Sunday proved a tale of two very different ballgames for the Houston Cougars, with the common denominator being two victories to push the current win streak to four games with 16-10 and 3-1 wins over UTRGV.
Sunday’s first game was nearly a four hour event, and when it was over, the Cougars had handed the Vaqueros their first loss of the season, in a 16-10 marathon. The sixteen runs were the most runs scored in a game since the Cougars scored as many against Stephen F. Austin in 2019.
The Vaqueros led early as they took a 4-0 lead in the second inning . . . The Cougars got back in the game in the bottom of the second inning . . . It started with catcher Anthony Tulimero taking a two-out walk which also extended his reached base streak to six games . . . Skyler Trevino delivered the first of his three singles in the game, which was followed by three straight walks and a hit batter and the Cougars only trailed 4-3.
Houston tied the game at four in the third only to give the lead back in the fourth . . . Already leading 7-4, the Vaqueros added two runs in the sixth.
In the bottom frame, Zach Arnold hit a two-out two-run home run over the wall in right field for the Cougars first home run of the season and Houston was within three, 9-6.
Patrick Dunn and Maddux Miller both delivered scoreless relief in the middle frames of game one when the Cougars needed outs.
In the bottom of the seventh, an error in center field left two runners on base for Malachi Lott . . . Lott (2-for-3) tripled to the wall in right-center, the first hit of his collegiate career, and good for two runs batted-in . . . That was followed by a Brandon Uhse double and singles by Zach Arnold and Ryan Hernandez on the way to the first of two consecutive five run innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Trevino, McMillan, and Lott all led off with singles to set up the top of the order . . . After Hernandez was walked intentionally, freshman Cameron Nickens picked up two RBI on the first base hit of his collegiate career . . . Tormos and Tulimero followed with run-scoring singles and the Cougars led 16-9.
Derrick Cherry handled the eighth and ninth innings on the mound, and though the Vaqueros got one run back in the ninth, it was not enough as Houston took the first game 16-10.
Logan Clayton took the hill for the Cougars in game two and set a different pace from game one.
Houston took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a groundout by Rey Mendoza . . . The Vaqueros tied the game in the third on a run-scoring double and the score would remain tied until the eighth inning.
Clayton exited after seven complete innings having allowed the single run on only two hits and adding five strike outs to his tally . . . Ben Sears took the mound in the eighth with the game tied at one.
Houston rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth, sparked by an Alex Lopez RBI single which was followed by a Tormos RBI single and the Cougars led 3-1 going to the top of the ninth.
Sears gave up two singles in the ninth, but another nice defensive play by Trevino at second base ended the game and made Sears (2-0) a winner for his two innings of scoreless work in the 3-1 victory.
McMillan was a star on the diamond again on Sunday, making at least three remarkable plays behind his pitchers in both games . . . Tulimero’s single in the second inning of game two extended his reached base streak to seven, all seven games of the season thus far.
Houston is now 4-3 on the year and they have a day off before they play host to Lamar at Schroeder Park on Tuesday night, first pitch is at 6:30pm.