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July 9th, 2019

Blaum's Bomb

by Kyle McKelvey @kylemckelv

Things looked bleak for Texas A&M. The Aggies were looking up at a 9-1 deficit going to the bottom of the 7th inning of an elimination game against West Virginia with the A&M offense coming to bat. It seemed like a huge hill to climb for an offense that ranked towards the bottom of the SEC in batting average (13th), OBP (13th), home runs (14th), and SLG% (14th).

Fans of Texas A&M might have thought it impossible for their team to be in this position given their pitching prowess on the season under the direction of Rob Childress (14th season, 577-304-3 at A&M). The Aggie pitching staff proved to be one of the best in the SEC, ranking 1st in ERA, 1st in strikeouts per 9 innings and 2nd in WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched)., 1st in K/9 (strikeouts per 9 innings), and 1st in ERA (earned run average). However, they struggled when it mattered in the post season against West Virginia, allowing 10 runs, 16 hits, and 6 walks.

Texas A&M started mounting a comeback in the bottom of the 7th inning scattering three hits that scored two runs. After a throwing error loaded the bases, Logan Foster came up to bat and brought the Aggies within two runs with one swing of the bat on a grand slam.

The Aggies had life once again.

It looked like the miraculous inning would continue with a double by Hunter Coleman, but Mountaineer pitcher, Sam Kessler, took back control with two quick outs. To add to that, the West Virginia offense kept things going, manufacturing a run in the top of the 8th and making the score 10-7. This game was toying with the emotions of Aggies around the country.

After a relatively quiet bottom of the 8th and top of the 9th, the hero from the 7th inning, Logan Foster, doubled to start the bottom of the 9th. Two walks and two outs later, with the bases loaded and Bryce Blaum up to bat, A&M was down three runs and down to its last strike. Bottom of the 9th, full count, two outs, bases loaded, and down three in an elimination game. Kids growing up playing baseball dream of this scenario, never thinking they would really get the chance to make it happen.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

Before going up to bat in the bottom of the 9th, Coach Childress said he told him “just to relax and get a pitch to hit.” Blaum certainly did that. As Blaum sprinted around the bases, players leaked from the bullpen and exploded from the dugout onto the field to greet the hero at home plate. Bryce Blaum made dreams come true for his team.

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