Early Lead Propels Houston to 9-3 Win at Tulane

Houston is in New Orleans this weekend to face Tulane

Houston scored in each of the first four innings to build a nine run lead on their way to another series-opening win Friday night in New Orleans against Tulane.

Brandon Uhse got things going in the opening frame with a leadoff double . . . Zach Arnold then drove the next pitch deep to left-center field for a home run, his team-leading eleventh four-bagger of the season . . . Justin Murray (2-for-4) then singled but advanced to second base on a careless defensive throw to the infield . . . Cameron Nickens (2-for-4) then singled home Murray and the Cougars had a 3-0 first inning lead.

Ian McMillan (2-for-3) singled to reach base with one out in the top of the second inning . . . Drew Bianco followed with a towering double off the wall in right-center field to put runners at second and third base . . . Uhse then drove a fly ball deep enough to right field for McMillan to tag-up from third base and the sacrifice fly gave Houston a 4-0 lead.

Murray led off the top of the third inning by getting hit by a pitch . . . Nickens then singled up the middle . . . Anthony Tulimero then bunted for a single to load the bases with no outs . . . One out later, Brandon Burckel drove a ball deep to left-center field that was caught by the center fielder and scored Murray from third base . . . With runners on second and third base, McMillian delivered a two RBI single to right-center field and Houston increased its lead to 7-0.

Tulane finally went to the bullpen with one out in the top of the fourth inning after a single by Arnold, but the results after the change were much the same . . . Murray greeted the new pitcher with a bomb the opposite way, over the right field wall for a two-run home run and a 9-0 Houston lead.

Walks in the bottom of the fifth inning led to three runs for the Green Wave as Houston pitching had difficulty finding the strike zone . . . The third pitcher of the inning, Maddux Miller, was finally able to end the frame and the Cougars led 9-3 . . . Miller was tremendous in his Friday outing going 1 2/3 innings and allowing Green Wave batters just one base hit.

Right-hander Braedyn Cunningham went the rest of the way in relief of Miller and was also outstanding . . . Cunningham threw three hitless, scoreless innings to close out the Friday night road win.

The Cougars and the Green Wave resume their weekend series Saturday at 6pm . . . Houston has not announced a starting pitcher for Saturday at this time.


Four Run Eighth Inning Gives Houston First Place in The American

Josh Ekness made another strong start against Wichita State on Saturday

Houston used a four-run eighth inning to take a late lead against Wichita State on Friday night at Schroeder Park and the 5-3 win gave the Cougars sole possession of first place in The American.

The Cougars got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Brandon Uhse doubled to the wall in left field with one out . . . Malachi Lott (2-for-3) followed with a single the opposite way through the hole at shortstop and third base to drive in Uhse and tie the game at one.

Houston starter Josh Ekness took the game into the seventh inning but was relieved by Dan Wright with two outs . . . Wright threw 1 1/3 innings without allowing a run.

Trailing 3-1, Lott led off the bottom of the eighth inning by dropping a single behind third base and shortstop to reach base . . . Ian McMillan followed by hammering a pitch toward shortstop that allowed McMillan to reach first base on the error . . . A ground out to the pitcher by Drew Bianco scored Lott from third base . . . Alex Lopez then singled up the middle to plate McMillan and tie the game.

Justin Murray (2-for-4) singled to right field with two outs and Brandon Burckel, pinch-running for Lopez, scored from second base, beating a throw to the plate, Murray advanced to second on the throw to the plate and the Cougars led by a run . . . After an intentional walk to Thomas Lyssy, a pickoff attempt at first base went a bit wild, rolling behind first base but staying on the infield, the ball rolled far enough away to allow Murray to score all the way from second base to score the fourth run of the inning and give Houston a 5-3 lead.

Murray came on to pitch the top of the ninth inning and despite two singles on the infield, he was able to get a weak chopper to Lyssy at first base who fielded and touched the bag to give Houston the victory . . . Murray earned his seventh save of the season.

Entering Friday’s action, Wichita State was ten spots ahead of Houston in College Baseball Nation’s RPI+ calculations at 79, a number to watch after the weekend unfolds.

The Cougars (27-19, 11-5) and the Shockers (27-18, 10-6) will continue their weekend series on Saturday . . . The Cougars have not yet named a starter for the game, but Kyle Ayers could make the start . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm at Schroeder Park.

