Cougars Finish Friday Game, Win Saturday Game

The Cougars began a three game set in Lafayette, LA on Friday afternoon

A sunless day in Lafayette, Louisiana on Friday resulted in an outcome that the Houston Cougars and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns had hoped to avoid when they adjusted their schedule and moved Friday’s start time ahead three hours . . . But with one out in the eighth, the weather that had been feared showed up in force and the game was delayed in a 5-5 tie with lightning in the area to blame.

To say that Brandon Uhse wasted no time in getting his team on the scoreboard on Friday night is no understatement . . . Uhse launched the first pitch of the game from Ragin’ Cajuns starter Tommy Ray off a light pole beyond the wall in left-center field and the Cougars immediately led 1-0.

Louisiana waited until the second pitch of the bottom of the first to do the exact same thing to tie the game . . . After an infield single, a two-out two-run home run to center put the Ragin’ Cajuns in front 3-1.

Samuel Benjamin led off the top of the third inning with a double off the wall in left-center . . . One out later, Zach Arnold powered an opposite field home run over the right field wall to tie the game on his second home run of the year . . . A walk and a single put two one for Anthony Tulimero who singled into right field to give Houston a 4-3 lead . . . The single extended Tulimero’s reached base streak to all fourteen games this season . . . The Cougars would add a run on a wild pitch to take a two-run lead.

Two solo home runs, one in the fourth and one in the sixth, tied the game at five.

The lightning delay in the top of the eighth stopped the game after just over two hours of play and with Ian McMillan standing at first after a one out single.

When action resumed on Saturday afternoon, the final two innings took just over a half hour to complete . . . The Cougars had the bottom of the eighth unravel on them with a bevy of oddities including a wild pitch on an attempted bunt, a squeeze bunt, and a straight steal of home plate on the way to Louisiana taking a 9-5 lead which would hold up as the final score when Houston went down in order in the ninth.

The second game of the weekend series got underway less than one hour after the conclusion of Friday’s game . . . Houston got on the board first after a walk to Uhse and two balks moved him to third base . . . Tulimero put a ball in play in which the shortstop made an error and Uhse was safe at home . . . Tulimero’s reached base streak extended to all fifteen games on the season.

Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Alex Lopez homered to right field to tie the game, his first home run in a Houston uniform . . . Louisiana took a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning . . . The Cougars collected four hits in the inning and took advantage of a bit-batter and a walk to add four runs and take a 6-3 lead midway through the game . . . Brandon Burckel collected his first collegiate base hit, an infield single, as part of the fifth inning rally.

Houston starter Nathan Medrano exited the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and gave the ball to Ben Sears as Houston led 7-4 . . . Sears inherited a runner at first but got out of the inning with no problem . . . The Cougars added a run in the top of the ninth on a Ryan Hernandez sacrifice fly to center field which scored Zach Arnold from third base.

Sears handled business in the ninth and despite a two-out double he retired the Ragin’ Cajuns and earned his third save of the season in the 8-4 victory . . . Medrano picked up the win and is 2-0 on the year . . . Uhse, Tulimero, and McMillan each had two base hits in the game, of the ten hits the Cougars had in total.

Houston (10-5) and Louisiana (7-7) will meet again on Sunday in the weekend finale, with first pitch scheduled for 1pm . . . As of now, Todd Whitting has not named a starting pitcher for the Sunday matchup.

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Houston Tops Southern with Late Rally, Pitching

The victorious Houston Cougars on Wednesday night after defeating Southern

The Houston Cougars closed out a home schedule that had seen them play eight of their last nine games at home, with the other game being across town at Rice on Tuesday, by defeating the Southern Jaguars 7-4 on Wednesday night.

Brandon Uhse led off the bottom of the first with a single which was followed two outs later by a walk to Alex Lopez . . . Anthony Tulimero singled to center field, scoring Uhse and extending his reached base streak to thirteen games . . . Cameron Nickens followed with an infield single to shortstop that scored Lopez and the Cougars led early, 2-0. 

Jaguars scored a run in the top of the second and three in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.

Still trailing by two in the bottom of the seventh, Tulimero led off the inning with a double to left-center, it was the first Houston hit since the first inning . . . With two outs, Ian McMillan tripled to the wall in right-center and scored Tulimero to get the Cougars to within a run, 4-3.

In the eighth inning, Uhse once again provided the spark with a single to get the inning started . . . Zach Arnold followed and was hit by a pitch . . . With one out, a walk to Lopez loaded the bases for Tulimero . . . Tuilmero (3-for-4) drove a ball the opposite way, to right field for a single, but the right-fielder mis-played the ball and it rolled to the wall allowing Tulimero to reach third base and the Cougars led 6-4 . . . A balk scored Tulimero from third and the Houston lead was 7-4.

