Cougars Take Marathon Game 1 in Dallas

The Houston Cougars in their pre-game routine at Dallas Baptist on Friday. Photo by @numberonecoog via Twitter.
The Cougars in their pre-game routine at Dallas Baptist on Friday.
Photo by @numberonecoog via Twitter.

The Houston Cougars played their first ever game at Dallas Baptist University on Friday night. No one will forget the game anytime soon. The Patriots of Dallas Baptist entered Friday with an eight game win streak, while the Cougars arrived in town with a four game win streak of their own.

The Cougars shifted their batting order a bit for the Friday tilt . . . Jared Triolo was moved from his usual three spot and batted second while Joe Davis was moved from his usual cleanup spot and batted third . . . As hot as Davis has been, this was likely a move to get Davis a few more possible at-bats, or at least, at-bats in crucial situations.

The first nine batters for the Cougars garnered four base hits, all singles. This could have indicated the Cougar hitters were seeing the ball well and were not fooled by Patriots starting pitcher Jordan Martinson . . . As it turned out, the Cougars would not score a run until the seventh when Dallas Baptist finally went to the bullpen.

Whatever the strategy on the changed batting order, it worked perfectly on Friday night as Davis in the three spot would bat in two different innings with the bases loaded, and he delivered runs both times . . . His first RBI was a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, part of a three-run seventh in which the Cougars took a 3-2 lead.

Lael Lockhart Jr. made his second consecutive Friday night start on the mound for the Cougars and he had a very good outing . . . He would go six solid innings, and after a rather long top of the seventh for the Cougars offense, Lockhart went back out to the mound for the bottom of the inning . . . He may have been on the bench too long in that top part of the inning, he seemed to be tiring anyway which would make sense with an elevated pitch count . . . After a leadoff single, Lockhart made an errant pick-off throw to first that went down the first base line and put the runner on third.

At that point, pitching change after pitching change took place and the Patriots scored three runs to re-take the lead 5-3 in an inning which lasted about 40 minutes.

The Coogs bounced right back with a four-run eighth, featuring two of Davis’ three RBI in the game and a Kobe Hyland RBI single which ended when Blake Way was caught up in an inning-ending rundown between second and third.

The Cougars scored eight runs in the final three innings of the game . . . They would score the eight runs on only three hits, with the help of seven walks, one error, and a hit batter . . . The Cougars also left eleven runners on base on the evening.

Over four and a half hours after the first pitch, Devon Roedahl shut the door on the Patriots to earn a save and secure the 8-6 win, the Cougars fifth consecutive victory.

The Cougars and the Patriots return to action on Saturday afternoon in Dallas, with an earlier than usual 2pm start. –

 

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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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Cougars Sweep Army on Davis Walkoff

The Cougars face Army at Schroeder Park on Sunday. Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter.
The Cougars face Army at Schroeder Park on Sunday.
Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter

The Houston Cougars took an unconventional path to victory on Sunday at Schroeder Park in the finale of their three game series with the Army Black Knights.

Tyler Bielamowicz’s illness on Friday, and his inability to make his planned Friday night start, meant the Cougars had to go with plan B on Sunday because their typical Sunday starter took the mound on Friday night . . . Clay Aguilar started for the Cougars and could not get out of the first inning as his control was off and his pitch count was already at 27, and he had only pitched 1/3 of an inning.

Nolan Bond made the best of a bad situation when he was called in from the bullpen. A sacrifice bunt would score an inherited runner before Bond would end the first inning with the Cougars already down 4-0 before they had even been to the plate.

The Cougars would start to inch back into the game with a run in the first on a Joe Davis two-out RBI single to score Brad Burckel.

Bond, back on the mound in the second inning would get the Black Knights down in order on seven pitches . . . By the time Nolan’s day was done, he had gone 2 2/3 very important innings, allowed one run, two hits, and had thrown a total of 26 pitches, 21 of them for strikes.

The Cougars would tack on two more runs in the third . . . They would explode for a four-run inning of their own in the seventh to tie the game at 7, highlighted by Joe Davis who came to the plate with the bases loaded . . . Davis would single and plate two runs, and a heads up play by Jared Triolo running at third base, allowed him to score on an error and indecision by the Black Knights second baseman.

