Cougars Win at Lamar; Davis Homers Again

The Houston Cougars celebrate victory at Lamar University in Beaumont on Tuesday.
The Houston Cougars celebrate victory at Lamar on Tuesday.

Stop me if you have heard this before . . . The Cougars rally late, on a Joe Davis homerun, to win, and Fred Villarreal earns a save.

That is what took place in Beaumont on Tuesday evening as the Houston Cougars visited the Lamar Cardinals, with some other drama along the way.

Clay Aguilar was on the mound for the Cougars and he looked sharp early and his breaking pitches really had nice movement . . . But Aguilar started to lose command of his pitches in the second and the pitch count rose as well . . . Aguilar would leave the game in the third, charged with four runs, but two were unearned as some bizarre baseball took place behind him in the second and third, including the Cougars committing the first two of what ended up being four errors on the night.

Some small ball would help get the Cougars get on the scoreboard in the third as a single by Brad Burckel and a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Lovelace put a runner in scoring position for a double by Jared Triolo, Triolo’s only hit of the night . . . Burckel singled in his first two at-bats, and scored both times.

Rey Fuentes, 3-for-5 in the game, hit an opposite field homerun to lead off the fourth inning . . . The fourth inning also included a single, a wild pitch, a batter bit by a pitch, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt, another single, another wild pitch, and a partridge in a pear tree . . . When the dust settled the Cougars had scored four in the frame and were leading 5-4.

Lamar scored three in their half of the fifth to take a 7-5 lead . . . This lead held until the top of the eighth when Tyler Bielamowicz, who was on second after a leadoff double to left, was singled home by Lael Lockhart Jr., part of a 2-for-2 night for Lael as he hit the ball hard both times . . . Catcher Blake Way who had entered the game in the sixth replaceing Kyle Lovelace hit a double to center to score Lockhart from second, tying the game at eight.

Devon Roedahl had entered the game in the seventh, relieving Brayson Hurdsman, and he was outstanding . . . Roedahl ended the seventh completely freezing Lamar’s Cole Girouard on a called third strike to end the inning . . . Devon returned to the mound in the eighth and sent Lamar batters down in order to set up the ninth inning.

Joe Davis led off the ninth inning . . . Davis was sitting 1-0 when he unloaded on the second pitch he saw from Lamar’s Ryan Erickson . . . The homerun shot was a no-doubter, the left-fielder barely moved as he watched the ball sail over his head and over the left field wall . . . The Cougars would be retired in order after the Davis homerun.

Fred Villarreal came in to close the door with a 8-7 lead, and he did so on nine pitches as he retired all three batters he faced . . . For Villarreal it was his sixth save on the year.

The Cougars have little time to rest, they return to action tomorrow night back home at Schroeder Park where they will host Florida International University (FIU) . . . First pitch against FIU is at 6:30pm. –

 

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Cougars Take Finale in Memphis 4-3

Houston Cougars Baseball

For a while, it looked as though the Houston Cougars were doomed in Memphis this weekend . . . The offense was struggling, the defense lost seemingly easy fly balls in the sun which would lead to runs, and having lost both games of a double-header two days before, it was easy to assume the worst.

Nolan Bond got the Sunday start for Houston, only his second start of the season . . . His day ended in the fifth as he exited the game with the Cougars trailing, but still with the game within reach . . . Sean Bretz would be the first of five relief pitchers out of the bullpen in this game . . . Bretz was relieved two outs later by Tristen Bayless who got out of the inning, but the Cougars were down 3-0 and it would remain that way until the seventh.

Rey Fuentes was brought off the bench to lead off the seventh inning . . . Fuentes hit a homerun over the wall in right-center to get the Coogs on the board . . . The offense was not done in the inning though, Brad Burckel and Jonathan Thomas would both walk and Jared Triolo would bring Burckel home on a single, but Triolo was thrown out trying to get to second on the play, so the inning ended there with Memphis still leading 3-2.

Meanwhile, the Cougar bullpen was shutting down the Memphis offense . . . Brayson Hurdsman pitched an important 1 2/3 innings before being relieved by Devon Roedahl for 1 1/3 innings himself.

Houston would manufacture two more runs in the top of the eighth, one of which was Kobe Hyland scoring from first on a Joe Davis double to the wall in right-center to tie the game at 3 . . . Davis would score later on a fielders choice play at the plate that got away from Memphis catcher Jason Santana.

