Aztecs sweep Cougars in three-game series
The Cougars played a three-game series with the San Diego State Aztecs (17-10) this weekend, coming off an impressive win against cross-town rivals Rice. The last time the teams met, a new NCAA record in attendance was set, with the teams playing to 40,106 fans in Petco Park in 2004.
On Friday they met in San Diego State’s Tony Gywnn Stadium, where the Aztecs would use solid pitching and heavy offense to sweep the Cougars, issuing three consecutive losses to a team that struggled to produce in the middle innings.
The Cougars approached Sunday’s game trying to avoid being swept in the series after losing their first two games. Late inning heroics were in the making, but the Cougars fell short, losing 9-6.
Sophomore pitcher Donnie Joseph (0-1) held the Aztecs in check in his start for the Cougars, holding them to two hits while striking out four in four innings.
The Aztecs would get to Joseph in the fifth, putting together four runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead and the Cougar’s momentum.
The Aztecs held the Cougars off the board for seven innings after giving up the first run of the game in the first. Going into the ninth, the Cougars faced an eight-run deficit with only three outs left.
Houston proved to have more in its tank when it began a late rally in the ninth that was sparked by a leadoff single by senior catcher Chris Wallace. Freshman short stop Blake Kelso recorded his third hit of the game, drilling a double to the centerfield wall, scoring Wallace.
After two outs had been recorded and the game seemed out of reach, Aztec pitching began to miss the strike zone. The next four batters were issued walks, scoring two runs and cutting the Cougars deficit to five.
Freshman outfielder Caleb Ramsey, who pinch hit in the eighth, recorded his first collegiate hit, ripping a line drive into the San Diego outfield scoring two more runs cutting the lead to three. He was gunned out at second for the final out of the game.
With the out, the Cougars (16-10) dropped their third consecutive game, being swept for the first time this season.
Saturday’s game went down to the wire. San Diego State scraped together two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, issuing a 7-6 loss to the Cougars.
Heading into the ninth, San Diego held a one-run lead after scoring in the bottom of the eighth. With one on and two outs in the top of the ninth, senior outfielder Jake Stewart sent a shot over the left-center wall for a two-run blast that would put the Cougars on top going into the bottom of the inning.
The Cougars tried to hold on to their slim lead but relinquished the tying and go ahead runs through a walk and a hit-by-pitch, losing their second game of the weekend and their first series of the season.
The Cougars were shut out in Friday’s game, suffering an 8-0 loss to San Diego State, led by Aztec pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Sophomore Wes Musick started the game for the Cougars, looking to keep his undefeated record intact. The left-hander finished with five earned runs, striking out three and walking two in his first loss of the season, moving to 5-1.