By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – In honor of the 30th anniversary of that quarter-eating game Pac-Man, we offer a sound track to the opening game Wednesday in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship.
“Wokka … wokka … wokka.”
The noise from the video game was perfect for the performance of Texas A&M freshman Michael Wacha (pronounced: WOKKA). He worked five perfect innings as the starter and allowed two hits and two runs over seven innings in the Aggies’ 9-2 victory over fifth-seeded Texas Tech.
“I was focused on throwing strikes and letting my defense play behind me,” said Wacha, who boosted his record to 8-2 and threw just 84 pitches. “I’ve pitched in the morning like that in high school ball.”
The game started at 9 a.m. at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark and Wacha set the tone striking out the side in the top of the first. The Aggies then took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as shortstop Brodie Greene and DH Matt Juengel had run-rscoring singles.
“I felt like Michael Wacha set the tone for the day being ready to go at nine in the morning, and being up at six,” Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said. “Of the nine runs scored, seven were with two outs.”
The Aggies added a run in the bottom of the fourth on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Andrew Collazo. Texas Tech’s first run and first base runner came with one out in the top of the sixth when Bonham Hough parked a Wacha pitch 10 rows deep in the left field stands.
“He was using his fastball on both sides of the plate,” Hough said of the 6-6 Wacha. “He has a good arm, throwing downhill. He was establishing it early and when he got ahead in the count, you go at in a defensive mode and he could use a fastball up.”
Any chance of a Red Raiders come back was snuffed out by A&M in the sixth and seventh innings. Caleb Shofner’s two-out, two-run single gave the Aggies a 5-1 edge. In the bottom of the seventh, Juengel connected for a three-run homer and Adam Smith homered to right center to make it 9-2.
Big 12 newcomer of the year John Stilson pitched the final two innings for A&M. Both teams will play again Thursday. Texas A&M will face No. 8 seed Missouri at 7:30 p.m. Texas Tech plays No. 1 seed Texas at 3 p.m.
Both teams will play again Thursday. Texas A&M will face No. 8 seed Missouri at 7:30 p.m. Texas Tech plays No. 1 seed Texas at 3 p.m.