MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Bryce Blaum hit a walk-off grand slam to lift No. 2-seeded Texas A&M past top-seeded West Virginia in the Morgantown Regional on Sunday afternoon.
Closer Sam Kessler walked the base loaded before going to a 3-2 count on Blaum. On the next pitch, he drilled the ball over the left field wall, ending the Mountaineers’ amazing season.
WVU (38-22) scored 10 runs on 16 hits. The Aggies (39-22-1) scored 11 runs on 11 hits.
“All I can do is treat this like a win. Big picture, I think this is a win,” Mountaineer head coach Randy Mazey said. “You can’t let one game, one pitch or one inning overshadow what our program has accomplished and how far we’ve come and what we’ve done. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to let one inning of baseball or one game dictate my feeling about West Virginia baseball, because I couldn’t be prouder of anybody in that locker room. Everybody on that team had a lot to do with us being here. You guys have been around, some of you longer than I have. This may go down as the greatest team that West Virginia baseball has ever put together. So, how could you let one pitch, or one at bat, or one inning overshadow what this group of kids has accomplished. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to walk out of here like we just had a major victory, because I think we did.”
Kessler (4-3) pitched 2.1 innings, giving up four runs on three hits while fanning four.
Ryan Bergert started the game and tossed three scoreless frames before the rain delay finished his day.
Kevin Brophy and Ivan Gonzalez both had three hits.
Christian Roa pitched 3.1 innings, surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits for TAMU. He walked one and struck out two.
In the second WVU took a 2-0 lead. With one out, Gonzalez beat out an infield single. At the next at-bat, Brophy blasted a ball into the Aggies’ bullpen.
TJ Lake singled and went to third on a throwing error. He scored on Tevin Tucker’s double. Austin Davis bunted to move Tucker to third but Roa’s throwing error allowed the shortstop to score and make it a 4-0 lead.
The game was delayed in the fourth due to weather. After a lengthy rain delay, Zach Ottinger came on and retired the first three batters he faced.
Then the Mountaineers went to town in the fifth and extended their lead to 6-0. Darius Hill led off with a base hit and scored on Paul McIntosh’s bomb to left center.
TAMU got on the board in the fifth after a pair of fielding errors by Tyler Doanes and Brophy put runners at the corners. WVU turned a double play but surrendered a run on the play.
However, the Mountaineers got a run back in the sixth when Doanes base hit through the right side plated Davis.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Aggies offense came to life, scoring six runs. Blake’s single to right field scored two runs. WVU had s chance to get out of the inning but Inman’s throwing error loaded the bases. Then Foster blasted a grand slam to make it a 9-7 game.
The Mountaineers added an insurance run in the eighth with Brophy’s RBI single up the middle.
Texas A&M takes on Duke later Sunday night in the Morgantown Regional Championship.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS