Texas, which faces an elimination game Monday, lost its opener despite taking a 3-0 lead. Texas A&M jumped to a 4-0 lead on South Carolina Sunday night but wound up losing 5-4 when the Gamecocks scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Aggies took advantage of an error and two-out, three-run triple from Brandon Wood to score four times in the top of the first. With ace Ross Stripling on the mound, things looked promising for A&M. However, an error by the Aggies helped the defending national champions score four runs in their half of the first.
Texas A&M had been averaging nearly eight runs over its last 11 games but was stifled over the last eight innings. The Aggies finished with just four hits and struck out 10 times.
Stripling recovered from his shaky start and was outstanding through the eighth inning. A&M reliever Kyle Martin allowed a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth and South Carolina loaded the bases with no outs. The Aggies brought in an extra infielder but the strategy didn't work when South Carolina second baseman Scott Wingo completed a four-for-four night with a game-winning single off the wall in right field.
The Aggies will face Cal at 1 p.m. Tuesday in an elimination game.
"This isn't the first time we've lost a game," Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said. "I mean, we've lost 21 on the year and our guys have been very, very resilient. I think what we've been through for the last month has really helped our team, helped us grow and helped us get closer together."
If Childress and his players can take any solace from the loss it's the knowledge that South Carolina lost its CWS opener last year and then won six consecutive games to claim the championship. It can be done.