The finale of the Houston College Classic saw the Houston Cougars and Texas A&M Aggies take the field at Minute Maid Park. The Cougars lead early, but it was the Aggies that would have the last say on the night, taking a 5-3 victory. Barret Loux started the game for the Aggies, but he earned a no decision in his five innings of work. Loux allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six. It was freshman left hander Ross Hales that earned the win for Texas A&M, working one and a third scoreless innings in relief of Loux. Cougar starter Frank Corolla took the loss on the evening as he allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks over five and a third innings.
Houston jumped out to an early lead with a single run in the top of the third inning. Taylor White drew a walk with one out, and quickly stole second to get himself into scoring position. After that, Cougar leadoff hitter Blake Kelso scored White with a sharp liner to left field, but was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double.
The lead would grow for the Cougars in the top of the fourth. Catcher Chris Wallace was hit in the face with a Loux fastball to start the inning (Wallace was taken to the hospital for stitches and tests, but was reportedly coherent and awake). Pinch runner John Cannon advanced to second on a balk, and Caleb Ramsey picked up an RBI single to left center. Ramsey would then steal second and come around to score on a Matt Murphy single off the glove of Aggie second baseman Brodie Greene’s glove. Murphy’s single gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead through three and a half innings.
The lead was not safe for long however. Aggie left fielder Dylan Petrich reached first on an infield single, and a subsequent walk to Fleece left runners on first and second. Caleb Shofner was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Corolla managed to get Kevin Gonzalez to pop out to first base, but freshman Adam Smith delivered a two-out two-RBI single through the left side to lessen the Cougar lead to 3-2.
The Aggies would tie the game at three in the bottom of the fifth. Brodie Greene singled to right field to start the inning. A Brooks Raley double to the left center gap gave Texas A&M runners on second and third, but the Aggies only managed to plate one runner, off a Dylan Petrich RBI groundout.
It was Kyle Colligan’s blast to the Crawford Boxes in the bottom of the sixth that decided the game in the Aggies favor. With one out, Smith took a base on balls from Corolla, which would end the starter’s night. Cougar starting first baseman Chase Dempsay would make the move from the infield to the pitcher’s mound, and Colligan greeted him with a first pitch two-run bomb to give Texas A&M a 5-3 lead.
Houston threatened in the ninth inning, loading the bases with two outs off Aggie closer Travis Starling. The threat ended with a lineout to second base, giving Starling his second save on the season.
Texas A&M finished the Houston College Classic with a 2-1 record, with wins over UC Irvine and Houston and a loss to Rice. Houston finished the weekend with an 0-3 record, with losses to Baylor, UC Irvine, and Texas A&
The Aggies will return to action at home against Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday. Houston will travel to Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday for a single mid-week game.