Cougars Shut-Out UNLV 2-0

Lael Lockhart Jr. faces UNLV at Schroeder Park on Saturday night. Photos by Cougars Beat.
Lael Lockhart Jr. faces UNLV at Schroeder Park on Saturday night.
Photos by Cougars Beat.

Potential inclement weather canceled Friday night’s game between the UNLV Rebels and the Houston Cougars . . . Having decided the game would not be made up meant the two teams could stretch their lineups as needed with this brief two-game series.

The Cougars offense was in business in the bottom of the first after a Brad Burckel walk and a stolen base, then an intentional pass to Joe Davis . . . Derrick Cherry put a ball in play toward short that was too slow for the UNLV defense to turn a double play, when Cherry was safe at first, Burckel was the first run to score for the Cougars when he crossed home . . . After a Tyler Bielamowicz single, Rey Fuentes followed with a clean single up the middle into center field which scored Derrick Cherry from third to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead.

Lael Lockhart Jr. got his eleventh start of the season against UNLV, and he was cruising for the most part . . . The few times Lockhart faced adversity, he was quick to get out of it without any damage, in one instance Kyle Lovelace caught a popped bunt in front of homeplate and doubled-up the runner on first with a quick, accurate throw . . . In another instance Brad Burckel fielded a bouncing ball right on top of second base with a running bearing down on him, his throw to first completed another double-play behind Lockhart.

The innings pitched quickly stacked up as Lockhart faced only three batters in five of his innings pitched . . . Lockhart eventually took the mound in the eighth inning still maintaining his 2-0 lead.

Bryson Stott entered Friday’s action hitting .365 for UNLV, the highest batting average on the team and the team leader in homeruns with ten . . . Stott was 0-for-4, striking out twice against Lockhart who went 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball against a good hitting team that only got five hits off of him and struck out five times.

Devon Roedahl came into the game with two outs in the eighth to get the final out with two runners put on base by Lockhart . . . Roedahl induced a ground ball to short that Kobe Hyland handled easily to get the runner at first and end the inning . . . Roedahl returned to the mound for the ninth after the Cougars went down in order in the bottom of the eighth.

An error at third was followed by a deep grounder to short, Kobe Hyland was able to field the ball but unable to make a clean throw to Burckel at second as Kobe was falling away from the throw . . . Roedahl struck out the next two batters, then loaded the bases with a walk, he then recorded his third strikeout of the inning to end the game and secure the 2-0 win for Houston . . . Roedahl did not allow a hit in his 1 1/3 innings that earned him his fourth save on the year . . . Lockhart for his outstanding effort was rewarded with his fourth win as he loaded his ERA to 3.03 with his scoreless effort.

The shortened weekend series with UNLV concludes Sunday afternoon at Schroeder Park, first pitch is at 1pm. –

 

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Cougars Romp at Rice in Extras

Devon Roedahl faces the Rice Owls in the 9th inning Tuesday night. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Devon Roedahl faces the Rice Owls in the 9th inning Tuesday night.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Rice Owls had won six straight entering play on Wednesday night, and the Houston Cougars were coming off a series loss last weekend in Tampa, Florida . . . The first inning indicated that the streaks would continue, but there is a reason baseball has nine innings and sometimes a tenth.

Wednesday night got off to a shaky start as the Owls scored two runs on three hits and a hit batter . . . The got one hit in the first, and would not get another hit until sixth.

Right-hander Nolan Bond took the mound to start the second inning after Brayson Hurdsman started the game pitching only the first . . . Bond retired the first seven batters he faced as his breaking balls were finding the strike zone and his fastballs were finding the corners and freezing batters for called third strikes . . . In the bottom of the fourth two walks and a fielders choice in addition to a high pitch count after a long layoff ended Bond’s night after 2 2/3 innings.

Sean Bretz would relieve Nolan Bond in the bottom of the fourth and get the final out to keep the Rice lead to 2-0 . . . Bond’s outing was a welcome result after a rocky first inning for the Cougars, and it would be the first of four good outings for the Cougars bullpen in the game.

