The Houston Cougars were left out of the 2019 college baseball regionals . . . Given the upsets and irregularities that took place over the weekend, this is less and less of a surprise.
Following the selection process, completed just moments ago, the Cougars were the first of the four teams to be on the outside looking in . . . This means if the regionals had sixty-five teams, Houston would have been number sixty-five.
Alas, the 2019 season comes to an end and so do the careers of seniors Grayson Padgett, Joe Davis, Rey Fuentes, Ryan Randel, and Nolan Bond . . . Work toward 2020 begins now . . . Jared Triolo might be done as a Cougar if he is drafted next week . . . And Houston has new incoming talent, not only in 2020 but in the years after it, this talent can be seen at all levels of the Texas high school baseball playoffs still ongoing. –
A sunny and hot afternoon with clouds dotting the sky greeted the UNLV Rebels and the Houston Cougars Sunday afternoon at Schroeder Park . . . The Cougars arrived winners of two straight, including a 2-0 shut-out of UNLV on Saturday night.
Left-hander Clay Aguilar started Sunday’s game and surrendered a run in the opening frame, Cougars would get it back quickly when Jared Triolo hit his sixth homerun of the season to leadoff the bottom of the first . . . For Aguilar, the looping single by Bryson Stott to leadoff the game was the last batter to reach base until the fifth inning, Aguilar retired thirteen straight Rebels in that span . . . For Triolo, the leadoff homerun was the first of five hits in the game in a 5-for-5 afternoon that included five RBI.
The Cougars started their half of the sixth with three straight doubles followed by a single, they would score two runs in the inning to extend their one-run lead to 5-2.
Clay Aguilar exited the game in the sixth with two outs and runners on second and third . . . Sean Bretz entered the game and walked the bases loaded, but clutch pitching left the bases loaded for the Rebels in the sixth and Bretz would work out of another bases-loaded situation in the seventh inning . . . Bretz went a total of 1 1/3 innings scoreless to bridge the game from Aguilar to Villarreal.
The Cougars offense scored two runs in four different innings on Sunday . . . The offense also pounded out seventeen hits and even though they scored nine runs, they had plenty of opportunities to score more runs leaving eleven runners on base . . . Every Houston starter got at least one base hit, with Derrick Cherry and Kobe Hyland both getting two hits, and Grayson Padgett got two hits going 2-for-2 off the bench.
Righty Fred Villarreal handled the final two innings of action on Sunday, entering the game in the top of the eighth . . . Villarreal retired all six batters he faced, getting four groundballs to help his cause, and he did it all on only eighteen pitches . . . Aguilar collected his sixth win on the year in his tenth start, he allowed only two runs in his 5 2/3 innings and struck out four.
The Cougars are off now until Wednesday when they face Florida Atlantic University at Schroeder Park . . . Houston takes a three-game winning streak into the midweek matchup . . . First pitch is at 6:30pm on Wednesday. –
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. –
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. –
That describes what took place in Nacogdoches, Texas on Wednesday afternoon as the Houston Cougars paid a visit to the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks . . . There was so much offense in fact, that the game was done after just seven innings.
Six pitches into the game, the Cougars already had one run . . . The seventh pitch was to Joe Davis who launched it for a two-run homerun . . . The top of the lineup would set the table again in the second, and Davis would power another homerun, this one of the three-run variety . . . This was the beginning of a four hit, six RBI game for Davis.
Jared Pettitte got the start for the Cougars, the first of his career and only his third appearance all season . . . In what looked to be a good day to give a lot of guys an opportunity to get some work in, especially some guys that have seen much or any extensive action in a while, Pettitte was relieved in the second inning to make way for Carter Henry.
Grayson Padgett was not to be outdone by Davis on the hit count, as he also collected four hits on a perfect 4-for-4 afternoon . . . Every spot in the lineup scored at least once as the Coogs knocked out seventeen hits in just seven innings of work.
When all was said and done, the Cougars offense had put up sixteen runs and the pitching had only allowed one, so the ten-run rule was put into play and the game ended after the seventh inning.
This was the second win in the last 19 hours for the Cougars . . . Jared Pettitte got his first career win in this one . . . The bullpen saw four pitchers get some work in, including Tyler Bielamowicz who went 2 1/3 innings and Spencer Hynes who went 2 innings . . . In all, the pitching only allowed four hits to the Lumberjacks in the shortened game.
The Cougars now have a day off as they head to Memphis where they will take on the Tigers in a three game weekend series starting Friday night. –
The Houston Cougars and McNeese State Cowboys locked up in a a classic ballgame Tuesday in Lake Charles, Louisiana . . . If you stopped watching the game after the first inning, you would not believe the final score.
Clay Aguilar got the Tuesday start and he was shaky out of the box . . . The first batter walked, the next one singled, the next was hit by a pitch to load the bases before an out was recorded . . . The damage would be limited though, to just one run . . . It would be the only run of the entire game for either team.
Aguilar was very good after that shaky first and did not deserve the loss for that performance, turning in four solid innings of work . . . Right-hander Sean Bretz came into the game in the fifth and pitched four scoreless innings, a great performance in his own right . . . Bretz did not give up a hit and walked two batters, but his outing was a welcome sight.
The Cowboys offense is no slouch either. Just last month when McNeese visited Schroeder Park they put up 13 runs, granted it took fourteen innings, but offense is offense, and they were limited to a single run on Tuesday night.
