The Houston Cougars continued their participation in the 2019 Shriners College Classic at Minute Maid Park on Saturday facing the Texas State Bobcats . . . The Bobcats were fresh off of a 1-0 shutout against Rice on Friday, so it was a positive sign when the Cougars jumped out to an early lead.
Houston catcher Blake Way, in only his third start behind the plate this season, got the Coogs on the scoreboard first in the second inning with a two-out line-drive homerun into the Crawford Boxes off of Bobcats starting pitcher Hunter McMahon.
Houston sent right-hander Ryan Randel to the mound for the second game of the weekend . . . Randel would face a little trouble in each of the first two innings, with runners getting to second base with no outs both times. In both innings however, Randel would rally to induce ground balls and get strikeouts to end both innings unscathed.
The Cougars allowed the Bobcats to tie the game in the third and then take the lead in the fourth . . . After allowing six hits and three runs on 78 pitches, Randel would hand the ball to Fred Villarreal with runners on first and second with just one out . . . The Bobcats would score four unearned runs in the inning to take a 6-2 lead into the fifth.
The Cougars would inch closer in their half of the fifth, but what could have been a downpour was only a light sprinkle . . . The Coogs would set the table, loading the bases with one out, for the 2-3-4 hitters, and would score just one run on a Jared Triolo infield single with Triolo hustling to beat the throw to first base.
Blake Way had few problems with McMahon on Saturday . . . Way would follow his homerun with a walk in the fifth and then a majestic two-out double off the wall just to the right of the Crawford Boxes in the sixth inning.
The Bobcats would finally go to the bullpen in the seventh . . . The only blemish for the bullpen was a monster homerun by Rey Fuentes in the bottom of the ninth, but by that point the game had largely been decided . . . The Bobcats would defeat the Cougars 9-4 . . . A bright spot was the bottom of the Cougars order accounting for 3 of their 4 runs and 5 of their 8 hits . . . For the first time this year, the Cougars are under .500 as they fall to 4-5.
The Cougars will conclude the weekend against Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon at 3pm . . . Get on out to Minute Paid Park and support the Coogs. –