Cougars Claim Silver Glove Series with 12 Inning Win at Rice

Brandon Uhse led off against Rice Tuesday at Reckling Park

It took twelve innings on Wednesday night at Reckling Park but Houston eventually took the game 8-5 and with it Silver Glove Series from Rice.

Brandon Uhse hit the second pitch of the game for a leadoff single . . . Zach Arnold followed with a single of his own in front of a walk to Alex Lopez to load the bases with no outs . . . A bases loaded walk to Anthony Tulimero gave Houston the early lead . . . A wild pitch brought another run across the plate to give Houston a 2-0 first inning lead.

Rice tied the game almost immediately to reset the game going to the second inning.

Thomas Lyssy led off the top of the fourth inning by reaching base on an error by the Rice second baseman . . . One out later, Drew Bianco hammered a ball to the wall in deep right-center field to score Lyssy from first base . . . Arnold singled home Bianco to give Houston a 4-2 lead.

A leadoff walk to Ian McMillan started the top of the sixth inning . . . Bianco was hit by a pitch to put the first two Cougars batters of the inning on base with no outs . . . Arnold grounded out to second base to move both runners into scoring position . . . McMillan then scored on a wild pitch to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead.

Rice rallied for a run in the ninth to force the game into extra innings.

After two scoreless innings in extras, the Cougars offense delivered a three-run top of the twelfth inning to put the game away . . . Pinch-hitter Cary Arbolida walked with one out to get things started . . . Tulimero then reached base on catcher’s interference . . . Murray then pulled a single into left field as pinch-runner Brandon Burckel was moving with the pitch allowing him to cross the plate easily as the go ahead run . . . Nickens singled to plate Tulimero and the Cougars led by two runs . . . With runners on the corners, a pick-off attempt at first base allowed Murray to steal home for an 8-5 lead.

Owen Woodward came in to handle the bottom of the twelfth inning . . . After allowing a leadoff double, Woodward struck out the next two batters swinging and the final batter looking to strand the runner at second base and give Houston the Silver Glove Series for another year . . . Most of the 2,060 patrons had vacated Reckling Park as the ballgame ran 4 hours and 20 minutes.

The two teams combined to use 21 pitchers in the twelve inning midweek contest, the Cougars themselves used ten arms. In addition to Murray and Woodward, Houston pitched Graysen Drezek, Braedyn Cunningham, Ryan Dollar, Braden Forsyth, Dan Wright, Brendan O’Donnell, Maddux Miller, and Kyle Ayers . . . Only Wright and Ayers pitched more than two innings, with Ayers showing up clutch in the tenth and eleventh innings . . . Ayers got the win and improved to 2-1 this season and Woodward earned his fourth save this year.

Houston will host Wichita State at Schroeder Park this weekend for their second conference matchup of the season . . . The Cougars and the Shockers are tied for first place in the conference right now, so this weekend will create separation one way or the other . . . First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Late Lyssy Homer Lifts Houston Past UCF to Series Win

Thomas Lyssy bats in the eighth inning Sunday in Orlando

As the clock ticked down on Sunday in Orlando with a time rule in effect for travel plans, Houston used their final inning at-bat to reverse a two-run deficit and win 12-9 against UCF to take their fifth conference series of the season.

The Knights jumped out to an early 3-0 in the bottom of the first innings thanks in some measure to the gusty breezes blowing around Orlando.

Trailing by three in the top of the second inning, catcher Anthony Tulimero led off the inning with a single . . . One out later, Malachi Lott doubled to left-center field to get Houston on the board.

Drew Bianco singled to lead off the top of the third inning and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch before moving to third base on a ground out to third by Brandon Uhse . . .  Zach Arnold delivered a one out RBI single to left field to plate Bianco and make it 3-2 . . . Alex Lopez was walked to put runners at first and second base . . . Tulimero then grounded to third base with what looked to be a double play ball, but the throw from second base to first base was wide, allowing Tulimero to reach base while Arnold crossed home plate as the tying run.

In the top of the fourth inning, a Thomas Lyssy infield single put him at first base with one out . . . Ian McMillan then drove a ball the opposite way over the right field wall for a two-run home run and a 5-3 Houston lead.

