Baseball: Cougars fall to Texas A’M in Regional Championship

COLLEGE STATION – The Cougars overcame several obstacles to advance to Monday’s College Station Regional championship game against Texas A’M at Olsen Field, but their pitching staff had been expended by that point and it showed.

The Cougars’ pitchers were roughed up by the top-seeded Aggies in a 13-5 loss that ended their miraculous run through the postseason.

Houston (42-24), which beat to Illinois-Chicago and Texas A’M on Sunday to force a deciding game against the Aggies, finished 3-2 in the regional and fell one win short of its first NCAA Super Regional appearance since 2003. Texas A’M (46-17) advances to its second straight super regional, where it will face No. 6 national seed Rice in a rematch of their meeting from last postseason.

The Cougars had momentum on their side after winning twice on Sunday, but the Aggies had the pitching and hitting needed to win the finale.

The Aggies took a quick 1-0 lead when junior center fielder Kyle Colligan led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to center field off Cougars freshman starter Ty Stuckey.

The Cougars rallied with two runs off Aggie sophomore starter Scott Migl in the top of the second to take their only lead of the contest. Junior first baseman Jimmy Cesario led off the frame with a solo shot to right field, and sophomore catcher Chris Wallace drove in senior right fielder Bryan Tully with a two-out single.

The Aggies, however, put the contest away by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the second off Stuckey and sophomore lefthander Donnie Joseph.

Stuckey got into trouble immediately by giving up a solo shot to Aggie senior designated hitter Darby Brown. Things only got worse with Stuckey walking ssenior econd baseman Blake Stouffer and gave up a double to freshman catcher Kevin Gonzalez to place runners at second and third with no outs.

Stuckey was replaced by Joseph, who gave up a RBI-groundout to left fielder Brodie Greene that gave the Aggies a 3-2 lead. The next batter, Colligan, provided an even bigger blow with a two-run shot to right field that upped the lead to 5-2.

Joseph got senior third baseman Dane Carter to ground out for the second out of the inning, but allowed the next three batters to reach via a hit, a walk and a hit by pitch to load the bases for Brown, who cleared them with a double to left-center to increase the lead to 8-2.

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