Houston Takes Tulane Series with 10-9 Win

Derrick Cherry opens up the Saturday finale against Tulane

Houston took advantage of a nine run inning on Saturday afternoon to claim their second conference series win in three attempts with a 10-9 victory over Tulane.

The Green Wave jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead with the help of two home runs in the opening frame . . . While Houston was kept off the board in the meantime, Tulane added a run in the fourth and Houston went to the bullpen.

Houston got a run in the fourth when Cameron Nickens (2-for-3) doubled to the wall in right-center field and scored Anthony Tulimero from first base, but Houston trailed 4-1.

Logan Clayton took the mound in the fourth and also handled the fifth, striking out two batters while Tulimero caught another runner trying to steal second base.

The Cougars then exploded in the fifth inning . . . A two-out double to left-center field by Zach Arnold (3-for-5) scored two runs before Alex Lopez smoked a ball toward second base that the fielder had no chance on, but the ball made contact with him and lost momentum as it rolled into right field allowing Arnold to score from second to tie the game at four.

Tulimero singled and a walk to Nickens loaded the bases for Ryan Hernandez . . . Hernandez (3-for-4) drove a ball to left field that was mis-played by the left fielder which allowed the bases to clear and Hernandez ended up at second base with a double . . . Samuel Tormos (2-for-3) followed with his second single of the inning, this one drove in Hernandez from second base . . . Ian McMillan then homered to left field for the second day in a row and the Cougars led 10-4 having scored nine runs in the inning with two outs.

Ben Sears took the mound with two outs in the sixth inning and got a strike out to end the frame . . . Sears stayed in the game to record the final ten outs and despite allowing a pair of runs in the eighth inning, closed out the 10-9 victory to earn his seventh save of the season, while Clayton took the win and improved to 2-3.

The Houston offense scored ten or more runs in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season . . . Five different Houston batters had multiple hits in the Saturday game.

The Cougars are off until Tuesday when they will welcome Houston Baptist to Schroeder Park for a midweek contest . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.

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Tulane Edges Houston 11-10 to Even Series

Kyle LaCalameto pitches against Tulane Saturday at Schroeder Park

Houston was edged out 11-10 by Tulane on Friday night to even their weekend conference series at Schroeder Park.

Tulane took a quick 2-0 in the opening frame to get the Friday evening game started.

Houston started the bottom of the second inning with three straight singles, the third was by Ryan Hernandez driving home Anthony Tulimero who had led off the inning with a single, Houston trailed 2-1 going to the third inning.

After a lead off walk to Brandon Burckel to begin the third inning, Brandon Uhse hit his seventh home run of the season over the left field wall to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead.

Trailing 4-3 in the fifth, Uhse (3-for-4) led off the inning with his second home run of the night, and his third in two nights, to tie the game.

Houston starter Kyle LaCalameto exited the game after five innings of work as his pitch count had reached over the century mark . . . Cameron Prayer took the mound for the sixth inning and retired the side in order in his only inning of work . . . Both LaCalameto and Prayer were long out of the game when this one was decided, so neither factored in the decision.

Still tied in the bottom of the sixth, Malachi Lott worked a lead off walk to open the frame . . . Ian McMillan then hammered the third pitch he saw over the wall in left field to give the Cougars a two-run advantage . . . With two outs in the inning, Alex Lopez singled to left field to bring home Brandon Burckel and Houston led 7-4.

Tied at seven in the top of the eighth, Tulane got to the Houston bullpen for three runs on a pair of home runs and took a 10-7 lead.

Houston answered right back in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game . . . After three walks loaded the bases with two outs, a wild pitch got the Cougars a run, but they still trailed by two . . . With runners at second and third, Tulimero (2-for-3) singled up the middle to tie the game at ten going to the ninth.

The Green Wave manufactured a run in the ninth to take an 11-10 lead which would stand up as the final score.

Houston and Tulane wrap up the weekend series on Saturday when the two teams meet for the deciding game with a 1pm first pitch at Schroeder Park.

Houston Loses Sunday, Evens Conference Record

Ryan Hernandez bats with two runners on base Sunday in Cincinnati

Houston took an early lead but was unable to stop the explosive Cincinnati offense on Sunday as the Cougars lost 9-6.

Two quick outs began the opening inning for the Cougars, but then Alex Lopez doubled and that was followed by a walk to Cameron Nickens . . . With a 3-0 count on him, Ryan Hernandez had the green light to swing, and he put a charge into the next pitch and sent it 441 feet over the wall in left field for an early 3-0 Houston lead.

