Baseball Drops Heartbreaker to No. 12 Texas A&M
March 9, 2004
HOUSTON - Texas A&M took advantage of two hits, two walks and an error to score four runs in the eighth inning on the way to an 8-7 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
After consecutive walks to Cory Patton and Cory Mavroulis, Justin Ruggiano's infield single loaded the bases with no outs. Austin Boggs then slapped a two-RBI single into right field and both runners move up another base on a Cougar error in the outfield.
Ruggiano scored on John Infante's infield groundout to tie the game at 7-7, and Andrew Baldwin gave the Aggies the lead for good with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Boggs.
UH rallied in the bottom of the ninth, putting runners on second and third after back-to-back singles from Travis Tully and Patrick Breen with only one out. But Aggie reliever Blake Rampy struck out the final two batters to end the threat and the game and record his second save.
With the win, Texas A&M improved to 15-2 and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cougars. UH fell to 5-10.
UH reliever Kevin Roberts collected the loss and dropped to 0-2 after giving up two runs (one earned) off two hits and a walk in two innings. A&M reliever Jason Meyer improved to 4-0 after allowing only one Cougar run off four hits with four strikeouts in three innings.
Despite picking up the loss on the mound, Roberts provided some Cougar highlights offensively. Making his first start of the season in the field at second base, Roberts went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI and recorded four assists. Tully, Brett Cooley, and Nick Bott each rapped out two hits for the Cougars who outhit the Aggies 13-7.
The Cougars continue their season at 9 p.m. (CST) Thursday when they meet host San Diego State during the first day of the Aztec Invitational at PETCO Park. The Cougars and Aztecs will square off in the first-ever game played at PETCO Park, home of Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres.
In addition, both teams are expected to play in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a single college baseball game. More than 33,000 tickets have been sold to Thursday's game, topping the previous high of more than 27,000 between LSU and Tulane at the Louisiana Superdome during the 2002 season.
The game also will be played in front of a national television audience on College Sports Television. Mike Crispino is scheduled to call the play-by-play with Kevin Stocker providing color commentary. Fans can tune into the telecast on DirecTV channel 610.
The game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with C.B. Devoy and Pat Cauley calling the action. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
Texas A&M grabbed the early lead in its first at-bat when Erik Schindewolf scored on Cory Patton's infield groundout. The Aggies took advantage of a walk, error and wild pitch to make their first mark on the scoreboard.
The Aggies added another run in the second inning when Andrew Baldwin blasted an 0-2 offering from Hancock over the wall in right center.
UH cut that deficit in half with a single run in the third inning. Making his first start in the field, Kevin Roberts laced a single through the left side of the Aggie infield and advanced to second on a groundout. Brett Cooley then laced a single to right field to plate Roberts for a 2-1 A&M lead.
The Cougars tied the game in the fifth inning. Jake Stewart reached on an Aggie infield error and moved all the way to third base on Roberts' picture-perfect hit-and-run. Travis Tully then grounded into a double play but not before Stewart scored the game-tying run.
Texas A&M regained the lead in the next half-inning when Coby Mavroulis' single through the right side of the Cougar infield plated Cliff Pennington, and Cory Patton scored on a balk.
UH grabbed its first lead in the sixth inning with five runs off five hits. Cole Bruce drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on Stuart Musslewhite's hit. Rob Johnson then lifted a looping single into shallow left field to score Bruce.
Both Musslewhite and Johnson came around to score when Nick Bott blasted a triple off the wall in right center field. After an A&M pitching change, Jake Stewart laced a double down the left field line to score Bott. Roberts then placed his third hit of the night into shallow right field, allowing Stewart to score and giving the Cougars a 7-4 lead.
Mavroulis batted 2-for-3 with a home run to lead the Aggies, while Boggs and Baldwin added two RBIs apiece.