March 2, 2009

Courtesy of Texas A&M

HOUSTON -  Senior Kyle Colligan's sixth-inning two-run home run into the Crawford Boxes in left field broke a tie game and lifted the top-ranked Texas A&M baseball team to a 5-3 win over Houston Sunday evening in the final game of the Houston College Classic before 5,356 fans at Minute Maid Park.

Colligan's home run, his first of the year and 28th of his career, came on the first offering from Cougar reliever Chase Dempsay. Houston (2-6) saw a seventh-inning threat end on a strike-out, throw-out double play and was able to load the bases in the ninth off closer Travis Starling, before a line-out to shortstop Adam Smith ended the game and gave the Aggies (7-2) their second win of the weekend.

True freshman Ross Hales (2-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, while senior Kyle Thebeau earned his second hold of the year with 1 2/3 worth of shutout work. Starling's save was his second of '09.

The Cougars took an early 1-0 lead in the third on a one-out RBI single to left by Blake Kelso.

A&M would respond in the fourth with a pair of runs. With one out, Dylan Petrich singled to shortstop, Nick Fleece drew a full-count walk and Caleb Shofner was hit by a 1-1 offering to load the bases. After Houston starter Frank Corolla got the second out on an infield fly, Smith singled through the left side to score Petrich and Fleece and cut the Cougar advantage to 3-2.

Texas A&M would tie the game in the fifth. After Brodie Greene singled and Brooks Raley doubled on the first two pitches of the inning, Petrich drove Greene in from third one out later with a groundout to short.

Colligan, Greene, Petrich and Smith all posted two hits on the night to pace the Aggie offense, with Colligan and Smith driving in a game-high two runs apiece. Caleb Ramsey was the only Houston hitter with two hits on the night.

Aggie starter Barret Loux did not factor in the decision, going five innings and allowing three hits and three runs. The sophomore walked two and struck out six.

Corolla (0-1) took the loss, lasting 5 1/3 and giving up eight hits, four earned runs and two walks while fanning four.

Texas A&M returns to action on Tuesday when the Aggies open a seven-game homestand against Stephen F. Austin. First pitch at Olsen Field is set for 6:35 p.m.


• Texas A&M is now 9-6 all-time at Minute Maid Park and in the Houston College Classic. • With his outing on the night, Kyle Thebeau moved into a tie for second place on the school's all-time appearance chart at 83 with Kyle Nicholson...Aggie graduate assistant Chris Russ holds the record with 86. • Aggie pitching struck out 10 batters for the sixth time in the team's nine games. • A&M leads the all-time series with Houston, 107-53-1. • Total attendance for the three-day, nine-game tournament was 26,163. • Gametime temperature inside Minute Maid Park (roof closed for game) was 60 degrees.


HEAD COACH Rob Childress: (on the pitching effort) "Barret (Loux) wasn't very sharp tonight, but he found a way to get us through five innings. Our bullpen was outstanding. They made some big pitches when there was some big pressure on them."

(on Kyle Colligan) "That guy's proven for the last three years that he can play. It's just a matter of keep writing his name in the lineup and keep swinging it. He was ready to hit and he didn't miss it. I'm happy for him and I'm happy for us too."

(on Houston catcher Chris Wallace being hit by a pitch) "That was pretty emotional. I love him as a player and as a kid, and I've enjoyed watching him since high school. I know he's going to make it back, and it breaks my heart that he's not going to be able to play. I hope he's going to be okay and back as quick as he can."

(on Kyle Thebeau's performance) "He had a great outing on Friday and then came back tonight. He kind of found himself again. And for Travis Starling too. I felt those guys pitched with passion this weekend, and that's what makes them who they are."

SENIOR P Kyle Thebeau: (on the weekend) "I felt pretty good about how this weekend went for us, and for myself, to get things going and making a few adjustments, and working on attacking the zone better and getting hitters out."

(on the team bouncing back) "It shows a lot about what our team is made of, the toughness that we're trying to get out of each other. To respond from a heartbreaking loss like that and to come out here and compete and try to win as hard as we can, that says a lot about us."

SENIOR CF Kyle Colligan: "This was the biggest game of the year so far because we had to respond. We hadn't really lost a game like we lost the one to Rice. We poured a lot into that and the coaches really wanted to see how we'd respond. We treated this like a regional, this tournament. When you lose in a regional you have to win the next day. This was huge for us."

(on the home run and getting going at the plate) "Whoever was going to be pitching I was just going to swing. Up to this point I hadn't been aggressive and haven't been myself. I'm going to take my hacks and see what happens. Today was a day I knew I had to bust out a bit."