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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Sports

Colligan crushes Cougars


You might as well call him ‘The Cougar Killer.’

That’s the best description for Texas A&M center fielder Kyle Colligan, who continues to torch the Cougars with his bat.

Colligan cranked a monstrous two-run homer off the first pitch from UH closer Chase Dempsay in the bottom of the sixth inning to send Collegiate Baseball No. 6 Texas A&M to a 5-3 victory in the finale of the 2009 Houston College Classic on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

Colligan, whose shot landed in the Crawford Boxes in left field and snapped a 3-3 tie, owns a career batting average of .447 against UH, with six homers and 12 RBIs in nine games.

‘He’s a good hitter,’ Dempsay said. ‘I threw him a fastball that he was probably looking for. I felt like I let the team down.’

The Cougars (2-6) built a 3-0 lead on Blake Kelso’s RBI-single in the third and RBI-singles by Caleb Ramsey and Matt Murphy in the fourth. Tragedy struck in the fourth when UH catcher Chris Wallace had to leave the game after being hit below the right eye by a pitch from Aggies starter Barret Loux.

The Aggies (7-2) began their comeback shortly.

Shortstop Adam Smith drove in Dylan Petrich and Nick Fleece with a two-out single off UH starter Frank Corolla in the bottom of the fourth to reduce the Cougars’ lead to 3-2. The Aggies tied the game at 3 in the fifth when Brodie Greene scored on Petrich’s RBI-groundout.

Corolla (0-1) lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. He continually weaved himself out of jams by keeping the ball on the ground and inducing fly outs against a potent Aggie lineup.

‘(Corolla) is the real deal,’ UH head coach Rayner Noble said. ‘He’s going to be a quality starter for us and we’re going to need those types of performances as we go through the remainder of the season.’

Corolla, however, ran out of gas in the sixth when he walked Smith with one out, prompting Noble to bring Dempsay to the mound from first base. Dempsay was immediately greeted by Colligan’s blast, which essentially thwarted the Cougars’ hopes.

Left-hander Donnie Joseph followed Dempsay with a scoreless eighth inning, giving the Cougars a shot at a comeback.

UH tried to rally in the ninth, loading the bases with two outs against Travis Starling, but Kelso hit a line drive to shortstop to end the game.

The loss capped an 0-3 weekend for the Cougars. UH lost its first game of the tournament against Baylor, 3-2, on Friday before falling short against California-Irvine, 13-7, on Saturday.

The Cougars will head to Lafayette, La. to face Louisiana-Lafayette at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. ULL (2-5-1) ended a three-game skid with Sunday’s 7-5 win over Southern Miss.

UH will send right-hander John Touchton (0-1) to the mound in an effort to end its four-game losing streak.


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