Houston Rides Pitching, Three Big Innings to Series Win

Jaycob Deese faced the Columbia Lions on Sunday at Schroeder Park

After dropping Friday’s series opener, the Houston Cougars won the final two games to win their series with the Columbia Lions after a 12-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at Schroeder Park.

Scoreless in the bottom of the second, Malachi Lott hit the third consecutive one-out single for the Cougars in the inning and Ryan Hernandez scored from second to give Houston a 1-0 lead . . . Brandon Burckel singled home another run and later an errant throw from Columbia’s catcher to first base allowed another run across and Houston led 3-0.

In the top of the third, with Brandon Uhse at second after a walk and a wild pitch, Zach Arnold roped a double to the wall in left field scoring Uhse . . . Two batters later following a pitching change, Anthony Tulimero doubled into left field driving home Arnold . . . Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to center for the first out of the inning, but Alex Lopez tagged and scored and the Cougars took a 6-0 lead.

Jaycob Deese got the Sunday start for Houston and was scoreless through five innings with five strike outs and eight ground outs.

Houston got their biggest offensive inning of the game going with one out in the fifth inning . . . A walk to Cameron Nickens loaded the bases after back-to-back singles by Lopez and Tulimero . . . Lott then singled into left-center and when the cut-off throw to home plate got away from the catcher . . . Lott scored on a throwing error from shortstop to first base and the Cougars took a commanding 10-0 lead.

The Lions got two runs back in the top of the sixth to close the gap.

Uhse led off the bottom of the sixth by hitting the first offering into left field for a single, which extended his consecutive game hit streak to sixteen . . .  Arnold and Lopez both followed with singles, the single by Lopez scored Uhse . . . Lopez scored on a ground out double play and the Houston lead was back to ten at 12-2.

Lott took over on the mound to start the seventh for the Cougars in relief of Deese . . . After the first two batters reached base, Houston went to the bullpen in favor of Ben Sears . . . Sears pitched the final three innings of the game to close out the series win without allowing a run, he lowered his ERA to 0.39 . . . Deese picked up the win with the 12-3 victory to even his record at 1-1 on the year.

Houston has Monday off before they head to Huntsville on Tuesday for a midweek game with Sam Houston State . . . First pitch on Tuesday at at 6:30pm.


Cougars, Medrano Rebound Against Columbia

Nathan Medrano throws the first pitch in Saturday’s contest with Columbia

Houston evened its series with Columbia with an impressive 10-4 victory Saturday night at Schroeder Park.

Nathan Medrano took the mound for the Cougars and was dealing from the outset.

Scoreless in the bottom of the third, Zach Arnold (3-for-4) worked a seven-pitch at-bat before dropping a single into shallow right-center to score Ian McMillan from second base and giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead, their first lead of the weekend series . . . Alex Lopez batted next with two runners on base and homered over the right field wall to clear the bases of Cougars and extend the lead to 4-0 going to the fourth . . . For Lopez (2-for-4) it was his second home run of the season.

Brandon Burckel led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple that rolled to the wall in right-center . . . Brandon Uhse then grounded out to shortstop allowing Burckel to cross the plate and push the Houston advantage to 5-0.

Malachi Lott made an amazing catch on the warning track in right-center for the second out in the top of the sixth inning . . . Lott had to leave his feet, jumping toward the wall, after he caught the ball, he collided with the wall before falling to the ground while hanging on to the ball . . . In the bottom of the inning, Lott got a five-run inning started with a two-out RBI single through the right side to make the score 6-0 . . . Taking advantage of three hit batters in the inning and a Lott steal of third base, the Cougars loaded the bases for Uhse who powered a grand slam over the left field wall to push the lead to 10-0 going to the seventh . . . Uhse’s third home run of the season also extended his hitting streak to fifteen straight games.

The Lions got two runs back in the top of the seventh as Medrano exited with one out having allowed six hits and one earned run while striking out eight . . . Two Houston relievers closed out the inning as Columbia loaded the bases, Jose Torrealba got the final two outs of the top half of the inning and also handled the eighth . . . Maddux Miller handled the ninth inning for the Cougars, closing out the 10-4 win which improved Medrano’s record to 3-0.

Freshman Burckel was 2-for-3 adding a double to his triple, he was also hit in the helmet with a pitch.

Head coach Todd Whitting got what he wanted from Medrano’s start, “We needed a great start tonight and Medrano delivered.” “When he pounds the zone and gets through the mitt, he is very tough to hit,” Whitting added.

Houston and Columbia conclude the weekend series with a game Sunday at noon . . . Jaycob Deese will be on the mound for the Cougars as they look to take the series.

Houston Drops Opener to Columbia 9-5

Houston hosted Columbia at Schroeder Park on Friday night.

An orange moon slowly rose beyond the right field wall and up into the night as Houston dropped their opener with Columbia 9-5 on Friday night.

A Columbia lead off home run in the third was followed later in the inning with a three-run home run and the Lions led 4-0 . . . An inning later a lead off triple was followed by a sacrifice fly that pushed the lead to 5-0.

Trailing 9-0 in the sixth, the Cougars offense got started with three straight hits . . . Zach Arnold (2-for-4) drove in the first run and another run came home on an Anthony Tulimero sacrifice fly to right field . . . Cameron Nickens then pinch hit and hit the first pitch he saw into deep right-center to make the score 9-3 . . . Samuel Tormos followed with a pinch hit single of his own into left field two drive in two more in the five-run inning.

Two Lions walked to open the seventh inning and Houston went to the bullpen for right-hander Derrick Cherry . . . Cherry struck out the first two batters he faced before a ground out to short ended the frame and prevented further damage.

Cherry took the game the rest of the way and kept the Lions from adding to their lead while the Cougars offense was silent over the final three innings as they fell 9-5 . . . Brandon Uhse extended his hit streak to fourteen straight games in the loss . . . Only three Cougars registered multiple base bits in the game.

The Cougars and the Lions will face off again on Saturday evening at 6:3pm at Schroeder Park . . . Nathan Medrano will take the mound for the Cougars . . . And a reminder in case you had not heard, Sunday’s game at Schroeder Park has been moved up one hour and the first pitch will take place at 12 noon.