Cougars Take Marathon Game 1 in Dallas

The Houston Cougars in their pre-game routine at Dallas Baptist on Friday. Photo by @numberonecoog via Twitter.
The Cougars in their pre-game routine at Dallas Baptist on Friday.
Photo by @numberonecoog via Twitter.

The Houston Cougars played their first ever game at Dallas Baptist University on Friday night. No one will forget the game anytime soon. The Patriots of Dallas Baptist entered Friday with an eight game win streak, while the Cougars arrived in town with a four game win streak of their own.

The Cougars shifted their batting order a bit for the Friday tilt . . . Jared Triolo was moved from his usual three spot and batted second while Joe Davis was moved from his usual cleanup spot and batted third . . . As hot as Davis has been, this was likely a move to get Davis a few more possible at-bats, or at least, at-bats in crucial situations.

The first nine batters for the Cougars garnered four base hits, all singles. This could have indicated the Cougar hitters were seeing the ball well and were not fooled by Patriots starting pitcher Jordan Martinson . . . As it turned out, the Cougars would not score a run until the seventh when Dallas Baptist finally went to the bullpen.

Whatever the strategy on the changed batting order, it worked perfectly on Friday night as Davis in the three spot would bat in two different innings with the bases loaded, and he delivered runs both times . . . His first RBI was a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, part of a three-run seventh in which the Cougars took a 3-2 lead.

Lael Lockhart Jr. made his second consecutive Friday night start on the mound for the Cougars and he had a very good outing . . . He would go six solid innings, and after a rather long top of the seventh for the Cougars offense, Lockhart went back out to the mound for the bottom of the inning . . . He may have been on the bench too long in that top part of the inning, he seemed to be tiring anyway which would make sense with an elevated pitch count . . . After a leadoff single, Lockhart made an errant pick-off throw to first that went down the first base line and put the runner on third.

At that point, pitching change after pitching change took place and the Patriots scored three runs to re-take the lead 5-3 in an inning which lasted about 40 minutes.

The Coogs bounced right back with a four-run eighth, featuring two of Davis’ three RBI in the game and a Kobe Hyland RBI single which ended when Blake Way was caught up in an inning-ending rundown between second and third.

The Cougars scored eight runs in the final three innings of the game . . . They would score the eight runs on only three hits, with the help of seven walks, one error, and a hit batter . . . The Cougars also left eleven runners on base on the evening.

Over four and a half hours after the first pitch, Devon Roedahl shut the door on the Patriots to earn a save and secure the 8-6 win, the Cougars fifth consecutive victory.

The Cougars and the Patriots return to action on Saturday afternoon in Dallas, with an earlier than usual 2pm start. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars Down UTSA 4-2 Behind Davis, Bullpen

The Cougars hosted UTSA Tuesday at Schroeder Park. Photo courtesy of @5_Coogs via Twitter
The Cougars hosted UTSA Tuesday at Schroeder Park.
Photo courtesy of @5_Coogs via Twitter

The Houston Cougars went to the bullpen in the second inning on Tuesday night as they hosted the UTSA Roadrunners at Schroeder Park . . . There would be a total of fifteen pitchers used between the two teams in the midweek match-up . . . Knowing that fact might make it hard to believe that the final score was 4-2.

The last time Joe Davis had to swing the bat, he put the Cougars in the win column as his opposite field homerun against Army ended that series on Sunday . . . The first time Davis would swing the bat on Tuesday evening he would give the Coogs a lead they would not relinquish . . . Davis would see four pitches before he sent the fifth pitch over the left field wall for a two-out first inning homerun off of UTSA starter Cameron Carver.

The Cougars would use eight of the fifteen pitchers called on in the game, and the team allowed only two runs on two hits . . . The Roadrunners would score one run in the second without actually getting a hit. UTSA got a walked batter before the Cougars committed two errors allowing the run to score . . . UTSA’s next and final run of the night came in the fifth when they got their first hit of the game, a homerun by catcher Nick Thornquist.

Jared Pettitte saw his first action on the mound as a Cougar and his inning of work was extremely efficient as he only faced ten batters and threw ten pitches.