Kyle LaCalameto took the mound for the Cougars to start the fifth inning and he struck out the side . . . LaCalameto stayed in the game and recorded the final fifteen outs and struck out five more for a total of eight . . . The left-hander picked up the win in the 7-4 victory and is now 1-0 on the year.

LaCalameto’s head coach was complimentary of his outing, “Huge night for Kyle,” Todd Whitting said. “Proud of him for coming in and giving our offense a chance to get going. He threw every pitch with purpose and great confidence.”

Houston went 7-1 in this eight game homestand after they opened the season with their first four games on the road.

The Cougars (9-4) have a day off before they face the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Friday at 6pm to open up a weekend set in Lafayette.

Cougars Best Rice as Silver Glove Series Returns

The Cougars celebrate after winning at Reckling Park on Tuesday

After a hiatus in 2021, the Silver Glove Series resumed on Tuesday night at Reckling Park on the Rice University campus and the Cougars took the advantage in the three game series with a 10-7 victory over the Owls.

With one down in the top of the first, Houston took advantage of a hit-by-pitch and a fly ball that was not caught in deep left field to take an early 2-0 on a ground out by Alex Lopez and a two-out single into left-center by Anthony Tulimero . . . Tulimero extended his reached base streak to twelve games with the base hit, he has reached base in every Cougars game this season.

Houston went to the bullpen with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the third after two walks and a batter hit-by-pitch . . . A wild pitch and a double gave Rice a 3-2 lead before a double play behind Derrick Cherry ended the inning.

Tulimero led off the fourth with a single . . . Attempting to steal second, the pitch went slightly wild on Rice’s catcher Justin Long . . . Long threw to second and the throw hit Tulimero in the helmet and ricocheted into left field . . . The Rice left-fielder tried to catch Tulimero at third, but his throw was wide of the bag and Tulimero was able to scamper home for the tying run . . . Two outs later, with two runners on base, Brandon Uhse drove a ball to the wall in right-center to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead.

Tied up at six in the top of the eighth, a lead off single by Ian McMillan was followed by a one out walk to Cameron Nickens . . . One out later, Uhse drove a ball off the right field wall for a two RBI double . . . Zach Arnold then drove Uhse home and the Cougars took a 9-6 lead.

With a 9-7 lead in the top of the ninth, the Cougars loaded the bases with no outs with the help of two batters hit-by-pitch and another single for Tulimero, who was 3-for-5 in the contest . . . One out later, Cameron Nickens hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Lopez from third base and the Cougars extended their lead 10-7.

Ben Sears pitched the final two innings for the Cougars, and while he gave up his first and only run of the season, he closed out the win for Houston and picked up the save, his second of the season . . . Logan Clayton earned the win with his outing and improved to 1-2.

Head coach Todd Whitting was asked about the four RBI night by his lead off man, “After two tough at-bats early, Uhse did a great job of playing the game one pitch at a time and came up with four huge RBIs tonight. He has done a tremendous job at the top of the lineup this season.”

The Rice defense committed five errors in total and their pitching hit Houston batters five times, including Lopez twice.

The Silver Glove Series will resume on May 4 when Rice travels to Schroeder Park.

The Cougars return to Schroeder Park on Wednesday night when they host Southern, first pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Houston Powers Past Incarnate Word 10-4

Ryan Hernandez is greeted by his teammates after his home run Sunday

The Houston Cougars shook off a Saturday night loss that ended their six game winning streak and returned to Schroeder Park on Sunday to defeat the Incarnate Word Cardinals 10-4.

Houston fell behind early as Incarnate Word scratched out two runs in the opening sequence . . . Anthony Tulimero reached base on an error by the Cardinal shortstop with one out in the bottom of the second, which extended his reached base streak to all eleven games this season, but the Cougars still trailed heading to the third inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the third and runners on first and second, Ryan Hernandez hit a dying grounder up the third base line that drifted foul about 25 feet from the plate, keeping the at-bat alive . . . The Cardinals might have preferred to give Hernandez the infield base hit because on the very next pitch he gave the Cougars a 3-2 lead with a massive home run to left field . . . For Hernandez it was his first home run of the season.

UIW took the lead back in the top of the fourth when they scored two and led 4-3.

Tulimero singled to lead off the fourth for Houston, but he was erased on a double play . . . With two outs, Samuel Benjamin legged out an infield single which was confirmed on review . . . A stolen base and a wild pitch moved Benjamin to third . . . Malachi Lott tripled off the wall in right field to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead . . . Two walks later the bases were loaded for Hernandez who drove a ball into left field scoring two and Houston led 7-4.

The bottom of the fifth started with a single by Tulimero (3-for-4), who then went to second on a balk . . . After back-to-back strike outs, Cameron Nickens homered to left field to extend the Houston lead to 9-4, it was the second home run in as many days for Nickens.

Nickens (3-for-4) was not done yet, he hit another home run in his next at-bat in the eighth inning and the Cougars took a 10-4 lead into the ninth.

