Baseball Falls to Top-Seeded Texas A&M, 6-3; Faces Arizona in Elimination Game, Sunday
COLLEGE STATION, TX – Texas A&M starter Ross Stripling pitched a complete game and allowed just one earned run as the Aggies defeated Seton Hall, 6-3, in the second round of the College Station Regional in the 2011 NCAA Baseball Championship, Saturday.
The loss was the Pirates’ first since May 15 and snapped a nine-game winning streak. Seton Hall will now face Arizona tomorrow at 1:35 pm ET in an elimination game. If the Pirates defeat the Wildcats, they’ll earn a re-match with Texas A&M at 7:35 pm ET also tomorrow. A loss to Arizona ends Seton Hall’s memorable season.
Texas A&M (44-18) jumped on Seton Hall starter Joe DiRocco (East Hanover, N.J.) right from the start. The first three Aggie batters of the game collected hits, Matt Juengel, the last of the three, knocked in their first run. Jacob House, batting cleanup, hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to plate Texas A&M’s second run of the game before DiRocco was able to rebound and retire the last two outs of the inning.
Juengel finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI’s for the Aggies.
Seton Hall (34-24) responded in the bottom of the second inning with a pair of runs to tie the game. Junior Dale Anderson (Alberta, Canada) walked to lead off the inning and sophomore Giuseppe Papaccio(Nutley, N.J.) followed with a single to left. Senior A.J. Rusbarsky (Freehold, N.J.) laid down a sacrifice bunt, but A&M starter Ross Stripling threw wide of third base attempting to get the lead runner. Everyone was safe and Anderson scored from second base. Junior Will Walsh (New Milford, N.J.) grounded into a double play, but Papaccio was able to score on the play tying the game at two.
Texas A&M re-took the lead when a Jacob House ground out allowed Krey Bratsen to score in the top of the third inning. But the resilient Pirates tied the game again in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Sean Gusrang (Burlington, N.J.) hit a lead-off double and found himself at third base after a wild pitch. Papaccio grounded out to short, but Gusrang scored to tie the game at three.
Pirates’ ace Joe DiRocco settled in and retired nine straight A&M batters until Jacob House singled with one out in the sixth inning. Adam Smith followed with a two-run homerun deep to right and the Aggies took the lead for the third and final time of the game, 5-3, before tacking on a final insurance run in the seventh.
DiRocco went six innings and gave up a season-high five earned runs with four strikeouts and no walks. Five Pirate relievers combined to give up just one earned run over the final three innings.
Texas A&M starter Ross Stripling went all nine innings and gave up just one earned run with five strikeouts and two walks for the victory.