Relievers Ron Brown, Fred Villarreal, and Devon Roedahl would each go one inning without giving up a run, a solid day for the bullpen which saw five pitchers come into the game starting in that first inning.

The possibility of ninth inning theatrics looked promising for the Black Knights as they loaded the bases with one out, but Roedahl gave them nothing and that set the stage for the bottom of the ninth.

Jared Triolo got a one-out single and would advance to second on an errant pick-off throw at first . . . Joe Davis would end his 4-for-5, 5 RBI day with a homerun over the right field fence to send the fans home happy and to secure the first series sweep on the season for the Cougars.

The Cougars are off on Monday and welcome Texas-San Antonio to Schroeder Park for a mid-week matchup on Tuesday at 6:30pm before hitting the road for their first real road trip of the season. –

 

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Cougars End Skid, Defeat Army 6-3

Friday night baseball vs. Army at Schroeder Park. Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter.
Friday night baseball vs. Army at Schroeder Park.
Photo by @5_Coogs via Twitter.

The Army Black Knights arrived at Schroeder Park Friday afternoon to face a Houston Cougars team that had lost five straight games dating back two weekends ago when they lost the series finale to Arizona.

Friday night starter Tyler Bielamowicz was scratched from his usual start day due to illness, and Lael Lockhart Jr. would take the hill instead.

The Cougars led off each of the first three innings with a base hit . . . It is no coincidence that the Cougars would also score runs in each of those three innings . . . When the Cougars stopped getting the leadoff batter on base, they also stopped scoring runs.

Lockhart was very effective in his outing as he allowed just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, exiting in the sixth with his team ahead 4-1 . . . The bullpen would allow the Black Knights to score two runs before Nolan Bond would come in from the bullpen to end the inning with the Cougars lead down to a run, 4-3.

Joe Davis would immediately get a run back, sending the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning over the left field wall . . . For Davis it was career homerun number 40 at the University of Houston . . . It was also another leadoff hit leading to runs scoring in the inning, the Coogs would manufacture another run in the inning, taking a 6-3 lead.

Devon Roedahl entered the game to pitch in the seventh and was immediately greeted by a leadoff triple by Army center fielder Jacob Hurtubise . . . Roedahl remained calm, made his pitches, and three outs later had left Hurtubise on third . . . Roedahl would get Army down in order in the eighth.

Roedahl would face a little adversity in the ninth, but he was able to shut down the Black Knights and get the final three outs to end the Cougars five game losing streak . . . Cougars pitching allowed only four hits on the night, two each by two hitters . . . This was a solid team win for the Coogs, and while Lael Lockhart Jr. got the official win, the entire team played a part in the Friday night victory.

The Cougars and the Black Knights continue their series Saturday evening at 6:30pm at Schroeder Park. –

 

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Cougars Hang Close, Lose 3-2 to Texas A&M

Lael Lockhart, Jr. throws the first pitch against Texas A&M on Sunday. Photo by Cougars Beat
Lael Lockhart, Jr. throws the first pitch against Texas A&M on Sunday.
Photo by Cougars Beat

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. –

 

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Joe Davis Makes AAC Honor Week for the Week

Breaking News 1,800 miles from Houston in Providence, Rhode Island . . . Joe Davis after a spectacular week has earned a spot on the American Athletic Conference (AAC) weekly baseball honors list for the week ending February 24 . . . This is what the official release had to say about the Cougar first baseman:

. . .

Joe Davis * Sr. * 1B * Houston 
Davis hit three home runs and had seven RBIs, as Houston took two of three in a series against No. 24 Arizona. The senior finished 6-for-17 (.352) with five of his hits going for extra bases. He began the week with a 3-for-6 performance and four RBIs against McNeese State Wednesday. Davis hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning Friday night in Houston’s 2-1 win over the Wildcats in the series opener. He ended his week with a double, home run and two RBIs Sunday.

. . .

This note does not include the fact that in Saturday evenings affair at Schroeder Park, the Arizona Wildcats wanted no part of Joe Davis, and in his first three plate appearances he was intentionally walked twice and hit by a pitch once . . . Kudos to Joe Davis, well deserved.

