LaCalameto, Sears Lead Houston to Series Win

Ben Sears faces Western Carolina at Schroeder Park on Sunday

Houston concluded its final weekend before conference play begins next weekend by defeating Western Carolina 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Schroeder Park.

The Cougars opened the scoring first when Alex Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Brandon Uhse from third base for a 1-0 Houston lead . . . After Anthony Tulimero doubled into the right field corner, Ryan Hernandez doubled to left-center to score Tulimero and extend the lead to 2-0.

Kyle LaCalameto got the start for the Cougars, and aside from a single run in the second inning, he carried Houston through six innings and struck out seven batters along the way on just at one hundred pitches.

Still 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Hernandez hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot with two outs, to push the advantage to two runs.

Ben Sears took the ball in the seventh inning in relief of LaCalameto and went the final three innings to close out the game . . . Sears tossed two innings where the Catamounts went down in order, striking out three as well.

The Cougars added three runs in the eighth Zach Arnold led off the inning with a double and after moving over to third and then loading the bases, he scored on a wild pitch . . . Malachi Lott then hit an infield single that allowed two more runs to score before going to the ninth inning.

The 6-1 victory gave Houston another weekend series win . . . LaCalameto picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the year . . . Sears earned the save, his fifth of the season.

After the game, head coach Todd Whitting was happy to talk about Sunday’s pitching duo, “Proud of Kyle for grinding out the W today. We had a few things go sideways early but he just kept competing.”

“Fired up for Ben and the success he is having,” Whitting said. “He and Coach Bunn have worked hard on a few mental and mechanical tweaks that have made him one of top closers in the nation.”

The Cougars have an off day before they host Prairie View A&M on Tuesday night . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm at Schroeder Park.

Houston Drops Middle Game to Western Carolina

Anthony Tulimero doubles in the second inning Friday night at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougar offense that produced thirteen runs on Friday night was significantly less productive on Saturday night at Schroeder Park as they fell to Western Carolina, 6-3.

The Catamounts led 2-0 after scoring a run in the first and another in the second . . . The Cougars got on the board in the bottom of the second when a wild pitch plated Anthony Tulimero from third.

Down by a run in the bottom of the third, Zach Arnold led off the inning with a walk, and the Catamounts immediately went to the bullpen . . . Arnold then stole second and third, which allowed him to score moments later on a wild pitch while Ryan Hernandez was at-bat to tie the game.

Western Carolina got the lead right back by adding a run in the fourth and adding two in the sixth and one in the eighth to extend their lead to 6-2.

The Cougars were unable to manufacture much offense on Saturday night, the team had three hits through seven innings before Zach Arnold led off the bottom of the eighth with a mammoth home run to deep left-center to get Houston to within a run, 6-3.

The Cougars used seven pitchers on Saturday night, notably, Jackson Dannelley tossed a scoreless inning after inheriting a runner on base after a lead off walk, it is another good sign for Dannelley as he works his way back from an injury on opening weekend . . . Logan Clayton tossed a scoreless inning for the second night in a row . . . And Derrick Cherry, off of his career high 121 pitch outing on Tuesday night, pitched a scoreless inning in what is the equivalent of a bullpen session in between appearances . . . Nathan Medrano was tagged with the loss but only allowed two earned runs over five innings with nine strike outs.

The Catamounts 6-3 win Saturday evened the series which sets up Sunday’s finale as the rubber match . . . Houston had four base hits in the contest, notable there is that Brandon Uhse did not have a hit, so his 18 game hit streak comes to an end in the loss.

Houston and Western Carolina close out the weekend series on Sunday at Schroeder Park . . . First pitch is scheduled for 1pm, while no announcement has been made yet as to the starting pitcher on Sunday, expect to see Kyle LaCalameto take the mound for the Cougars.

Houston Rolls to 13-3 Opening Win Over Catamounts

Malachi Lott bats in the 2nd inning Friday night at Schroeder Park

Houston opened its weekend series with the Western Carolina Catamounts with a convincing 13-3 win on Friday night at Schroeder Park . . . The Cougars scored ten runs over the sixth and seventh innings to help cruise to victory.

Jaycob Deese started on Friday night, having started last Sunday against Columbia . . . An error in the field led to the Catamounts taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, Alex Lopez was hit by a pitch to reach base . . . Anthony Tulimero doubled to right field and the throw home was not in time to catch Lopez for the tying run, and Tulimero stopped at third base . . . Tulimero was 4-for-5 Friday night and is now hitting .402.

