainly the difference in the game.”

Clemens hit two home runs and produced four RBI in a three-hit performance.

As a result, the Longhorns improved to 2-0 in the regional, needing only a win tonight to advance.

For a full story on Texas A&M’s reaction to its loss to Texas, please see Richard Croome’s story in the Bryan Eagle.

Six teams in the state alive in NCAA baseball playoffs

Six of the seven Texas-based teams in the NCAA baseball tournament remain alive through three days of regional play. Texas and Texas Tech are 2-0 in their regions. Here’s the breakdown leading into Sunday afternoon competition:

Texas — In the drivers’ seat in the Austin Regional. The No. 13 overall seed in the NCAA tournament is 2-0 and will play at home tonight against either Indiana or Texas A&M. This is a hot team. Might be tough to beat them two straight in Austin. So far, Texas has hammered Texas Southern 10-0 and beat up A&M 8-3.

Texas A&M — The Aggies are 1-1 in the Austin Regional and will play this afternoon to stay alive against the Indiana Hoosiers. A&M needs a quality start to steady the team. Will it be freshman lefthander Asa Lacy from Kerrville Tivy?

Texas Southern — The Tigers were swept out of the tournament in Austin, losing 10-0 to Texas 6-0 to Indiana. Texas Southern is a program on the rise, having played in NCAA regionals at College Station in 2015, at Baton Rouge in 2017 and now in Austin, all under coach Michael Robertson.

Texas Tech — The Red Raiders are 2-0 and playing for the regional title tonight in their own Lubbock Regional. Kent State and Louisville will meet this afternoon to determine Tech’s opponent. Either way, the No. 9 national seeded Red Raiders appear to be in good shape after beating New Mexico State 9-2 on Friday and Louisville 10-4 on Saturday.

Baylor — The Big 12 tournament champions are 1-1 and facing long odds in the losers’ bracket at the Stanford Regional. They’ll play the host and No. 2 overall seed Cardinal this afternoon in an effort to stay alive. Baylor needs to beat Stanford and Cal State Fullerton twice to win the regional. The Bears lost to surprising Fullerton 6-2 on Friday and then bounced back to defeat Wright State, 11-5, on Saturday.

Houston — The Cougars are 1-1 and facing elimination Sunday afternoon against Purdue in the Chapel Hill Regional. Houston must win three straight to advance. It must beat the Boilermakers and the host North Carolina Tar Heels twice. Houston started fast in the regional, knocking off Purdue 9-2 on Friday. The Cougars hit two home runs in their second game but fell to the Tar Heels 4-3 on Saturday.

Dallas Baptist –The hard-hitting Patriots slammed Oral Roberts 18-9 on Saturday to even their record to 1-1 in the Fayetteville Regional. They’ll take on Southern Miss, the Conference USA champions, on Sunday afternoon. If Dallas Baptist can win, it would move into the championship round against host Arkansas Sunday night. One of the hidden gems in NCAA sports in Texas, Dallas Baptist has played in four NCAA regionals since 2011.

Clemens powers Texas past Texas A&M in NCAA regional

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.

Records

Texas 39-20
Texas A&M 40-21

Notes

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.

UT’s NCAA Regional includes an old rival — Texas A&M

The possibility of a playoff game — or games — between the rival Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies loomed Monday as the NCAA baseball tournament’s 64-team bracket was unveiled.

Texas will host a regional starting Friday that will include A&M, Indiana and Texas Southern University.

On opening night in the double-elimination format, No. 2 seed Indiana will play third-seeded A&M at 4 p.m. and top-seeded Texas will play No. 4 Texas Southern at 8.

If the Longhorns and Aggies both win — or, if they both lose — they would play Saturday.

The tournament games will be held in Austin on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and, if necessary, also Monday, at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Other teams from the state that made the tournament include Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston and Dallas Baptist.

Texas Tech is the only other program in the state that will host on opening weekend.

The TCU Horned Frogs, who have played in the past four College World Series, were left out of the 64-team field after they made it to the Big 12 tournament title game and lost to Baylor.

Sam Houston State and Rice were among other notable programs missing from the national bracket.

Last year, the Bearkats made a surprise run to the NCAA Lubbock Regional title and advanced to play Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional.

