National Signing Day 2022

Wednesday was National Signing Day across our great land, and the University of Houston baseball team inked numerous high school seniors to letters of intent. The signees include: Ace Reese, Landon Bowden, Diego Luzardo, Larry Drake, Riley Pechacek, Logan Simmons, Tristan Russell, Conner Bennett, and Braylen Collins.

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2023 Houston Cougars Baseball Schedule

Feb 17-19 vs Cal

Feb 22 at UTSA

Feb 24-26 vs Utah, A&M Corpus Christi, UIW

Feb 28 vs Texas Southern

Mar 3-5 at UTRGV

Mar 7 vs Prairie View A&M

Mar 10-12 vs Oklahoma

Mar 14 vs Texas A&M

Mar 17-19 at Minnesota

Mar 21 at McNeese

Mar 22 vs Southern

Mar 24-26 Northwestern State

Mar 28 at Sam Houston State

Mar 31-Apr 2 vs East Carolina

Apr 4 vs Rice

Apr 6-8 at Wichita State

April 11 vs Sam Houston State

Apr 14-16 vs South Florida

April 18 vs Houston Christian University

Apr 21-23 at Memphis

Apr 25 at Lamar

Apr 28-30 at UCF

May 3 at Rice

May 5-7 vs Wichita State

May 10 at Rice

May 12-14 at Tulane

May 16 vs Sam Houston State (at Constellation Field in Sugar Land)

May 18-20 vs Cincinnati

May 23-28 American Athletic Conference Championship (in Clearwater, Florida)

2022 MLB Draft Recap

Three Houston Cougars from the 2022 squad heard their names called during the final day of the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday afternoon, along with one former Cougar and two Houston commits.

Ben Sears was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 14th Round.

Logan Clayton, who had transferred away from Houston after the season ended, was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 17th Round.

Jaycob Deese was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th Round.

Samuel (Sammy) Hernandez, a catcher at Lakeland High School in Florida, was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 14th Round.

Kevin Kilpatrick, a college transfer who was committed to Houston, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 17th Round.

Jonathan Thomas, a former Cougar who played for Texas Southern in 2022, was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 19th Round.

Players, whether drafted or undrafted, have until August 1st to sign a contract with the team that drafted them or as a free agent if they were not drafted.

Rolan Walton 1929-2022

Rolan Walton has passed away. He was the last living member of the Cougars first baseball team of 1947. When he returned later to coach at UH, he was twice named SWC Coach of the Year (1975, 1982) as he compiled a 378–235–5 record over 12 seasons. Walton was inducted into the Houston Athletics Hall of Honor in 2006.

Coach Walton was incredibly gracious with his time, we visited at his home and recorded a podcast in 2020, which will be released at a later time, but he was proud of his time(s) as a Houston Cougar and was a great storyteller. His red UH cap was always by his front door.

Walton’s #6 is retired by Houston baseball.

Houston Opens Final Home Series with 9-6 Win

Ryan Hernandez bats in the second inning Friday night against UCF

The Houston Cougars defeated UCF 9-6 on Friday night at Schroeder Park, and they had to erase an early four run deficit to do it.

Houston faced an uncharacteristic 4-0 first inning deficit before they even came to bat on Friday night, but as often has been the case with the 2022 Cougars, they played nine innings of baseball and found a way to win.

Cameron Nickens led off the bottom of the second inning with a ground-rule double into right field . . . Ryan Hernandez (2-for-2) followed with a home run to center field that split the Texas and United States flags beyond the wall and the deficit was cut in half, 4-2.

Anthony Tulimero led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single and Nickens followed with a single, his second hit of the ballgame . . . Hernandez followed with his second home run of the game, a shot to left-center field, and Houston led 5-4 . . . For Hernandez the two homers were his fourth and fifth in the last five games, and his tenth and eleventh of the season.

One out later Malachi Lott tripled to center field . . . Brandon Uhse lined a two-out single to left field and the Houston lead increased to 6-4 going to the fifth inning.

Logan Clayton took the mound in the fifth inning with two runners on base and no outs . . . One run would score, but a sacrifice fly to center field turned wild on a throw that got past Zach Arnold at third base as the base runner was trying to tag up from first base to third base . . . Clayton was backing up third base and dove on the loose ball in front of the Cougars dugout, as the runner made for home, Clayton got up and fired a dart to Tulimero at home plate to catch the runner and end the frame with Houston leading 6-5.