With the Cougars leading 4-3, Devon Roedahl made quick work of the Tigers 4-5-6 spots in the lineup to finish the eighth . . . After a scoreless Cougars half of the inning, Fred Villarreal was called in to slam the door shut on Memphis in the ninth, and he did just that . . . Villarreal retired all three batters he faced to secure the 4-3 road win for the Cougars, earning his fifth save of the year.

The Cougars are now off on Monday and they will be in Beaumont on Tuesday to take on Lamar before returning to Schroeder Park on Wednesday night. –

 

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Clay Aguilar Leads Cougars Past Bearkats

Clay Aguilar and the Houston Cougars face Sam Houston State Bearkats Tuesday night. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Clay Aguilar and the Cougars face Sam Houston St. Tuesday night.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars and the Sam Houston State Bearkats played a fast game on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park, the result of only three runs and nine hits combined . . . The Bearkats entered the game with a record of 15-6 and a team batting average of .303 . . . Clay Aguilar was not interested in any of that, however . . . The Bearkats were not going to ruin Clay’s birthday.

Jonathan Thomas got the scoring started in the second with an RBI single to bring home Derrick Cherry who had powered his way on base with a leadoff double to right-center.

Clay Aguilar was effective all night, he had the Bearkats batters completely off balance and they were not able to put much together . . . Clay’s pitching game was so complete he even picked-off a runner at first in the fourth.

Jared Triolo drove in the Cougars second and final run of the evening with a hard hit ball past the Bearkats third baseman driving in Brad Burckel for an RBI in fifth to give Aguilar a 2-0 lead . . . Aguilar would yield his one and only run in sixth when the Bearkats took advantage of a leadoff hit-by-pitch, then they moved the runner around until he scored on a single by right-fielder Jordan Cannon.

Fred Villarreal entered the game in the eighth inning, and as has been the case more often than not, he shut the door . . . The Bearkats would get one hit in the final two innings as Villarreal was mixing speeds well and his fastball was clocking 91 . . . Fred lowered his ERA to .091 (to match his fastball?) as he earned his fourth save on the season . . . Aguilar picked up his second win of the year and got his own ERA down to 2.86.

The 2-1 win for the Cougars marked the 300th win in the career of head coach Todd Whitting.

The Cougars hit the road tomorrow for a game in Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin at 2pm before heading to Memphis for a three game weekend series. –

 

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Cougars End Skid, Top UConn 5-4

Ryan Randel warms up to face UConn Saturday at Schroeder Park. Photo courtesy of @5_Coogs via Twitter.
Ryan Randel warms up to face UConn Saturday at Schroeder Park.
Photo courtesy of @5_Coogs via Twitter.

The Houston Cougars righted the ship on Saturday night at Schroeder Park behind good pitching and one offensive inning against the Connecticut Huskies . . . Having dropped game one on Friday night, the Cougars not only needed some offense, but they needed a win.

Right-hander Ryan Randel was on the mound Saturday night . . . Randel had a difficult first inning in which the Huskies plated three runs, but he rebounded nicely and faced only three batters per inning over the next three innings.

Houston missed a grand opportunity in the second when they loaded the bases with three straight singles, but it was to no avail as UConn starter Jeff Kersten would strike out two and get a ground ball out to escape the inning.

But Kersten’s night would come to an end in the fourth inning when the Cougars offense exploded . . . The big blow was off the bat of Derrick Cherry when he hit a laser to left field to clear the bases, there was a play at home on Grayson Padgett, but the ball slipped past the catcher and Cherry was standing on second with a double, his first collegiate hit and RBI . . . The Coogs would send eleven batters to the plate in the inning as they took a 5-3 lead.

The Huskies would get a run back in the fifth and in the process would chase Randel from the game . . . Nolan Bond would relieve Randel with runners on the corners. Bond walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, but the Cougars would get out of the inning with a ground ball to shortstop . . . After a difficult first inning, Randel settled in and left the game with his team leading 5-4.

Bond got a 1-2-3 sixth with the help of a couple of consecutive defensive gems by third sacker Jared Triolo, then he faced just three batters in the seventh with another defensive gem behind him when Brad Burckel made a leaping snag of a line drive and was able to recover quickly enough to double-up the runner who was on first.

Fred Villarreal entered the game in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced to help the Cougars secure the 5-4 victory . . . Villarreal was incredibly efficient throwing eighteen pitches to get his six outs and earn his third save of the season while lowering his ERA to .98 . . . Nolan Bond earned the win for his solid effort, his first win on the year . . . Together, Bond and Villarreal pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball.

The Cougars and the Huskies conclude their series with a rubber game on Sunday at Schroeder Park . . . Please note an earlier than usual start time for a Sunday (or any day) of 11:30am.

