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.

Advertisement

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.

Houston Sweeps Sunday Twin Bill, Weekend Homestand

Logan Clayton faces UT Rio Grande Valley on Sunday

Sunday proved a tale of two very different ballgames for the Houston Cougars, with the common denominator being two victories to push the current win streak to four games with 16-10 and 3-1 wins over UTRGV.

Sunday’s first game was nearly a four hour event, and when it was over, the Cougars had handed the Vaqueros their first loss of the season, in a 16-10 marathon. The sixteen runs were the most runs scored in a game since the Cougars scored as many against Stephen F. Austin in 2019.

The Vaqueros led early as they took a 4-0 lead in the second inning . . . The Cougars got back in the game in the bottom of the second inning . . . It started with catcher Anthony Tulimero taking a two-out walk which also extended his reached base streak to six games . . . Skyler Trevino delivered the first of his three singles in the game, which was followed by three straight walks and a hit batter and the Cougars only trailed 4-3.

Houston tied the game at four in the third only to give the lead back in the fourth . . . Already leading 7-4, the Vaqueros added two runs in the sixth.

In the bottom frame, Zach Arnold hit a two-out two-run home run over the wall in right field for the Cougars first home run of the season and Houston was within three, 9-6.

Patrick Dunn and Maddux Miller both delivered scoreless relief in the middle frames of game one when the Cougars needed outs.

In the bottom of the seventh, an error in center field left two runners on base for Malachi Lott . . . Lott (2-for-3) tripled to the wall in right-center, the first hit of his collegiate career, and good for two runs batted-in . . . That was followed by a Brandon Uhse double and singles by Zach Arnold and Ryan Hernandez on the way to the first of two consecutive five run innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Trevino, McMillan, and Lott all led off with singles to set up the top of the order . . . After Hernandez was walked intentionally, freshman Cameron Nickens picked up two RBI on the first base hit of his collegiate career . . . Tormos and Tulimero followed with run-scoring singles and the Cougars led 16-9.

Derrick Cherry handled the eighth and ninth innings on the mound, and though the Vaqueros got one run back in the ninth, it was not enough as Houston took the first game 16-10.

Logan Clayton took the hill for the Cougars in game two and set a different pace from game one.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a groundout by Rey Mendoza . . . The Vaqueros tied the game in the third on a run-scoring double and the score would remain tied until the eighth inning.

Clayton exited after seven complete innings having allowed the single run on only two hits and adding five strike outs to his tally . . . Ben Sears took the mound in the eighth with the game tied at one.

Houston rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth, sparked by an Alex Lopez RBI single which was followed by a Tormos RBI single and the Cougars led 3-1 going to the top of the ninth.

Sears gave up two singles in the ninth, but another nice defensive play by Trevino at second base ended the game and made Sears (2-0) a winner for his two innings of scoreless work in the 3-1 victory.

McMillan was a star on the diamond again on Sunday, making at least three remarkable plays behind his pitchers in both games . . . Tulimero’s single in the second inning of game two extended his reached base streak to seven, all seven games of the season thus far.

Houston is now 4-3 on the year and they have a day off before they play host to Lamar at Schroeder Park on Tuesday night, first pitch is at 6:30pm.

Cougars Open First Homestand with 11-4 Win Over TSU

Skyler Trevino apllies a tag on an attempted steal of second base Friday night

Houston was able to play the long game better than Texas Southern on Friday evening at Schroeder Park as the Cougars scored in each of their final four at-bats, nine runs in total after the fifth inning to take the 11-4 victory on opening night of their home schedule.

Kerry Wright was on the mound Friday afternoon for Houston after a disappointing opening start for him last Sunday in Scottsdale . . . After a scoreless first inning, Texas Southern scored in the second inning on a play that was close enough at the plate that it needed to be reviewed before it was confirmed.

The Cougars added two runs in the bottom of the second when Zach Arnold (2-for-4) singled with the bases loaded to put Houston in front 2-1.

The Tigers tied the game in the third . . . Wright gave way to Colby Casey in the fourth inning having struck out four in his three innings and allowing just the two earned runs . . . Casey went two scoreless innings in which he also did not allow a hit.

Houston catcher Anthony Tulimero, who is swinging a hot bat to start the season, is doing his part behind the plate as well, on Friday he had thrown out two base runners trying to steal, including speedy former Cougar Jonathan Thomas, by the end of the fifth inning.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Samuel Tormos hit a drive deep the left that in normal conditions would have landed on Elgin . . . Instead, the drive off of Tormos’s bat was caught up against the left field wall and the ball was fired in to second base . . . Chaos ensued as the umpires gathered and tried to figure out what had just happened . . . Eventually, a run was counted as it crossed the plate before the runner was apparently called out at second for having left early trying to tag up . . . The inning came to an end on the double-play with the Cougars once again in the lead, 3-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars added a run on a single by Ian McMillan (3-for-4) . . . Brandon Uhse keyed a three-run seventh inning with a two-out double off the right field wall to push the Cougar lead to 7-2 . . . Tulimero (3-for-5) drove in two more in the eighth with a double to right-center . . . An error on a fly to right field allowing another run was followed by a McMillan RBI single to left.

Jaycob Deese took the mound to start the sixth inning and his stuff was electric, despite the conditions outside . . . Deese struck out a career-high nine batters, of the twelve outs he recorded, in many cases he simply overpowered guys.

Head coach Todd Whitting was ecstatic about the performance from his right-hander out of the bullpen, “Difference in the game was Deese coming in and shutting down TSU.” Whitting added, “In those conditions tonight it took a tough competitor to come off the bench and give his team a great performance like he did.”