Houston was held scoreless going into the eighth, and after a leadoff strike out, things did not look to be changing . . . After Kobe Hyland walked and Kyle Lovelace singled, both moved into scoring position after a wild pitch . . . Jared Triolo, who had a great game defensively with plenty of opportunities, hit a clutch two-out double down the right-field line as he went where the pitch was thrown and even the score 2-2.

In the tenth, the Cougars managed to score six runs on only one hit, instead relying on six walks, an intentional walk, and a batter hit by a pitch . . . The single came when Kobe Hyland hit a two-out single to right to drive in the fifth of the Cougars six runs in the inning . . . In a game where the Cougars managed to score eight runs in ten innings, they did it on only five hits . . . Kyle Lovelace was the only Cougar with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 and walked once.

The Cougars bullpen went nine scoreless innings after Hurdsman left the game after the first inning . . . The Owls only collected five hits in the final nine innings and the Cougars only issued three walks while striking out eight.

Devon Roedahl picked up his seventh win on the year after 2 2/3 innings of work at the end of the game . . . Roedahl struck out four and looked really strong all the way through the final out in the tenth . . . The Cougars improve to 27-18 on the season with the 8-2 victory, and they evened 2019’s Silver Glove Series, which will be decided with a third and final game in a little under two weeks down in Sugar Land.

The Cougars are off tomorrow and host University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) on Friday for a weekend non-conference series . . . The weather forecast is looking ominous so if you plan to attend any part of this weekend series, you will want to check for updates . . . As of now, first pitch Friday is at 6:30pm. –

 

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Cougars Rally But Drop Series at USF

Houston Cougars Baseball

Sunday’s rubber game between the University of South Florida Bulls and the Houston Cougars featured starting pitchers named late in the series and the Cougars coming off of an impressive 7-1 win on Saturday night, after a close loss on Friday night.

Ryan Randel ended up getting the Sunday start for the Cougars and he pitched reasonably well . . . Randel would allow two runs in four innings of work, and he would also strike out six batters . . . Sean Bretz relieved Randel in the fifth with runners on and was lights-out, hitting 95mph to stop the threat . . . And Bretz would go two more innings without allowing a run and keeping his team in the game.

Meanwhile, Alec Wisely was in command on Sunday as he went 6 2/3 innings and did not allow a run while giving up five hits and while allowing Cougars to reach base, he was not allowing them to cross home plate.

The Cougars would score all of their runs in the eighth inning after Tyler Bielamawocz and Joe Davis were hit on back-to-back pitches by USF reliever Nelson Alvarez . . . Derrick Cherry got a run home on an infield single and a throwing error . . . After a walk to Grayson Padgett loaded the bases, Rey Fuentes put a ball in play that the Bulls defense could not handle and the Cougars took a 3-2 lead on the fielders choice.

Devon Roedahl entered the game and pitched a perfect eighth . . . After a scoreless top half of the ninth for the Cougars, Fred Villarreal entered the game to try to shut the door . . . The Bulls would not quit, and after a pinch-hit leadoff single and a popped-up bunt for the only out of the inning, USF would get a walk-off homerun from Alex Bello to win the game 4-3.

Despite scoring three runs, the Cougars offense left runners on base in seven of the nine innings, eight in total . . . Kyle Lovelace was 2-for-3 on the afternoon, joining Brad Burckel as the only other Cougar with two hits . . . Five Cougars collected the seven hits on Sunday.

The Cougars are headed back to Houston now and will be off until Wednesday when they play Rice at Reckling Park . . . First pitch is at 6:30pm Wednesday evening. –

 

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Cougars Sweep Sam Houston St. Series

Jared Pettitte starts against Sam Houston St. Tuesday in Sugar Land. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Jared Pettitte starts against Sam Houston St. Tuesday in Sugar Land.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars and the Sam Houston State Bearkats took the final game of their three-game series on the road to Sugar Land on Tuesday night for a neutral site game . . . Having already played at Houston and at Huntsville this season, Constellation Field played host to the final game between the two schools this year . . . Having won the first two games of the series, Houston was going for the sweep on Tuesday night.

