Houston Drops Series Finale in Arizona

Houston Cougars Derrick Cherry 3-8-2020
Derrick Cherry bats against Arizona Sunday in Tuscon.

TUCSON – The Houston Cougars entered Sunday’s rubber game with the Arizona Wildcats with a chance to get their first series win of the season.

Tanner Green took the mound in his first career start for the Cougars . . . Green would be the first of eight pitchers for Houston in the game, and Arizona took an early 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning . . . Robert Gasser would relieve Green in the second with two outs, he would end the inning and carry the Cougars into the sixth inning, going 3 1/3 and throwing 58 pitches in a very good outing.

Houston was scoreless going into the fourth when Tyler Bielamowicz hit a one-out triple down the right field line scored Kobe Hyland from second . . . The next batter, Rey Mendoza put a bunt in play on the right side of the infield and Mendoza was too quick to first for the defense which allowed Bielamowicz to cross the plate and tie the game at two.

In the Houston fifth, freshman Rey Mendoza hit a two-out homerun to right for the first homerun of his young career as a Cougar to tie the game at three . . . Mendoza hit a 1-1 pitch deep to right, which bounced off the side wall of a batting facility the Wildcats have just outside the right field fence . . . Brad Burckel countered with a solo homerun with one out in the sixth to give the Cougars a 4-3 advantage, the first lead of the game for the Cougars.

Arizona took the lead in the bottom of the seventh when multiple walks, multiple batters hit-by-pitch, and bad luck added up to an insurmountable situation and the Wildcats scored five runs to take a 9-4 lead . . . Arizona added a run in the eighth to take a 10-5 lead into the ninth.

Cole Ferguson pitched a nice 2/3 of inning getting some work in for the young pitcher in only his third appearance as a Cougar . . . And freshman Randy Garza got a little work in, making his first appearance as a Cougar getting the last out of the eighth.

The Cougars managed some baserunners in the ninth on walks to Dylan Post and Tyler Bielamowicz, a single by Ryan Hernandez would bring home a run to make the score 10-6, but that is where the offense stopped as Arizona took the weekend series two games to one.

The Cougars head to Las Vegas next for a two-game midweek matchup with UNLV . . . First pitch Tuesday night is at 8:05pm Central Time. –


Cougars Win Behind Aguilar, Cherry Pitching

Houston Cougars Clay Aguilar 3-7-2020
Clay Aguilar faces the Arizona Wildcats Saturday in Tucson.

TUSCON – After dropping Friday’s first game in Arizona on Friday night, the Houston Cougars needed many things to change in order to win Saturday’s second game against the Wildcats.

Houston went down in order in the top of the first, and Arizona made Houston starter Clay Aguilar work, but they only managed a single run in the first frame, thanks in part to an alert play at first base by Ryan Hernandez. With runners on first and second, a groundball has hit to Kobe Hyland’s right at shortstop . . . Hyland fielded and threw to first to get the batter, but the runner from second never stopped running, he rounded third and Hernandez was able to get him at the plate and prevent the run from scoring . . . Score it a 6-3-2 double-play.

Both teams remained scoreless into the fourth inning when the Cougars manufactured three runs . . . Brad Burckel put the first run across on a one-out double that scored Hernandez . . . With the game tied, Kobe Hyland singled two batters later to score Steven Rivas and Burckel as the Cougars took a 3-1 lead.

That was the extent of the scoring Saturday night, for either team.

Clay Aguilar threw  into the sixth inning going 5 2/3 with 96 pitches. This was not a typical, crisp Aguilar start as he walked five batters and hit another, but he kept the ball around the plate and kept it in the ballpark as the Wildcats also collected eight hits.

Carter Henry entered and got a strikeout to end the inning, stranding an inherited runner at first. In the seventh, Henry loaded the bases and gave way to Derrick Cherry . . . Two pitches later Cherry got his first batter to pop-up in the infield, and Cherry made the catch to end the bases-loaded threat.

