“We played great defense and got timely hits early in the game,” said Scott Malone. “Our offense got us going and we got to pitch with the lead. This was a big game for us.”
The Islanders got things going in the top of the third as Santiago Ruiz reached on a one-out single to left field that Price Jacobs misplayed allowing Ruiz to reach second. Following a strikeout, Ruiz advanced to third on a passed ball and was driven in on a 2-2 pitch as Weiss doubled down the left field line.
In the fourth, Brad Porras was hit on a 2-2 pitch from Matt Hernandez and came around to score after back-to-back wild pitches and an errant throw by Cougars’ catcher John Cannon. The Islanders added another run in the fifth as Weiss belted his second RBI double of the night, scoring Jeramie Marek, who reached base on a one-out single to center.
Hernandez (0-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering five hits, three runs – one earned – one walk and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
Texas A&M-CC (4-1) capitalized on a solid performance on the mound from Minor who cruised through his first four innings of work. After fanning the first two batters that he faced in the fifth, Kendall Stacks reached on a single down the right field line and Taylor White followed with a walk before Minor left both runners on base after Landon Appling grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
Houston (3-1) threatened again in the sixth as Minor retired the first two batters and the Cougars put two runners in scoring position. However, the right-handed transfer from McLennan Community College worked out his second-straight jam with an inning-ending ground out to second.
Minor (1-0) finished the night allowing five hits with four strikeouts and a walk on 6.0 innings of work.
“(Daniel) Minor was excellent tonight,” said Malone. “This could be a special start for him that leads into a great season. I’ve been around the Southland Conference for a long time and he has a chance to be one of the four or five best starting pitchers in the league.”
Despite stranding runners in three-straight innings, the Cougars managed to scratch across two runs in the eighth on a two-run single to right from Jacobs then had chances to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the ninth as Houston put runners on the corners with one out put couldn’t push across the tying run as Phillip Garcia closed the game for the Islanders, recording the final three outs.
Garcia picked up his first save of the season and the ninth of his career.
Houston, which left 11 runners on base, returns to action Friday night with a weekend set against Texas State at Cougar Field while the Islanders return home and will host the Kleberg Bank College Classic.