Houston dominated the Prairie View A&M Panthers 17-4 Tuesday night at Schroeder Park in a game that did not seem close after the Cougars scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
The victory may have come with a cost though as for the second time in less than two weeks a Houston starting pitcher left with an apparent injury in the first inning . . . Travis Phelps left with an unknown injury at the time, though he might have been injured on an attempted backward swat at a ball hit up the middle . . . Phelps did not look right after the play and a few pitches later coaches visited the mound and removed him from the game at which point he bypassed the dugout and went straight to the training facility.
The midweek game was lined up to be a bullpen game anyway, the injury just sped up the process . . . In total, the Cougars used nine pitchers against the Panthers and allowed just four hits in the complete nine inning game.
First year Cougar Thomas Lyssy went 2-for-3 with four RBI . . . The Cougars also scored seventeen runs without the help of a home run.
The Cougars are off until Friday when they will welcome the Oklahoma Sooners for a weekend series . . . The Sooners have a different roster from the team that won the Big 12 last season and played in the final series for the College World Series . . . First pitch on Friday night at Schroeder Park is scheduled for 6:30pm.
On the Minor League Baseball website a short blurb announced that Joe Davis has retired from professional baseball.
Davis, the all-time Houston home run leader, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2019 and remained in their system thru the 2022 season. There was no minor league baseball in 2020, so after being drafted and getting initiated in a brief 2019 stint, Davis did not play again until the 2021 season.
Davis hit 42 home runs and drove in 150 runs while batting .274 over his three professional seasons.
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.
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 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.
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.
* 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