 

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Cougars Shutout Dallas Baptist 2-0, Win Series

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Two days, two different paths, but the same outcome could define the first two games of the weekend series in Dallas as the Houston Cougars continue their visit with the Patriots of Dallas Baptist University . . . Friday night the two teams combined for fourteen runs over four and a half hours, a game the Cougars ultimately won by doing all their scoring in the final three innings . . . Saturday afternoon the two teams combined for two runs in a game that did not last three hours, and both runs were scored in the final two innings.

Nolan Bond got his first start of the season Saturday afternoon . . . Bond shut down a strong Patriots team over 5 2/3 innings allowing just two hits and no runs . . . Bond did walk four, which helped contribute to a high pitch count, but he was not hurt by the walks and turned in an overall tremendous outing, one worthy of a win.

The game was mostly quiet thru seven innings, delayed twice by official reviews.

Scoreless going into the eighth . . . The Cougars would break through in their half of the inning when Craig Yoho scored from third on a perfect bunt single toward third base by Grayson Padgett . . . Padgett’s speed caused the Partiots third baseman to rush his throw to first, the errant throw allowed Padgett to move to second, where he would still be when the inning ended with the Cougars up 1-0.

Jared Triolo would add his second homerun of the season in the top of the ninth to lead off the inning on the first pitch he saw from new DBU reliever Kragen Kechely.

Fred Villarreal did not relieve Bond, but he did record the final 3 1/3 innings and he was awarded the win for his effort . . . Villarreal had appeared in the Friday night game and did not look comfortable, he looked much more in command on Saturday and recorded quick outs to nail down the 2-0 shutout for the Cougars.

The win was the Cougars sixth in a row and secured yet another series win in the process.

The final game of this weekend series in Dallas with the Patriots concludes Sunday afternoon at 1pm as the Cougars go for the sweep.

 

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Cougars Down UTSA 4-2 Behind Davis, Bullpen

The Cougars hosted UTSA Tuesday at Schroeder Park. Photo courtesy of @5_Coogs via Twitter
The Cougars hosted UTSA Tuesday at Schroeder Park.
Photo courtesy of @5_Coogs via Twitter

The Houston Cougars went to the bullpen in the second inning on Tuesday night as they hosted the UTSA Roadrunners at Schroeder Park . . . There would be a total of fifteen pitchers used between the two teams in the midweek match-up . . . Knowing that fact might make it hard to believe that the final score was 4-2.

The last time Joe Davis had to swing the bat, he put the Cougars in the win column as his opposite field homerun against Army ended that series on Sunday . . . The first time Davis would swing the bat on Tuesday evening he would give the Coogs a lead they would not relinquish . . . Davis would see four pitches before he sent the fifth pitch over the left field wall for a two-out first inning homerun off of UTSA starter Cameron Carver.

The Cougars would use eight of the fifteen pitchers called on in the game, and the team allowed only two runs on two hits . . . The Roadrunners would score one run in the second without actually getting a hit. UTSA got a walked batter before the Cougars committed two errors allowing the run to score . . . UTSA’s next and final run of the night came in the fifth when they got their first hit of the game, a homerun by catcher Nick Thornquist.

Jared Pettitte saw his first action on the mound as a Cougar and his inning of work was extremely efficient as he only faced ten batters and threw ten pitches.

Shortstop Kobe Hyland had a nice game for the Cougars hitting in the seventh spot. He had two singles, including one with two outs in the sixth that would bring home Joe Davis from second for the Cougars fourth and final run of the game. 

Clay Aguilar was superb out of the bullpen, going three strong, scoreless innings, and facing the minimum number of batters . . . Aguilar threw 26 pitches overall and got five ground ball outs and four strikeouts . . . It was a welcome sight after his short Sunday outing.

Fred Villarreal would come in finish off the Roadrunners in the ninth, earning his second save on the season and getting his ERA down to 0.98.

The Cougars hit the road now, for their first real road trip of the season. They will be back in action on Friday in Dallas against Dallas Baptist University, first pitch is at 6:30pm. –

 

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Randel, Way Lead Cougars to Victory

Houston Cougars bat against Army Saturday night. Photo courtesy of @EdwinM201 via Twitter.
Houston Cougars bat against Army Saturday night.
Photo courtesy of @EdwinM201 via Twitter.

Houston Cougars fans were treated to a very quick two-and-a-half hour ballgame on Saturday night at Schroeder Park . . . A second straight Cougars win and a short game time were a welcome result on a warm, muggy evening that got more humid as the temperature dropped.