Cougars Drop Finale to Arizona, Win Series

Houston Cougars @PRayRay 2-24-2019
A gorgeous afternoon for baseball at Schroeder Park.
Photo courtesy of @PRayRay via Twitter.

For the second day in a row the Arizona Wildcats would strike in the first inning . . . But the Cougars would respond differently on Sunday at Schroeder Park in the finale of their three game series win . . . Rather than a quick and furious comeback as we saw Saturday night, the Cougars would be stymied by some odd baseball and some solid opposing pitching.

Starting pitcher Lael Lockhart Jr. would allow two runs in the first, but would get 1-2-3 innings in the second and third and he would work out of a little trouble in the fourth . . . But the fifth inning would be end of the road for Sunday’s starter . . . Lockhart would exit as his pitch count had reached 84 and he had labored as Arizona manufactured baserunners, and runs as a result . . . Relievers Carter Henry and Brayson Hurdsman would enter the game, but the result was no different as some odd plays would help the Wildcats build up a 9-1 lead by the end of the inning.

Joe Davis would get the first hit for the Cougars in the fourth inning on a leadoff homerun . . . The Coogs would get two consecutive singles after the Davis homerun and Arizona would go to the bullpen . . . The Wildcats bullpen would keep down the trailing Cougars, limiting them to a two-run seventh inning and not much else . . . Arizona would use five pitchers to defeat the Cougars 9-4.

The Wildcats came to town ranked #24 in the country, they will not be ranked after this weekend . . . The Cougars now have an off day before taking on Lamar over in Beaumont on Tuesday. –

 

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Cougars, Behind Bielamowicz, Stop #24 Arizona

UHCougarBB 2-22-2019
Tyler Bielamowicz exits the game after a brilliant six innings.
Photo courtesy of @UHCougarBB

The Houston Cougars played host to the 24th ranked Arizona Wildcats on Friday evening at Schroeder Park under a humid, foggy, bleak-looking sky . . . The Wildcats opened the weekend at 5-0 and with an offense that had scored 85 runs in their first five games.

The first three and a half innings went by extremely quickly. Then in the Cougars half of the fourth after two quick outs, the Coogs put the brakes on the game and slowed it down considerably . . . An infield single was followed by a walk, which was followed by a mound visit, then came a game-tying single by Kobe Hyland, and finally a strikeout to close out the inning . . . . Arizona starting pitcher Randy Labaut had been fairly efficient to that point, but by the time the inning was over he had thrown over twenty pitches to finish with 54 pitches thru four.

Tyler Bielamowicz was brilliant over six innings, allowing only a Blake Paugh solo homerun in the third, striking out five and throwing 94 pitches . . . Labaut was equally impressive as he would throw 107 pitches over 7 1/3 innings giving up six hits and the only two runs the Coogs would put on the board.

Joe Davis would go 1-for-4 on the night, but the one was a massive one . . . With one out and the scored tied at 1 in the bottom of the eighth, Davis hit a 2-2 pitch through the dense Houston air to left-center field and it would clear the fence to give the Cougars the lead going to the ninth.

Right-hander Fred Villarreal would close out the game in the ninth with eight pitches to the top of the Wildcats order, and that was that . . . The Wildcats had only two hits in the game as they lost for the first time this season to go to 5-1 in a game that did not last three hours.

The three game series resumes Saturday night at Schroeder Park, with a slightly later than usual start at 7:30pm to accommodate fans attending the men’s basketball game also on campus Saturday afternoon. –

 

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Cougars Fall in 14, Now 2-2 on the Season

@UHCougarBB 2-20-2019
Joe Davis lifts a homerun to center as the Cougars dugout looks on.
Photo courtesy of @UHCougarBB

The Houston Cougars welcomed the McNeese State Cowboys to Schroeder Park on a cool yet perfect Wednesday evening . . . The game would go fourteen innings, but the number that best explains this mid-week affair is ten: McNeese would score ten runs in the fourteenth inning, and the Cougars would use ten pitchers in the game.

Clay Aguilar got the Wednesday night start on the mound for the Cougars . . . Aguilar would labor a bit with 21 pitches in the opening frame while striking out the side without yielding any runs . . . Aguilar would exit after three innings having struck out six while throwing 48 total pitches.

