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Monday, November 29, 2021

Baseball

Shutout spoils weekend


After splitting the first two games of the series with Texas State, the Cougars dropped the rubber-match 6-0.

The loss gave the Cougars (4-3) their first series loss of the season, and it was the first time they have been shutout this season.

“I thought we played really hard,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “I told the team after the game, ‘Today’s game, for the first five or six innings, was the effort and energy that I’ve been looking for all year.’ We’ve gotten away with it a few times and won a few games, but if we play hard like we played today, we’re going to win more than we lose.

“I’m leaving here today knowing they gave me everything they had.”

Runs were hard to come by in the first five innings, as both teams’ pitchers were dealing.

UH starter Aaron Garza pitched five-and-one-third innings allowing two runs and six hits, with three strikeouts.

“He’s as good as any freshman in the country right now,” Whitting said.

Texas State (4-3) starter Kyle Finnegan also had stellar numbers. He tossed six innings of shutout ball, scattering five hits and striking out four.

“I thought they pitched well,” Whitting said. “You have to cash in and you have to execute the offense. It’s paramount that you get leadoff runners on. We’re doing a very poor job of getting leadoff runners on.”

Texas State broke the scoring drought in the sixth inning when they put up three runs on two doubles and two singles. They added another run in the eighth and two additional runs in the ninth to push the score to 6-0.

The UH offense had five hits, but were not able to crack the scoreboard.

The Cougars opened the series with a dramatic, late-inning win Friday.

Entering the bottom of the ninth with the score knotted up at 1-1, the Cougars pieced together four walks and a fielder’s choice to push the winning run across the plate.

With the bases loaded and one out, Casey Grayson hit into a fielder’s choice, where the runner from third was forced out at the plate. Jacob Lueneburg came up next and was hit by the pitch, driving in the winning run.

Starting pitcher Jared Ray had another strong outing, going seven innings while allowing one run on two hits and striking out seven. Jordan Mannisto blanked the Bobcats in the final two frames.

With the win, the Cougars ended a six-game losing streak against the Bobcats.

Saturday’s game was less of a pitcher’s duel.

The Bobcats pounced on the Cougars 6-1 and evened the series at one game apiece.

Texas State cranked out 11 hits and used a three-run fourth inning and a two-run seventh to cruise past the Cougars.

The Cougars also had double-digit hits (10), but were unable to string them together to put runs on the scoreboard.

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