Shortstop Kobe Hyland had a nice game for the Cougars hitting in the seventh spot. He had two singles, including one with two outs in the sixth that would bring home Joe Davis from second for the Cougars fourth and final run of the game. 

Clay Aguilar was superb out of the bullpen, going three strong, scoreless innings, and facing the minimum number of batters . . . Aguilar threw 26 pitches overall and got five ground ball outs and four strikeouts . . . It was a welcome sight after his short Sunday outing.

Fred Villarreal would come in finish off the Roadrunners in the ninth, earning his second save on the season and getting his ERA down to 0.98.

The Cougars hit the road now, for their first real road trip of the season. They will be back in action on Friday in Dallas against Dallas Baptist University, first pitch is at 6:30pm. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars Sweep Army on Davis Walkoff

The Cougars face Army at Schroeder Park on Sunday. Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter.
The Cougars face Army at Schroeder Park on Sunday.
Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter

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. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Randel, Way Lead Cougars to Victory

Houston Cougars bat against Army Saturday night. Photo courtesy of @EdwinM201 via Twitter.
Houston Cougars bat against Army Saturday night.
Photo courtesy of @EdwinM201 via Twitter.

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. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars End Skid, Defeat Army 6-3

Friday night baseball vs. Army at Schroeder Park. Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter.
Friday night baseball vs. Army at Schroeder Park.
Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter.

The Army Black Knights arrived at Schroeder Park Friday afternoon to face a Houston Cougars team that had lost five straight games dating back two weekends ago when they lost the series finale to Arizona.

Friday night starter Tyler Bielamowicz was scratched from his usual start day due to illness, and Lael Lockhart Jr. would take the hill instead.

The Cougars led off each of the first three innings with a base hit . . . It is no coincidence that the Cougars would also score runs in each of those three innings . . . When the Cougars stopped getting the leadoff batter on base, they also stopped scoring runs.

Lockhart was very effective in his outing as he allowed just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, exiting in the sixth with his team ahead 4-1 . . . The bullpen would allow the Black Knights to score two runs before Nolan Bond would come in from the bullpen to end the inning with the Cougars lead down to a run, 4-3.

Joe Davis would immediately get a run back, sending the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning over the left field wall . . . For Davis it was career homerun number 40 at the University of Houston . . . It was also another leadoff hit leading to runs scoring in the inning, the Coogs would manufacture another run in the inning, taking a 6-3 lead.

Devon Roedahl entered the game to pitch in the seventh and was immediately greeted by a leadoff triple by Army center fielder Jacob Hurtubise . . . Roedahl remained calm, made his pitches, and three outs later had left Hurtubise on third . . . Roedahl would get Army down in order in the eighth.

Roedahl would face a little adversity in the ninth, but he was able to shut down the Black Knights and get the final three outs to end the Cougars five game losing streak . . . Cougars pitching allowed only four hits on the night, two each by two hitters . . . This was a solid team win for the Coogs, and while Lael Lockhart Jr. got the official win, the entire team played a part in the Friday night victory.

The Cougars and the Black Knights continue their series Saturday evening at 6:30pm at Schroeder Park. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Rice Tops Cougars 5-3

Houston Cougars scorecard by Cougars Beat vs. Rice 3-5-2019
Houston Cougars vs. Rice. Scorecard by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars hosted the Rice Owls Tuesday afternoon at Schroeder Park . . . A brilliant sky was marred only by a first pitch temperature of 48 degrees.

The Cougars sent left-hander Spencer Hynes to the mound for the mid-week start . . . Hynes would struggle with command and would allow three runs in the second inning before the Cougars called on Nolan Bond out of the bullpen . . . Bond came in to stop the bleeding and stranded two Rice Owls on base to end the second.

The bottom of the order would help the Cougars manufacture two runs in the third . . . Tyler Bielamowicz would highlight the inning with a triple, and he would score on a Grayson Padgett sacrifice bunt as the Cougars clawed closer making the score 3-2.

Bond continued to made quick work of the Owls going four innings, striking out three, and walking none . . . Fred Villarreal came in to relieve Bond and after and infield hit, he would strike out Rice shortstop Trei Cruz looking to end the sixth inning.

