The Houston Cougars retained possession of the Don Sanders Cup for another year after a late rally in a back-and-forth game, eventually winning 8-6 on Tuesday night. The win over Sam Houston State did two other things: It kept Houston a perfect 8-0 in midweek games this year, and it gave the Cougars their 20th win of the season after they won 19 games a season ago.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning, the Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Anthony Tulimero grounded out to short allowing Zach Arnold scored from third base.
The Cougars took a brief lead in the third inning when Ryan Hernandez plated Alex Lopez with a two out single.
Logan Clayton started for Houston and handled the first three innings of work in what seemed like a bullpen game as the Cougars used six pitchers after Clayton, including: Jose Torrealba, Jackson Dannelley, Cameron Prayer, Taylor Parrett, and Kyle LaCalameto.
The Bearkats tied the game in the top of the fourth and took a 3-2 in the top of the fifth.
With two outs and runners on second and third, Malachi Lott put down a bunt toward short on a perfect line that no fielder was close to as Lott crossed first base, and Arnold scored the tying run easily from third base.
Still tied in the sixth, Brandon Burckel reached base on a one out bunt single . . . With two outs in the inning, Arnold landed a ball on Elgin Street, a home run measuring 411 feet, and the Cougars had a 5-3 advantage . . . Arnold was 3-for-5 on Tuesday night.
Sam Houston State scored three runs over the seventh and eighth innings to take a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Brandon Uhse hit a three-run home run with one out to put Houston in front 8-6 . . . Ben Sears who handled the eighth inning, set down the Bearkats in order in the ninth inning to close out the victory.
Houston now has a couple of days off before opening up another American Athletic Conference weekend series on Friday, this time in Cincinnati . . . First pitch on Friday is set for 4pm.