DBU Takes Series Finale as Coogs Fall 8-4

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The Houston Cougars went for the sweep Sunday afternoon in the final game of their three game series with the Patriots of Dallas Baptist University . . . They were well position going in, facing a pitcher in Zach Heaton getting his first career college start.

Meanwhile, Ryan Randel missed his Saturday start yesterday due to an apparent illness, so he got pushed back a day to Sunday, and he was outstanding.

The only scoring for the Cougars on Sunday came in the sixth inning . . . Lael Lockhart Jr. got on base first when he was hit by a pitch . . . Jared Triolo then doubled to put runners at second and third . . . Joe Davis then lined the first pitch he saw from DBU reliever Jarod Bayless over the fence in left-center for a three run homerun . . . Two batters later Kobe Hyland would hit a solo homerun to right and the Coogs had a 4-2 lead.

Randel went six innings allowing just two runs, one run was scored on a triple that easily could have been an out, but Blake Way lost the ball on the warning track looking up into the sun . . . Randel did walk four batters and just over half of his 91 pitches were for strikes, the illness or the extra day off may have contributed to the loss of command, but he left the game with his team leading 4-2 and you cannot expect more than that.

Houston’s bullpen was not able to hold off DBU in the two innings after Randel exited, as they gave up six runs . . . In fact six of the thirteen batters the bullpen faced would score in the final two frames to give DBU a 8-4 lead.

The Cougars offense struggled in the final three innings, with the only base hit coming when Lael Lockhart Jr. hit a double to lead off the eighth, but he would be stranded at third when the inning ended.

The Cougars continue their road trip and will play McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Tuesday afternoon at 6pm before returning home for a conference series with Connecticut next weekend.

 

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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 Late Inning Effort Not Enough Against TCU

Friday's first pitch from Nick Lodolo to Brad Burckel. Photo by @CougarsBeat
Friday’s first pitch from Nick Lodolo to Brad Burckel.
Photo by @CougarsBeat

Minute Maid Park played host to the “visiting” Houston Cougars and the TCU Horned Frogs in the Shriners College Classic on Friday afternoon . . . USA Today has TCU ranked at #17 and Baseball America has TCU ranked #24 in the nation entering into the weekend . . . With the ballpark roof closed, all that was left was the action on field, once it got underway.

The game got off to an awkward beginning . . . After the initial warmup pitches and catchers toss down to second base, the umpires did not want to start the game earlier than the 3:05 announced start time, so the Frogs had to stand around on the field and wait for about three minutes for first pitch . . . The Frogs heated up very quickly after that.

The Cougars sent lefty Tyler Bielamowicz to the mound on Friday . . . The Frogs would strike first on a two-out three-run homerun off of Bielamowicz in a 24 pitch first inning.

TCU left-hander, Nick Lodolo, who measures 6’6″ tall, was dominant all day . . . Lodolo needed only 34 pitches to get through the first nine of the Cougars order for a perfect opening three innings . . . Lodolo would be perfect thru four innings, retiring the first fourteen batters he faced before Cougars shortstop Kobe Hyland would reach base on a single in the fifth . . . Lodolo offered a lethal mix of power and movement against the Cougars to get through seven innings of nearly perfect baseball, striking out thirteen along the way.

Tyler Bielamowicz would exit in the fourth after continued trouble, including a second three-run homerun, and sitting at 73 pitches . . . Nolan Bond would enter the game at that point, and he was one of the bright spots for the Cougars on the day . . . Bond went three innings when his team really needed him, and while he gave up two runs, which scored with the help of some defensive miscues and a runner left on base allowed to score by Bond’s successor, his outing was solid even if the box score appears not to reflect that.

Jared Triolo hit his first homerun of the season into the Crawford boxes in the seventh inning . . . The first run of the day for the Coogs . . . Once Nick Lodolo left the game after seven innings pitched, the Cougars were able to piece together some offense against the Frogs bullpen . . . The Cougars plated three in the ninth and had the bases loaded for Joe Davis with two outs . . . Davis hit a drive to left-center that made Coogs fans hold their breath for a moment, but TCU’s center fielder would catch the final out on the warning track . . . In the end a 9-1 deficit was too much to make up as the Coogs evened their record at 4-4 on the season in the 10-6 loss.

The Cougars return to action tomorrow morning at Minute Maid Park, first pitch is at 11am against the Texas State Bobcats.

 

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Cougars, Behind Bielamowicz, Stop #24 Arizona

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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 Win in the Ninth for the Second Night in a Row

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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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Ninth Inning Homerun Makes Cougars a Winner in Season Opener

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Kobe Hyland launches a ninth inning homerun as the opposing dugout looks on.

The Houston Cougars baseball team opened their 2019 campaign Friday night on campus at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park. The three hour affair would end on the final hit of opening night . . . The Coogs took game one of the three game season 5-3 on a homerun in the bottom of the ninth by Kobe Hyland . . . The Cougars, in their black jerseys and white pants, would need all nine innings on this night to send the Cougar fans happy and victorious.

The temperature was a pleasant 71 degrees at the time of Tyler Bielamowicz’s first pitch, and the humid Houston air was tolerable on this night . . . Tyler Bielamowicz won the open competition in the offseason and was awarded the opportunity to be the Friday night starter for the Coogs, he could not get out of the third inning before the bullpen was called on to carry the final six-plus innings . . . Fred Villarreal pitched a brilliant 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen to keep the game within reach.

The Cougars looked offensively overmatched in the first five innings of the game, but first baseman Joe Davis evened the score with one swing of the bat in the sixth inning on a three-run blast . . . The scoring was capped off with Hyland’s game-ending two-run homer to finish off the season opener in style.

The Coogs are back at it on Saturday night, first pitch at 6:30pm . . . Make your way down to the corner of Elgin and Cullen and enjoy a night of baseball. –

 

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