The Cougars had a chance to do more scoring damage in the sixth with Bielamowicz and Jared Triolo reaching base for the middle of the order, but Joe Davis and Lael Lockhart Jr. would make quiet outs and the threat was snuffed out.

In the top of the seventh, the Owls would get two singles and a walk to load the bases with no one out . . . The Owls would score two runs and after a fielders choice, extending their lead to 5-2. Villarreal would strike out the final two batters before the fans on hand enjoyed a chance to warm up a bit during the seventh inning stretch. 

Rey Fuentes would get the Cougars eighth started with a leadoff triple. He would be brought home on a Bielamowicz single . . . Three outs later Bielamowicz was still on first base as the Owls took their 5-3 lead into the ninth and closed out the game.

The Cougars could only muster five hits on the afternoon, and they would leave five runners on base.

The Cougars are off until Friday when Army comes to Schroeder Park for a three game weekend series . . . Stay tuned for weather updates as the forecasts look very questionable. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars Hang Close, Lose 3-2 to Texas A&M

Lael Lockhart, Jr. throws the first pitch against Texas A&M on Sunday. Photo by Cougars Beat
Lael Lockhart, Jr. throws the first pitch against Texas A&M on Sunday.
Photo by Cougars Beat

The Houston Cougars will be glad to wake up tomorrow morning knowing they do not have any more games at Minute Maid Park this year . . . The Cougars took on the Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday afternoon in their final game of the 2019 Shriners College Classic.

The Cougars had a nice crowd on hand to see left-hander Lael Lockhart, Jr. take the mound for the third time this season . . . The Aggies would counter with a lefty of their own, Jonathan Childress.

The Aggies would open the scoring in the fourth inning on a line-drive double down the third base line that brought home one run.

Childress for his part went three scoreless, hitless innings . . . During his warmup tosses in the fourth inning, Childress felt something he did not like in his arm, and after bringing the Aggies head coach and trainer to the mound, Childress would depart the game . . . Chandler Jozwiak would replace Childress, and second baseman Brad Burckel would promptly get the first base hit for the Cougars.

Lockhart would exit the game in the fifth inning with two outs and two runners on base . . . Right-hander Devon Roedahl would enter the game and he would induce an inning-ending ground ball . . . Roedahl was solid out of the bullpen. He ran into trouble in the eighth when he loaded the bases with no outs, but he got a double-play and a strikeout to work out of the jam only allowing one run.

The Cougars were still in the game when Lockhart exited, down only 2-0 . . . But the offense was struggling . . . Joe Davis was 0-for-9 entering Sunday’s action . . . Davis would get his first base hit of the weekend, a towering blast to deep right-center field that the Aggie center-fielder would get his glove on but not reel in . . . One batter later the Cougars had the bases loaded with one out and would score one run on a fielders choice by Grayson Padgett to cut the Aggie lead to 2-1.

Down 3-1 in the eighth Jared Triolo reached base on a walk, and Joe Davis followed that with his second consecutive double, this one off the out-of-town scoreboard in front of the Crawford Boxes, and he had the Cougars back within a run at 3-2.

Devon Roedahl would leave the game in the ninth after a leadoff single, he threw 56 pitches in his 3 1/3 innings of solid relief work . . . Spencer Hynes would inherit a runner and get three outs to get out of the inning by throwing seven pitches, all of them for strikes.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Cougars were not able to get anything going and went down in order . . . The offense left seven runners on base in the game, a glaring number in the eyes of a one-run defeat . . . The Cougars have now lost their last nine games at Minute Maid Park.

The Cougars return to action on Tuesday when they will host Rice at Schroeder Park . . . The weather will be on the chilly side, so dress warm and get to the ballpark and root for the Coogs. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars Fall to Texas State 9-4

Joe Davis bats in the 7th with Jared Triolo on 2nd on Saturday. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Joe Davis bats in the 7th with Jared Triolo on 2nd on Saturday.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

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. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars Late Inning Effort Not Enough Against TCU

Friday's first pitch from Nick Lodolo to Brad Burckel. Photo by @CougarsBeat
Friday’s first pitch from Nick Lodolo to Brad Burckel.
Photo by @CougarsBeat

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.

 

Newspaper column version of this recap