Cincinnati got a run back in the bottom of the first before taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second after the bases were loaded with the assistance of two walks and a hit batter.

In the top of the third, Malachi Lott led off the inning with a walk and one out later Lopez homered to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead . . . Lopez (3-for-5) finished the game a triple shy of the cycle and the home run was his second of the weekend.

Ian McMillan hit a one-out double in the fourth inning ahead of a single by Dylan Post . . . Brandon Burckel then put down a bunt single that was indefensible to plate McMillan and extend the Houston lead, 6-4.

Right-hander Maddux Miler took the mound in the bottom of the fourth with Houston pitchers struggling to eliminate free passes and Cincinnati runs . . . Miller pitched a valuable two innings to get the Cougars into the sixth inning . . . Houston pitchers walked six batters on Sunday, in addition to hitting two batters with pitches.

Ben Sears pitched the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a baserunner.

Trail 9-6 in the ninth, Houston put two runners on base to start the inning, but a pop-up and a caught-stealing extinguished hope before a looking strike out ended the game and gave Cincinnati a home series win . . . The Cougars are now 3-3 in conference play and will take on Tulane in Houston next weekend.

The Cougars will return home now and have Monday off before they welcome UTRGV on Tuesday night for the second time this season . . . The first pitch at Schroeder Park is set for 6:30pm.

Cougars Walk Off Winners; Claim Conference Series

Houston celebrates Sunday after a walk off victory

The Houston Cougars used a game-tying rally in the eighth and a walk off double in the ninth to defeat the Wichita State Shockers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon to claim the first conference series victory of 2022. 

Derrick Cherry was making only his second career start on Sunday, his first start came nearly two weeks ago up in Huntsville when he picked up the win and threw 121 pitches . . . Neither team had a hit in the game until a Shockers solo home run with one out in the third gave Wichita State a 1-0 lead.

Houston finally picked up its first base hit of the afternoon an inning later when Brandon Uhse (2-for-3) led off the fourth inning with a solo home run . . . The Shockers got the run right back with a one out solo in the fifth inning to lead 2-1 . . . Then a bases loaded hit batsman in the sixth pushed the advantage to 3-1 . . . Cameron Prayer entered the game with two outs and got a strike out to end the inning and leave the bases full.

Left-hander Kyle LaCalameto handled two innings of work between Prayer and closer Ben Sears . . . Meanwhile, the Houston offense was quiet against Shockers pitching; aside from Uhse’s home run, the Cougars only had two other base hits through the seventh inning.

Still trailing 3-1 in the eighth, Houston took advantage of an error and a walk to get traffic on the bases . . . Uhse singled home Samuel Benjamin and one out later Cameron Nickens (2-for-2) singled on the infield and a throwing error by the Shockers third baseman allowed the tying run to score with two outs.

Sears pitched a scoreless ninth to keep the game tied headed to the ninth.

Ryan Hernandez dropped a single into shallow left-center to lead off the bottom of the inning . . . A fielder’s choice on a Malachi Lott bouncer eliminated Hernandez from the basepath, but the speedy Lott was on first base . . . Ian McMillan drove a liner into right field which was misplayed by the diving right fielder, once Lott saw the ball get down, he turned on the jets between first and second and was able to score the winning run as the ball rolled to the wall.

Houston took the first conference series of the season after being shutout in game one on Friday night . . . The Sunday walk off was the first for the Cougars since May 8, 2021 when McMillan delivered against Cincinnati.

The Cougars have Monday off before they will host Sam Houston State on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park to conclude their current eight game homestand . . . The first pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Cougars Win, Even Series with Shockers

Ian McMillan bats in the second inning against the Shockers on Saturday evening

Houston’s limited luck against Wichita State (1-9 in the previous 10 contests) improved on Saturday night as the Cougars won 5-3 to even the weekend series in a game they never trailed. 

Houston scored its first run of the weekend when Malachi Lott singled into left-center with one out to score Anthony Tulimero (3-for-4) from second base . . . Lott stole second base and was still there one out later when Ian McMillan hit a home run to left field to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.

Still 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Brandon Burckel (2-for-2) walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch before he scored on a Brandon Uhse sacrifice fly to center field . . . Zach Arnold was the next batter and he blistered a baseball high into the Houston night that landed on the other side of the left field wall and Houston led 5-0 . . . The solo home run was Arnold’s fifth home run of the season.

