SEC Baseball Tournament: Texas A&M uses 3 homers to upset top-s - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

SEC Baseball Tournament: Texas A&M uses 3 homers to upset top-seeded Vanderbilt

Posted: Updated:

BY Sean Cartell, SEC Digital Network

HOOVER, Ala. -- Ninth-seeded Texas A&M launched three home runs Wednesday to knock off top-seeded Vanderbilt, 5-0, in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

The Aggies (32-25), who defeated eighth-seeded Florida on Tuesday evening, advance to face the winner between fourth-seeded South Carolina and fifth-seeded Mississippi State in the fourth game on Thursday. Vanderbilt (48-8) will face the loser between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs in the second game on Thursday.

Parker Ray earned the win for Texas A&M, pitching 8.0 innings, scattering three hits and striking out three.

Hunter Melton got Texas A&M on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning with his second home run of the tournament, knocking a shot down the left-field line.

The Aggies added a run in the fourth as Cole Lankford launched a solo home run to right field to extend his team's lead to 2-0.

Texas A&M put another single run on the board in the top of the fifth as Krey Bratson singled through the right side with one out and was driven in by a double to right-center field by Mikey Reynolds to go in front 3-0.

Troy Stein sent a solo home run over the left-field wall to give the Aggies a 4-0 lead.

Texas A&M's Daniel Mengden singled to open the top of the ninth inning and J.B. Moss pinch ran for Mengden. Moss later scored in the inning on a throwing error to make the final 5-0 margin.

Vanderbilt Postgame Quotes

Coach Tim Corbin

Opening statement:

"There is not much to say. It's 5-0. Parker Ray did a nice job. He went through our lineup pretty easily and limited our opportunities. There's isn't much to say other than to give him credit."

On Parker Ray:

"I thought he was able to effectively down shift a change-up to the lefties. I thought he was good. He was inspired and pitched well. He's put them in good position to win. His rhythm was good. He put the ball into the air without much energy. It was a tough day for us, but it was because of him."

Connor Harrell

On Parker Ray:

"He's pushing both sides of the play. He's throwing breaking balls and throwing fast balls. He kept us off balance. You have to credit him a little bit, but at the same time it's more on us. We should be able to put together some hits at some point."

On Parker Ray's curve balls:

"He's throwing backwards. He was throwing change ups and throwing breaking balls and mixing fast balls on both sides of the plate. You would think that after two or three times at the plate we would be able to crack his code, but we didn't. It's one of those things you learn from."

On team's postseason position:

"It's unfortunate. It's not the place we want to be. We felt we would be able to put ourselves in a pretty good spot, but it's not over. We've been in this tournament all four years that I've been here. We want to battle back and play in the championship game. We'll take tomorrow and move on to the next day."

Walker Buehler

On playing a pitcher-friendly field:

"I felt fine. I just made some big mistakes, obviously. That's really what it came down to."

Texas A&M Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Rob Childress

Opening statement:

"I'm just really proud of our team. We played extremely well. It all starts on the mound and behind him (Parker Ray) we pitched extremely well. We played defense at a very high level. We grabbed the lead early and were able to extend it with some good swings. Parker wasn't able to finish, but the bullpen made a stand up."

On Parker Ray:

"He was a walk-on. He came in and was an infielder. I told him if he came back he was going to try out. The kid came back to walk on tryouts his 3rd semester and we kept him. He had a good fall, but wasn't going to pitch on that staff. I told him if he wanted to pitch at Texas A&M he needed to go to a junior college and prove you can pitch. Not many kids do that at Texas A&M. It's a great place to be a student. He packed up his bags, went to Texarkana, pitched well and came back. All he does is keep his head down and grind. He was out of the bullpen last year and again this year. Every time he got the ball he kept doing well. It was a revolving door in our rotation about the middle of the year. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Everything he has ever gotten, he's earned. He's the definition of a grinder. He's a guy that I want on my side. Now he's one of our leaders, not just on the field, but in the clubhouse."

On continuing in the tournament:

"As far as the tournament, we haven't done anything yet. We got into the eight-team tournament and won game one. There's still a lot of baseball left to be played. There's a trophy on the line and that's what we're here for. We're here to win the tournament and do everything we can. We'll have a big challenge tomorrow. If there's a trophy or a ring on the line, why not play for it?"

