Timely Hitting, Tough Pitching Lead Aggies Past Cougars

Blake Schultz throws the first pitch against Texas A&M on Tuesday

The Houston Cougars had few answers against Texas A&M at Schroeder Park on Tuesday night as the Aggies walked away 9-4 winners.

The Cougars got on the scoreboard in the first inning when a bases loaded groundout by Tyler Bielamowicz scored Brandon Uhse from third base . . . But that would be the only Cougars run until they plated three more in the fifth inning.

The Cougars fell into a deficit in the second inning when the Aggies nine-spot hitter, Kalae Harrison, hit an opposite field grand slam that just cleared the left field fence . . . Ryne Huggins entered the game in the second and ended the bigger threat even while walking one batter as the Aggies held the 4-1 lead.

The Cougars were without Ryan Hernandez in the middle of the lineup, for the most part, Hernandez was injured on the last play of Sunday’s win and was held out defensively Tuesday as part of a day-to-day routine . . . Ryan saw one at-bat in the fourth as a pinch-hitter, but the appearance was to no avail.

The Aggies added to the lead on a two-run home run in the fourth by Austin Bost . . . Andy Belcik entered the game with no outs and worked out of a jam to keep the Cougars in the game.

Ryne Huggins pitched two important innings, carrying the game into the fourth for the Cougars after the short outing by starter Blake Schultz.

The Cougars mounted a rally in the fifth when Luke Almendarez (2-for-5) led off the inning with his second hit of the night . . . With one out, Tyler Bielamowicz went with a pitch and drove it into right field for a single, Almendarez moved to third on the play . . . Ian McMillan promptly drove a line drive into left scoring Almendarez . . . Will Pendergrass (2-for-4) then drove in two runs with a single to right cutting the Aggies lead to 6-4 before the fifth ended . . . Pendergrass and Almendarez were the only Cougars hitters with more than one hit in the Tuesday contest.

Andy Belcik left the game in the sixth with two outs, the importance of his outing on Tuesday cannot be overlooked, he ate up some big innings in the middle of the game and kept the Cougars in the game.

The Aggies scored two in the sixth to increase their lead to 8-4.

Ben Sears pitched a scoreless seventh, in a rare midweek appearance for the right-hander, who has been the Saturday starter, but was unable to pitch out of the second inning in his last start against Texas State . . . Sears threw eighteen pitches and struck out two batters, the appearance will likely be considered part of a regular throwing routine for Sears and should not prevent him from starting on Saturday.

The Aggies added a run in the eighth, taking a 9-4 lead that they would hold onto as they sent Houston on the road now with a loss.

In all, eight pitchers saw action for the Cougars on Tuesday night . . . Of the eight pitchers, only three did not yield a run to the Aggies.

The Cougars will now have an off day before leaving for Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in a weekend series . . . First pitch from Norman is at 6:30 on Friday evening. –

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