Houston Cougars fans were treated to a very quick two-and-a-half hour ballgame on Saturday night at Schroeder Park . . . A second straight Cougars win and a short game time were a welcome result on a warm, muggy evening that got more humid as the temperature dropped.
The Army Black Knights faced Houston right-hander Ryan Randel who was dominant and efficient early . . . Army could not muster anything against Randel until the fourth when they scored the only run they would get off of him in an inning where the Black Knights got a leadoff walk and two base hits.
Blake Way has been a nice addition to the Cougars lineup in the last week plus . . . Saturday night Way would hit a triple in his first at-bat and he would score on a wild pitch to get the Cougars on the board first . . . Way would bring home the Cougars second run of the game in the fourth with a sacrifice fly scoring Jared Triolo.
Meanwhile, Randel went seven very good innings, allowing just the one run on 99 pitches . . . Randel going as deep as he did into the game spared the bullpen from being taxed too much in the middle game of the weekend series after a very rough last nine day stretch.
Fred Villarreal would relieve Randel in the eighth and would eventually get his first save on the season after an adventurous ninth where the tying run would reach third with one out, before Villarreal would get a big strikeout and a groundout to second to end the game and secure the series win for Houston, their third series win on this early season . . . Villarreal would lower his ERA to 1.10 on the year . . . Randel improved his record to 2-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.11.
The series with Army concludes Sunday at 1pm at Schroeder Park as the Cougars go for the sweep. –