The Houston Cougars baseball squad completed its fall exhibition schedule on Friday night at Schroeder Park by dividing up the entire group into two teams, otherwise known as the Red vs. White Game.
Without getting into specifics of who was on which team, here are some of the highlights…
Newcomer Ryan Hernandez, who had a very impressive fall debut overall with his performance in all three games, hit a homerun to left field in the first inning to get his team on the board . . . There was no doubt off the bat that the ball was headed toward Elgin . . . Later in the game Hernandez hit a hard ground ball to short and the sound that the ball and bat made when they made impact was not a familiar sound . . . The future for Ryan looks good and he should be fun to watch.
Jonathan Thomas was walked twice, and stole second both times . . . At one point there was a ball that got away from the catcher after a block, the ball did not roll far, but it rolled far enough that Thomas was able to advance to third and easily beat the throw . . . In another display of his freakish speed and play-making ability, Thomas bunted to third and started down the line toward first . . . The third baseman made a clean pickup of the ball, but in the rush to try to get Thomas at first made an errant throw that got by the first baseman and Thomas ended up on second.
Many Cougar arms took the mound for both teams and there were some solid efforts, no one really pitched poorly . . . Tanner Green, Nick Rupp, Robert Gasser, Spencer Hynes, Isaiah Blaylock, Brayson Hurdsman, Carter Henry, Randy Garza, and Nate Hardcastle all threw live action . . . There was some bad luck and one bad hop at second led to runs and a long inning, but no one embarrassed themselves out there on Friday night.
The defense was on display on this night . . . Derrick Cherry in right field threw out a runner at home that was trying to score from second on a single, the throw was perfect and the catcher barely had to move . . . In the late innings an attempted double-steal with runners at first and third was spoiled by Brad Burckel who caught the throw down from the catcher and immediately zipped the ball back to home plate to catch the runner at home and end the inning.
The game played like a mostly normal game for nine innings, with the exception that the Red team batted ten players in their lineup with Kyle Lovelace in the ten spot dubbed a “extra hitter” . . . In the bottom of the ninth, a dropped fly ball in left allowed two runs to score and time the game at three . . . The game went to extras . . . Well, these extras were extra, as both teams started with no one out, but runners were automatically placed at first and second just to get some late-inning “situational” action going.
Both sides scored in the tenth, so they went to the eleventh . . . This time both teams started with the bases loaded . . . In the top of the eleventh, Team White plated four runners and took a 9-5 lead to the bottom half . . . The door was closed on Team Red in short order and Team White ended the fall with a win.