Story Poster
Rob Childress
Mason Ornelas
Kalae Harrison
Texas A&M Baseball

Aggies continue winning ways with 9-4 road victory over Houston

March 16, 2021
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Game #19: Texas A&M 9, Houston 4
Records: Texas A&M (15-4), Houston (10-6)
WP: Mason Ornelas (1-0)
LP: Blake Schultz (2-1)
Box score


Eleven.

Texas A&M has now pushed its winning streak to 11 games following a 9-4 road victory over the Houston Cougars at Schroeder Park in Houston. The Aggies’ pitching wasn’t as dominating as it has been recently, but the offense continued its power surge in the Bayou City.

“Going on the road, you got to strike first, and when you don’t, you got to punch back really quick,” said Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress.

“I was able to put a good swing on it, and it was a little confusing when I was running down to first base because [left fielder Tyler Bielamowicz] jumped up, and nobody knew if he caught it or not.”
- A&M shortstop Kalae Harrison

After UH scored a run in the first, Kalae Harrison got the run back and then some, hitting an opposite-field grand slam that barely snuck out in left field, putting A&M up 4-1.

“It felt great,” Harrison said. “I was able to put a good swing on it, and it was a little confusing when I was running down to first base because [left fielder Tyler Bielamowicz] jumped up, and nobody knew if he caught it or not.”

Bielamowicz’s came up short as the slam was Harrison’s third round-tripper of his career, which Childress says is a bonus from what they expect of the young shortstop.

“Anything he does offensively is a bonus,” Childress said of Harrison. “He’s here to play defense and play shortstop at an incredibly high level, and he has certainly done that.”

Then in the fourth, Austin Bost — celebrating his birthday today —  launched a no-doubt, two-run bomb to left, giving A&M a 6-1 advantage.

Logan Britt continued his personal hot streak, finishing 2-for-4 with a triple and a double, both of which came with two outs. He scored a pair of runs and drove in another.

“Those guys have been great for the last two weeks,” Childress said of Bost and Britt. “That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing, and there’s not a whole lot of holes in that lineup right now.”

Despite the early deficit, Houston refused to roll over, striking for three runs in the fifth. However, their momentum was short-lived as A&M tacked on two more in the sixth before Mason Ornelas halted anything the home nine might’ve had. 

“When I’m on the mound, I just focus on either Taylor (Smith) or Mikey (Hoehner), whoever’s behind the plate, and just focus on hitting my spots,” Ornelas said.

Work on the mound was rougher than it has been of late as Childress elected to go to his bullpen early, removing starter Nathan Dettmer after three innings of work in which he gave up just one run on four hits. Still, Dettmer used 58 pitches as he labored through those three innings.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Ornelas was perfect on Tuesday night, retiring every batter he faced over three innings and striking out five.

“I just didn’t think he was commanding the baseball very good,” Childress said of Dettmer. “I felt like we were playing with fire.”

Chris Weber was first out of the pen and the sledding wasn’t much easier for the lefty. Weber allowed three runs on four hits as he struggled with command, hitting a pair of batters.

“We probably left Chris in there one hitter too long and gave them the momentum back,” Childress said.

The Aggies turned to Ornelas in the sixth, and the freshman was his usual, reliable self — retiring all nine Cougars he faced and striking out five. For his efforts, Ornelas was awarded the victory, his first of the season.

“He was certainly fantastic tonight; took the hope away from them,” Childress said of Ornelas.

Alex Magers recorded the final three outs of the ballgame without issue in the ninth. The A&M bullpen retired the final 13 batters they faced.

“The guys are in a great place right now and certainly came out tonight and proved that,” Childress said of his team’s performance. 

The Aggies now carry momentum and an 11-game winning streak into SEC play as they open a three-game series with No. 5 Florida on Thursday in Gainesville. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

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Aggies continue winning ways with 9-4 road victory over Houston

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