Cherry was not done yet . . . He would double to left-center in the top of the eighth, but he would be left on basepaths . . . Cherry would go the final 2 1/3 innings to earn his second save of the season . . . He was aided by an outstanding catch by right-fielder Tyler Bielamowicz in the ninth inning near the warning track in right-center, he had to go a long way to get the ball and he made it look easy.

Clay Aguilar improved to 2-0 this year with the 3-1 victory . . . Cherry threw 35 pitches, 25 for strikes in earning the save.

The Cougars and the Wildcats meet Sunday at 2pm for a rubber game in Tucson before the Cougars move on to Las Vegas for a two-game midweek set with UNLV to conclude this road trip. –

Cougars Lose in Arizona, 7-1

Houston Cougars Tyler Bielamowicz 3-6-2020
Tyler Bielamowicz bats in the 6th inning Friday night in Tucson.

TUCSON – The Houston Cougars arrived in Arizona fresh off a win at Rice on Wednesday night, attempting to put together their first back-to-back wins on the young season. The Arizona Wildcats were having none of it.

The Cougars faced a typically strong Friday night starter in Arizona’s Garrett Irvin, and they were not able to get much going against the strong lefty.

Tyler Bielamowicz in the leadoff spot, seemed to have the only beat on Irvin and the rest of the Wildcats pitching staff, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances, twice on singles, once on a hit-by-pitch, and once on an error by the Arizona third baseman . . . It has been said many times in the history of the game, put the ball in play, and anything can happen . . . An error by the third baseman counts as “anything.”

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the fourth, Bielamowicz led off with one of his two singles, and Ryan Hernandez would single behind him. After a double-play put Bielamowicz at third, an error at second on a Rey Mendoza batted ball allowed Bielomowicz to score the Cougars only run of the night.

Arizona did not explode for a massive run-scoring inning at any point, but they nibbled and scored in five of their eight innings at the plate, flustering Cougar pitching, which also walked ten batters while striking out nine . . . Isaiah Blaylock had an effective outing, going 1 1/3 inning in relief of starter Lael Lockhart Jr., only allowing an unearned run and one hit.

Cole Ferguson came out of the bullpen for the eighth inning for only the second time this season, having just made his debut as a Cougar last Sunday against Texas State . . . Cole only allowed a single, which was subsequently wiped out on a double-play behind him, and he only threw a total of six pitches in the inning.

In the 7-1 Wildcats win, Arizona’s Irvin improved to 4-0 on the season with his 6 2/3 innings of work . . . Bielamowicz was the only Cougar with multiple hits, raising his batting average to .317 in the process.

The two teams square off again Saturday afternoon, first pitch is at 5pm Central Time from Tucson. –

Cougars Drop Finale to Arizona, Win Series

Houston Cougars @PRayRay 2-24-2019
A gorgeous afternoon for baseball at Schroeder Park.
Photo courtesy of @PRayRay via Twitter.

For the second day in a row the Arizona Wildcats would strike in the first inning . . . But the Cougars would respond differently on Sunday at Schroeder Park in the finale of their three game series win . . . Rather than a quick and furious comeback as we saw Saturday night, the Cougars would be stymied by some odd baseball and some solid opposing pitching.

Starting pitcher Lael Lockhart Jr. would allow two runs in the first, but would get 1-2-3 innings in the second and third and he would work out of a little trouble in the fourth . . . But the fifth inning would be end of the road for Sunday’s starter . . . Lockhart would exit as his pitch count had reached 84 and he had labored as Arizona manufactured baserunners, and runs as a result . . . Relievers Carter Henry and Brayson Hurdsman would enter the game, but the result was no different as some odd plays would help the Wildcats build up a 9-1 lead by the end of the inning.

Joe Davis would get the first hit for the Cougars in the fourth inning on a leadoff homerun . . . The Coogs would get two consecutive singles after the Davis homerun and Arizona would go to the bullpen . . . The Wildcats bullpen would keep down the trailing Cougars, limiting them to a two-run seventh inning and not much else . . . Arizona would use five pitchers to defeat the Cougars 9-4.

