Minute Maid Park played host to the “visiting” Houston Cougars and the TCU Horned Frogs in the Shriners College Classic on Friday afternoon . . . USA Today has TCU ranked at #17 and Baseball America has TCU ranked #24 in the nation entering into the weekend . . . With the ballpark roof closed, all that was left was the action on field, once it got underway.
The game got off to an awkward beginning . . . After the initial warmup pitches and catchers toss down to second base, the umpires did not want to start the game earlier than the 3:05 announced start time, so the Frogs had to stand around on the field and wait for about three minutes for first pitch . . . The Frogs heated up very quickly after that.
The Cougars sent lefty Tyler Bielamowicz to the mound on Friday . . . The Frogs would strike first on a two-out three-run homerun off of Bielamowicz in a 24 pitch first inning.
TCU left-hander, Nick Lodolo, who measures 6’6″ tall, was dominant all day . . . Lodolo needed only 34 pitches to get through the first nine of the Cougars order for a perfect opening three innings . . . Lodolo would be perfect thru four innings, retiring the first fourteen batters he faced before Cougars shortstop Kobe Hyland would reach base on a single in the fifth . . . Lodolo offered a lethal mix of power and movement against the Cougars to get through seven innings of nearly perfect baseball, striking out thirteen along the way.
Tyler Bielamowicz would exit in the fourth after continued trouble, including a second three-run homerun, and sitting at 73 pitches . . . Nolan Bond would enter the game at that point, and he was one of the bright spots for the Cougars on the day . . . Bond went three innings when his team really needed him, and while he gave up two runs, which scored with the help of some defensive miscues and a runner left on base allowed to score by Bond’s successor, his outing was solid even if the box score appears not to reflect that.
Jared Triolo hit his first homerun of the season into the Crawford boxes in the seventh inning . . . The first run of the day for the Coogs . . . Once Nick Lodolo left the game after seven innings pitched, the Cougars were able to piece together some offense against the Frogs bullpen . . . The Cougars plated three in the ninth and had the bases loaded for Joe Davis with two outs . . . Davis hit a drive to left-center that made Coogs fans hold their breath for a moment, but TCU’s center fielder would catch the final out on the warning track . . . In the end a 9-1 deficit was too much to make up as the Coogs evened their record at 4-4 on the season in the 10-6 loss.
The Cougars return to action tomorrow morning at Minute Maid Park, first pitch is at 11am against the Texas State Bobcats.