Nathan Medrano was largely in cruise control all night scattering six hits over 7 1/3 innings and striking out nine, a career-high, before exiting the game in favor of Ben Sears with one out in the eighth . . . Sears struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth to end the inning . . . The Shockers added a couple of runs in the ninth to close the gap but Sears closed out the 5-3 victory . . . Medrano improved to 4-1 on the season with the win.

The Cougars and the Shockers play the deciding game in the weekend series on Sunday at Schroeder Park with a scheduled first pitch at 1pm.

Cougars Tame Panthers 13-1 Ahead of Conference Play

Logan Clayton gets the game started against the Panthers Tuesday at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougars remained a perfect 7-0 in midweek games this season as they won 13-1 against Prairie View A&M on Tuesday before opening conference play this weekend.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Alex Lopez led off the inning with a double to the wall in left-center field . . . Anthony Tulimero then hit the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to put the Cougars in front by a run . . . Ryan Hernandez followed with a double to left field two pitches later . . . One out later, Ian McMillan flied out to center field and scored Hernandez to extend the Houston lead to 3-1.

Houston added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by Zach Arnold and another run in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead . . . The Cougars put the game away in an eight run eighth inning where the Cougars collected eights hits, the big blow was a two out 416 foot home run to left by Hernandez, who was 3-for-4 in the game.

Logan Clayton started for the Cougars and handled the first two innings and allowed the only Panthers run of the game . . . The Houston bullpen sent six pitchers to the mound after Clayton, and no one surrendered a run . . . Taylor Parrett was impressive over two innings in which he struck out four of the six outs he recorded . . . Colby Casey, Jackson Dannelley, Cameron Prayer, Derrick Cherry, and Malachi Lott all pitched one inning in relief and 

Lott, batting lead off on Tuesday night, was 3-for-4 and reached base when he was hit by a pitch . . . Lott was part of the eighth inning onslaught when he doubled to the wall in center to drive in two runs . . . Another freshman in the lineup, Brandon Buckel, has improved quite a bit over the last couple of weeks after some early season struggles, he was 2-for-4 on Tuesday night and is now hitting .235 . . . Dylan Post was behind the plate on Tuesday, with Tulimero batting cleanup, and Post picked up his first two base hits of the season in a 2-for-5d effort.

Houston won 13-1 and knocked out nineteen hits against Panther pitching which sets a new high for the season, passing by two hits their previous season high from their game against UTRGV in February.

Houston’s pitching was a point of pride after the game for head coach Todd Whitting. “Very excited about the continued progress of our pitching staff,” Whitting said. “I feel like we have five solid starters fighting for three spots on the weekend. The back end of the bullpen led by Ben Sears has been outstanding.” Whitting added, “It’s great to see that unit come together under Coach Bunn”

The Cougars (17-8) have a couple of days off before they start conference play on Friday when they host the Wichita State Shockers for a weekend series, the first of six games against the Shockers this season . . . That first pitch at Schroeder Park is set for 6:30pm.

Cougars Get Strong Outing From Cherry, Lead Don Sanders Cup

Derrick Cherry looks in for the pitch against Sam Houston State in Huntsville on Tuesday

When Houston completed the three-game sweep of Sam Houston State to claim the Don Sanders Cup on April 23, 2019, no one could have foreseen that the next game in the series would not take place for nearly three years . . . The series resumed Tuesday night in Huntsville and the Cougars once again took control of the series with a 9-1 win over the Bearkats.

Derrick Cherry started on the mound for the Cougars and in his typical role as a reliever, it was easy to assume this midweek game was going to be a bullpen game, as was the case the last time Cherry started a game . . . The game played out differently.

Scoreless in the fourth inning, Alex Lopez and Ryan Hernandez both walked to get on base . . . With two outs, Cameron Nickens lined a ball the opposite way down the right field line to score both Lopez and Hernandez and the Cougars led 2-0.

Still 2-0 in the fifth, Ian McMillan (2-for-3) singled to lead off the inning and then stole second base . . . After moving to third base by tagging up on a fly ball to center, Zach Arnold drove in McMillan with a run-scoring single to extend the Houston lead, 3-0.

