Baseball gets swept in College Classic at Minute Maid
The baseball team has dropped to 5-5 on the year after being swept at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic this weekend.
Against the Kentucky Wildcats, Mississippi State Bulldogs and Vanderbilt Commodores — the No. 6, No. 21 and No. 5 teams in the country, respectively — the Cougars were outscored by a combined 26 runs to eight. This is the second time in three years the Cougars have been swept at the College Classic.
Junior starting pitcher Trey Cumbie had his worst start of the season on Friday against the Kentucky Wildcats, and it resulted in his first decision, a loss. Cumbie went only 3.1 innings, giving up eight runs on six hits and putting the offense in a hole from which they never reemerged.
In total, the Cougars gave up 12 hits to the Wildcats and recorded only seven. The offense did not score a run until the fourth inning, by which point they were in the eight-run hole previously mentioned. The Wildcats ended up winning the game 14-2 in seven innings with the mercy rule being applied due to the Cougars being down by more than 10 runs following the seventh inning.
The following game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs was a much closer affair.
Junior starting pitcher Aaron Fletcher again had a solid start, going 6.1 innings. While he gave up seven hits, he allowed only one earned run.
The Cougars again fell behind first after giving up a run in the bottom of the third inning. But junior first baseman Joe Davis drove in sophomore outfielder Lael Lockhart Jr. with an RBI in the top of the fourth, tying the game. The two teams traded runs in the eighth inning, and the game went into extra innings tied 2-2.
The game went into the twelfth inning where sophomore relief pitcher Brayson Hurdsman, having just taken to the mound, gave up the game winning run on a sac fly RBI. The Bulldogs took the game 3-2, dropping the Cougars to 5-4 on the year.
The third and final game against the Vanderbilt Commodores started much like the first, but worse. Junior starting pitcher Ryan Randel only went 1.2 innings, giving up seven earned runs on just five hits.
Sophomore outfielder Landon Etzel and senior second baseman Connor Hollis both scored two runs for the Cougars, with Davis collecting two RBIs. But the Commodores drove in nine runs in three innings, and that was all they needed to secure a win, taking the W 9-4 in the full nine innings.
With a 5-5 team record, Fletcher now leads the pitching rotation with a 2-0 record and a 1.56 ERA. Etzel and Lockhart Jr. currently have the two best batting averages at .421 and .333, respectively. Etzel notably has eight hits in just three starts.
The Cougars will now return to Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park for a five game home stand starting Tuesday. First pitch for their game against the Houston Baptist Huskies is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.