Jared Pettitte made his fifth appearance on the year for the Cougars, and his first since being hit on the arm by a hard come-backer to the mound on April 3. Pettitte made the start for the Cougars and showed signs of having not pitched in nearly three weeks, but he was also changing speeds well and getting good breaks on some pitches. 

Cougars offense is doing it lately by putting the ball in play, not by hitting the long ball, and that continued on Tuesday night as they scored nine runs on twelve hits . . . Seven of the nine starting Cougars recorded at least one base hit in the game, led by Derrick Cherry who was 3-for-4 and Joe Davis who was 3-for-5, Jared Triolo had yet another multi-hit game going 2-for-4, getting the action started in the first with a single before eventually scoring the Cougars first run, followed by his second single of the game in the second inning . . . Joe Davis and Tyler Bielamowicz each had 3 RBI in the game.

An explosive sixth inning put the Cougars in the lead and also put the game out of reach for the Bearkats . . . After an out to start the sixth, Houston had seven straight batters reach base, and six of them would score on either singles or walks.

Cougars pitching did not allow a run after the 4th inning . . . Sean Bretz took over for Jared Pettitte in the fourth and continued his outstanding recent run of scoreless innings, going three more scoreless innings on Tuesday only allowing a hit and striking out four Bearkats . . . Brayson Hurdsman was also good over two innings, allowing just two hits and striking out two . . . Devon Roedahl made quick work of the Bearkats in the ninth throwing just eight pitches, six for strikes . . . Sean Bretz got the win, his first of the season.

With the 9-3 victory, the Cougars secured the season sweep and improved their record to 25-16 with a win over a quality program.

The Cougars hit the road now to play the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida . . . That series starts Friday at 6pm Houston time. –

 

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Cougars Take Cincinnati Series in 8-4 Finale

Sean Bretz pitches in the 9th against Cincinnati on Saturday at Schroeder Park. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Sean Bretz pitches in the 9th against Cincinnati on Saturday.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats played a series-deciding game Saturday afternoon at Schroeder Park and the game could not have been played in a better atmosphere: occasional breezes, sunny sky, no clouds, and plenty of Cougars fans in the seats . . . The series would be decided after two straight low-scoring games setting up the final game.

The Cougars did not score in the first, but they did score first, in the second inning when Jared Triolo hit a two-out bases loaded single to left that put the Cougars up 2-0 . . . For Triolo that hit was part of a 3-for-4 3 RBI afternoon.

Houston chased Cincinnati starter Garrett Schoenle in the third inning after a Rey Fuentes walk and a single by Grayson Padgett, followed by a RBI single to left field by Tyler Bielamowicz . . . Brad Burckel would follow with a sharp grounder to short that could not be fielded cleanly, it was ruled a hit and it drove in the Cougars second run of the inning while the Cougars took a 4-1 lead.

Brayson Hurdsman started on the mound for the Cougars and went 2 2/3 innings . . . Hurdsman only allowed one run on five hits and struck out four . . . Carter Henry and Nolan Bond would be called on first out of the bullpen to keep the game moving . . . Devon Roedahl relieved Bond in the fifth to protect the 4-2 lead and worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

Houston padded its lead in the sixth when they scored three runs . . . It began with walks to Triolo, and Joe Davis. A fielder’s choice would erase Davis and put Jonathan Thomas at first. Thomas attempted to steal second, but as the throw went to second, Triolo broke for home from third . . . Cincinnati shortstop Joey Bellini cut the throw off short and tried to get Triolo at home, but Triolo scored and Thomas was safe at second . . . Then Padgett walked.

Tyler Bielamowicz appeared to end the sixth with a long fly out to center, but a balk had been called, so Tyler was not out and got to bat again, and Thomas scored from third on the balk . . . Bielamowicz then dropped a single in to center field for a run-scoring single to give the Cougars a 7-2 lead. 

The Cougars offense was  oddly limited in a game where they ultimately scored eight runs on eight hits . . . Bearcats pitching walked nine Cougars batters, and they struck out nine . . . Only four Cougar batters got the eight hits: Triolo had three, Padgett and Bielamowicz each had two, and Burckel had a single.

