Houston picked up its first win of the 2023 season with an 8-6 victory over the Cal Golden Bears at Schroeder Park on Sunday afternoon.Cal got in on the act immediately when their first two batters hit their way on base to open up the contest, and both scored quickly as the Golden Bears took a 2-0 lead.
Brandon Burckel (3-for-3) got the Cougars on the board in the second inning with a two-run double to the wall in left-center which tied the game at two . . . Batting with two outs in the fourth inning, Burkel drove his second double in as many at-bats down the left field line to score Justin Murray all the way from first base to tie the game at three . . . Cameron Nickens (2-for-4) drove home Burckel with a single to center to put the Cougars in front for the first time on the weekend, 4-3.
Alex Lopez (2-for-3) singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning . . . Brandon Uhse doubled into the left field corner to score Lopez from first base . . . A sacrifice fly to center field by Murray plated Uhse from third base and the Cougars took a 6-5 lead.
Tied at six in the bottom of the eighth inning, Malachi Lott walked and stole second before Burckel followed with an infield single, his third hit of the game, putting runners on the corners with no one out . . . One out later, Zach Arnold dropped a looping single into shallow right-field to give the Cougars a one run lead . . . Lopez gave Houston an 8-6 lead on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Left-hander Jose Torrealba closed out the win in the ninth by retiring the Golden Bears in order . . . Torrealba struck out two in the ninth inning and picked up the win for his effort over 1 1/3 innings.
Houston is off for two days before hitting the road for the next four games . . . The Cougars will play UTSA in San Antonio on Wednesday at 6:00pm before heading to Corpus Christi for a weekend tournament where they will face Utah, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Incarnate Word.