Cougars Walk Off Winners; Claim Conference Series

Houston celebrates Sunday after a walk off victory

The Houston Cougars used a game-tying rally in the eighth and a walk off double in the ninth to defeat the Wichita State Shockers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon to claim the first conference series victory of 2022. 

Derrick Cherry was making only his second career start on Sunday, his first start came nearly two weeks ago up in Huntsville when he picked up the win and threw 121 pitches . . . Neither team had a hit in the game until a Shockers solo home run with one out in the third gave Wichita State a 1-0 lead.

Houston finally picked up its first base hit of the afternoon an inning later when Brandon Uhse (2-for-3) led off the fourth inning with a solo home run . . . The Shockers got the run right back with a one out solo in the fifth inning to lead 2-1 . . . Then a bases loaded hit batsman in the sixth pushed the advantage to 3-1 . . . Cameron Prayer entered the game with two outs and got a strike out to end the inning and leave the bases full.

Left-hander Kyle LaCalameto handled two innings of work between Prayer and closer Ben Sears . . . Meanwhile, the Houston offense was quiet against Shockers pitching; aside from Uhse’s home run, the Cougars only had two other base hits through the seventh inning.

Still trailing 3-1 in the eighth, Houston took advantage of an error and a walk to get traffic on the bases . . . Uhse singled home Samuel Benjamin and one out later Cameron Nickens (2-for-2) singled on the infield and a throwing error by the Shockers third baseman allowed the tying run to score with two outs.

Sears pitched a scoreless ninth to keep the game tied headed to the ninth.

Ryan Hernandez dropped a single into shallow left-center to lead off the bottom of the inning . . . A fielder’s choice on a Malachi Lott bouncer eliminated Hernandez from the basepath, but the speedy Lott was on first base . . . Ian McMillan drove a liner into right field which was misplayed by the diving right fielder, once Lott saw the ball get down, he turned on the jets between first and second and was able to score the winning run as the ball rolled to the wall.

Houston took the first conference series of the season after being shutout in game one on Friday night . . . The Sunday walk off was the first for the Cougars since May 8, 2021 when McMillan delivered against Cincinnati.

The Cougars have Monday off before they will host Sam Houston State on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park to conclude their current eight game homestand . . . The first pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:30pm.

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