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Home News-Telegram Sports College Sports Aggies beat Arizona, advance to baseball super regional

Aggies beat Arizona, advance to baseball super regional

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COLLEGE STATION  (AP) — Krey Bratsen's RBI single broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning and Texas A&M beat Arizona 3-0 Tuesday to reach the super regional.
A day after rain and lightning caused a postponement, the host Aggies (45-19) won the College Station regional. They will play at Florida State starting Saturday, hoping to reach the College World Series for the first time since 1999.
"You couldn't ask for anything more from either team," said A&M coach Rob Childress, whose squad advances to a super regional for the first time in three years.
Aggies starter Michael Wacha pitched five-hit ball for seven scoreless innings. Nick Fleece pitched the eighth for the win and Ross Stripling closed for a save.
With two outs and nobody on in the eighth of a scoreless game, A&M's Tyler Naquin doubled to right-center field off of Arizona starter Kurt Heyer. Bratsen then chopped a single up the middle between lunging Arizona infielders, and center fielder Joey Rickard's throw home was off-target as Naquin slid home safely.
"Before the hit, (third-base) coach (Andy) Sawyers came up to me and said, 'Are you ready to do this? You're going to win this ballgame right here.'" Bratsen said. "I said, 'Yes, sir.'"
The Aggies padded their lead later in the inning on Jacob House's two-run double to right-center off Wildcats reliever Bryce Bandilla.
"It's all about getting hits at the right time," House said.
Both teams received outstanding efforts from their starting pitchers, each making their second start of the regional. Heyer allowed two runs over 7 2-3 innings while striking out six. A&M's Michael Wacha allowed five hits and struck out four over a scoreless seven innings.
"I knew to go out there and throw strikes and let my defense work behind me," Wacha said.
A&M hopes to make its first College World Series appearance since 1999.
"It's huge that we get to go play Saturday through Monday instead of (starting) Friday," Childress said. "It would be a pretty quick turnaround trying to get out of town tomorrow."
Naquin, the Big 12 coaches' player of the year, earned the regional's most outstanding player honors after collecting nine hits in 15 at bats, including five doubles.
The Wildcats, who fought their way through the losers' bracket, wrap up their season 39-21.
Arizona was trying to make its first super regional in three years.
"I'm proud of Heyer's performance," Arizona coach Andy Lopez said. "We had opportunities out there. This was a great one to win, and a tough one to lose."
Following the game, construction workers moved in to start tearing apart much of Olsen Field. A&M planned to complete a $24 million renovation of the ballpark in time for next season, with a significant makeover in store for the structure that has looked much the same since 1978.
"This was as good a game as we've played all year long," Childress said.

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