CLEARWATER, Fla. (KSNW) – Wichita State was held off by the Houston Cougars 10-7 Tuesday night in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference Championship.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Santiago Garcia RBi double, but the Shockers battled back with a three-run third to take the lead at 3-1. Brock Rodden put Wichita State in front with a two-run homer, and on the next pitch, Sawyre Thornhill cranked a solo blast of his own. Rodden’s home run was his 17th of the season, most in a single campaign at Wichita State since Drew Moffitt hit 26 in 2004. The lead proved to be short-lived, however, as Houston immediately fired back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Garcia provided the big blow with a two-run double as the Cougars regained a 5-3 advantage.

Houston added single runs in the fourth and fifth.

The Shockers found themselves trailing 7-3, entering the top of the sixth against Houston. The WSU offense roared to life with five straight baserunners, grabbing three runs on a Chuck Ingram infield single, a Rodden bases-loaded walk, and a Thornhill RBI groundout. Houston escaped the inning with the bases loaded, but the Shockers had pulled within 7-6.

Wichita State evened the game in the seventh.

At the end of the game, Hernandez put the Cougars in front with his two-run blast; Brandon Burckel added an insurance run with a solo homer of his own in the eighth for the final margin.

Wichita State looks to keep their season alive on Wednesday as they battle UCF in the loser’s bracket. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m.