Fred Villarreal entered the game in the seventh inning with a 7-2 lead . . . A single, a walk, and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Bearcats, but Villarreal made his pitches and got out of the inning unscathed, and he followed that with a scoreless eighth . . . Sean Bretz entered the game in the ninth to get the final two outs and hold on to the 8-4 lead . . . Bretz got two fly-outs to end the game and earn his first save, he retired both batters he faced . . . Devon Roedahl earned the win with his outing, he improves to 6-2 on the year.

For Houston, the series win helped improve their conference record to 8-7 and their overall record to 24-16.

The Cougars will be off Sunday and Monday and will return to action Tuesday night at 7pm in Sugar Land at Constellation Field. –

 

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Cougars Drop Close Game to Cincy, 3-2

Houston Cougars vs Cincinnati Bearcats 4-18-2019
The Cougars bat against Cincinnati on Thursday at Schroeder Park.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Cincinnati Bearcats arrived in Houston playing better than their current record of 17-19 would indicate . . . Thursday’s conference match-up at Schroeder Park featured Lael Lockhart Jr. with his 3.20 ERA, which placed him fifth best in the conference, on the mound for Houston.

Bearcats starter David Orndorff was perfect thru three innings. Jared Triolo got the Cougars first base hit of the game to lead off the fourth, but Orndorff was in control and would not only get out of the inning, but would then follow with a perfect fifth . . . For Triolo it was his second of three hits in the game.

In their half of the fifth, the Bearcats capitalized on a tiring Lockhart elevating his pitch count and putting runners on base . . . The Cougar went to the bullpen in favor of Devon Roedahl with two runners on and two outs . . . Bearcats cleanup hitter Joey Wiemer hit the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for a three-run homerun . . . It was all the offense Cincinnati would get, and it was all they needed.

Roedahl was really effective after that homerun, going 4 1/3 allowing only one other hit and striking out three . . . Roedahl did throw 59 pitches in his Thursday outing, so his availability for the rest of the series could be limited . . . The other side of that coin is that the entire rest of the bullpen is rested since Roedahl was the only pitched used on Thursday.

The sixth inning offered promise for the Cougars offense after Brad Burckel led off the inning with a base hit to center, and Kyle Lovelace hit the next pitch to center for a base hit . . . Jared Triolo skied a fly ball to left that continued to carry all the way to warning track, the left-fielder was unable to make the play and Brad Burckel was able to score from second . . . Two batters later, Joe Davis would receive one of his two intentional walks in the game and that would be all the Cougars would score in the inning.

Orndorff went eight innings only allowing that run in the sixth . . . Bearcats reliever Korren Thompson entered the game in the ninth to attempt to get the final three outs . . . The Cougars mounted a rally, getting four singles in the inning, including Joe Davis’ only hit of the game to lead off the inning after two intentional walks in the fourth and sixth . . . Derrick Cherry’s only hit of the game would drive in the Cougars only run in ninth as Thompson closed it out and saved the 3-2 victory for Orndorff.

The Cougars and the Bearcats return tomorrow for game two of their three game series. First pitch at Schroeder Park is at 6:30pm. –

 

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Cougars Sweep Series at Wichita State

Houston Cougars Baseball

In what turned out to be a very balanced weekend in many ways in Wichita, the Houston Cougars got their first conference sweep of the season when they took care of business against the Wichita State Shockers 7-4 Sunday afternoon.

Brayson Hurdsman got the start on the mound Sunday . . . Hurdsman would go 4 2/3 innings allowing his one and only run in his fifth and final inning of work . . . Brayson gave up four hits and struck out four . . . Sean Bretz came in to finish the fifth and also pitch the sixth, both scoreless and hitless . . . To get those four outs, Bretz threw only fourteen pitches, nine for strikes.

The Cougars offense was slower to get on the board than in the first two games, but Joe Davis got the Cougars on the board in the third with a one-out single to left that scored Jared Triolo, who was going on the pitch, from second . . . Kyle Lovelace drove in the Cougars second run in the fourth when he roped a double that bounced and hit the wall in left, one of two hits on the day for Lovelace who has seen his average jump to .198 now.

Rey Fuentes had a nice day going 2-for-3, and getting on base in the first when he was hit by a pitch . . . Fuentes is batting .361 after Sunday.

