UH can’t hang at Minute Maid Classic
The Cougars lost the finale of the Houston College Classic to Texas A&M on Sunday, and dropped two out of three games during the weekend.
UH lost 11-4 to Texas A&M (9-3) and fell to 6-5 on the season.
The game was knotted up at four runs apiece through four innings, but the Aggies scored seven unanswered runs through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to take an 11-4 lead.
“I don’t think it was about the offense tonight,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “I think it was about the bullpen. We just didn’t pitch well out of the bullpen.”
After the fourth inning, the Cougars had only one baserunner aboard and went down in order four of the last five innings.
“We battled back hard to get it to 4-4 and we go right back out there and give them a couple of runs,” Whitting said. “I think our hitters started getting out of their game and started to panic a little bit. It was just one of those days.”
UH fared better in its second game, beating Kentucky 8-5 in the first ever meeting between the teams.
The Cougars used a six-run seventh inning to take a healthy lead over Kentucky (5-6).
M.P. Cokinos was the scoring catalyst in the seventh for the Cougars, getting a pinch-hit single to bring home Jake Runte.
“In the last couple of games we’ve been putting ourselves in that exact same situation and not getting the hit,” Whitting said. “Then Cokinos comes up and gets the hit.”
The Cougars opened the Classic with a 5-2 loss to Baylor (6-5).
After getting two quick outs in the second inning, Baylor took advantage of a walk, stolen base, a wild pitch and got some timely hitting to take an early 1-0 lead.
The Bears added runs in the third and fourth to increase their lead to 3-0.
UH managed to get on the scoreboard in the fifth frame after Ryan Still drove in Jake Runte on a single.
“If we execute our offense in the game, we put ourselves on position to win,” Whitting said. “What’s going to be a tipping point with this program from this point forward is, do we have the swagger and the confidence when we get into situations to drive runs in and have quality at bats.
“The last three games, it’s not happening.”
The Cougars next game against McNeese St. is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cougar Field.