After claiming their first win of the season in extra innings Monday, the Cougs were not able to put together consecutive wins as they lost to the UTRGV Vaqueros 3-1 Thursday. It was the first of four games for WSU (1-4) at the Al Ogletree Classic in Edinburg Texas, which is hosted by the Vaqueros.
Both teams had strong pitching performances, but the difference maker in the end was defense. WSU gave up three two-out runs in the second inning when the defense committed a pair of errors. Starting Pitcher Ian Hamilton gave up the first run on a single, but consecutive runners were then let on base via an error and catchers interference. The next batter singled, to give the Vaqueros all the lead they would need.
The only offense the Cougs were able to muster came in the third frame. Trek Stemp was able to get a two out single, which was followed by a double by Derek Chapman. Patrick McGrath drove Stemp home with a single of his own, but that would be the only run to cross the plate for the Cougs.
WSU did almost mount a late rally in the ninth inning, but came up short. A one-out double by Justin Harrer knocked UTRGV starting pitcher Johnny Gonzalez out of the game after 8 1/3 excellent innings. An infield single by Stemp and a walk drawn by Chapman loaded the bases with an out remaining. Unfortunately for WSU, Cameron Frost struck out to end the game.
Hamilton finished the game having pitched 6 innings, giving up three runs, only one of them earned, and struck out five. Stemp had the most success at the plate for WSU, going 4 for 5 and scoring the lone run.
WSU next plays Houston Baptist, Friday at 1 pm. All games this weekend can be followed online via stats and a broadcast found at wsucougars.com. The Cougs have their first home series March 3-6 against Utah Valley.
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