Cougars Best Rice as Silver Glove Series Returns

The Cougars celebrate after winning at Reckling Park on Tuesday

After a hiatus in 2021, the Silver Glove Series resumed on Tuesday night at Reckling Park on the Rice University campus and the Cougars took the advantage in the three game series with a 10-7 victory over the Owls.

With one down in the top of the first, Houston took advantage of a hit-by-pitch and a fly ball that was not caught in deep left field to take an early 2-0 on a ground out by Alex Lopez and a two-out single into left-center by Anthony Tulimero . . . Tulimero extended his reached base streak to twelve games with the base hit, he has reached base in every Cougars game this season.

Houston went to the bullpen with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the third after two walks and a batter hit-by-pitch . . . A wild pitch and a double gave Rice a 3-2 lead before a double play behind Derrick Cherry ended the inning.

Tulimero led off the fourth with a single . . . Attempting to steal second, the pitch went slightly wild on Rice’s catcher Justin Long . . . Long threw to second and the throw hit Tulimero in the helmet and ricocheted into left field . . . The Rice left-fielder tried to catch Tulimero at third, but his throw was wide of the bag and Tulimero was able to scamper home for the tying run . . . Two outs later, with two runners on base, Brandon Uhse drove a ball to the wall in right-center to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead.

Tied up at six in the top of the eighth, a lead off single by Ian McMillan was followed by a one out walk to Cameron Nickens . . . One out later, Uhse drove a ball off the right field wall for a two RBI double . . . Zach Arnold then drove Uhse home and the Cougars took a 9-6 lead.

With a 9-7 lead in the top of the ninth, the Cougars loaded the bases with no outs with the help of two batters hit-by-pitch and another single for Tulimero, who was 3-for-5 in the contest . . . One out later, Cameron Nickens hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Lopez from third base and the Cougars extended their lead 10-7.

Ben Sears pitched the final two innings for the Cougars, and while he gave up his first and only run of the season, he closed out the win for Houston and picked up the save, his second of the season . . . Logan Clayton earned the win with his outing and improved to 1-2.

Head coach Todd Whitting was asked about the four RBI night by his lead off man, “After two tough at-bats early, Uhse did a great job of playing the game one pitch at a time and came up with four huge RBIs tonight. He has done a tremendous job at the top of the lineup this season.”

The Rice defense committed five errors in total and their pitching hit Houston batters five times, including Lopez twice.

The Silver Glove Series will resume on May 4 when Rice travels to Schroeder Park.

The Cougars return to Schroeder Park on Wednesday night when they host Southern, first pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Advertisement

Houston Sweeps Sunday Twin Bill, Weekend Homestand

Logan Clayton faces UT Rio Grande Valley on Sunday

Sunday proved a tale of two very different ballgames for the Houston Cougars, with the common denominator being two victories to push the current win streak to four games with 16-10 and 3-1 wins over UTRGV.

Sunday’s first game was nearly a four hour event, and when it was over, the Cougars had handed the Vaqueros their first loss of the season, in a 16-10 marathon. The sixteen runs were the most runs scored in a game since the Cougars scored as many against Stephen F. Austin in 2019.

The Vaqueros led early as they took a 4-0 lead in the second inning . . . The Cougars got back in the game in the bottom of the second inning . . . It started with catcher Anthony Tulimero taking a two-out walk which also extended his reached base streak to six games . . . Skyler Trevino delivered the first of his three singles in the game, which was followed by three straight walks and a hit batter and the Cougars only trailed 4-3.

Houston tied the game at four in the third only to give the lead back in the fourth . . . Already leading 7-4, the Vaqueros added two runs in the sixth.

In the bottom frame, Zach Arnold hit a two-out two-run home run over the wall in right field for the Cougars first home run of the season and Houston was within three, 9-6.

Patrick Dunn and Maddux Miller both delivered scoreless relief in the middle frames of game one when the Cougars needed outs.

In the bottom of the seventh, an error in center field left two runners on base for Malachi Lott . . . Lott (2-for-3) tripled to the wall in right-center, the first hit of his collegiate career, and good for two runs batted-in . . . That was followed by a Brandon Uhse double and singles by Zach Arnold and Ryan Hernandez on the way to the first of two consecutive five run innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Trevino, McMillan, and Lott all led off with singles to set up the top of the order . . . After Hernandez was walked intentionally, freshman Cameron Nickens picked up two RBI on the first base hit of his collegiate career . . . Tormos and Tulimero followed with run-scoring singles and the Cougars led 16-9.