The Shockers would tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh, taking advantage of walks, hit batters, and defensive miscues . . . Again, talking about balance over the weekend, the Cougars scored seven runs in six different innings . . . Every Cougar in the starting lineup had at least one hit, and five different Cougars had an RBI . . . The downside in the mix is that Houston left fourteen runners on base on Sunday.

The Cougars took the lead back in the eighth after Tyler Bielamowicz got a two-out single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on another wild pitch . . . Derrick Cherry, who reached base via a walk when he pinch-hit for Lael Lockhart Jr., also moved around the bases and would score on an error at second on a Kobe Hyland ground ball to make it 6-4.

In the ninth Grayson Padgett added a little insurance when a hit to left-center scored Brad Burckel from second to increase the lead to 7-4.

Devon Roedahl entered the game in the eighth and got the final four outs of the afternoon, on nine pitches, seven of which were strikes . . . For his effort, Roedahl earned his third save of the year and Fred Villarreal got the win to improve to 4-1.

The Cougars now head back to Houston after the sweep and get ready to face Texas A&M at Schroeder Park on Tuesday at 6:30pm. –

 

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Cougars Take Conference Series Over Wichita St.

Houston Cougars Baseball

Just when the Houston Cougars were getting accustomed to warm Texas weather, they went on the road to Wichita State and the weather has been nothing like the recent Texas weather . . . The game time temperature on Saturday afternoon was 53 degrees with wind and clouds . . . Fortunately for the Cougars, the bats stayed hot.

After an offensively balanced performance Friday night, the Cougars were up for more of the same on Saturday . . . Houston got on the board in the first when Rey Fuentes drove in Grayson Padgett on a two-out single, Fuentes had a single in his first two at-bats . . . The Cougars scored one in the second, and two runs in the third . . . All but two Cougars starters got a hit in the game, the Cougars had twelve hits in the game, and they scored in five of the nine frames.

Clay Aguilar went 5 1/3 innings allowing two runs on three hits and striking out seven . . . For Aguilar it was another nice Saturday outing after having mostly been a midweek starter or a reliever . . . Devon Roedahl relieved Aguilar in the sixth and got the final two outs to end the minor threat from the Shockers.

Wichita State starter Liam Eddy had a rough first three innings, but settled down after that to quiet the Cougars bats for four innings, but Houston got to him once again in the eighth when with two outs Kobe Hyland doubled to right, one pitch later Brad Burckel singled to right and the throw home to try to catch Hyland allowed Burckel to get to second, as the Cougars took the 5-2 lead, Eddy’s day was done.

Kyle Lovelace greeted the pitching change with an infield single that the shortstop was unable to get a handle on, Burckel was moving on contact with two outs and never stopped running and would score on the play to put Houston up 6-2 . . . Lovelace was 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, a nice job for the ninth batter in the lineup . . . The Cougars manufactured another run in the ninth, taking advantage of two walks and a single that loaded the bases, they only got one run out of it, but it made the score 7-3 going to the bottom of the ninth.

Roedahl would go 2 1/3 innings before giving the baseball to Fred Villarreal with two outs on the eighth . . . Villarreal recorded the final four outs and secured the victory and the series win for the Cougars . . . The 7-3 win was Clay Aguilar’s third win of the season, and it was the 20th win on the year for the Cougars.

Houston and Wichita State conclude their weekend series at noon on Sunday in Wichita. –

 

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Cougars Win Slugfest in Huntsville 12-7

 

Houston Cougars Baseball

Two weeks ago to the day, the Houston Cougars and the Sam Houston State Bearkats hooked up in a classic 2-1 ballgame at Schroeder Park . . . It would not have been unreasonable to expect the same type of result when the Cougars traveled to Huntsville on Tuesday night . . . Instead, the two teams combined for nineteen runs between them.

The Cougars scored a run in the top of the first, the Bearkats countered with two runs of their own. The Cougars then pounded out seven runs in the top of the second and were leading 8-2. The Bearkats got three back in the bottom of the third . . . It was that kind of night.