Tied at one in the second, Malachi Lott hit his first collegiate home run over the right field wall to give Houston a 2-1 lead . . . After Brandon Burckel reached base on a two-out single, Brandon Uhse doubled off the right field wall to extend the lead to 3-1 . . . For Uhse, it was his second hit in the game, in as many innings, and he extended his consecutive hit game streak to eighteen games.

Deese exited after five innings having allowed just two earned runs.

With a 3-3 score in the sixth, the Cougars put up four runs in the bottom of the inning . . . After singles by Cameron Nickens and Lott were followed by a double steal, Houston added runs on a wild pitch and a suicide squeeze bunt by Burckel . . . Uhse (3-for-4) hit a two-out double to left and scored from second a few pitches later on a wild pitch . . . Zach Arnold then capped the scoring with a solo home run deep to left.

Houston added six runs in the seventh as things began to fall apart for the Catamounts . . . The Cougars took advantage of two errors and four base hits to extend their advantage to 13-3 going to the eighth.

Cameron Prayer (2-0) picked up the win with his two scoreless innings of work after Deese left the game . . . Logan Clayton and Colby Casey both handled an inning to close out Western Carolina and preserve the 13-3 victory.

The Cougars and the Catamounts meet again on Saturday when they continue the weekend series . . . Nathan Medrano will be on the mound for Houston, first pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Cougars Get Strong Outing From Cherry, Lead Don Sanders Cup

Derrick Cherry looks in for the pitch against Sam Houston State in Huntsville on Tuesday

When Houston completed the three-game sweep of Sam Houston State to claim the Don Sanders Cup on April 23, 2019, no one could have foreseen that the next game in the series would not take place for nearly three years . . . The series resumed Tuesday night in Huntsville and the Cougars once again took control of the series with a 9-1 win over the Bearkats.

Derrick Cherry started on the mound for the Cougars and in his typical role as a reliever, it was easy to assume this midweek game was going to be a bullpen game, as was the case the last time Cherry started a game . . . The game played out differently.

Scoreless in the fourth inning, Alex Lopez and Ryan Hernandez both walked to get on base . . . With two outs, Cameron Nickens lined a ball the opposite way down the right field line to score both Lopez and Hernandez and the Cougars led 2-0.

Still 2-0 in the fifth, Ian McMillan (2-for-3) singled to lead off the inning and then stole second base . . . After moving to third base by tagging up on a fly ball to center, Zach Arnold drove in McMillan with a run-scoring single to extend the Houston lead, 3-0.

Houston further added to the lead in the sixth when a Malachi Lott single to right scored one run and an error by the right fielder allowed a second run to score and Lott ended up on third base . . . McMillan scored Lott on a sacrifice fly to right and the Cougars led 6-0.

The Bearkats got a run back in the bottom of the sixth and the Cougars responded with three runs on a two-run home run by Lopez (3) and a solo shot by Hernandez (2) and Houston led 9-1 going to the stretch.

Head coach Todd Whitting said of Cherry pre-game, “we’ll let him go as long as he can.” . . . Cherry was done for the night after the seventh inning and his 121st pitch . . . Cherry struck out nine and allowed just the one earned run . . . Brandon Uhse singled in the top of the eighth with two outs to extend his consecutive game hit streak to seventeen games.

Cameron Prayer came in to handle the eighth inning and retired the side in order . . . Patrick Dunn came in from the bullpen to close out the ninth inning and like Prayer, he retired the Bearkats in order to close out the 9-1 win and give the Cougars the advantage in the Don Sanders Cup series.

Cherry earned the win and is now 2-1 this season.

“Huge outing for Cherry,” Coach Whitting said after the game, “appreciate his effort the last few weeks with Coach Bunn and trusting the process.” “He was dominant tonight against a very talented Sam Houston State University offense.”

Houston has two days off before they welcome Western Carolina to Schroeder Park on Friday night for the final non-conference weekend matchup of the season . . . First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Houston Rides Pitching, Three Big Innings to Series Win

Jaycob Deese faced the Columbia Lions on Sunday at Schroeder Park

After dropping Friday’s series opener, the Houston Cougars won the final two games to win their series with the Columbia Lions after a 12-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at Schroeder Park.

Scoreless in the bottom of the second, Malachi Lott hit the third consecutive one-out single for the Cougars in the inning and Ryan Hernandez scored from second to give Houston a 1-0 lead . . . Brandon Burckel singled home another run and later an errant throw from Columbia’s catcher to first base allowed another run across and Houston led 3-0.

