HS Watch: Richardson, Kingwood Advance

Tre Richardson of the Kingwood Mustangs
Tre Richardson (via the Kingwood HS Shutterfly account)

Houston Commit Tre Richardson helped his Kingwood Mustangs advance in the 6A playoffs on Friday night at Rice’s Reckling Park.

Richardson took no time making his presence known by the Texans as he led off the first with a base hit for the second night in a row.

With two outs, Richardson doubled off the left field wall in the second inning for an RBI, he had fouled off several pitches until he got a pitch he could drive, the hit missed being a homerun by inches . . . After reaching second, Tre stole third base, the play was close but he was safe.

Defensively Richardson was smooth and quick . . . He turned two different double plays on Friday night: One that was fielded by the second baseman, he fed Tre a nice throw, Richardson glided across the second and fired an accurate throw to first to complete the play; on the other double play, Richardson fielded the ball cleanly and got a good, quick toss to the second bagger when then got the out at first . . . Finally, in the sixth, Richardson fielded a grounder to his right, toward third base, and he made a strong, accurate throw to first to get the last out of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kingwood loaded the bases with no outs and Lamar went to the bullpen . . . Richardson punched a hit through the left side for a single and an RBI as Kingwood, who was leading 3-0 entering, started to put together a five run inning on the way to taking an 8-0 lead. 

Kingwood would eventually close out the game for an 8-3 win and a two-game series sweep of Lamar . . . Kingwood moves on, they will play Ft. Bend Ridge Point next. –

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HS Watch: Richardson Superb in Win

Tre Richardson of the Kingwood Mustangs
Tre Richardson (picture via Kingwood HS Shutterfly account)

Tre Richardson had himself a ballgame at Rice University’s Reckling Park on Thursday night . . . The Cougars commit, a sophomore at Kingwood High School, played some amazing defense at shortstop against the Lamar Texans in the first game of a best-of-three series.

Richardson led off the game with a walk . . . In the third inning, Richardson would tie the game at one with a single and he would end up on second after a throw to the plate, he would then score from second on a single to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead, a lead they would not relinquish . . . In his next plate appearance, Richardson would hit the first pitch he saw for a single, the second of his two hits on 2-for-3 night for the right-handed hitter.

In the field, Richardson was dazzling, quick to the ball and accurate with throws . . . In one particular instance that would loom large later, in the bottom of the sixth Richardson caught a line drive ranging well to his left, and he was able to get off a laser to first base to double-up the runner who was unable to react quickly enough . . . Kingwood won the game 7-5 and will play against at Reckling Park on Friday at 7pm with a chance to win the series, or there will be a game at noon on Saturday if necessary. –

HS Watch: Shubert Leads Santa Fe

Rome Shubert Santa Fe Indians
Rome Shubert (picture via his Twitter account)

Houston Cougars commit, Rome Shubert (jr), was on the mound Thursday night in Brenham for a 5A playoff game against Georgetown . . . Thursday’s game was the first of a best-of-three series . . . Shubert was lights out for Santa Fe going 6 1/3 innings allowing just one hit and no earned runs . . . Shubert walked only two and struck out seven in earning the win for the Indians, who take a 1-0 series lead with the 6-1 win and can advance to the next round with a win Friday, or in a Saturday game three if necessary. –

Cougars Conference Bid Ends

Houston Cougars Baseball

Clearwater, Florida was supposed to play host for several days for the Houston Cougars . . . Instead, after a one-run loss on the last batter of the game on Tuesday, and a blowout at the hands of nationally ranked ECU on Wednesday, the rest of the American Championship will be played without the Cougars.

Wednesday, the Cougars had to face American Conference pitcher of the year, lefty Jake Agnos . . . As if that would not be difficult enough under normal circumstances, Houston was facing a team ranked nationally in the top ten, and a team also facing elimination.

Houston pitching was tagged for thirteen runs on fifteen hits against a very good East Carolina offense that was not ready to be sent home . . . It was a tough afternoon for the entire staff.

The Cougars scored their first run of the game in the second inning, without getting a hit . . . Brad Burckel walked to get on base, and after moving around, he would score from third on a wild pitch for the Cougars first and only run against Agnos.

Jared Triolo was 2-for-3 on the afternoon and after getting on base with a double, he would score from third on a Tyler Bielamowicz groundball out to make the score 10-2 . . . The game got further out of hand before finally ending at 13-2, eliminating the Cougars.

The Cougars now wait . . . They have been eliminated from the American Championship, so their fate lies with others . . . There will be a selection process taking place on Monday, and at that point the Cougars will know if they have been chosen to go to a regional, or not. –

Cougars Lose American Championship Opener

Houston Cougars Baseball

The American Conference Championship got underway Tuesday morning in Clearwater, Florida with the first pitch between the UConn Huskies and the Houston Cougars . . . The ability for any team to determine its path can be realized by just playing one game at a time, keep winning, you keep playing, lose a game, and the slope becomes much steeper to climb.