When the Cougars scored eight runs in the first two innings, it easy to assume Joe Davis was in the middle of the mayhem . . . In this case, that would be wrong. The Cougars did their damage despite the fact that Davis was intentionally walked in one at-bat and harmlessly flied out to center field in the other at-bat, though he did see twelve pitches in the at-bat.

Joe Davis would get in on the act later on with one out in the fourth when he hit his fourteenth homerun of the season, part of a 2-for-4 night for the Cougars first baseman . . . Jared Triolo also hit a homerun in going 3-for-6, as did Tyler Bielamowicz in a 3-for-5 night, and Kobe Hyland got the scoring started in the second with a solo homerun to lead off the inning.

Devon Roedahl came in to the game in the fifth to relieve Brayson Hurdsman and provided a very good outing that stopped the Bearkats from scoring, and as importantly, bridged the Cougars from the fifth until it was time for Fred Villarreal to go to work in the eighth . . . Villarreal got the final five outs by throwing seventeen pitches, fourteen of them for strikes . . . The 12-7 lead was too big for a save, otherwise Villarreal would have another one to his credit

The Bearkats did not score after the fifth, and they only got three of their eleven hits in the final four frames . . . The Cougars pitching staff only walked two batters in the game . . . Houston only used four pitchers on the night, compared to the nine that Sam Houston St. used, so there are plenty of fresh arms left for this weekend.

The Cougars continue their road trip now and head up to Wichita, Kansas where they will take on the Wichita State Shockers in a three game weekend series . . . First pitch from Wichita is at 6pm on Friday. –

 

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Cougars Drop Two to ECU

Houston's Sean Bretz delivers a pitch against ECU Saturday. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Houston’s Sean Bretz delivers a pitch against ECU Saturday.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

After being shutout 2-0 on Friday, ECU with their national ranking and potent offense came out firing on all cylinders in game one on Saturday at Schroeder Park . . . First baseman Spencer Brickhouse hit a two-run homerun in the top of the first, and he would follow that with a grand slam in the sixth . . . Brickhouse left the game after the sixth with 6 RBI . . . The Pirates offense pounded out fourteen hits and benefitted from ten walks on their way to scoring fifteen runs.

Friday night pitching hero Lael Lockhart Jr. hit an opposite-field solo homerun for the Cougars first run of the game in the fourth inning . . . Tyler Bielamowicz hit a two-out RBI double in the fifth to score Thomas . . . Jared Triolo’s seventh inning sacrifice fly RBI was the third and final run for the Cougars.

There was not much else in the way of offense for Houston on the afternoon as ECU starter Tyler Smith was in command in his five innings of work where he struck out five and allowed the only two runs the Cougars would score in the game . . . Jonathan Thomas was 2-for-2 in the early game, the only Cougar with more than one hit.

There was no rest for weary as the Cougars had the pleasure of facing ECU starter Jake Kuchmaner, one of the best pitchers in the nation, who also threw a perfect game less than a month ago . . . After a quick pop-up and a strike out in the bottom of the first, Joe Davis hit a monster homerun to left-center on the first pitch he saw from Kuchmaner . . . The 1-0 score would remain that way until the seventh.

Clay Aguilar got the start in game two for the Cougars, and on short rest after his Tuesday start at Lamar, Aguilar turned in his best performance of the year . . . ECU was held hitless until the fourth and they did not score a run until the seventh when designated hitter Jake Washer hit a homerun to left-center . . . The Pirates tacked on another run two batters later on a single which would also end Aguilar’s outing.

The Pirates pitching was too strong and aside from the Davis homerun in the first, part of a 2-for-3 night for Davis, Houston was completely shut down, only getting five other hits, two of those belonged to Rey Fuentes and Derrick Cherry who were both 2-for-4 in the second game . . . ECU pitchers also struck out fourteen Cougars.

The 3-1 loss saw the Cougars use only two pitchers, Aguilar and Devon Roedahl, who held the Pirates offense to seven hits and one walk while striking out ten . . . Not a bad performance by the pitching staff overall, one that would get a win on many nights.

The Cougars now have a couple of days off before they head up to Huntsville to face Sam Houston State for one game, the first game of a four game road trip. –

 

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