Cougars Lose to UTRGV, Get Ready for Tulane

Nathan Medrano throws the first pitch against UTRGV Tuesday

It was a night where few things went right for the Cougars at Schroeder Park on Tuesday night as they lost to UTRGV 9-1.

The Vaqueros used five pitchers to limit the Cougars to just eight base hits in the game, and no Houston hitter had multiple hits . . . Meanwhile, Houston used nine pitchers in the defeat . . . The Cougars got scoreless innings from Jackson Dannelley, Jose Torrealba, and Colby Casey.

The sole Houston run came in the sixth inning when Cameron Nickens grounded out to shortstop and scored Alex Lopez from third base.

The Cougars are off only one day this week before weekend action begins . . . Houston will welcome Tulane to town on Thursday to begin the third week of conference action . . . The weekend schedule this week is different because of Easter Sunday, and will continue Friday and conclude on Saturday . . . First pitch on Thursday will take place at 6:30pm.

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Houston Loses Sunday, Evens Conference Record

Ryan Hernandez bats with two runners on base Sunday in Cincinnati

Houston took an early lead but was unable to stop the explosive Cincinnati offense on Sunday as the Cougars lost 9-6.

Two quick outs began the opening inning for the Cougars, but then Alex Lopez doubled and that was followed by a walk to Cameron Nickens . . . With a 3-0 count on him, Ryan Hernandez had the green light to swing, and he put a charge into the next pitch and sent it 441 feet over the wall in left field for an early 3-0 Houston lead.

Cincinnati got a run back in the bottom of the first before taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second after the bases were loaded with the assistance of two walks and a hit batter.

In the top of the third, Malachi Lott led off the inning with a walk and one out later Lopez homered to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead . . . Lopez (3-for-5) finished the game a triple shy of the cycle and the home run was his second of the weekend.

Ian McMillan hit a one-out double in the fourth inning ahead of a single by Dylan Post . . . Brandon Burckel then put down a bunt single that was indefensible to plate McMillan and extend the Houston lead, 6-4.

Right-hander Maddux Miler took the mound in the bottom of the fourth with Houston pitchers struggling to eliminate free passes and Cincinnati runs . . . Miller pitched a valuable two innings to get the Cougars into the sixth inning . . . Houston pitchers walked six batters on Sunday, in addition to hitting two batters with pitches.

Ben Sears pitched the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a baserunner.

Trail 9-6 in the ninth, Houston put two runners on base to start the inning, but a pop-up and a caught-stealing extinguished hope before a looking strike out ended the game and gave Cincinnati a home series win . . . The Cougars are now 3-3 in conference play and will take on Tulane in Houston next weekend.

The Cougars will return home now and have Monday off before they welcome UTRGV on Tuesday night for the second time this season . . . The first pitch at Schroeder Park is set for 6:30pm.

Houston Win Streak Snapped in Cincinnati

Colby Casey pitches in relief on Saturday in Cincinnati

The Cougars and the Bearcats played in some cold conditions after a light snow was falling as Houston arrived at the ballpark on Saturday, but Cincinnati’s offense was anything but cold as they rolled to a 13-3 run-rule victory in seven innings.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, Zach Arnold and Alex Lopez both hit one-out singles . . . Anthony Tulimero then hit a ball back to the pitcher who fielded and tried to catch Arnold at third base, but the throw was wide and down the line and Lopez scored all the way from first base for a 2-1 Houston lead.

Cincinnati got the lead back almost immediately with a four-run bottom of the third inning and they added four more in the bottom of the fourth on a grand slam, both innings began with walked batters reaching base before any outs were recorded . . . The Bearcats led 10-2 going to the fifth inning.

Houston got a run back in the seventh on a RBI single by Brandon Burckel that scored Cameron Nickens from second base after he doubled with one out.

Cincinnati answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and with their 13-3 lead, the game ended there via the run rule.

The Cougars offense only collected six hits in the seven inning contest, no player had multiple hits . . . The loss snapped Houston’s four game win streak which began a week ago to the day.

Tulimero was ejected after a play at first was overturned on review in the sixth inning . . . Tulimero’s ejection also means he will not be able to play in Sunday’s series finale . . . Tulimero also threw out a runner at second base attempting to steal, he continues to lead the American Athletic Conference in runners caught.

The Cougars and the Bearcats conclude the weekend series on Sunday with both teams going for the series win . . . Derrick Cherry will be on the mound for Houston, first pitch scheduled for 11am Central Time.

