The Texas A&M baseball team picked up where it left off Tuesday, scoring four runs in the first inning to start a 12-3 victory over Stephen F. Austin at Blue Bell Park.
A&M (4-0) strung four hits together to open the bottom of the first inning and had 17 for the game, giving the Aggies 10 or more hits in three of four games so far this season.
"We started the game with 10 amazing, incredible at-bats and staked Tyler [Stubblefield] with a 4-0 lead," A&M coach Rob Childress said. "It was a credit to our hitters and our coaches. They have done an amazing job preparing these guys. It was fun to watch us offensively tonight."
Patrick McLendon got the Aggies going with the first of his four hits on an infield single. Blake Allemand followed with an RBI single. Logan Nottebrok doubled home Allemand, then Hunter Melton singled off SFA starter Kevin Bishop (0-1). Cole Langford walked, and Troy Stein hit a warning track sacrifice fly to left field. Melton, who moved up to third on the sacrifice fly, then scored on a ground out.
"It's obviously nice to start the game getting on base, but the eight guys following behind me did the work and drove guys around," McLendon said. "It's been a great start, especially offensively. We've come out swinging the bats really well."
The Aggies also scored four runs in the fifth and three in the eighth -- two of those three on the strength of a Lankford homer into the right-field bullpen.
Lankford, who hit .352 last season, was one of the few Aggies who struggled over their weekend sweep of Northeastern. He got his first hit of the season in the fifth inning in his ninth at-bat.
"It gets in the back of your mind, but there is no pressure here," Lankford said. "Hits are going to come and they are going to fall. All I can do is have good at-bats and try to help this team win. That is all that matters."
Lankford's homer off reliever Garrett Powell followed freshman Ryan Birk's first basehit as an Aggie and gave A&M an 11-3 lead.
"He hung me a change-up," Lankford said. "He had been leaving it up a little bit all night, and I got lucky on it. It was the pitch I was sitting on, and I was happy to get it and put a good swing on it."
A&M used four singles, a hit batsman and an error to score four in the fifth.
Lankford's single led off the inning. Pinch-hitter Mitchell Nau singled, and J.B. Moss drove in two runs with his second single in as many innings. McLendon's final hit of the night brought home Moss.
Eleven different Aggies had hits, including eight starters. Nine Aggies scored, and eight knocked in at least one run.
Stubblefield got his first start and lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and walking one while striking out eight.
"He was a little bit amped up, a little bit nervous, but after he came back [from a 3-0 count] and got that leadoff hitter, he was really good," Childress said. "In the fourth, runners at first and second no outs and a run in, he was an impressive. I felt he was out of gas in the fifth."
Stubblefield struck out SFA's Nos. 5-7 hitters to get out of the fourth inning.
Matt Kent came in for Stubblefield after Stubblefield walked SFA's No. 9 hitter Will Vest. Kent, who got the win in his season debut, picked off Vest at first base but surrendered two singles and a two-run double to Joseph Olson.
A&M will host Sacramento State in a three-game series starting at 6:35 p.m Friday.