HOOVER, Ala. — Parker Ray pitched eight-plus innings to lead Texas A&M to a 5-0 victory over top-seeded Vanderbilt on Wednesday in the second round of the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.
The Aggies (32-25) produced three solo homers and Ray made sure it was plenty in the double-elimination tournament.
Making his fifth start of the season, Ray (1-1) allowed three hits and walked three while throwing 110 pitches. He left after walking the leadoff batter in the ninth.
"I thought he was able to effectively down shift a change-up to the lefties," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "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.”
Vandy (48-8), which had lost only three SEC games, didn't manage an extra base hit and was shut out for the first time this season. The Commodores came in leading the league in hitting.
Cole Langford, Hunter Melton and Troy Stein homered for Texas A&M while Daniel Mengden had three hits and Krey Bratsen added two. Melton also homered in the opening win over Florida.
The Commodores fall into the loser's bracket and will play either No. 4 seed South Carolina or No. 5 seed Mississippi State at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s not the place we want to be," Vanderbilt center fielder Connor Harrell said. "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.”
(The City Paper's Jerome Boettcher contributed to this report.)