Derrick Cherry handled the eighth and ninth innings on the mound, and though the Vaqueros got one run back in the ninth, it was not enough as Houston took the first game 16-10.

Logan Clayton took the hill for the Cougars in game two and set a different pace from game one.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a groundout by Rey Mendoza . . . The Vaqueros tied the game in the third on a run-scoring double and the score would remain tied until the eighth inning.

Clayton exited after seven complete innings having allowed the single run on only two hits and adding five strike outs to his tally . . . Ben Sears took the mound in the eighth with the game tied at one.

Houston rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth, sparked by an Alex Lopez RBI single which was followed by a Tormos RBI single and the Cougars led 3-1 going to the top of the ninth.

Sears gave up two singles in the ninth, but another nice defensive play by Trevino at second base ended the game and made Sears (2-0) a winner for his two innings of scoreless work in the 3-1 victory.

McMillan was a star on the diamond again on Sunday, making at least three remarkable plays behind his pitchers in both games . . . Tulimero’s single in the second inning of game two extended his reached base streak to seven, all seven games of the season thus far.

Houston is now 4-3 on the year and they have a day off before they play host to Lamar at Schroeder Park on Tuesday night, first pitch is at 6:30pm.

Cougars Open First Homestand with 11-4 Win Over TSU

Skyler Trevino apllies a tag on an attempted steal of second base Friday night

Houston was able to play the long game better than Texas Southern on Friday evening at Schroeder Park as the Cougars scored in each of their final four at-bats, nine runs in total after the fifth inning to take the 11-4 victory on opening night of their home schedule.

Kerry Wright was on the mound Friday afternoon for Houston after a disappointing opening start for him last Sunday in Scottsdale . . . After a scoreless first inning, Texas Southern scored in the second inning on a play that was close enough at the plate that it needed to be reviewed before it was confirmed.

The Cougars added two runs in the bottom of the second when Zach Arnold (2-for-4) singled with the bases loaded to put Houston in front 2-1.

The Tigers tied the game in the third . . . Wright gave way to Colby Casey in the fourth inning having struck out four in his three innings and allowing just the two earned runs . . . Casey went two scoreless innings in which he also did not allow a hit.

Houston catcher Anthony Tulimero, who is swinging a hot bat to start the season, is doing his part behind the plate as well, on Friday he had thrown out two base runners trying to steal, including speedy former Cougar Jonathan Thomas, by the end of the fifth inning.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Samuel Tormos hit a drive deep the left that in normal conditions would have landed on Elgin . . . Instead, the drive off of Tormos’s bat was caught up against the left field wall and the ball was fired in to second base . . . Chaos ensued as the umpires gathered and tried to figure out what had just happened . . . Eventually, a run was counted as it crossed the plate before the runner was apparently called out at second for having left early trying to tag up . . . The inning came to an end on the double-play with the Cougars once again in the lead, 3-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars added a run on a single by Ian McMillan (3-for-4) . . . Brandon Uhse keyed a three-run seventh inning with a two-out double off the right field wall to push the Cougar lead to 7-2 . . . Tulimero (3-for-5) drove in two more in the eighth with a double to right-center . . . An error on a fly to right field allowing another run was followed by a McMillan RBI single to left.

Jaycob Deese took the mound to start the sixth inning and his stuff was electric, despite the conditions outside . . . Deese struck out a career-high nine batters, of the twelve outs he recorded, in many cases he simply overpowered guys.

Head coach Todd Whitting was ecstatic about the performance from his right-hander out of the bullpen, “Difference in the game was Deese coming in and shutting down TSU.” Whitting added, “In those conditions tonight it took a tough competitor to come off the bench and give his team a great performance like he did.”

“Tuli has been exactly what we thought he would be coming into the season,” said head coach Todd Whitting after the game, “a great receiver and the ability to deliver at home plate in the clutch.” Of the runners Tulimero caught trying to steal Friday night, Whitting added. “His performance to shut down TSU’s running game was huge tonight.”

Casey (1-0) was the pitcher of record, so he picked up the win with Deese earning the save, his first of the season, with his four inning performance to finish the game . . . Ryan Hernandez was 3-for-5 in Friday’s game, and while the power numbers are not there yet, he is going to the gaps and hitting the ball hard.

Houston has won two straight games now and returns to action on Saturday afternoon against UT Rio Grande Valley, first pitch is at 4pm at Schroeder Park, with Nathan Medrano making his second start of the season.

