Shocker baseball drops first series of AAC play


Courtesy of Thomas Shea

Seth Stroh celebrates with Andrew Stewart after hitting a home run against Houston on April 3.

After starting losing three of their last four games entering this weekend, Shocker baseball opened up conference play with a series loss to Houston.

WSU used a strong start from Jace Kaminska to secure a game one victory over the Cougars, 4-0. Kaminska delivered his best start of the season, throwing eight scoreless innings, while tallying a career-high 12 strikeouts. Connor Holden took over in the bottom of the ninth, helping to preserve the shutout with a scoreless outing.

The Shockers scored one run through the first eight innings, with Will Stark scoring on a throwing error by the Houston second baseman in the top of the third inning. Chuck Ingram helped provide some breathing room in the top of the ninth launching a three-run home run. The homer was Ingram’s sixth in the last 10 games.

After trailing 5-0 in game two of the series, the Shockers were unable to complete the comeback, falling to Houston 5-3 to even up the series. Houston scored three of its five runs in the bottom of the second, getting an RBI single from Malachi Lott and a two-run home run from Ian McMillan. The Cougars tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, building up a five-run lead.

Sawyre Thornhill helped WSU start to claw back, with an RBI double in the top of the eighth, trimming the deficit to four runs. Xavier Casserilla’s two-run homer down the left field line cut the score to 5-3, but that was as close as WSU would get.. Brock Rodden delivered a pinch-hit single, but Houston closer Ben Sears got a groundout and a lineout to end the game.

Cameron Bye delivered another solid start on the mound in the rubber match on Sunday, but UH used a late comeback to take game three of the series, 4-3. Bye surrendered his first earned run of the season in 7.1 innings of work. 

The Shocker offense struck first as Seth Stroh launched an opposite field homer over the left field wall. The Cougars answered an inning later, with a home run from Brandon Ushe. Garrett Kocis regained the lead in the top of the fifth with his fourth home run of the season. Ross Cadena then brought home another run on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded, giving WSU a 3-1 lead. 

Houston tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the eighth, off of RBI singles from Ushe and Cameron Nickens. After WSU was unable to score in the top of the ninth, Houston’s Ian McMillan walked it off with an RBI double to take the series.

WSU will return home for a matchup with Oklahoma State on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Eck Stadium.