In the top of the third, with Brandon Uhse at second after a walk and a wild pitch, Zach Arnold roped a double to the wall in left field scoring Uhse . . . Two batters later following a pitching change, Anthony Tulimero doubled into left field driving home Arnold . . . Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to center for the first out of the inning, but Alex Lopez tagged and scored and the Cougars took a 6-0 lead.

Jaycob Deese got the Sunday start for Houston and was scoreless through five innings with five strike outs and eight ground outs.

Houston got their biggest offensive inning of the game going with one out in the fifth inning . . . A walk to Cameron Nickens loaded the bases after back-to-back singles by Lopez and Tulimero . . . Lott then singled into left-center and when the cut-off throw to home plate got away from the catcher . . . Lott scored on a throwing error from shortstop to first base and the Cougars took a commanding 10-0 lead.

The Lions got two runs back in the top of the sixth to close the gap.

Uhse led off the bottom of the sixth by hitting the first offering into left field for a single, which extended his consecutive game hit streak to sixteen . . .  Arnold and Lopez both followed with singles, the single by Lopez scored Uhse . . . Lopez scored on a ground out double play and the Houston lead was back to ten at 12-2.

Lott took over on the mound to start the seventh for the Cougars in relief of Deese . . . After the first two batters reached base, Houston went to the bullpen in favor of Ben Sears . . . Sears pitched the final three innings of the game to close out the series win without allowing a run, he lowered his ERA to 0.39 . . . Deese picked up the win with the 12-3 victory to even his record at 1-1 on the year.

Houston has Monday off before they head to Huntsville on Tuesday for a midweek game with Sam Houston State . . . First pitch on Tuesday at at 6:30pm.

Cougars, Medrano Rebound Against Columbia

Nathan Medrano throws the first pitch in Saturday’s contest with Columbia

Houston evened its series with Columbia with an impressive 10-4 victory Saturday night at Schroeder Park.

Nathan Medrano took the mound for the Cougars and was dealing from the outset.

Scoreless in the bottom of the third, Zach Arnold (3-for-4) worked a seven-pitch at-bat before dropping a single into shallow right-center to score Ian McMillan from second base and giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead, their first lead of the weekend series . . . Alex Lopez batted next with two runners on base and homered over the right field wall to clear the bases of Cougars and extend the lead to 4-0 going to the fourth . . . For Lopez (2-for-4) it was his second home run of the season.

Brandon Burckel led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple that rolled to the wall in right-center . . . Brandon Uhse then grounded out to shortstop allowing Burckel to cross the plate and push the Houston advantage to 5-0.

Malachi Lott made an amazing catch on the warning track in right-center for the second out in the top of the sixth inning . . . Lott had to leave his feet, jumping toward the wall, after he caught the ball, he collided with the wall before falling to the ground while hanging on to the ball . . . In the bottom of the inning, Lott got a five-run inning started with a two-out RBI single through the right side to make the score 6-0 . . . Taking advantage of three hit batters in the inning and a Lott steal of third base, the Cougars loaded the bases for Uhse who powered a grand slam over the left field wall to push the lead to 10-0 going to the seventh . . . Uhse’s third home run of the season also extended his hitting streak to fifteen straight games.

The Lions got two runs back in the top of the seventh as Medrano exited with one out having allowed six hits and one earned run while striking out eight . . . Two Houston relievers closed out the inning as Columbia loaded the bases, Jose Torrealba got the final two outs of the top half of the inning and also handled the eighth . . . Maddux Miller handled the ninth inning for the Cougars, closing out the 10-4 win which improved Medrano’s record to 3-0.

Freshman Burckel was 2-for-3 adding a double to his triple, he was also hit in the helmet with a pitch.

Head coach Todd Whitting got what he wanted from Medrano’s start, “We needed a great start tonight and Medrano delivered.” “When he pounds the zone and gets through the mitt, he is very tough to hit,” Whitting added.

Houston and Columbia conclude the weekend series with a game Sunday at noon . . . Jaycob Deese will be on the mound for the Cougars as they look to take the series.

Houston Drops Opener to Columbia 9-5

Houston hosted Columbia at Schroeder Park on Friday night.

An orange moon slowly rose beyond the right field wall and up into the night as Houston dropped their opener with Columbia 9-5 on Friday night.