“Tuli has been exactly what we thought he would be coming into the season,” said head coach Todd Whitting after the game, “a great receiver and the ability to deliver at home plate in the clutch.” Of the runners Tulimero caught trying to steal Friday night, Whitting added. “His performance to shut down TSU’s running game was huge tonight.”

Casey (1-0) was the pitcher of record, so he picked up the win with Deese earning the save, his first of the season, with his four inning performance to finish the game . . . Ryan Hernandez was 3-for-5 in Friday’s game, and while the power numbers are not there yet, he is going to the gaps and hitting the ball hard.

Houston has won two straight games now and returns to action on Saturday afternoon against UT Rio Grande Valley, first pitch is at 4pm at Schroeder Park, with Nathan Medrano making his second start of the season.

Cougars Claim First Victory of 2022, Win 3-2 at McNeese

Houston faces McNeese in Lake Charles on Tuesday

After a disappointing weekend in Arizona, the Cougars picked up their first victory of the season against McNeese in Lake Charles on Tuesday.

Samuel Tormos got the scoring started for the Cougars in the top of the first when he singled home two runs with two outs and the Cougars took the early lead.

Derrick Cherry started on the mound for the Cougars . . . Coach Whitting said pregame they wanted two to three innings out of Cherry, they got two scoreless as Cherry yielded one hit and struck out three and he left with the Cougars leading 2-0.

McNeese tied the game in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run . . . The game would remain tied until the top of the sixth when a bases loaded grounder off the bat of Ian McMillan scored Santiago Garcia from third base and the Cougars led once again, 3-2.

Ben Sears threw four scoreless innings with seven strike outs while allowing just two hits, and no walks . . . It was a solid outing for the right-hander from Rhode Island as he was efficient with his pitches and got a lot of first pitch strikes.

Jose Torrealba, who left Sunday’s game in Scottsdale after being hit by a batted ball, returned for the Cougars on Tuesday night and retired the only three batters he faced, two of them by strike out . . . Nathan Medrano took the mound for the ninth inning and struck out the first two batters on the way to closing out the 3-2 victory and picking up the save, his first of the season . . . Ben Sears earned the win and is now 1-0.

Coach Todd Whitting was pleased with the outcome and had high praise for his pitching staff. “Great display of Grit and courage by Cherry and Sears tonight, this was a game where their team needed a great performance and they both delivered,” Whitting said. “Overall great performance by the entire staff tonight with Torrealba and Medrano slamming the door.”

The Cougars offense only had two hits in the win, but it was enough to win on this night.

The Cougars head back to town and will open up the home portion of their season on Friday night when they face Texas Southern at Schroeder Oark . . . First pitch on Friday is at 6:30pm.

Houston Offensive Woes Continue, Shutout by TCU

Houston pitcher Jose Torrealba pitches to TCU on Sunday in Scottsdale

The Houston Cougars finished their opening weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona by being shut out 10-0 by TCU on Sunday . . . In a game that began in the morning but was completed in the early afternoon, Houston fell behind in the first frame and never got going offensively.

Five walks in the first inning by Houston starting pitching put the Horned Frogs in front to stay . . . The Cougars had to go to the bullpen in the first inning and newcomer Jose Torrealba was able to stop the bleeding . . . Torrealba took a liner off his lower body in the third inning before he had recorded an out, and Jose left the game as a result.

Jaycob Deese stepped in and provided a solid outing over five innings while saving the bullpen from overuse in the final two games of the MLB4 Tournament.

Leading 8-0 in the eighth, TCU plates two more runs in the bottom frame to end the game on the run-rule, which is usually in place for Sunday games.

Offensively, Houston struggled all weekend . . . On Sunday, Ryan Hernandez was 2-for-4 and Samuel Benjamin was 2-for-3, the two account for half of the teams hits.

Houston now heads to Lake Charles, Louisiana where they will face the McNeese State Cowboys on Tuesday at 6:00pm . . . The Cougars will open up their home schedule at Schroeder Park on Friday at 6:30pm against Texas Southern before squaring off with UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday and Sunday.

Aztecs Outlast Cougars 4-3

Photo tweeted by @MLB4_AZ

The Houston Cougars only yielded four runs on Saturday night in Scottsdale, matching their Friday output . . . But, as with Friday afternoon, the four runs on Saturday were not enough as the Cougars fell 4-3 to the San Diego State Aztecs.

Logan Clayton took the hill for the Cougars in his first start since transferring to Houston . . . Clayton would take the loss, but his performance was solid as he was consistently in the mid 90s with his fastball and struck out six while only giving up four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

With the game scoreless in the fifth, Samuel Benjamin (2-for-4) tripled with one out to score Ian McMillan (2-for-4) and put the Cougars in front 1-0.

Having reached 81 pitches in a game this early in the season, Clayton was on a pitch limit of about 80 and was thus replaced on the mound with one out in the bottom of the fifth . . . San Diego State scored three times in the inning to take the lead . . . The Aztecs

With two outs in the ninth, Brandon Uhse, in his first plate appearance of the season doubled to left-center to score McMillan and Benjamin and that got the Cougars to within a run at 4-3 . . . But the Cougars would strand the tying run at second in falling to the Aztecs.

The Cougars used five pitchers in the game on Saturday, compared to just the two pitchers they used on Friday . . . Kyle LaCalameto and Cameron Prayer both got some work in after Clayton’s departure . . . Jackson Dannelley made his first appearance as a Cougar but left with an apparent injury after retiring the only batter he faced to open the eighth . . . Ben Sears picked up the final two outs of the eighth on just three pitches after having time to warm up as a result of the Dannelley injury.

The Cougars will complete their action in the MLB4 Tournament on Sunday when they face TCU at 11am Central Time.