Cougars Grab Early Lead, Win at Cincinnati 5-4

Alex Lopez bats against Cincinnati on Friday

Houston took its show on the road for only the third full weekend road trip of the season and took game one in Cincinnati 5-4 on Friday.

After having the lead off batter retired, Houston responded with five straight hits in which four runs scored and Cincinnati was down 4-0 before they even came to bat . . . Alex Lopez’s two-run home run was the biggest hit of the inning, with Ryan Hernandez and Malachi Lott (2-for-4) also driving in a run each.

Right-hander Jaycob Deese started on the mound for Houston and allowed four runs over six innings, he was not hit hard, he gave up runs in three different innings . . . Two of the runs allowed scored on a mis-played ball in left field when a dying liner got past the diving fielder.

Leading 4-2 in the top of the third, the Cougars added a run when an infield hit by Lott forced a throwing error on the Bearcats third baseman allowed Anthony Tulimero (2-for-4) to score from first base while Lott stopped at second base and Houston led 5-2.

Deese took his exit after six innings leading 5-4 with his pitch count over one hundred and Kyle LaCalameto took the mound . . . LaCalameto pitched two innings, retiring all six batters he faced allowing none to reach base before Ben Sears entered the game to work the ninth inning . . . Sears threw eleven pitches in the ninth to retire all three Cincinnati batters, striking out two of them to close out the Houston road win . . . Sears earned his sixth save and Deese got the win to improve to 2-2 on the season.

The Cougars and the Bearcats pick it back up tomorrow afternoon in Cincinnati . . . First pitch will take place at 3pm.

Houston Wins 20th Game of 2022, Retains Don Sanders Cup

Tuesday night’s first pitch from Logan Clayton against Sam Houston State

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.

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.

Cougars Win, Even Series with Shockers

Ian McMillan bats in the second inning against the Shockers on Saturday evening

Houston’s limited luck against Wichita State (1-9 in the previous 10 contests) improved on Saturday night as the Cougars won 5-3 to even the weekend series in a game they never trailed. 

Houston scored its first run of the weekend when Malachi Lott singled into left-center with one out to score Anthony Tulimero (3-for-4) from second base . . . Lott stole second base and was still there one out later when Ian McMillan hit a home run to left field to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.

Still 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Brandon Burckel (2-for-2) walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch before he scored on a Brandon Uhse sacrifice fly to center field . . . Zach Arnold was the next batter and he blistered a baseball high into the Houston night that landed on the other side of the left field wall and Houston led 5-0 . . . The solo home run was Arnold’s fifth home run of the season.

Nathan Medrano was largely in cruise control all night scattering six hits over 7 1/3 innings and striking out nine, a career-high, before exiting the game in favor of Ben Sears with one out in the eighth . . . Sears struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth to end the inning . . . The Shockers added a couple of runs in the ninth to close the gap but Sears closed out the 5-3 victory . . . Medrano improved to 4-1 on the season with the win.

The Cougars and the Shockers play the deciding game in the weekend series on Sunday at Schroeder Park with a scheduled first pitch at 1pm.

Houston Shutout in Opener; Deese Throws Compete Game

The first of 137 pitches in a complete game by Jaycob Deese Friday night

The Houston Cougars opened American Athletic Conference play on Friday night on the wrong end of a 4-0 shutout by the Wichita State Shockers at Schroeder Park.

The Cougars combined the dangerous mixture of few hits, nine, with three errors in the field behind their starting pitcher . . . Defensive errors committed in the second and the ninth led to runs in both frames, the runs of the game for the Shockers.

Jace Kaminska was dominant all night and the Cougars only threatened in two innings when a Houston base runner reached third base . . . Kaminska pitched eight innings allowing just the four hits and striking out twelve Houston batters.

Jaycob Deese put on one of the gutsiest displays of any starting pitcher in recent memory tossing nine complete innings in a game where he needed to keep his team close as they trailed 1-0 most of the way . . . The complete game by Deese is the first for Houston since Aaron Fletcher accomplished the feat in March 2018 against Memphis . . . Deese also finished at 137 pitches, a career high.

Samuel Benjamin made a couple of nice grabs in left field on Friday night, and Zach Arnold played well at third base . . . The three errors in Friday’s contest were costly, but is it worth noting the solid defense as well.

The Cougars and the Shockers are back in action on Saturday night at Schroeder Park . . . The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.