Houston sent Lael Lockhart Jr. to the mound for the morning start, and Lockhart seemed to have adapted well . . . A mistake by Lockhart in the second inning found its way to the left field seats, but Lockhart was very much in control scattering just four other hits through six innings of work as Lockhart took the game into the seventh inning.

Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Jared Triolo got the Cougars on the scoreboard with a no-doubter to left to cut the lead to 2-1 . . . The homerun was part of a 2-for-4 morning for Triolo . . . Joe Davis evened the score at two with a solo homerun of his own to left-center in the top of the sixth inning.

The Cougars took the lead in the top of the seventh when Kobe Hyland singled home Grayson Padgett to make the score 3-2 . . . Padgett had reached base when he was hit by a pitch and then stole second.

In the bottom of the seventh Lockhart surrendered his fifth and final hit, a homerun to left, which tied the game at three . . . Sean Bretz entered the game and eventually ended the inning, making way for Fred Villarreal . . . Villarreal pitched a scoreless eighth sending the tied ballgame to the ninth.

Houston loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but could not push a run across . . . In the bottom of the ninth, a leadoff single would eventually end up on second, and that run would be driven home by UConn third baseman David Langer with a single to center off of Villarreal to give the Huskies a 4-3 win.

The Cougars will play Wednesday at 2pm Houston time, the opponent is not yet known, but it will be the loser of the East Carolina and Wichita State game which starts forty-seven minutes after the Cougars game ended, so we will know the opponent soon enough. –

Cougars Drop Regular Season Finale in 11

Houston Cougars Baseball

For the UCF Knights and the Houston Cougars, fifty-four games would not quite be enough to put the finishing touch on the 2019 regular season . . . The Knights and the Cougars went ahead and played eleven innings on Saturday night in Orlando.

The Cougars fail behind early, and the lesson is clear, digging yourself too deep a hole almost never works out . . . UCF was leading 7-1 by the end of the third and nothing in the Houston offense this week indicated that a comeback was possible . . . However, in the top of the fourth the Cougars put together a rally on a series of two-out two-RBI hits to plate four in the inning and get back into the game 7-5.

In the seventh, the Cougars tied the game at eight capped off by a two-RBI single to left by Joe Davis who batted with the bases loaded after having been intentionally walked three times up to that point (he would also be intentionally walked in the ninth).

The Knights got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh to take a 10-8 lead . . . In the top of the ninth, with Jared Triolo stealing third and Landon Etzel stealing second, the UCF catcher launched his throw into left field . . . Triolo scored easily, and Etzel just barely beat the throw home to score all the way from first on the play and tie the game at ten.

UCF finally broke through in the eleventh when they loaded the bases after an intentional pass and with the infield playing in with one out, a pop fly to left was just out of the reach of a hustling Blake Way, the ball fell in and the winning run crossed the plate for the Knights.

The 11-10 regular season-ending affair lasted just over five hours and the Cougars used six pitchers and plenty of bench players in the effort . . . Of the six pitchers used, Fred Villarreal who pitched two innings, was the only pitcher not to allow a run . . . Houston also left eighteen runners in scoring position . . . The big comebacks are always difficult, so much energy is expended getting the game back to even, that often nothing is left for what comes next.

The Cougars are off until Tuesday morning when they will open the American Conference tournament against UConn in Clearwater, Florida . . .¬†First pitch is at 8am Houston time. –

Cougars Shutout UCF 2-0, Even Series

Houston Cougars Baseball

After a lopsided shutout on Thursday night, Friday night’s game between the Houston Cougars and the UCF Knights proved to be more of a taste of a series between two teams with nearly identical records.

Clay Aguilar took the hill for the Cougars and though he was laboring through long innings early, he was putting up zeroes and keeping the Knights off the board . . . He parted the game with a runner on but no outs in the fifth in favor of Sean Bretz, who subsequently ended the inning and pitched two scoreless innings on the night.

The game slugged along with base runners, but stranded base-runners . . . Neither team scored until the top of the seventh, and neither team scored after that frame.

Joe Davis would provide all the offense the Cougars needed on Friday night when he hit a two-run homerun to center in the seventh, his seventeenth of the season, and his first since April 12th at Wichita State . . . For Davis the homer was part of a 2-for-3 night, only Brad Burckel joined Davis with multiple hits in the game.

Fred Villarreal pitched a scoreless final three frames to earn his tenth save of the year . . . For UCF, this was their first nine-inning shutout of the season . . . Sean Bretz picked up the win, his second of the year . . . Clay Aguilar lowered his ERA to 2.65, which is an extraordinary number for someone who did not start the season as the “Saturday starter” but has moved into the role nicely.

The Cougars can claim the road series on Saturday when they conclude the series with UCF at 5pm Houston time in Orlando. –