The Wildcats came to town ranked #24 in the country, they will not be ranked after this weekend . . . The Cougars now have an off day before taking on Lamar over in Beaumont on Tuesday. –


Newspaper column version of this recap

Potent Cougars Offense Too Much For Wildcats

The Cougars take on the Arizona Wildcats Saturday night. Photo courtesy of @kristin_deville via Twitter.
The Cougars take on the Arizona Wildcats Saturday night.
Photo courtesy of @kristin_deville via Twitter.

The Houston Cougars put on a variety of impressive displays on Saturday night at Schroeder as they hosted the Arizona Wildcats for the second straight night.

Ryan Randel gave up a run in the first, and he would scatter three hits over the next five innings . . . In the fifth Randel surrendered a two-out two-run homerun to cut the Cougar lead to 6-3 . . . After a long sixth inning which would push Randel’s pitch total to 90, his terrific outing would end as the Cougars went to the bullpen.

Arizona would get on the scoreboard first . . . But the Coogs would load the bases in the second with the help of two walks by Wildcats starting pitcher Andrew Nardi . . . Jared Triolo would clear the bases on a double to put the Coogs up 5-1.

Tyler Bielamowicz hit a homerun to leadoff the third inning and that would help to chase Nardi one batter later as he reached 60 pitches in the contest . . . Bielamowicz would also play a little “addition by subtraction” in the seventh by going up the left field wall on a long drive by Matthew Dyer to bring a would-be homerun down for a long out.

Devon Roedahl would take the mound in the top of the eighth and the Wildcats would crawl closer on three straight hits, capped off by a Cameron Cannon homerun to center . . . Cannon entered the series hitting .632 and had been kept at bay up to that point in the series . . . Roedahl would gather himself to get strikeouts for all three out to end the top of the eighth . . . A tense top of the ninth would yield a run before Roedahl closed out the Wildcats . . . The Cougars would win the game and the series with a final score of 9-7.

The Cougars and the Wildcats return to action on Sunday, thirty minutes later than a usual Sunday start, at 1:30pm . . . Bring your brooms and be loud.


Newspaper column version of this recap

Cougars, Behind Bielamowicz, Stop #24 Arizona

UHCougarBB 2-22-2019
Tyler Bielamowicz exits the game after a brilliant six innings.
Photo courtesy of @UHCougarBB

The Houston Cougars played host to the 24th ranked Arizona Wildcats on Friday evening at Schroeder Park under a humid, foggy, bleak-looking sky . . . The Wildcats opened the weekend at 5-0 and with an offense that had scored 85 runs in their first five games.

The first three and a half innings went by extremely quickly. Then in the Cougars half of the fourth after two quick outs, the Coogs put the brakes on the game and slowed it down considerably . . . An infield single was followed by a walk, which was followed by a mound visit, then came a game-tying single by Kobe Hyland, and finally a strikeout to close out the inning . . . . Arizona starting pitcher Randy Labaut had been fairly efficient to that point, but by the time the inning was over he had thrown over twenty pitches to finish with 54 pitches thru four.

Tyler Bielamowicz was brilliant over six innings, allowing only a Blake Paugh solo homerun in the third, striking out five and throwing 94 pitches . . . Labaut was equally impressive as he would throw 107 pitches over 7 1/3 innings giving up six hits and the only two runs the Coogs would put on the board.

Joe Davis would go 1-for-4 on the night, but the one was a massive one . . . With one out and the scored tied at 1 in the bottom of the eighth, Davis hit a 2-2 pitch through the dense Houston air to left-center field and it would clear the fence to give the Cougars the lead going to the ninth.

Right-hander Fred Villarreal would close out the game in the ninth with eight pitches to the top of the Wildcats order, and that was that . . . The Wildcats had only two hits in the game as they lost for the first time this season to go to 5-1 in a game that did not last three hours.

The three game series resumes Saturday night at Schroeder Park, with a slightly later than usual start at 7:30pm to accommodate fans attending the men’s basketball game also on campus Saturday afternoon. –


Newspaper column version of this recap