Cougars Claim First Victory of 2022, Win 3-2 at McNeese

Houston faces McNeese in Lake Charles on Tuesday

After a disappointing weekend in Arizona, the Cougars picked up their first victory of the season against McNeese in Lake Charles on Tuesday.

Samuel Tormos got the scoring started for the Cougars in the top of the first when he singled home two runs with two outs and the Cougars took the early lead.

Derrick Cherry started on the mound for the Cougars . . . Coach Whitting said pregame they wanted two to three innings out of Cherry, they got two scoreless as Cherry yielded one hit and struck out three and he left with the Cougars leading 2-0.

McNeese tied the game in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run . . . The game would remain tied until the top of the sixth when a bases loaded grounder off the bat of Ian McMillan scored Santiago Garcia from third base and the Cougars led once again, 3-2.

Ben Sears threw four scoreless innings with seven strike outs while allowing just two hits, and no walks . . . It was a solid outing for the right-hander from Rhode Island as he was efficient with his pitches and got a lot of first pitch strikes.

Jose Torrealba, who left Sunday’s game in Scottsdale after being hit by a batted ball, returned for the Cougars on Tuesday night and retired the only three batters he faced, two of them by strike out . . . Nathan Medrano took the mound for the ninth inning and struck out the first two batters on the way to closing out the 3-2 victory and picking up the save, his first of the season . . . Ben Sears earned the win and is now 1-0.

Coach Todd Whitting was pleased with the outcome and had high praise for his pitching staff. “Great display of Grit and courage by Cherry and Sears tonight, this was a game where their team needed a great performance and they both delivered,” Whitting said. “Overall great performance by the entire staff tonight with Torrealba and Medrano slamming the door.”

The Cougars offense only had two hits in the win, but it was enough to win on this night.

The Cougars head back to town and will open up the home portion of their season on Friday night when they face Texas Southern at Schroeder Oark . . . First pitch on Friday is at 6:30pm.

Aztecs Outlast Cougars 4-3

Photo tweeted by @MLB4_AZ

The Houston Cougars only yielded four runs on Saturday night in Scottsdale, matching their Friday output . . . But, as with Friday afternoon, the four runs on Saturday were not enough as the Cougars fell 4-3 to the San Diego State Aztecs.

Logan Clayton took the hill for the Cougars in his first start since transferring to Houston . . . Clayton would take the loss, but his performance was solid as he was consistently in the mid 90s with his fastball and struck out six while only giving up four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

With the game scoreless in the fifth, Samuel Benjamin (2-for-4) tripled with one out to score Ian McMillan (2-for-4) and put the Cougars in front 1-0.

Having reached 81 pitches in a game this early in the season, Clayton was on a pitch limit of about 80 and was thus replaced on the mound with one out in the bottom of the fifth . . . San Diego State scored three times in the inning to take the lead . . . The Aztecs

With two outs in the ninth, Brandon Uhse, in his first plate appearance of the season doubled to left-center to score McMillan and Benjamin and that got the Cougars to within a run at 4-3 . . . But the Cougars would strand the tying run at second in falling to the Aztecs.

The Cougars used five pitchers in the game on Saturday, compared to just the two pitchers they used on Friday . . . Kyle LaCalameto and Cameron Prayer both got some work in after Clayton’s departure . . . Jackson Dannelley made his first appearance as a Cougar but left with an apparent injury after retiring the only batter he faced to open the eighth . . . Ben Sears picked up the final two outs of the eighth on just three pitches after having time to warm up as a result of the Dannelley injury.

The Cougars will complete their action in the MLB4 Tournament on Sunday when they face TCU at 11am Central Time.

Cougars Preparing for Clearwater, Drop Two in Orlando

With four regular season games left that will not have an effect on the conference tournament match-ups next week, the Houston Cougars opened up a weekend series in Orlando, Florida on Florida . . . In facing the University of Central Florida Knights, Houston wanted to remain healthy, and they wanted their pitching staff primed and ready to go when the action gets underway in Clearwater on Tuesday when the American Athletic Conference tournament opens.

Robert Gasser took the mound on Thursday knowing a pitch count was in effect, no matter what.

With one out in the second, Brandon Uhse drew a walk, and stole second a few pitches later . . . One out later, Samuel Tormos delivered a single to right on the first pitch he saw, Uhse was safe at home on a throw to the first base side of home plate and the Cougars led 1-0.

After two innings, and twenty-eight pitches, Gasser was finished for the day having not allowed a run in his brief outing . . . Jaycob Deese took the mound in the third after having missed all of last weekend with a hamstring injury.