Houston starter Cade Citelli did not benefit from the wild winds in Orlando on Sunday, but he gutted out a tough start and took the game into the fourth inning before being relieved by Dan Wright . . . Wright completed two important innings and allowed just one run, three of his six recorded outs were by strikeout.

With the game tied at five in the top of the fifth inning, Murray reached first base on a one-out walk . . . Lyssy singled into right field to move Murray over to third base . . . A failed pick-off attempt of Lyssy at first base saw Lyssy get into a rundown between first and second base, but he delayed being tagged long enough to allow Murray to steal home with the go-ahead run, and Lyssy reached second base safely after the ball was dropped by the Knights first baseman after he had seemingly applied the tag . . . Houston took the 6-5 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Murray worked a walk to lead off the top of the seventh inning and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch . . . Cameron Nickens pinch-hit for Malachi Lott and dropped a single into right-center field to drive Murray home and cut the UCF lead by a run to 9-7. 

Still trailing by two runs in the top of the eighth inning, the Cougars offense went back to work . . . Arnold led off with a single and Lopez followed that with a walk . . . Murray was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out . . . Nickens singled to left field to drive in two runs to tie the game at nine, his second hit in as many innings to with three runs drive in.

Lyssy followed with a monster blast to right field, a three-run shot and the Cougars took a 12-9 lead . . . The home run was Lyssy’s third hit of the game in a 3-for-5 day, it was also the freshman’s first in a Houston uniform.

The four-hour game ended after the bottom of the eight inning due to time constraints after Murray struck out what would have been the tying run at the plate with two Knights runners on base . . . Murray pitched the final three innings for Houston and earned the win to improve to 3-0 this season.

Head Coach Todd Whitting was quick with praise for Lyssy after the game on Sunday.

“It is great to see Lyssy doing the most with his opportunity,” Whitting said. “He has been a huge bat for us in the last few weeks.”

“Proud of the boys grinding out a tough weekend against a very good UCF team,” Whitting added.

The comeback win gave Houston its fifth conference series win of the eight they will play this season . . . This was the third conference road series win and the second straight weekend with a conference series win on the road . . . The Cougars finish April with a record of 12-6.

The Cougars (25-19, 10-5) return to action on Wednesday when they will play Rice at Reckling Park in game two of the Silver Glove Series . . . Houston leads the Silver Glove Series 1-0 and can take home the trophy for another year with a win on Wednesday or the following week against Rice, also at Reckling Park, on May 10 . . . Rice was swept at home this weekend by Dallas Baptist . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm on Wednesday.

Houston Wins Orlando Opener in 10 Innings

Malachi Lott led off for Houston against UCF on Friday night

Houston took the opener of their weekend conference series in Orlando with a 13-7 win over UCF on Friday in ten innings.

Houston only scored runs in three innings on Friday night, but they did it in bunches.

A two-out walk to Alex Lopez in the top of the first inning put a runner on base for catcher Anthony Tulimero . . . . Tulimero homered deep to left-center field and the Cougars took an early two-run lead.

Brandon Uhse (2-for-4) led off the top of the second inning with a home run to straight away center field . . . The flood gates opened after that.

Thomas Lyssy (3-for-5) immediately followed with a single, and then Ian McMillan doubled in front of a Drew Bianco single . . . A misplayed fielder’s choice on a grounder by Malachi Lott led to a run crossing the plate . . .  One out later Alex Lopez knocked a single to the opposite field to drive in Bianco and Lott and the Cougars led 7-0, chasing the Knights starting pitcher in just his second frame.

The Cougars did not score another run until the tenth inning.

Meanwhile, the Knights got four runs of their own in the bottom half of the second inning to keep the game close, trailing just 7-4 going to the third inning.

While Josh Ekness did not have his best night, he gave his teammates 5 2/3 innings on the mound and left just before a Knights two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning tied the game at seven . . . Ekness threw 121 pitches in the game.

Maddux Miller followed Ekness and tossed two innings allowing just one run . . . Brendan O’Donnell then followed Miller and tossed 1 1/3 innings with some tense moments, but he did not allow a run and stymied one potential game-winning threat.

In the top of the tenth innings, the Cougars started rolling once again . . . Tulimero led off the frame and was hit by a pitch . . . Justin Murray (3-for-5) followed with a single before both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch . . . Cameron Nickens was walked to load the bases in his first plate appearance of the game after replacing Uhse . . . Lyssy picked up his third hit of the night by punching a grounder through the drawn-in infield on the right side to drive in a run . . . Lott singled to left field to drive in two more Houston runs.