The Coogs were first on the scoreboard in the third on a single to left that was slightly misplayed, however the runner on second was likely to have scored anyway on the base hit . . . The game was still close at 1-0 when Joe Davis crushed a two-run homerun to center field to give the Coogs a little breathing room.

The sixth inning was problematic for the Cougars . . . McNeese would be the recipient of fours walks, and they would score a run without getting a hit in the inning . . . Tristen Bayless was called out of the bullpen to put an end to the threat, he would get the final out of the inning on a called third strike.

McNeese would tie the game at three in the top of the ninth and a scoreless bottom half of the inning would send the game to extras . . . The bullpen was holding up quite well, minimizing threats and pushing the game five extra innings, that is when the fourteenth inning happened.

The Cowboys would break through in the 14th when they would put together a run scoring inning which began with a single up the middle off of Houston reliever Nolan Bond to plate the go ahead run . . . The inning unraveled further after a new reliever, Sean Bretz, would balk to force in a run, then a suicide squeeze scored another run, and finally another base hit would plate two more . . . Tanner Green would come in from the bullpen and promptly allow a two-run base hit and then a bases loaded walk followed by another two-run base hit . . . By the time all was said and done, McNeese would score ten runs in their half of the fourteenth.

The Coogs were not done yet, as Joe Davis would again hit a drive to center, this time for a double that would drive home two runs . . . And that was that . . . The 13-5 final score indicates a more lopsided game than the five hour affair actually was.

The Cougars now have an off day, a good thing after playing fourteen innings, before playing host to the Arizona Wildcats for a three game series starting Friday at 6:30pm, gates open at 4:30pm . . .  Also, if you want to attend Saturday’s ballgame, be sure to note a later than usual Saturday start time of 7:30pm. –

 

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Cougars Win in the Ninth for the Second Night in a Row

Houston Cougars 2-16-2019
Saturday night baseball at the University of Houston.
Photo courtesy of @cmccullar6 via Twitter.

For the second night in a row, the Houston Cougars would need their final at bat to claim victory . . . Houston catcher Kyle Lovelace would be the final inning hero on this night, driving in the game-winning run on a two-out hit up the middle.

Right-hander Ryan Randel took the mound for the Cougars on a muggy Saturday night on campus . . . The first four innings only took an hour as the game sped along, helped by a minimal number of baserunners for both teams, and those that did reach base tended to be caught stealing or to be part of a double play . . . To say the two teams combined for a total of three hits in those first four innings is a slight illusion, as Northwestern State had all three of the hits to that point. 

The Demons had a fine scoring opportunity in the fifth after a walked batter and a hit by pitch might have suggested Randel was losing a little control at least or tiring out at worst, but the next batter struck out swinging to bring the inning to an end and keep the game scoreless . . . The Cougars meanwhile were hitless through four, finally getting their first base hit in the fifth when Friday night hero Kobe Hyland finally broke through only to be erased a few pitches later when he was caught stealing.

Randel would exit the game in the sixth after a leadoff hit was followed by a walked batter. Things came unraveled at that point as the Cougars allowed three runs in the inning.

The Cougars would stage a comeback starting in the sixth when Friday night starting pitcher Tyler Bielamowicz would hit a two-run homerun after a two out base hit by Houston catcher Kyle Lovelace . . . The homerun finally chased Demons starting pitcher Jerry Maddox from the game. Maddox had been very sharp to that point.

The home seventh for the Cougars would even the game . . . Jared Triolo singled, followed by a Joe Davis walk. Pinch hitter Landon Etzel moved the runners up on a sacrifice bunt, then Kobe Hyland would hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield and a fielders choice at home was not in time as the Coogs tied the game at three. Brad Burckel would put the hometown nine on top with a single to drive in their fourth run of the game.

The Demons tied the game at four in the eighth and that score would hold until Kyle Lovelace’s single up the middle would send the crowd home happy.

The Cougars and the Demons conclude their opening weekend series Sunday at 1pm as the Cougars go for the sweep, the weather should about perfect, so get to the ballpark, root for our Cougars, and bring your brooms.

 

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