Cougars throw the game away
Since the Cougars couldn’t make it out to Galveston to toss a few beads out on Fat Tuesday, they decided to toss the ball around Cougar Field, but not in a good way.
The Cougars had a passed ball, three wild pitches and three errors, two of which allowed two runs to score, en route to a 3-2 loss to visiting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
“We just made mistakes,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “Like I told the team. ‘You never know what run is going to win or lose it.’ Two of the three errors were made by freshmen. They were aggressive mistakes. I have no problem with young guys being aggressive. They’ll learn as they get older.”
After a leadoff fly out in the third inning, TAMUCC catcher Santiago Ruiz singled to left and advanced on an error by the left fielder. A few pitches later, he advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on an Eric Weiss double.
The miscues continued in the third as A&M-CC scored a run without recording a single hit in the inning. First baseman Brad Porras got on after getting plunked by a pitch and eventually reached third after two wild pitches. He would come around to score after an errant throw got into left field.
Corpus Christi starting pitcher Daniel Minor kept the Cougars off balance in six innings of work, allowing no runs, five hits, and a walk while striking out four.
“I thought their guy did a good job,” Whitting said. “He established a low strike zone, he continued to hit it and we did adjust. When you don’t adjust and a guy is hitting his spots, it’s going to be an extremely long night for you.”
This is the second time in the Cougars’ four games they have had trouble against a starter who established his fastball according to Whitting.
UH starting pitcher Matt Hernandez had a good outing, going four-and-two-thirds innings allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits and striking out four.
“He did a really good job of getting two strikes and then didn’t put them away,” Whitting said. “When you get to two strikes as a pitcher, you’ve got to see blood in the water. You got to put guys away.”
The UH offense tried to rally late, but were only able to push across two runs in an eighth inning, where they had the bases loaded with no outs.
The Cougars had another opportunity to score in the ninth, but Casey Grayson was unable to get a bunt down for a safety squeeze with a runner on third and one out.
“I’ll bunt Albert Pujols.” Whitting said. “We work on that play a lot. The percentages on a safety squeeze are way in your favor as opposed to swinging the bat. We’re going to get that bunt as a team, 70-80 percent of the time. You got to be committed to the play, you got to execute it.
“I’d rather walk out of here after the ninth inning 3-3 than down 3-2 and going home.”