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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Baseball

Fifth-inning rally thrusts Cougars past Aggies at College Classic


It was an explosion of runs in the fifth inning from and a stellar pair of pitchers who led UH to a 7-6 victory over Texas A&M.

Redshirt sophomore shortstop Frankie Ratcliff spurred the fifth-inning rally with a lead off home run. He went 3-4 on the evening. The five-run fifth inning gave the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish.

“That’s Frankie Ratcliff as advertised right there,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “That’s what we’re looking for from him.”

The win — the first contest of the Cougars’ three-game stint at the Astros Foundation College Classic held at Minute Maid Park — gave UH a 7-2 record.

The effort included junior pitchers Daniel Smith, a walk-on catcher converted to pitcher, and Chase Wellbrock holding the Aggies to only two runs over the last 5.2 innings, coming after the Aggies scored three runs in the first inning.

“We played all-around great baseball tonight,” Wellbrock said. “We hit well. We pitched well. Really early on I think I was trying to over-throw, and I wasn’t really getting ahead. If something bad happens, you gotta let it go and focus on the next pitch.”

Wellbrock’s first save of the season came in more than four innings of long relief. He allowed one earned run and five hits.

“It was fun to watch, but it wasn’t a whole lot of fun to coach,” Whitting said. “It never felt like it was over with, but I’m really proud of the effort I got out of my guys tonight.”

UH is in action again at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Baylor.

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