The Knights took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a three-run home run to left field, but Deese looked good in his outing otherwise, spotting good fastballs and countering with some filthy breaking pitches throughout.

Deese worked into the seventh inning, exiting with two outs in favor of Maddux Miller . . . Miller worked the rest of the way for the Cougars, keeping the Knights from scoring in the final 1 1/3 innings.

The Cougars were kept off of the scoreboard after the run in the second, and they fell in game one by a final of 3-1.

Ben Sears took the mound for Houston with a different mission that Gasser and Deese had in the first game . . . Sears would be allowed to throw a seemingly regular outing because he will not be pitching as soon as the Gasser and Deese will be early next week.

The Knights got a run off of Sears in the first, but the run was unearned, nonetheless, they led 1-0 going to the second.

While Sears was cruising, Houston did not get its first base hit in game two until the sixth inning when Ian McMillian hit a one out single to center field.

Sears departed after six innings, having allowed just one unearned run to go with three hits and three strikeouts . . . Central Florida added a run on a one out base hit in the seventh increasing their lead to 2-0.

Tormos singled with two outs in the eighth . . . Ian McMillan singled to center, the center fielder mis-played the ball by diving for it and the miscue allowed Tormos to score from first to close the deficit to 2-1 . . . But the scoring ended there and the Cougars were defeated by that 2-1 final in game two.

The Cougars and the Knights return to action Saturday with first pitching at 5pm . . . Carter Henry will make the start for Houston. –

Cougars, Gasser Take Game One; Split in Memphis

A classic, well-pitched game was followed by a lopsided affair as the Memphis Tigers hosted the Houston Cougars for a Friday doubleheader at FedEx Park . . . Houston took game one 2-1, while Memphis ran away with game two 13-7.

Robert Gasser had the ball for the Cougars and he worked his way the Tigers lineup with relative ease through the first three innings.

The Cougars scored their first run in the fourth when a single to right field by Steven Rivas scored Tyler Bielamowicz from second base for a 1-0 lead.

Memphis tied the game in their half of the fourth when a fielding error at short allowed the tying run to score.

Still tied in the seventh, after one-out singles by Rivas (3-for-4) and Will Pendergrass (2-for-3), Ian McMillan (2-for-3) doubled off the wall in left to score Rivas from second and put the Cougars in front 2-1.

Despite minor threats the rest of the way, including a bases loaded no-outs situation for the Cougars in the top of the ninth, no more runs would cross the plate.

Derrick Cherry took over on the mound to begin the eighth and he got the final six outs, despite a couple of deep flies (one foul, one caught in left) to save the game for Gasser and pick up his fourth save of the season as the Cougars took game one . . . Cherry struck out two batters in the ninth.

Gasser improved to 6-5 with his seven innings pitched, allowing no earned runs and only three hits with ten strikeouts.

Before Ben Sears even took the mound for the Cougars in game two, he was spotted with a 2-0 after a two-RBI triple in the top of the first with two outs by Rivas.

But a home run by Hunter Goodman tied the game at two in the bottom of the first and it was a brand new ballgame.

A one-out double in the second put the Tigers in front 4-2.

Rivas (10) led off the fourth with a two-run home run to get the Cougars to within 4-3 . . . Pendergrass immediately followed with a double and he was brought home when Dylan Post doubled off the wall in right to tie the game at four.

Sears loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth without recording an out, aided by a fielding error behind him . . . Sears would exit at that point and Colby Casey would take the mound in a difficult situation . . . Casey induced a fly-out to right in which one unearned run crossed the plate, and then we would retire the next two batters to escape the inning and with the Tigers leading 5-4.

Brad Burckel led off the fifth with a single down the right field line and then he stole second base to get into scoring position . . . Ryan Hernandez (9) hit a one out two-run home run to left to give the Cougars a 6-5 lead.

Colby Casey helped the game along with two solid innings pitched in his fifth appearance of the season for Houston . . . Casey did not allow a run and his ERA on the year remains 0.00 . . . Skyler Trevino collected his first collegiate hit in the sixth inning when he connected on a one-out double.

The Tigers wrestled the lead back in the seventh on a walk, a triple, and a wild pitch as they took the 7-6 lead . . . At that point the Tigers broke the game open, scoring a total of eight runs in the frame taking a 13-6 lead into the eighth inning.

Patrick Dunn took the mound for the eighth and pitched a three up, three down frame, striking out two . . . It was Dunn’s first appearance since March 13 at Texas State.

The Cougars plated one more run on an innocent ground out to first base in the top of the ninth, but that was all they would get as they fell 13-7 in game two.