Parker Ray

On his performance today:

"I felt really good coming in. I had a short rest but I knew this was a big game so I needed to step up for the team and have the fastballs working so I could get ahead on the counts, and then the slider and the changeup fell nice for me there. Hats off to Coach Childress on a great game calling pitches, I have so much respect for him for giving me the opportunity to be in this situation. I tried to make the best of it."

Hunter Melton

On his second homerun of the tournament:

"It started it off with a fastball, and then a slider and honestly I didn't get the best of it. Luckily the ball carried out and that helped out a whole lot."

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Hundreds flee 3 California wildfires; homes burn

    Hundreds flee 3 California wildfires; homes burn

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:31:30 GMT
    Two raging wildfires in California forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes, including one near a lakeside resort town that burned nearly two dozen structures.More >>
    A wildfire that broke out in far Northern California has burned at least 75 structures, forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents and caused the closure of a major interstate freeway.More >>
  • Corporal punishment: How far is too far?

    Corporal punishment: How far is too far?

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:18:11 GMT
    Corporal punishment is legal in the state of Alabama. But, too many parents go too far. Child abuse investigators in Jefferson County answer several calls each week reporting what is believed to be child abuse.More >>
    Corporal punishment is legal in the state of Alabama. But, too many parents go too far. Child abuse investigators in Jefferson County answer several calls each week reporting what is believed to be child abuse.
    More >>
  • Five teens with masks & fake guns stopped in Hueytown

    Five teens with masks & fake guns stopped in Hueytown

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:50:27 GMT
    Halloween masks, even the scary ones, are meant to be fun. Pair a mask with a gun and you've got a formula for disaster. That's why a tipster called police over five teenagers in Hueytown. Turns out the "guns" weren't real. But the police chief is convinced this tipster stopped a crime and perhaps saved lives. Hueytown police chief Chuck Hagler believes these five teenagers will not be charged with any crime. They should be thanking police. Hagler is convinced they were headed for trouble....More >>
    Halloween masks, even the scary ones, are meant to be fun. Pair a mask with a gun and you've got a formula for disaster. That's why a tipster called police over five teenagers in Hueytown. Turns out the "guns" weren't real. But the police chief is convinced this tipster stopped a crime and perhaps saved lives. Hueytown police chief Chuck Hagler believes these five teenagers will not be charged with any crime. They should be thanking police. Hagler is convinced they were headed for trouble....More >>
  • Griffith says he will give up salary like Bentley if elected

    Griffith says he will give up salary like Bentley if elected

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-09-15 19:28:31 GMT
    Democrat Parker Griffith says he will give up his salary if elected governor and redirect the money to public education.More >>
    Democrat Parker Griffith says he will give up his salary if elected governor and redirect the money to public education.More >>
  • Miss America: More to worry about than red cup

    Miss America: More to worry about than red cup

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:41 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:41:07 GMT
    The new Miss America followed in the footsteps of her predecessors and posed for pictures in the Atlantic City surf.More >>
    The new Miss America says there are more important things for people to worry about than her little red cup.More >>
  • Bentley creates Small Business Commission

    Bentley creates Small Business Commission

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:28:05 GMT
    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is creating a commission to recommend ways the state can help small businesses get started and expand.More >>
    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is creating a commission to recommend ways the state can help small businesses get started and expand.More >>
  • EPA training sessions in Birmingham to combat pollution

    EPA training sessions in Birmingham to combat pollution

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:11:14 GMT
    The Environmental Protection Agency will host a Clean Air Act Rulemaking and Permitting training session September 16-17, 2014.More >>
    The Environmental Protection Agency will host a Clean Air Act Rulemaking and Permitting training session September 16-17, 2014.More >>
  • 16th Street Baptist Church remembers bombing anniversary

    16th Street Baptist Church remembers bombing anniversary

    Monday, September 15 2014 1:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 17:50:20 GMT
    September 15th marks a tragic event in our city and nation's history that galvanized the civil rights movement.16th Street Baptist Church commemorated the 51st anniversary of the bombing that killed four little girls.A ceremony started at the same time Sunday school began on that horrible day.Bells rang at 10:22.. the estimated time the blast killed Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson.Pastor Arthur Price said their death empowered everyone to strive for a bet...More >>
    September 15th marks a tragic event in our city and nation's history that galvanized the civil rights movement.16th Street Baptist Church commemorated the 51st anniversary of the bombing that killed four little girls.A ceremony started at the same time Sunday school began on that horrible day.Bells rang at 10:22.. the estimated time the blast killed Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson.Pastor Arthur Price said their death empowered everyone to strive for a bet...More >>