Ben Sears started the eighth for Houston in relief of Medrano and handled the ninth as well, he kept the Cardinals off the board and preserved the win for Medrano (1-0) . . . Medrano went seven complete and allowed six hits while striking out four . . . Sears has not allowed any runs in his 9 2/3 innings pitched this season out of the bullpen.

Head coach Todd Whitting was impressed with Medrano’s finish after his early struggles. “When Medrano pitches like he did the last three innings, with intent every pitch, he is very good,” Whitting said. “Proud of him for competing till he found his rhythm.”

Asked about his freshman [Nickens] and his three home-run last 24 hours Whitting said, “We knew when we signed Nickens he has a chance to be an elite college hitter. He is a gritty, hard-nosed kid and I’m excited for him that he had a big weekend.”

The Cougars (7-4) play two midweek games this next week, a game at Rice at 6:30pm on Tuesday and the host Southern at Schroeder Park on Wednesday at 6:30pm.

Houston Win Streak Ends in 13-8 Defeat

Malachi Lott pitches in the ninth inning Friday at Schroeder Park

The Cougars six game winning streak came to an end Saturday night at Schroeder Park as they fell to the UIW Cardinals 13-8 . . . The loss was the Cougars first at home this season.

Cougars pitching was in trouble most of the night as the Cardinals roughed up most of the eights pitchers that Houston sent to the mound.

The Cougars fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first on a two-run home run . . . Later in the frame, a single drive in one run before a double to the left field wall scored two more and Houston trailed 5-0 before they had even come to bat.

But the Cougars got back in the game quickly . . . Brandon Uhse led off the bottom of the inning with a single . . . A walk put two in for Ryan Hernandez who hammered a ball that hit off the wall in left-center and was good for two bases . . . A sacrifice fly to center by Samuel Tormos made the score 5-3 going to the second inning.

Trailing 6-3 in the second, Malachi Lott reached first after he struck out but was able to race down to first on the wild pitch . . . Hernandez (3-for-4) picked up his third RBI of the game with a single that scored Uhse.

Lott doubled to lead off the fourth and he scored on a Uhse (2-for-4) double . . . Zach Arnold drove in Uhse as part of a 2-for-4 night and the Cougars only trailed 8-7 . . . Colby Casey pitched a valuable 1 2/3 innings over the fourth and fifth innings to help the bullpen attempt to save arms.

The Cardinals got to the Houston bullpen for five runs in the sixth . . . Taylor Parrett made his Cougars debut in the seventh and pitched a scoreless inning while he struck out two.

Lott took the mound for the eighth and ninth innings and was terrific over two scoreless frames where he did not allow a hit and struck out two while retiring all six batters he faced.

Freshman Cameron Nickens led off the ninth inning for the Cougars by hitting the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left-center for his first collegiate home run, but the Cougars went down in order after that and the 13-8 loss evened the weekend series with Incarnate Word.

The Cougars and the Cardinals will compete for the series win on Sunday at 1pm at Schroeder Park when Nathan Medrano will take the hill for Houston.

Cougars Defeat Cards, Extend Win Streak to Six

Jaycob Deese pitches to the Cardinals leadoff batter Friday

A five game winning streak was on the line Friday night at Schroeder Park as the Cougars welcomed the Cardinals of Incarnate Word University for a weekend series . . . Houston would put together another late offensive attack to eventually walk away 5-2 winners.

Jaycob Deese was on the mound for the Cougars, his first start of 2022, but his third appearance thus far . . . Deese was overpowering early in his appearance, striking out the side in both the second and third innings.

Samuel Tormos got the Cougars on the board first when he hit a solo home run to left field with one out in the bottom of the second, his first home run of the year . . . Catcher Anthony Tulimero followed with a single to extend his reaches base streak to all nine games to open the season.

The Cardinals tied the game at one in the top of the fifth.

Batting with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Alex Lopez lined a single into right field scoring Malachi Lott, while Brandon Uhse was thrown out at the plate, but the Cougars regained the lead 2-1 . . . The Cardinals tied the game again in the sixth on a solo home run.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lott drove a ball deep to right and the Cougars took a 3-2 lead on the sacrifice fly . . . Uhse and Zach Arnold each followed with RBI singles to push the Cougars advantage to 5-2 going to the seventh.

Derrick Cherry took the mound in the seventh and delivered a scoreless inning . . . The Cougars then went to the bullpen again in the eighth in favor of Jose Torrealba . . . Torrealba pitched the final two innings and did not yield any ground as he closed out the 5-2 Houston victory and pushed the winning streak to six games in a row.

Left-hander Cameron Prayer picked up the win for his inning of work in relief, his first win of the season . . . Torrealba picked up the save, his first of the season, for his two innings to close out the win.

The Cougars host the Cardinals again on Saturday night at 6:30pm . . . Logan Clayton will be making his third start of the year for Houston.