Zach Arnold then launched a 2-2 pitch out of the ballpark, over the Houston bullpen beyond the left field wall for a three-run home run and a 13-7 Cougars lead.

Murray took the mound for the ninth inning and he retired all three batters he faced on just thirteen pitches to close out the road victory and earn his sixth save of the season . . . O’Donnell was the winner and improved to 3-0 this season.

Houston had fifteen hits in the game and two batters walked and only left five runners on base . . . The Cougars pitching staff stranded nine Knights runners on base.

With Wichita State also winning on Friday night, the Cougars and the Shockers remain tied for the top spot in the conference standings, a full game ahead of East Carolina . . . Tulane and East Carolina had their game stopped due to the weather in the seventh inning with Tulane leading 9-6 . . . The Pirates and the Green Wave will attempt to finish the game on Saturday, before the two teams are scheduled to compete in a doubleheader . . . There is the potential for 21 innings of baseball in Greenville on Saturday.

Saturdays game between the Cougars and the Knights has been moved up to 11am CT because of the potential for bad weather in Orlando on Saturday night . . . While no pitcher has been announced yet, look for the Cougars to stick with what has worked since Paul Schmitz was sidelined and start Lott on the mound Saturday.

Cougars Blank Tigers; Ekness, Miller Combine for Shutout

Houston blanked Memphis 8-0 on Friday night to open up the conference road series behind a strong start by Josh Ekness and the relief effort of Maddux Miller.

The Houston offense went right to work in the opening frame of Fridays game . . . Zach Arnold doubled to reach base with one out and Alex Lopez immediately followed with a two-run home run to right field to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead.

Drew Bianco (3-for-4) doubled home Brandon Burckel top of the second to make it 3-0 Houston.

Ekness left after six innings leading 8-0 having allowed just one hit to the Tigers.

Miller pitched the final three innings for Houston and did not allow the Tigers back into the game, giving up zero hits and zero run.

Houston and Memphis resume their series on Saturday with a first pitch scheduled for 4pm.

Cougars Fall Behind Early, Defeat Huskies 13-7

Houston hosted Houston Christian on Tuesday before a weekend road trip

Houston fell behind early to Houston Christian on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park but eventually took a 13-7 victory before hitting the road for a weekend of conference play.

Kyle Ayers took the mound in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs and the Cougars already trailing 1-0 . . . A single scored two more runs, but a double-play and a fly out ended the inning with the Huskies staked to a 3-0 lead.

Houston wasted no time getting right back in the game . . . Malachi Lott was walked to lead off the bottom of the first inning and then stole second base . . . Zach Arnold (2-for-2) singled to drive in Lott . . . One out later, Anthony Tulimero (2-for-5) doubled into the left-field corner to drive in Lott and the Cougars were within a run going to the second inning, 3-2.

Ian McMillan led off the bottom of the second inning with a home run to left field to tie the game at three.

In the bottom of the third inning, two quick outs were followed by three consecutive walks and a hit-by-pitch which walked in a run . . . Brandon Uhse then hit a grand slam over the wall in left-center field to give Houston a 8-4 lead.

Ayers was replaced after four innings of really solid relief work in which he only allowed a run and struck out four Huskies batters.

Drew Bianco (2-for-3) led off the bottom of the fifth inning by hitting the first offering over the wall in left-center field, his fourth home run of the season, and Houston led 9-4.

Braedyn Cunningham followed Ayers on the mound and tossed three quality innings allowing just one run to get the game into the eighth inning . . . Braden Forsyth delivered another solid outing as well, throwing two scoreless frames allowing just a single base hit but facing the minimum by inducing a double-play ball.

Justin Murray extended his reached-base streak to 33 games with a RBI single in the seventh inning, and the single also pushed his hitting streak to 15 games.

Houston (21-16, 6-3) hits the road now for a conference series at Memphis this weekend . . . The Cougars do not play at Schroeder Park again until next Tuesday when they will host Lamar for a midweek before another weekend road series . . . First pitch this Friday in Memphis is scheduled for 6:00pm.