This year, they won the Southland Conference regular-season title but failed to win the SLC tournament.

Rice, under outgoing coach Wayne Graham, posted a losing record in the regular season and failed to win the Conference USA tournament title for the automatic bid.

Thus, Rice had its streak of 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances snapped. It was the third-longest streak in the nation.

In Austin, fans will get to see NCAA tournament baseball live for the first time since the Longhorns hosted a Super Regional in 2014.

It’s the first time Texas has hosted on the first weekend of the tournament since 2011.

Tournament time in Texas

Regional openers are set for Friday

Texas — No. 13 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Austin and opens against Texas Southern

Texas Tech — No. 9 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Lubbock and opens against New Mexico State

Baylor — No. 2 regional seed at Palo Alto, Calif., plays opening day against Cal State Fullerton

Texas A&M — No. 3 regional seed at Austin, opens with Indiana

Houston — No. 3 regional seed at Chapel Hill, N.C., opens with Purdue

Dallas Baptist — No. 3 regional seed at Fayetteville, Ark., opens with Southern Miss

Texas Southern — No. 4 regional seed at Austin, opens with Texas

Texas A&M pitching dominant again in 4-2 victory over Auburn

Texas A&M held on Thursday night for a 4-2 victory over the Auburn Tigers to remain undefeated at the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The Tigers scored once in the ninth against A&M closer Nolan Hoffman to pull within the eventual final score.

But with two runners on base, Hoffman got Luke Jarvis on a ground ball to end the game.

A&M starter John Doxakis (7-5) outdueled Auburn star Casey Mize (9-5) for the victory.

Doxakis, a lefty, carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before yielding a couple of hits and a run.

Armed with a big curve ball, he struck out 10 and walked none.

Mize, projected as a possible No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft next month, also worked into the eighth.

But he left the game after giving up four runs on eight hits.

Hoffman, a side-winding, righthander, pitched the final 1 and 2/3 and earned his 14th save.

Texas A&M is now 3-0 in Hoover with victories over Vanderbilt (3-1), Georgia (7-0) and Auburn in the past three days.

In an interview with the SEC Network, Doxakis shrugged off the feeling of coming so close and then falling short of the no hitter.

“All good things come to an end,” he told the SEC Network. “Everybody wants to throw a no-hitter but you know how hard it is.”

With the win, A&M advances to the tournament semifinals. The Aggies will play Saturday against either Auburn or Ole Miss.

The Aggies won the SEC tournament in 2016, and coach Rob Childress likes his team’s competitiveness this time around.

“I’m just proud of the way we play when we come to Hoover, for the most part,” Childress “You know, there’s a ring and a trophy on the line, and everybody’s being competitive.

“I know there’s an (NCAA) regional next week, but to stay in the moment and try to play our best this week is awfully important.”

Records

Texas A&M 39-19
Auburn 39-20

SEC baseball tournament

Thursday’s scores

Ole Miss 5, Georgia 4 (10 innings)
LSU 6, South Carolina 4 (12 innings)
Texas A&M 4, Auburn 2

Friday’s schedule

Florida vs. Arkansas, 10 a.m. (winners bracket)
Ole Miss vs. Auburn, 3 p.m. (elimination)
LSU vs. Florida-Arkansas loser, to follow (elimination)

Saturday’s schedule

(Semifinals)
Texas A&M vs. Auburn or Ole Miss, 2 p.m.
TBD, to follow


(Texas A&M right fielder Allonte Wingate robs Auburn of extra bases and possibly a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in the third inning.)

A&M shuts out Georgia, 7-0; Lacy pitches six scoreless innings

Texas A&M and Georgia sat through a lightning delay early in a Wednesday morning game at the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.

All the while, the Aggies were conjuring up some lightning of their own in the form of left-handed pitcher Asa Lacy.

Lacy, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Kerrville Tivy, threw six scoreless innings as the Aggies defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 7-0, remaining undefeated in the SEC’s postseason event at Hoover, Ala.

Powered by two late home runs from Chris Andritsos, A&M improved to 2-0 after wins over Vanderbilt and Georgia. The Aggies are scheduled to play either Auburn or Ole Miss Thursday afternoon.

