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No. 5 Texas A&M Edges Spartans, 9-8

Freshman Jimmy Pickens hit his first career home run in the 9-8 loss at No. 5 Texas A&M on Sunday.

March 4, 2012

Box Score

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Michigan State baseball team got off to a hot start with four runs in the first inning, but fifth-ranked Texas A&M came back to defeat the Spartans, 9-8, Sunday afternoon at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies, who went to the College World Series last season, improved to 11-1 and completed the three-game series sweep over the Spartans (4-6).

Michigan State collected 10 hits in the game, led by Torsten Boss, Ryan Jones and Andrew Carpenter, who each tallied two hits.

In the top of the first, the Spartans took advantage of three Aggies errors to score four unearned runs. After scoring the first two runs courtesy of Texas A&M miscues, freshman Jimmy Pickens made the Aggies pay by hitting his first collegiate homer, a two-run shot to right field, that put MSU up, 4-0.

Texas A&M scored unearned runs in the second and fourth innings off of Spartan starter Mike Theodore to cut the lead to 4-2. The Aggies chased Theodore in the fifth as his pitch count reached 96 following a one-out walk, but reliever Jeff Kinley got out of the frame unscathed. Theodore allowed three hits and four hits while striking out two in his 4 1/3 innings of work.

The Aggies did get to Kinley in the sixth, scoring three runs in the inning to go up 5-4, led by Jacob House's two-run single.

Texas A&M scored four more in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-4 advantage, keyed by back-to-back run-scoring triples from Mikey Reynolds and Tyler Naquin.

The Spartans rallied back with three runs in the top of the eighth to make it 9-7. Jared Hook delivered an RBI double to left field that scored Pickens, then freshman Ryan Krill hit an inside-the-park homer to left to drive in two runs.



Michigan State threatened in the ninth by scoring one run on a Jones RBI single and placing runners on first and second with two outs, but Pickens hit a long fly ball to deep center field that was just short and caught at the warning track to end the game.

Kinley (1-2) suffered the loss for MSU after giving up three runs, all earned, on three hits in 1 1/3 innings, while Aggie reliever Estevan Uriegas, who threw two scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, got the win.

Michigan State returns to action Wednesday, March 7 to face No. 21 Baylor at Baylor Ballpark in Waco, Texas. First pitch is set for 7:35 p.m.

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