A Columbia lead off home run in the third was followed later in the inning with a three-run home run and the Lions led 4-0 . . . An inning later a lead off triple was followed by a sacrifice fly that pushed the lead to 5-0.

Trailing 9-0 in the sixth, the Cougars offense got started with three straight hits . . . Zach Arnold (2-for-4) drove in the first run and another run came home on an Anthony Tulimero sacrifice fly to right field . . . Cameron Nickens then pinch hit and hit the first pitch he saw into deep right-center to make the score 9-3 . . . Samuel Tormos followed with a pinch hit single of his own into left field two drive in two more in the five-run inning.

Two Lions walked to open the seventh inning and Houston went to the bullpen for right-hander Derrick Cherry . . . Cherry struck out the first two batters he faced before a ground out to short ended the frame and prevented further damage.

Cherry took the game the rest of the way and kept the Lions from adding to their lead while the Cougars offense was silent over the final three innings as they fell 9-5 . . . Brandon Uhse extended his hit streak to fourteen straight games in the loss . . . Only three Cougars registered multiple base bits in the game.

The Cougars and the Lions will face off again on Saturday evening at 6:3pm at Schroeder Park . . . Nathan Medrano will take the mound for the Cougars . . . And a reminder in case you had not heard, Sunday’s game at Schroeder Park has been moved up one hour and the first pitch will take place at 12 noon.

Houston Wins 8-2 Over Texas A&M

Ian McMillan bats with the bases loaded in College Station on Tuesday night

The Houston Cougars scored seven runs in the final two innings to leave College Station with an 8-2 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday night.

Left-hander Kyle LaCalameto took the mound for Houston and allowed just one run over four innings . . . Scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, the Aggies took advantage of a walk and a stolen base when a single into right field gave them a 1-0 lead.

Jackson Dannelley tossed a scoreless fifth inning as he continues to work his way back from an injury he sustained on opening weekend in Scottsdale, Tuesday night was just his second appearance since his return, his other outing was in Lafayette on Saturday.

Still 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Brandon Uhse led off the inning with a double . . . One out later, with Uhse at third base, Alex Lopez grounded out to second base allowing Uhse to score the tying run.

The Aggies re-took the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh before Ben Sears took the mound in relief of Logan Clayton and got a strike out to end the inning with Aggie runners at first and second base.

Uhse led off the eighth inning by reaching on an error at third base . . . Zach Arnold (3-for-5) then singled, which was followed by an infield single by Lopez (3-for-5) that tied the game . . . The Cougars would load the bases before another infield single, this time off the bat of Samuel Benjamin, would give Houston a 3-2 lead and keep the bases loaded . . . Ian McMillan then tripled into the right field corner to clear the bases and give the Cougars a 6-2 lead.

After a scoreless inning from Sears to take the Cougars to the ninth inning, Houston continued their offensive output and added two insurance runs for an 8-2 lead . . . Sears set the Aggies down in order to finish the game and he picked up the win as he improved to 3-0 while retiring all seven batters he faced over his 2 1/3 innings.
“So proud of Ben and his embracing the role as closer,” head coach Todd Whitting said after the game. “He had to make some big adjustments for Coach Bunn to earn that job, and to this point has been awesome.”

The Cougars are now off until Friday night when they will host Columbia for a three-game weekend series . . . First pitch from Schroeder Park on Friday will be at 6:30pm.

Houston Drops Finale in Lafayette

Houston and Louisiana concluded their weekend series in Lafayette on Sunday

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns took the final game of the weekend to win the series with a 10-1 victory over Houston on Sunday in Lafayette.

Ryan Hernandez drove in Zach Arnold from second base with a one-out single into right field to give the Cougars a 1-0 in the top of the first . . . It was the last run the Cougars scored as their offense had no other answers against Louisiana pitching.

The game was close going into the seventh with Houston only trailing 3-1 thanks to three differing one-run innings for the Ragin’ Cajuns . . . But Louisiana added three in seventh and four in the eighth to take a 10-1 lead into the ninth.

The Cougars only grabbed four hits as Louisiana pitcher Jeff Wilson threw a complete game allowing just the one run in the first inning . . . Wilson threw 129 pitches in the game.

Anthony Tulimero’s fifteen game reached base streak came to an end in the Sunday loss . . . Brandon Uhse went 2-for-4 in the game and had half of the Cougars base hits.

Houston (10-6) has the day off on Monday and will travel to College Station on Tuesday to face Texas A&M (10-5) for their only midweek game of this week, first pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm from Blue Bell Park.

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.