The Cougars and the Tigers will do it all over again tomorrow at 2pm in Memphis . . . Carter Henry will take the mound for Houston. –

Houston Ends 2021 Home Schedule with Loss

Carter Henry tosses the opening pitch Sunday at Schroeder Park against Cincinnati

Senior Day preceded the series finale Sunday at Schroeder Park where the Houston Cougars fell to the Cincinnati Bearcats 10-3, dropping the series 1-3.

With two outs in the top of the first, Cincinnati collected a single followed by a two-out home run to left to take the early 2-0 lead.

Brandon Uhse led off the Houston half of the first with a home run to left field to get the Cougars scoring started . . . Houston tied the game in the bottom of the second when, with the bases loaded, Brandon Uhse drove in his second run in as many innings with a sacrifice fly to deep left -enter that scored Will Pendergrass (2-for-4) from third base.

The Bearcats re-took the lead in the fourth on a double to right field that scored two and chased Carter Henry from the game . . . Maddux Miller quickly got a fly out to left, but a run came home on the sacrifice to put Cincinnati in front 5-2.

A single by Cincinnati scored a runner from second base, despite a close play at the plate, and the Bearcats took a 6-2 lead . . . The Cougars went to the bullpen once again in favor of Matt Lazzaro who ended the frame.

A wild pitch in the seventh brought Ian McMillan home from third to cut into the Bearcats lead 6-3.

But Cincinnati answered right back, adding four runs in the eighth on a series of hits and batters hit-by-pitch . . . Before it was said and done, Houston trailed 10-3 and Sean Bretz took the mound with two outs in the inning . . . Bretz pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in the loss.

Houston has played their final home game of 2021 and they head to Memphis next week for a weekend series with the Tigers . . . First pitch of the Friday doubleheader is set for 1pm, expect to see Robert Gasser on the mound in that game. –

Cougars Walk-off Winners in the Ninth, 6-5

Ben Sears delivers Saturday’s first pitch at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats needed all nine frames to decide a winner at Schroeder Park on Saturday as the Cougars walked off winners 6-5.

Ben Sears was on the mound for Houston on Saturday and his first two innings were smooth as he was getting ahead of batters and getting first-pitch outs.

Cincinnati led off the third with a solo home run and added two in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead.

Ryan Hernandez led off the Houston fourth by hitting his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall on the first pitch of the inning.

Samuel Tormos, who collected his first college base hit on Saturday, added his second hit in the second inning on Saturday, a double to the left field corner . . . He added his first collegiate home run in the fifth when he hit a no-doubter over the wall in left, Tormos knew he had hit it well off the bat.

The Cougars were not done in the frame though, as three of the next four batters singled and Ryan Hernandez was hit by a pitch to walk in a run . . . Will Pendergrass followed with a single to center to put the Cougars in front 4-3 going to the sixth.

A Brandon Uhse single in the sixth scored Tormos from second and increased the Cougar lead to 5-3 heading to the seventh inning.

Cincinnati got a run back in the seventh on a leadoff solo home run which led to the exit of Ben Sears and the arrival of Derrick Cherry . . . Cherry retired the side to end the seventh, striking out two.

Cincinnati tied the game at five in the bottom of the ninth on a single to left that plated a runner from second base.

Ryan Hernandez (2-for-4) led off the ninth with a single deep behind second base, he was able to leg-out a close attempt at first to reach base . . . Samuel Benjamin pinch-ran for Hernandez and promptly stole second base . . . With one out, Steven Rivas was intentionally walked to put two runners on . . . Ian McMillan hit a ground ball through the hole at second and Benjamin raced around third and beat a throw to the plate to give the Cougars a 6-5 win.

Derrick Cherry, who pitched the final three innings in relief of Ben Sears, picked up the win, his second of the season . . . The Houston offense pounded out twelve base hits in the Saturday contest.

“The Coaches have been working with me and I’ve been squaring the ball up the last two days,” Tormos said after the game . . . “Awesome,” Tormos replied with a sigh when asked about his first collegiate home run . . . The freshman, who was 2-for-3 in the game with two RBI, expects to hit well after his stellar high school career and a solid fall camp which included a home run in the Red vs. White series . . . When asked how that first collegiate home run felt, and about the fact that he knew it was gone off the bat, Tormos just laughed and said, “yeah.”

The Cougars and the Bearcats close out the series and the final Cougars home game of 2021 on Sunday at noon . . . Prior to the game, Houston will recognize its seven senior student athletes . . . Carter Henry will be on the mound for the Cougars. –