A somewhat scary and bizarre incident took place in the fourth inning when Cowboys first baseman Jacob Stracner singled to right field . . . Cowboys right fielder Jake Dickerson tried to score from second on the hit, but Lael Lockhart Jr. got a throw to Coogs catcher Kyle Lovelace in plenty of time . . . Dickerson rolled into Lovelace violently and awkwardly enough that home plate umpire Ron Teague wasted no time tossing Dickerson from the game . . . Lovelace remained down for a moment, but he was able to get off the field and he caught the rest of the game.
The Cougars offense could not muster much of anything in the game, Grayson Padgett accounted for the teams two hits on the night, a double in the first to leadoff the game and a single in the fifth . . . The Coogs would threaten, loading the bases themselves in the first, but they came away with nothing . . . The Cougars would also leave six runners on base for the game, a glaring stat when a team loses 1-0.
So, the Cougars head back home now and await the Connecticut Huskies who will be in town for the first conference series of the season . . . First pitch is at 6:30pm Friday night at Schroeder Park.
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.
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. –
The Houston Cougars will be glad to wake up tomorrow morning knowing they do not have any more games at Minute Maid Park this year . . . The Cougars took on the Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday afternoon in their final game of the 2019 Shriners College Classic.
The Cougars had a nice crowd on hand to see left-hander Lael Lockhart, Jr. take the mound for the third time this season . . . The Aggies would counter with a lefty of their own, Jonathan Childress.
The Aggies would open the scoring in the fourth inning on a line-drive double down the third base line that brought home one run.
Childress for his part went three scoreless, hitless innings . . . During his warmup tosses in the fourth inning, Childress felt something he did not like in his arm, and after bringing the Aggies head coach and trainer to the mound, Childress would depart the game . . . Chandler Jozwiak would replace Childress, and second baseman Brad Burckel would promptly get the first base hit for the Cougars.
Lockhart would exit the game in the fifth inning with two outs and two runners on base . . . Right-hander Devon Roedahl would enter the game and he would induce an inning-ending ground ball . . . Roedahl was solid out of the bullpen. He ran into trouble in the eighth when he loaded the bases with no outs, but he got a double-play and a strikeout to work out of the jam only allowing one run.
The Cougars were still in the game when Lockhart exited, down only 2-0 . . . But the offense was struggling . . . Joe Davis was 0-for-9 entering Sunday’s action . . . Davis would get his first base hit of the weekend, a towering blast to deep right-center field that the Aggie center-fielder would get his glove on but not reel in . . . One batter later the Cougars had the bases loaded with one out and would score one run on a fielders choice by Grayson Padgett to cut the Aggie lead to 2-1.
Down 3-1 in the eighth Jared Triolo reached base on a walk, and Joe Davis followed that with his second consecutive double, this one off the out-of-town scoreboard in front of the Crawford Boxes, and he had the Cougars back within a run at 3-2.
Devon Roedahl would leave the game in the ninth after a leadoff single, he threw 56 pitches in his 3 1/3 innings of solid relief work . . . Spencer Hynes would inherit a runner and get three outs to get out of the inning by throwing seven pitches, all of them for strikes.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Cougars were not able to get anything going and went down in order . . . The offense left seven runners on base in the game, a glaring number in the eyes of a one-run defeat . . . The Cougars have now lost their last nine games at Minute Maid Park.
The Cougars return to action on Tuesday when they will host Rice at Schroeder Park . . . The weather will be on the chilly side, so dress warm and get to the ballpark and root for the Coogs. –
A breezy, 63 degree, sunless afternoon gave way to some sun rays but not much offense at Schroeder Park on Sunday . . . Houston and Northwestern State would play eleven innings and would score a total of three runs between them.
Left-hander Lael Lockhart Jr. got the start on the mound for the Cougars on Sunday and went five really strong innings only allowing two hits and striking out eight batters . . . Lockhart’s pitch count had reached eighty six when he exited the game, his stuff was good enough that he likely could have gone deeper into the game, but this early in the season there is no need to do more than he did, it’s a long season.
The Coogs started the scoring in their half of the second inning, and a more serious threat was thwarted when Brad Burckel, who drove in the first run of the game, was caught trying to steal third, and a matter of pitches later Kyle Lovelace was caught trying to steal second.
The game moved along quietly until the eighth when Northwestern State would tie the game at one by manufacturing a run . . . Seeking a possible third straight ninth inning victory in the teams final at-bat, Joe Davis led off the ninth with a strong single. With a pinch runner on first, Grayson Padgett laid down a perfect bunt to get the pinch runner to second and set the stage for more late inning heroics . . . Brad Burckel would come to the plate with two outs, after a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, but would strike out to send the game to extra innings.
Drama mounted in the tenth inning. The Cougars defense with two outs committed back to back infield errors allowing the Demons to hang just close enough as they eventually loaded the bases . . . With a full count, Demons batter J.P. Lagreco was seemingly hit by a pitch that would have walked in the go ahead run. However, Lagreco was called out for not getting out of the way of the pitch, officially ruled batter’s interference, he would subsequently mouth off to the umpire and get tossed out of the game, which then led Demons head coach Bobby Barbier to get in on the act and after a heated exchange with the umpire, Barbier would join Lagreco in the clubhouse for the rest of the game.
In the eleventh inning, the Cougars bullpen would give up a one out solo homerun that would prove to be the difference . . . Jared Triolo led off the bottom of the inning with a base hit. Grayson Padgett hit a sharp line drive single to right field, and when the right fielder bobbled the ball, Triolo was able to advance on to third base . . . The Cougars would strand runners at second and third to end the game.
The Cougars hit the road now to play McNeese in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Tuesday night before returning home for a three game set with Arizona next weekend.