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Aggies Win Big 12 Postseason Championship With Walkoff Homerun
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – In his previous at bat in the ninth inning, Brodie Greene had helped fuel a rally with a beautiful bunt single. That was part of a two-run rally that helped Texas A&M forge a 3-3 tie.

One inning later, in his next at bat, Greene countered his bleeder with a blast. The senior shortstop hit an off-speed slider from Baylor reliever Brooks Pinckard two rows into the left field bleachers to give the Aggies a 5-3 victory Sunday in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship game.

“I wasn’t expecting an off-speed pitch,” said Greene, who went 4-for-5 and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. “I was thinking fast ball and adjusting for off speed. I was able to keep my hands back. … It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Greene’s two-out, two-strike, two-run homer gave A&M its second Big 12 Championship; the Aggies also won it in 2007, also with a victory over Baylor. The Bears are now 0-6 in the title game.

“It’s very, very hard to get close to a championship and not get it,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said. “But it makes you better. You can’t know how bad you want to win until you experience the pain of a loss like this. There’s value in it.”

Both teams will play in the NCAA tournament and will find their first-round destinations at 11:30 a.m. Monday. Thanks to late-inning lightning, the Aggies head into the postseason having won 18 of their last 21.

Baylor starting pitcher Willie Kempf was brilliant, working one out into the seventh and allowing just three hits and three base runners. Logan Verrett came on in the eighth to get two outs as A&M scored a run on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-1.

“There was never a panic in our dugout,” A&M senior first baseman Joe Patterson said. “We’ve been through way too much this year and we were confident.”

Tyler Naquin started the ninth-inning rally with a single to right on a 1-2 pitch. Greene followed with his bunt single. Third base coach Matt Deggs noticed Baylor third baseman Joey Hainsfurther playing back and signaled to Greene to lay one down.

“I was thrilled when he bunted,” Smiths said. “The way he’s been hitting, we were back, inviting him to bunt.”

Patterson followed with a line single to center on an 0-2 count. Pinckard moved from center to the mound but gave up a single through a drawn-in infield to designated hitter Matt Juengel that tied the game at 3-3.

Greene came back for his senior year instead of giving pro baseball a shot. A second baseman last season, he wears a cage on his batting helmet after getting plunked in the face twice last year. He was A&M’s starting center fielder for the first month of the season before moving to shortstop.

And now he’s an Aggie hero. Coming around third base after his dinger, he tossed his helmet and headed for the mass of humanity gathering around the plate. He completed his journey with a leap on the plate.

“What was going through my head was not do what Morales did,” Greene said.

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales might be out for the season after breaking his leg with a home plate leap after hitting a game-winning grand slam Saturday.

“We came up here to win the tournament,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We were 0-0 getting’ on the bunch. This is how you’re remembered as a team. It’s fun the way it ended, it ended with drama. It was great to watch those guys dog pile and celebrate.”

And celebrate safely.

All-Tournament Team
1B: Barrett Barnes, Texas Tech.
2B: Raynor Campbell, Baylor.
SS: Brodie Greene, Texas A&M*.
3B: Garrett Buechele, Oklahoma.
C: Daniel Dellasega, Kansas State
OF: Logan Vick, Baylor.
OF: Ryan Gebhardt, Missouri.
OF: Connor Rowe, Texas.
DH: Matt Juengel, Texas A&M
SP: Willie Kempf, Baylor.
SP: Chad Bettis, Texas Tech.
RP: John Stilson, Texas A&M.
* - Most Outstanding Player.

How the runs scored
Baylor 2nd: Max Muncy doubled to left center with one out. Raynor Campbell doubled to left center, scoring Muncy. Campbell out at third trying for a triple. Baylor 1, Texas A&M 0.
Baylor 6th: Logan Vick singled to left. Brooks Pinckard sacrificed Vick to second. Joey Hainsfurther singled to center, Vick scored. Baylor 2, Texas A&M 0.
Baylor 8th: Landis Ware bloop single to right field, advanced to third on throwing error by A&M right fielder Tyler Naquin. Logan Vick singled to right, scoring Ware. Baylor 3, Texas A&M 0.
Texas A&M 8th: Adam Smith singled to left. Smith stole second. Caleb Shofner singled to left, Smith to third. Andrew Colazzo grounded into fielder’s choice, first base to shortstop, Smith scored. Baylor 3, Texas A&M 1.
Texas A&M 9th: Tyler Naquin singled to right. Brodie Greene bunted to third for a single. Joe Patterson singled to center, Naquin scored, Greene to third. Matt Jeungel singled to center, scoring Greene. Baylor 3, Texas A&M 3.
Texas A&M 10th: Brandon Wood singled to right with one out. Tyler Naquin grounded into a fielder’s choice, shortstop to second base. Brodie Greene homered to left field. Texas A&M 5, Baylor 3.

Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship
1998: Texas Tech 14, Texas A&M 7
2001: Nebraska 7, Texas A&M 4
2007: Texas A&M 14, Baylor 6
2010: Texas A&M 5, Baylor 3 (10 innings)

Baylor in the Big 12 Championship
1999: Nebraska 4, Baylor 3
2000: Nebraska 11, Baylor 3
2003: Texas 10, Baylor 8
2005: Nebraska 1, Baylor 0
2007: Texas A&M 14, Baylor 6
2010: Texas A&M 5, Baylor 3 (10 innings)

Big 12 Baseball Champions
Oklahoma (1997)
Texas Tech (1998)
Nebraska (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005)
Texas (2002, 2003, 2008, 2009)
Oklahoma State (2004)
Kansas (2006)
Texas A&M (2007, 2010)

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