Houston further added to the lead in the sixth when a Malachi Lott single to right scored one run and an error by the right fielder allowed a second run to score and Lott ended up on third base . . . McMillan scored Lott on a sacrifice fly to right and the Cougars led 6-0.

The Bearkats got a run back in the bottom of the sixth and the Cougars responded with three runs on a two-run home run by Lopez (3) and a solo shot by Hernandez (2) and Houston led 9-1 going to the stretch.

Head coach Todd Whitting said of Cherry pre-game, “we’ll let him go as long as he can.” . . . Cherry was done for the night after the seventh inning and his 121st pitch . . . Cherry struck out nine and allowed just the one earned run . . . Brandon Uhse singled in the top of the eighth with two outs to extend his consecutive game hit streak to seventeen games.

Cameron Prayer came in to handle the eighth inning and retired the side in order . . . Patrick Dunn came in from the bullpen to close out the ninth inning and like Prayer, he retired the Bearkats in order to close out the 9-1 win and give the Cougars the advantage in the Don Sanders Cup series.

Cherry earned the win and is now 2-1 this season.

“Huge outing for Cherry,” Coach Whitting said after the game, “appreciate his effort the last few weeks with Coach Bunn and trusting the process.” “He was dominant tonight against a very talented Sam Houston State University offense.”

Houston has two days off before they welcome Western Carolina to Schroeder Park on Friday night for the final non-conference weekend matchup of the season . . . First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Houston Wins 8-2 Over Texas A&M

Ian McMillan bats with the bases loaded in College Station on Tuesday night

The Houston Cougars scored seven runs in the final two innings to leave College Station with an 8-2 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday night.

Left-hander Kyle LaCalameto took the mound for Houston and allowed just one run over four innings . . . Scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, the Aggies took advantage of a walk and a stolen base when a single into right field gave them a 1-0 lead.

Jackson Dannelley tossed a scoreless fifth inning as he continues to work his way back from an injury he sustained on opening weekend in Scottsdale, Tuesday night was just his second appearance since his return, his other outing was in Lafayette on Saturday.

Still 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Brandon Uhse led off the inning with a double . . . One out later, with Uhse at third base, Alex Lopez grounded out to second base allowing Uhse to score the tying run.

The Aggies re-took the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh before Ben Sears took the mound in relief of Logan Clayton and got a strike out to end the inning with Aggie runners at first and second base.

Uhse led off the eighth inning by reaching on an error at third base . . . Zach Arnold (3-for-5) then singled, which was followed by an infield single by Lopez (3-for-5) that tied the game . . . The Cougars would load the bases before another infield single, this time off the bat of Samuel Benjamin, would give Houston a 3-2 lead and keep the bases loaded . . . Ian McMillan then tripled into the right field corner to clear the bases and give the Cougars a 6-2 lead.

After a scoreless inning from Sears to take the Cougars to the ninth inning, Houston continued their offensive output and added two insurance runs for an 8-2 lead . . . Sears set the Aggies down in order to finish the game and he picked up the win as he improved to 3-0 while retiring all seven batters he faced over his 2 1/3 innings.
“So proud of Ben and his embracing the role as closer,” head coach Todd Whitting said after the game. “He had to make some big adjustments for Coach Bunn to earn that job, and to this point has been awesome.”

The Cougars are now off until Friday night when they will host Columbia for a three-game weekend series . . . First pitch from Schroeder Park on Friday will be at 6:30pm.

Cougars Finish Friday Game, Win Saturday Game

The Cougars began a three game set in Lafayette, LA on Friday afternoon

A sunless day in Lafayette, Louisiana on Friday resulted in an outcome that the Houston Cougars and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns had hoped to avoid when they adjusted their schedule and moved Friday’s start time ahead three hours . . . But with one out in the eighth, the weather that had been feared showed up in force and the game was delayed in a 5-5 tie with lightning in the area to blame.

To say that Brandon Uhse wasted no time in getting his team on the scoreboard on Friday night is no understatement . . . Uhse launched the first pitch of the game from Ragin’ Cajuns starter Tommy Ray off a light pole beyond the wall in left-center field and the Cougars immediately led 1-0.

Louisiana waited until the second pitch of the bottom of the first to do the exact same thing to tie the game . . . After an infield single, a two-out two-run home run to center put the Ragin’ Cajuns in front 3-1.