Cougars Top Bulls 16-10, Capture Series

Malachi Lott made the Saturday start for Houston on Saturday afternoon

Houston captured their third straight weekend series win with a 16-10 victory over South Florida on Saturday afternoon at Schroeder Park giving the Cougars a chance to sweep on Sunday.

In the bottom of the first inning, Zach Arnold (4-for-4) laced a one-out double to the wall in deep right-center field and extended his reached base streak to 31 games . . . Alex Lopez followed with a towering home run to right field for a 2-0 Houston lead.

Tied at two in the bottom of the second inning, the Cougars loaded the bases with one out on a walk to Brandon Burckel, a single by Ian McMillan (3-for-5), and a walk to Drew Bianco (2-for-4) . . . Malachi Lott (4-for-6) then lined a single between shortstop and third base to drive in two runs . . . Arnold followed with a mammoth, 428 foot home run to center field, a three-run blast to cap the scoring in the five-run inning, and the Cougars took a 7-2 lead.

In the bottom of the third inning, Justin Murray singled for the second time in as many innings . . . One out later, McMillan dropped a singled into right-center field, a ball that fell between players fighting the sun . . . Bianco singled to right field to drive in Murray and a throwing error by the right-fielder allowed McMillan to cross the plate . . . An infield single by Arnold scored Bianco as the third run of the inning and Houston led 10-2.

Lott added a solo home run in the fifth inning which traveled 431 feet to right field . . . Lott singled again to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning . . . Arnold followed with a double before Lopez grounded out to plate Lott . . . Tulimero then drove a ball off the Houston Baseball billboard in left-center field gap for a two-run home run with two outs and the Cougars increased their lead to 16-8.

The Houston offense scored a run in six of eight frames in the game with nineteen hits . . . Lott and Arnold both finished the game a triple shy of hitting for the cycle . . . Defensively, the Cougars turned three double plays and did not commit an error in the field.

The Cougars and the Bull conclude their conference series on Sunday at Schroeder Park . . . Cade Citelli will be on the mond for Houston in the finale . . First pitch will take place at 1pm.

Cougars Win 14-3 Over Sam Houston, Even Sanders Cup

Houston hosted Sam Houston at Schroeder Park Tuesday night

The Houston Cougars evened the Don Sanders Cup series on Tuesday night with a dominant 14-3 victory over Sam Houston at Schroeder Park . . . The win was also the 400th career win for head coach Todd Whitting.

Houston went to the bullpen in the first inning already trailing 2-0 . . . Right-hander Braden Forsyth took the ball with two on base and one out and induced a double-play ground ball to end the inning without further damage.

The Cougars wasted no time changing the score . . . Zach Arnold (3-for-4) singled into right-center field to extend his reached-base streak to 29 games with one out . . . Alex Lopez followed with a double to the wall in right field to drive in Arnold all the way from first base . . . Brandon Uhse (3-for-4) tied the game with a single to right field before a RBI single by Justin Murray (3-for-4) gave Houston a 3-2 lead going to the second inning.

Forsyth was replaced on the mound with two out in the top of the fifth inning having pitched 4 1/3 quality innings, his longest out of the season, at a time when Houston needed to stop the hemorrhaging in the first inning.

With the game tied at three in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Cougars mounted another big rally . . . Drew Bianco led off the frame with a walk . . . One out later, Arnold singled for the second time on the night . . . After a walk to Lopez to load the bases, Uhse doubled down the right field line to drive in two runs . . . A sacrifice fly RBI to left field off the bat of Anthony Tulimero (2-for-3) was followed by Murray’s second RBI single to right field in the game and Houston grabbed a 7-3 lead heading to the sixth inning.

With two runners on base and no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Malachi Lott doubled off the wall in right field to drive in one run . . . Arnold followed with his third single of the game to drive in two runs . . . Lopez and Uhse both followed with two RBI doubles . . . Murray, as the eighth batter of the frame, flew out to right field for the first out of the inning, but his sacrifice fly RBI made it 13-3 in favor of Houston.

The Cougars added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly to left field by Uhse to score Lott from third base and Houston led 14-3.

The Houston bullpen held the Bearkats offense to no runs and just one hit over the final five frames . . . Brendan O’Donnell, Maddux Miller, Malachi Lott, and Dan Wright all limited the potent Sam Houston lineup to preserve the victory . . . O’Donnell (2-0) retired all four batters he faced and earned the win . . . Miller retired the side in order in his frame and Lott struck out two Bearkats in his inning of work . . . Wright struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning.