“Georgia played really well against us at their place (in March),” A&M coach Rob Childress told SEC Network broadcasters. “(They) got after us in two of those three games. I felt like Asa Lacy was a great matchup for ’em, and he didn’t disappoint.

“Even in the midst of another rain delay, he just had a fabulous performance.”

Lacy was backed by Cason Sherrod, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief, and also by Andritsos, who hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and followed with a solo shot in the ninth.

But Lacy’s performance emerged as the surprise of the day.

In only his second start of the season, Lacy shut out Georgia on three hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Georgia entered its first game of the tournament batting .286 as a team and averaging 6.35 runs.

“I felt pretty locked in, trusting the pitches that are being called, and knowing if they hit it, it’s going to our defense and we’re going to make the play,” Lacy said.

Broadcasters had some fun with Lacy in the post-game interview.

“Do you know how many strikeouts you had today?” one asked.

“No I don’t,” Lacy responded.

“How many do you think you had?” he was asked.

“I think like six,” Lacy said.

Oblivious to the statistical details, Lacy admitted that he was just focused on the task at hand.

“Just locked in on the glove, and it worked out today,” he said.

In his 23rd appearance, Lacy entererd the game with a 2-1 record and a 3.24 earned run average. His only previous start came on May 1 at home against Prairie View A&M.

He has made several appearances in the past few weeks out of the bullpen, including outings against SEC foes Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Last Friday, pitching at home against South Carolina, he worked two innings against the Gamecocks, yielding two hits and a run (none earned), while walking two. He also struck out two.

Lacy grew up in the Texas Hill Country, where he lettered three years for the Kerrville Tivy Antlers.

Last year, he won a school-record 13 games en route to earning Class 5A all-state honors.

He was 13-1 with an 0.93 ERA as a high school senior. Lacy was drafted on the 31st round by the Cleveland Indians, but he elected to attend A&M, where he is majoring in university studies.

Lacy was coached in high school by Chris Russ, who played at A&M from 1998-2001.

SEC baseball tournament

At Hoover, Ala.

Wednesday’s games
(With tournament seeds)
(11) Texas A&M 7, (3) Georgia 0
(7) Auburn 9, (2) Ole Miss 3
(1) Florida 4, (8) LSU 3
(5) South Carolina vs. (4) Arkansas

Thursday’s schedule
Ole Miss vs. Georgia, 9:30 a.m.
LSU vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow
(11) Texas A&M vs. (7) Auburn, 4:30 p.m.
Florida vs. South Carolina or Arkansas, to follow

LSU wins SEC opener, advances to play No. 1 Florida

The LSU Tigers have played inconsistent baseball this season, but they stayed tough when it counted Tuesday night in an 8-5 victory over Mississippi State at the Southeastern Conference tournament.

With the win, the eighth-seeded Tigers eliminated the No. 9 Bulldogs and advanced to the double-elimination round, where they will meet the nation’s No. 1-ranked Florida Gators (41-15) Wednesday night.

Florida won the NCAA title last year when it knocked out six-time champion LSU in the championship round at the College World Series. The SEC tournament is being played in Hoover, Alabama.

Records

LSU 34-23
Mississippi State 31-25

Texas A&M ousts Vandy

Texas A&M upended sixth-seeded Vanderbilt 3-1 in a rain-interrupted SEC tournament opener Tuesday morning.

With the victory, the 11th-seeded Aggies eliminated the Commodores and solidified themselves as an NCAA tournament team.

The Aggies will move to enter the double-elimination phase of the tournament
against the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (37-17) on Wednesday morning.

Records

Texas A&M 37-19
Vanderbilt 31-25

SEC tournament

At Hoover, Alabama

Tuesday’s scores
Texas A&M 3, Vanderbilt 1
Auburn 4, Kentucky 3 (11 innings)
LSU 8, Mississippi State 5
South Carolina 4, Missouri 2

Wednesday’s games
(With tournament seeds)
(11) Texas A&M vs. (3) Georgia, 9:30 a.m.
(7) Auburn vs. (2) Ole Miss, TBD
(8) LSU vs. (1) Florida, 4:30 p.m.
South Carolina vs. (4) Arkansas, TBD

American Athletic Conference

At Clearwater, Florida

Tuesday’s scores

Game 1: East Carolina 8, UCF 4
Game 2: Tulane 11, Houston 6