Samuel Benjamin led off the top of the third inning with a double off the wall in left-center . . . One out later, Zach Arnold powered an opposite field home run over the right field wall to tie the game on his second home run of the year . . . A walk and a single put two one for Anthony Tulimero who singled into right field to give Houston a 4-3 lead . . . The single extended Tulimero’s reached base streak to all fourteen games this season . . . The Cougars would add a run on a wild pitch to take a two-run lead.

Two solo home runs, one in the fourth and one in the sixth, tied the game at five.

The lightning delay in the top of the eighth stopped the game after just over two hours of play and with Ian McMillan standing at first after a one out single.

When action resumed on Saturday afternoon, the final two innings took just over a half hour to complete . . . The Cougars had the bottom of the eighth unravel on them with a bevy of oddities including a wild pitch on an attempted bunt, a squeeze bunt, and a straight steal of home plate on the way to Louisiana taking a 9-5 lead which would hold up as the final score when Houston went down in order in the ninth.

The second game of the weekend series got underway less than one hour after the conclusion of Friday’s game . . . Houston got on the board first after a walk to Uhse and two balks moved him to third base . . . Tulimero put a ball in play in which the shortstop made an error and Uhse was safe at home . . . Tulimero’s reached base streak extended to all fifteen games on the season.

Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Alex Lopez homered to right field to tie the game, his first home run in a Houston uniform . . . Louisiana took a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning . . . The Cougars collected four hits in the inning and took advantage of a bit-batter and a walk to add four runs and take a 6-3 lead midway through the game . . . Brandon Burckel collected his first collegiate base hit, an infield single, as part of the fifth inning rally.

Houston starter Nathan Medrano exited the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and gave the ball to Ben Sears as Houston led 7-4 . . . Sears inherited a runner at first but got out of the inning with no problem . . . The Cougars added a run in the top of the ninth on a Ryan Hernandez sacrifice fly to center field which scored Zach Arnold from third base.

Sears handled business in the ninth and despite a two-out double he retired the Ragin’ Cajuns and earned his third save of the season in the 8-4 victory . . . Medrano picked up the win and is 2-0 on the year . . . Uhse, Tulimero, and McMillan each had two base hits in the game, of the ten hits the Cougars had in total.

Houston (10-5) and Louisiana (7-7) will meet again on Sunday in the weekend finale, with first pitch scheduled for 1pm . . . As of now, Todd Whitting has not named a starting pitcher for the Sunday matchup.

Houston Tops Southern with Late Rally, Pitching

The victorious Houston Cougars on Wednesday night after defeating Southern

The Houston Cougars closed out a home schedule that had seen them play eight of their last nine games at home, with the other game being across town at Rice on Tuesday, by defeating the Southern Jaguars 7-4 on Wednesday night.

Brandon Uhse led off the bottom of the first with a single which was followed two outs later by a walk to Alex Lopez . . . Anthony Tulimero singled to center field, scoring Uhse and extending his reached base streak to thirteen games . . . Cameron Nickens followed with an infield single to shortstop that scored Lopez and the Cougars led early, 2-0. 

Jaguars scored a run in the top of the second and three in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.

Still trailing by two in the bottom of the seventh, Tulimero led off the inning with a double to left-center, it was the first Houston hit since the first inning . . . With two outs, Ian McMillan tripled to the wall in right-center and scored Tulimero to get the Cougars to within a run, 4-3.

In the eighth inning, Uhse once again provided the spark with a single to get the inning started . . . Zach Arnold followed and was hit by a pitch . . . With one out, a walk to Lopez loaded the bases for Tulimero . . . Tuilmero (3-for-4) drove a ball the opposite way, to right field for a single, but the right-fielder mis-played the ball and it rolled to the wall allowing Tulimero to reach third base and the Cougars led 6-4 . . . A balk scored Tulimero from third and the Houston lead was 7-4.

Kyle LaCalameto took the mound for the Cougars to start the fifth inning and he struck out the side . . . LaCalameto stayed in the game and recorded the final fifteen outs and struck out five more for a total of eight . . . The left-hander picked up the win in the 7-4 victory and is now 1-0 on the year.

LaCalameto’s head coach was complimentary of his outing, “Huge night for Kyle,” Todd Whitting said. “Proud of him for coming in and giving our offense a chance to get going. He threw every pitch with purpose and great confidence.”

Houston went 7-1 in this eight game homestand after they opened the season with their first four games on the road.

The Cougars (9-4) have a day off before they face the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Friday at 6pm to open up a weekend set in Lafayette.