The Houston win sets up a decisive third game to determine the winner of the 2023 Don Sanders Cup . . . The Cougars and the Bearkats will determine the winner of the Cup on May 16 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.

Asked about his 400th win of his career, Whitting was gracious and directed credit for it to everyone but himself.

“400 wins come by being surrounded by great players, assistant coaches, fans, donors and an administration that has the same vision. I truly appreciate everyone that has the same passion that I have for University of Houston Baseball,” Whitting said.

Houston is off until they welcome South Florida to town for a conference series beginning on Friday . . . . The Cougars have won the first two conference series, first against East Carolina and then against Wichita State . . . First pitch at Schroeder Park will take place at 6:30pm.

Houston Run-Rules Wichita State 17-3, Takes Road Series

Houston took the series win on Saturday at Wichita State

Houston clinched a series win on the road against Wichita State on Saturday in a decisive 17-3 run-rule victory.

Zach Arnold was bit by a pitch with one out in the top of the first inning . . . Arnold then moved to third base on a two-out single to left field by Brandon Uhse (2-for-3) . . . After a steal of second base by Uhse, Anthony Tulimero (3-for-5) doubled to left field to drive in both runners on base . . . Justin Murray followed with a single to right-center field to score Tulimero and give Houston a 3-0 lead in the opening frame.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the fifth inning when Ian McMillan led off the inning with a single before he stole second base to reach scoring position with one out . . . Malachi Lott (3-for-5) then drove a single the opposite way into left field to plate McMillan and extend the Cougars lead.

Cade Citelli made the Saturday start for Houston and was really good in his outing . . . Citelli pitched five complete innings before being removed in the top of the sixth inning . . . Citelli allowed just one earned run on four hits while striking out eight and was in line for the win if the Cougars held on the rest of the way.

Leading 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, Brandon Burckel was hit by a pitch to reach base before he stole second base ahead of a Drew Bianco infield single to put runners on the corners with no one out, forcing Wichita State to their bullpen once again . . . Arnold then drove a ball to the wall in left field for a two-run double . . . Alex Lopez immediately followed with a single into right field to score Arnold, but Houston was not done in the inning.

A walk to Uhse was followed by a RBI single by Tulimero setting the stage for a Murray three-run home run deep to left field . . . Burckel was hit by a pitch for the second time in the same inning ahead of walks to McMillan and Bianco to load the bases . . . Lott then drove a ball deep the opposite way off the top of the wall just about a foot or two from the foul pole for a bases clearing double.

Still in the top of the seventh inning, Arnold was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game . . . Cary Arbolida pinch-hit for Lopez and promptly drove the third pitch of his at-bat over the wall in center field for a three-run home run and a 17-3 Cougars lead heading to the seventh inning stretch.

The Cougars scored 13 runs in the seventh inning, all of them with two outs . . . Houston also sent 17 batters to the plate in the inning.

Owen Woodward took the mound for the bottom of the seventh inning and struck out all three batters that he faced to close out the victory.

After some travel woes caused the delay of the start of the weekend series and forced a doubleheader to be played on Saturday, Cougars head coach Todd Whitting had good reason to wonder what his team would do with three games to play in just over 24 hours.

“I thought the team was tough and grinded all weekend,” Whitting said. “After delays, we didn’t get to the hotel until 6am on Thursday, I thought fatigue caught up with us in game two [Friday] but we came out today ready to play from the first pitch.”

In all three games this weekend, the Cougars got five or more innings from their starting pitchers and had minimal need for the bullpen in what could have been a difficult short-term situation with both fatigue and over-use real possibilities.

“I have said all along we have a talented pitching staff and it would take us some time to get roles established,” Whitting said after Saturday’s win. “With LaCalameto and Phelps out, and Torrealba out until this past weekend . . . it took a little longer than we wanted.”

Lott and Murray each had four RBI in the Saturday win, while Tulimero and Arbolida each had three RBI.

Houston (17-15, 4-2) returns home after the Saturday contest and will next be in action on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park when the Cougars will host Sam Houston State . . . Houston will be trying to even the three-game Don Sanders Cup series after dropping the first game in Huntsville last month . . . First pitch on Tuesday night is scheduled for 6:30pm.