The Army Black Knights faced Houston right-hander Ryan Randel who was dominant and efficient early . . . Army could not muster anything against Randel until the fourth when they scored the only run they would get off of him in an inning where the Black Knights got a leadoff walk and two base hits.

Blake Way has been a nice addition to the Cougars lineup in the last week plus . . . Saturday night Way would hit a triple in his first at-bat and he would score on a wild pitch to get the Cougars on the board first . . . Way would bring home the Cougars second run of the game in the fourth with a sacrifice fly scoring Jared Triolo.

Meanwhile, Randel went seven very good innings, allowing just the one run on 99 pitches . . . Randel going as deep as he did into the game spared the bullpen from being taxed too much in the middle game of the weekend series after a very rough last nine day stretch.

Fred Villarreal would relieve Randel in the eighth and would eventually get his first save on the season after an adventurous ninth where the tying run would reach third with one out, before Villarreal would get a big strikeout and a groundout to second to end the game and secure the series win for Houston, their third series win on this early season . . . Villarreal would lower his ERA to 1.10 on the year . . . Randel improved his record to 2-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.11.

The series with Army concludes Sunday at 1pm at Schroeder Park as the Cougars go for the sweep. –

 

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Rice Tops Cougars 5-3

Houston Cougars scorecard by Cougars Beat vs. Rice 3-5-2019
Houston Cougars vs. Rice. Scorecard by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars hosted the Rice Owls Tuesday afternoon at Schroeder Park . . . A brilliant sky was marred only by a first pitch temperature of 48 degrees.

The Cougars sent left-hander Spencer Hynes to the mound for the mid-week start . . . Hynes would struggle with command and would allow three runs in the second inning before the Cougars called on Nolan Bond out of the bullpen . . . Bond came in to stop the bleeding and stranded two Rice Owls on base to end the second.

The bottom of the order would help the Cougars manufacture two runs in the third . . . Tyler Bielamowicz would highlight the inning with a triple, and he would score on a Grayson Padgett sacrifice bunt as the Cougars clawed closer making the score 3-2.

Bond continued to made quick work of the Owls going four innings, striking out three, and walking none . . . Fred Villarreal came in to relieve Bond and after and infield hit, he would strike out Rice shortstop Trei Cruz looking to end the sixth inning.

The Cougars had a chance to do more scoring damage in the sixth with Bielamowicz and Jared Triolo reaching base for the middle of the order, but Joe Davis and Lael Lockhart Jr. would make quiet outs and the threat was snuffed out.

In the top of the seventh, the Owls would get two singles and a walk to load the bases with no one out . . . The Owls would score two runs and after a fielders choice, extending their lead to 5-2. Villarreal would strike out the final two batters before the fans on hand enjoyed a chance to warm up a bit during the seventh inning stretch. 

Rey Fuentes would get the Cougars eighth started with a leadoff triple. He would be brought home on a Bielamowicz single . . . Three outs later Bielamowicz was still on first base as the Owls took their 5-3 lead into the ninth and closed out the game.

The Cougars could only muster five hits on the afternoon, and they would leave five runners on base.

The Cougars are off until Friday when Army comes to Schroeder Park for a three game weekend series . . . Stay tuned for weather updates as the forecasts look very questionable. –

 

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Ninth Inning Homerun Makes Cougars a Winner in Season Opener

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Kobe Hyland launches a ninth inning homerun as the opposing dugout looks on.

The Houston Cougars baseball team opened their 2019 campaign Friday night on campus at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park. The three hour affair would end on the final hit of opening night . . . The Coogs took game one of the three game season 5-3 on a homerun in the bottom of the ninth by Kobe Hyland . . . The Cougars, in their black jerseys and white pants, would need all nine innings on this night to send the Cougar fans happy and victorious.

The temperature was a pleasant 71 degrees at the time of Tyler Bielamowicz’s first pitch, and the humid Houston air was tolerable on this night . . . Tyler Bielamowicz won the open competition in the offseason and was awarded the opportunity to be the Friday night starter for the Coogs, he could not get out of the third inning before the bullpen was called on to carry the final six-plus innings . . . Fred Villarreal pitched a brilliant 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen to keep the game within reach.

The Cougars looked offensively overmatched in the first five innings of the game, but first baseman Joe Davis evened the score with one swing of the bat in the sixth inning on a three-run blast . . . The scoring was capped off with Hyland’s game-ending two-run homer to finish off the season opener in style.

The Coogs are back at it on Saturday night, first pitch at 6:30pm . . . Make your way down to the corner of Elgin and Cullen and enjoy a night of baseball. –

 

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