After their three-game sweep in Minnesota, the Cougars returned home late Sunday before traveling to Lake Charles to face McNeese on Tuesday night . . . The Cougars topped the Cowboys 9-6 to make it four victories in a row.
The Cougars got on the board early on Tuesday night and staked starter Cade Citelli to a nice early lead, something Citellie has not been accustomed to in his earlier starts this season.
The second batter in the Houston lineup, Alex Lopez (2-for-3), drew a one-out walk in the top of the first inning . . . Cameron Nickens immediately followed with a home run to left-center field for a 2-0 Houston lead.
Still leading 2-0 in the top of the third inning, Lopez and Nickens hit back-to-back one out singles . . . Catcher Anthony Tulimero (3-for-5) hit a blast off the scoreboard in left-field for a three-run home run to give Citelli a five-run cushion.
In the top of the fifth inning, Justin Murray drove in two runs on a double into the left field corner and Ian McMillan brought him home on a sacrifice fly ball to center field and the Cougars led 8-0.
Citelli was cruising for the most part, striking out eight Cowboys batters over five innings, departing in the top of the sixth inning as he reached 90 pitches in his midweek outing.
The Cowboys got back into the game against the Houston bullpen cutting the Cougars lead to 8-6 late.
Back-to-back one-out singles by Tulimero and Nick Collins in the top of the ninth inning led to a sacrifice fly to right field by McMillan plating Tulimero and the Cougars led 9-6.
Murray took the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning and struck out three Cowboys batters to preserve the Houston victory and pick up the save . . . Citelli earned the victory with his excellent start, his first win as a Houston Cougar.
The Cougars (9-11) return home tomorrow to face Southern at Schroeder Park for their final midweek game this week . . . Malachi Lott, who left Tuesday’s game after his at-bat in the first inning due to a possible illness, is likely to start if his health is right . . . First pitch Tuesday will take place at 6:30pm.