Maddux Miller entered the game in the seventh inning with two down and got a swinging strike out to end the frame.

Ben Sears took the mound for the eighth inning protecting a one-run lead and retired the Knights in order, striking out two.

Leading by a run in the bottom of the eighth, Hernandez was walked for his second straight plate appearance, with one out . . . Ian McMillan doubled into the left field corner to put runners on second and third with one out . . . Santiago Garcia, pinch-hitting for Lott, swung at the first pitch he saw and unloaded on the baseball deep to left-center field for a three-run home run and a 9-5 Houston lead.

Houston benefited from the insurance runs because a two-out solo home run for UCF in the ninth inning made it 9-6, before Sears finished off the Knights and earned his twelfth save of the season . . . Clayton improved his record to 6-3.

With East Carolina winning on Friday night, the Pirates hold a two game edge over the Cougars, who continue to occupy the second spot in the standings, now two games ahead of UCF.

The Cougars (34-16) and the Knights continue the series on Saturday when they play again at Schroeder Park, first pitch will be at 6:30pm . . . Kyle LaCalameto will be on the mound for Houston.

2022 Schedule

* This is a fluid post, it will be updated as the gaps are filled in, until the Cougars reveal the entire 2022 schedule.

February 18-20, MLB4 Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona
– Feb 18 vs California-Berkeley
– Feb 19 vs San Diego State
– Feb 20 vs TCU

Feb 22 at McNeese State in Lake Charles, LA
Feb 26-27 vs UTRGV
March 8 at Rice
March 11-13 at Louisiana in Lafayette. LA
March 15 at Texas A&M
March 22 at Sam Houston State
April 1-3 vs Wichita State
April 5 vs Sam Houston State
April 14-16 vs Tulane (Thur, Fri, Sat, Easter weekend)
April 19 vs Houston Baptist
April 26 at Lamar
May 4 vs Rice
May 6-8 at Wichita State
May 10 vs Sam Houston State at Constellation Field in Sugar Land
May 17 vs Rice at Constellation Field in Sugar Land
May 19-21 at East Carolina
May 24-29 AAC Tournament in Clearwater, Florida

Timely Hitting, Tough Pitching Lead Aggies Past Cougars

Blake Schultz throws the first pitch against Texas A&M on Tuesday

The Houston Cougars had few answers against Texas A&M at Schroeder Park on Tuesday night as the Aggies walked away 9-4 winners.

The Cougars got on the scoreboard in the first inning when a bases loaded groundout by Tyler Bielamowicz scored Brandon Uhse from third base . . . But that would be the only Cougars run until they plated three more in the fifth inning.

The Cougars fell into a deficit in the second inning when the Aggies nine-spot hitter, Kalae Harrison, hit an opposite field grand slam that just cleared the left field fence . . . Ryne Huggins entered the game in the second and ended the bigger threat even while walking one batter as the Aggies held the 4-1 lead.

The Cougars were without Ryan Hernandez in the middle of the lineup, for the most part, Hernandez was injured on the last play of Sunday’s win and was held out defensively Tuesday as part of a day-to-day routine . . . Ryan saw one at-bat in the fourth as a pinch-hitter, but the appearance was to no avail.

The Aggies added to the lead on a two-run home run in the fourth by Austin Bost . . . Andy Belcik entered the game with no outs and worked out of a jam to keep the Cougars in the game.

Ryne Huggins pitched two important innings, carrying the game into the fourth for the Cougars after the short outing by starter Blake Schultz.

The Cougars mounted a rally in the fifth when Luke Almendarez (2-for-5) led off the inning with his second hit of the night . . . With one out, Tyler Bielamowicz went with a pitch and drove it into right field for a single, Almendarez moved to third on the play . . . Ian McMillan promptly drove a line drive into left scoring Almendarez . . . Will Pendergrass (2-for-4) then drove in two runs with a single to right cutting the Aggies lead to 6-4 before the fifth ended . . . Pendergrass and Almendarez were the only Cougars hitters with more than one hit in the Tuesday contest.

