By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
Highlights | Box Score
HOOVER, Ala. – Daniel Mengden tossed a complete-game five-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead ninth-seeded Texas A&M to a 6-3 win against eighth-seeded Florida on Thursday in the SEC Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Texas A&M (31-25) advances to play top-seeded Vanderbilt (48-7) at 4:30 p.m. CT Wednesday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Hunter Melton led the Aggies’ offensive output, going 2-for-4 with four RBI.
Florida scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second to take an early 2-0 lead. Justin Shafer began the inning by reaching on an error, advanced to second on a balk and moved to third on a throwing error. He was plated thanks to an RBI groundout from Vickash Ramjit. Zack Powers followed with a single and later scored.
Texas A&M surged ahead 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning on a three-run homer by Melton, which scored Cole Lankford and Blake Allemand.
Florida knotted the score at 3-all in the bottom of the fifth, as Josh Tobias singled to left field to open the inning and came around to score on a wild pitch.
The Aggies scored two runs in the top of the sixth to move in front 5-3. Allemand singled with one out and Lankford reached on a fielding effort. Alleman scored on a single by Melton, while Lankford scored on a fielder’s choice and throwing error.
Texas A&M plated its final run in the top of the ninth inning to make the final 6-3 margin. Jace Statum singled up the middle with one out and scored on a pick-off play that ended the inning.
Florida (29-28) was eliminated from the tournament as part of a new 12-team format that features a single-elimination opening day.
2013 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 3 – Tuesday, May 21 – 4:30 p.m.
#8 Florida vs. #9 Texas A&M
Florida Postgame Quotes
Coach Kevin O’Sullivan
“Ultimately, this was a well-played game on both sides. The difference in the ball game was that their starter got stronger as the game went on. We weren’t given very much, but we have to tip our hats to Texas A&M. We pitched well enough, but we weren’t able to do enough offensively.”
On preparing the team for postseason
“We’re going to practice as if we’re expecting to get in. You can’t turn on and turn off momentum. We aren’t going to just sit in the dorms. We plan to have our offense going and hopefully the committee will consider us.”
On how he played today
“I think I played well. I gave up one bad pitch, but other than that I played well.”
“There hasn’t been any difference in when I start. I started last weekend and I felt good. I threw the ball well. It’s the same thing. It comes down to getting better in the ball pen.”
On Texas A&M
“They mixed it up very well today, but we did a good job on battling the plate. I don’t think they got stronger as the game went along. They were consistent throughout the game.”
Texas A&M Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Rob Childress
“I felt for the first couple of innings we were basically slept walk thought the game; made a mistake in the second inning, had a balk and made another throwing error. Just like that we were giving them the lead and all of the momentum. Then Hunter Melton came back and gave us a huge lift with that three-run home run in a ballpark in where it’s the first time that we play in it; that’s enormous. For him to do that, he gave us a little bit of life. And then we had Danny (Mengden) wobbly earlier and from that point, from the fourth and fifth inning, I thought he was was good as he’s been for the last month which is pretty special.”
On Daniel Mengden’s performance
“For me, going into the game, I was hoping that we would get six (innings) out of him. By the sixth inning he settled in and was really good. Then we go to the seventh and I talk to him, and he gets us through the eighth and he’s as crisp as he’s been all game. He really wanted to go out there for the ninth; for the last month, Daniel has gone from our Friday starter to our Saturday starter. For me, he’s been as dominant as anybody we’ve had at Texas A&M in the last month.”
On Hunter Melton’s HR
“(Johnny) Magliozzi has got great stuff; he’s an extreme competitor, but Hunter got the ball in the air and put in a great swing on it. His power doesn’t show up at batting practice, but you put him in a game and he’s a baseball player; the power shows up in the game.”
On slow start
“I kind of got in a rhythm there. I didn’t get started the way I wanted to. It didn’t feel that good to begin with, but I started feeling better. Defense played great when I finally got in the rhythm.”
On last three innings
“I was just trying to do what I was doing to get ahead, make good pitches and let defense play. Mike (Reynolds) made a great play behind me. Defense has been great.”
On home run
“When I had two strikes, I had to fight off some tough pitches. I finally got a pitch in the zone and elevated it to drive in two runs.”