Once again the Houston Cougar baseball team (24-20) will try its luck against a nationally-ranked opponent, as it will travel to take on the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies (34-14), 3:30 p.m. today at Olsen Field in College Station.
The Cougars are coming off a successful weekend, sweeping the UAB Blazers and moving into a first-place tie with Tulane atop the Conference USA standings.
In their last meeting with Texas A&M on March 24, the Cougars combined to put together two solid games, but it wasn't enough to overtake the Aggies in both games of the doubleheader.
In game one, outstanding pitching from both starting pitchers took the game into extra innings.
However, the Cougars saw a win slip through their hands as errors fueled an extra-innings rally and allowed A&M to come out with a 6-3 win.
In game two, an early strike by A&M's offensive attack combined with costly Cougar mistakes was too much for the Cougars to overcome, and they dropped the game 7-4.
The Cougars will be sending sophomore lefty Alex Jackson to the mound.
In his previous start against A&M, Jackson delivered his strongest outing of the year, a career best seven innings allowing only two runs.
Opposing the Cougars will be sophomore right-hander Chance Caple.
Caple, (7-0) with a 2.80 ERA, was unconquerable in his last outing against the Cougars.
He anchored the Aggies to an extra-innings victory, throwing eight innings of solid four hit baseball, allowing only four hits and two runs.
The Cougars once again will have their hands full with the Aggies' solid starting pitching staff and lead-off man.
A&M's starters have gone 28-8 with an ERA of 3.44 this season and are holding opponents to a .229 batting average.
The key to the Aggie offense this year has been the play of junior shortstop Jason Tyner. Tyner is the team leader in batting (.386), and has been able to score 48 runs and has stolen 29 bases this year.
In order to come up with the win, the Cougars will have to eliminate giving the Aggies the extra opportunities allowed in their previous meeting in March.
The Cougars return home this weekend to host the Louisville Cardinals in a three-game series in C-USA action at Cougar Field.