Andy Belcik left the game in the sixth with two outs, the importance of his outing on Tuesday cannot be overlooked, he ate up some big innings in the middle of the game and kept the Cougars in the game.

The Aggies scored two in the sixth to increase their lead to 8-4.

Ben Sears pitched a scoreless seventh, in a rare midweek appearance for the right-hander, who has been the Saturday starter, but was unable to pitch out of the second inning in his last start against Texas State . . . Sears threw eighteen pitches and struck out two batters, the appearance will likely be considered part of a regular throwing routine for Sears and should not prevent him from starting on Saturday.

The Aggies added a run in the eighth, taking a 9-4 lead that they would hold onto as they sent Houston on the road now with a loss.

In all, eight pitchers saw action for the Cougars on Tuesday night . . . Of the eight pitchers, only three did not yield a run to the Aggies.

The Cougars will now have an off day before leaving for Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in a weekend series . . . First pitch from Norman is at 6:30 on Friday evening. –

Cougars Win Road Series, Improve to 10-5

Houston wins their second consecutive road series in San Marcos on Sunday

Pitching was not the name of the game this weekend in San Marcos, with the notable exception of Robert Gasser in his Friday night start, as the Houston Cougars left town with an 8-7 victory and a series win . . . Houston outscored Texas State over the weekend 29 to 25, a weekend which saw the wind blowing out on Saturday and blowing in on Sunday.

To get the game started in the first, Tyler Bielamowicz took a one out walk, then Steven Rivas singled to right on the next pitch moving Bielamowicz to third . . . Ryan Hernandez hit a liner toward shallow left-center and the Bobcats centerfielder made a sliding grab, but Tyler tagged-up and scored from third to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

Texas State tied the game at one in their half of the inning, also on a sacrifice fly to center . . . The Bobcats extended their lead in the third when they scored on a single followed by two a two-run home run by Johnny Gonzalez to give them a 5-1 lead.

The Cougars put together a multiple-run inning of their own in the fourth when they got singles from Ryne Edmondson, Will Pendergrass and Brad Burckel . . .  A bases load walk to Kyle Lovelace scored one . . . Brandon Uhse then worked a 2-0 count and Texas State coaches had seen enough from their starter, they went to the bullpen in the middle of the at-bat . . . After the pitching change, Uhse knocked a double into the left field corner scoring two and getting the Cougars to within a run . . . Tyler Bielamowicz tied the game at five with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Neither starter made it out of the fourth inning as Houston starter Cameron Prayer exited in the fourth and was relieved by Jaycob Deese . . . Deese ended the threat after inheriting a runner on first with no outs.

Four straight Cougar batters reached base to lead off the fifth inning . . . Will Pendergrass was one of those four, hitting a single to right that gave the Cougars a 6-5 lead . . . Kyle Lovelace then grounded into a double play that scored a run to make the score 7-5 . . . Brandon Uhse then drove a double into right-center to push the Houston lead to 8-5.

Meanwhile, Jaycob Deese tossed scoreless fifth and sixth innings, but got into some trouble in the seventh before being lifted for Derrick Cherry after three innings of work . . . A run scored on a bases loaded walk, but Cherry struck out three batters to limit the damage . . . Cherry then worked a scoreless eighth.

The Bobcats clawed their way toward a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, after plating on run on a single to left . . . Derrick Cherry then got a bouncer to Brad Burckel who started the game-ending double play as the potential tying run crossed the plate . . . Jaycob Deese improves his record to 2-1 with the 8-7 win and Derrick Cherry earned his first save of 2021 with his three innings of relief pitching.

In a reversal of Saturday’s loss, the bottom five spots in the Cougars batting order saw three batters produce two hits each and it accounted for eleven runners on base and scored seven runs . . . Brandon Uhse was 2-for-4 on Sunday with 3 RBI in the lead off spot . . .Will Pendergrass, Ian McMillan and Brad Burckel each contributed two hits to the road win.

The Cougars close out this road trip with a 3-1 record and have won both road series this season and improve to 10-5 on the 2021 campaign.

The Cougars head back to Houston now and have a day off tomorrow . . . Houston returns to action on Tuesday night at 6:30pm when they host Texas A&M at Schroeder Park. –