The Houston Cougars took an unconventional path to victory on Sunday at Schroeder Park in the finale of their three game series with the Army Black Knights.
Tyler Bielamowicz’s illness on Friday, and his inability to make his planned Friday night start, meant the Cougars had to go with plan B on Sunday because their typical Sunday starter took the mound on Friday night . . . Clay Aguilar started for the Cougars and could not get out of the first inning as his control was off and his pitch count was already at 27, and he had only pitched 1/3 of an inning.
Nolan Bond made the best of a bad situation when he was called in from the bullpen. A sacrifice bunt would score an inherited runner before Bond would end the first inning with the Cougars already down 4-0 before they had even been to the plate.
The Cougars would start to inch back into the game with a run in the first on a Joe Davis two-out RBI single to score Brad Burckel.
Bond, back on the mound in the second inning would get the Black Knights down in order on seven pitches . . . By the time Nolan’s day was done, he had gone 2 2/3 very important innings, allowed one run, two hits, and had thrown a total of 26 pitches, 21 of them for strikes.
The Cougars would tack on two more runs in the third . . . They would explode for a four-run inning of their own in the seventh to tie the game at 7, highlighted by Joe Davis who came to the plate with the bases loaded . . . Davis would single and plate two runs, and a heads up play by Jared Triolo running at third base, allowed him to score on an error and indecision by the Black Knights second baseman.
Relievers Ron Brown, Fred Villarreal, and Devon Roedahl would each go one inning without giving up a run, a solid day for the bullpen which saw five pitchers come into the game starting in that first inning.
The possibility of ninth inning theatrics looked promising for the Black Knights as they loaded the bases with one out, but Roedahl gave them nothing and that set the stage for the bottom of the ninth.
Jared Triolo got a one-out single and would advance to second on an errant pick-off throw at first . . . Joe Davis would end his 4-for-5, 5 RBI day with a homerun over the right field fence to send the fans home happy and to secure the first series sweep on the season for the Cougars.
The Cougars are off on Monday and welcome Texas-San Antonio to Schroeder Park for a mid-week matchup on Tuesday at 6:30pm before hitting the road for their first real road trip of the season. –