Cougars Lose Late, Retain Second Spot in American

Kyle LaCalameto got the start against UCF on Friday at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougars lost a late lead on their way to dropping Saturday night’s middle game to UCF, 6-5.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Zach Arnold reached base with one out on an error at shortstop . . . Alex Lopez kept things going by taking a walk . . . Anthony Tulimero singled to right field on a low liner that the right fielder lost in the sun . . . Cameron Nickens then singled up the middle to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead going to the second inning.

Houston starter Kyle LaCalameto exited the game after the fourth inning, turning the game over to the bullpen . . The Knights took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run home run to right-center.

Malachi Lott led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single and then he stole second base . . . A single to left field by Brandon Uhse drove in Lott from second base to tie the game . . . Arnold singled to keep the inning going . . . Lopez grounded out to shortstop behind second base, but the go-ahead run in Uhse crossed the plate . . . Nickens then delivered a two-out RBI single into shallow right-center field and the Cougars led 5-3 after the three run frame.

Cameron Prayer recorded the final two outs in the top of the fifth inning, a nice outing for the lefty.

Ben Sears came into the game in the eighth inning and retired the side in order . . . But UCF got two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-5 lead . . . The Cougars went down in order in the bottom of the ninth and suffered the late one-run loss.

The Cougars walked batters would eventually score in the Saturday contest . . . Houston remains a game ahead of the Knights to maintain the second spot by one game heading into Sunday’s action.

Houston and UCF conclude their weekend series with a series win on the line Sunday at Schroeder Park . . . Pre-game festivities include Senior Day recognition for three Cougars players . . . Houston has not announced a starting pitcher for the game, but expect to see Nathan Medrano on the hill . . . First pitch is scheduled for 12 noon.

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Houston Dominates USF 13-2

Zach Arnold is greeted by teammates after his second inning home run on Saturday

The Cougars utilized a seven run fourth inning to blow out South Florida 13-2 in Tampa on Saturday as Houston won for the second day in a row.

Scoreless in the top of the third inning, Brandon Uhse singled through the left side of the infield to reach base with two outs . . . Zach Arnold (4-for-5) followed with a home run to left field on a full-count pitch and Houston led 2-0 on Arnold’s eighth home run of the season.

A lead off walk to Ryan Hernandez was the beginning of a big fourth inning for the Cougars . . . Ian McMillan followed with a single to right field . . . After McMillan stole second base, Malachi Lott singled through the right side to drive in a run . . . Lott stole second base and was there when Brandon Burckel singled to left field two drive in two more runs and the Cougars led 5-0.

But the fourth inning kept going . . . After the Bulls went to the bullpen, Arnold doubled to left field to drive in his third run of the ballgame . . . Alex Lopez as the seventh batter of the inning, lifted a fly ball to center and drove in a run on the sacrifice fly . . . Cameron Nickens (2-for-3) capped the scoring with a two-run blast to left-center field, his fourth home run of the season, and Houston led 9-0 after the seven run fourth inning.

The Bulls scored a run in the fourth and another in the fifth, but the Cougars got those right back in the sixth inning . . . Arnold and Lopez les off the frame with singles . . . With two outs, Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to right field and McMillan singled to shallow right and Houston again led by nine runs, 11-2.

Maddux Miller relieved Houston starter Kyle LaCalameto in the fifth inning with two outs to end the inning . . . Maddux also pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

Houston added two runs in the seventh, one on another sacrifice fly RBI by Lopez, and another when Anthony Tulimero singled, which also extended his reached-based streak to fourteen games, and the Cougars led 13-2.

Logan Clayton took the mound in the bottom of the seventh and retired all three batters he faced, striking out two, to end the ballgame at the end of the seventh because of the run rule . . . Clayton only threw seventeen pitches to end the game . . . Miller improves to 3-0 this season with the win.

The Cougars collected sixteen base hits in the seven inning game, including each starter, and the Cougars scored multiple runs in four different innings . . . Meanwhile, the trio of Houston arms limited the Bulls to just six hits while striking out nine.

Houston and South Florida have dodged the weather bullet, which rearranged the weekend schedule, thus far . . . If all goes as planned, the two teams will conclude their series on Sunday morning with another 9am central time first pitch . . . Expect Nathan Medrano to make the start for Houston as they go for the sweep.

Tulimero Home Run Pushes Cougars Past Tigers

Kyle LaCalameto throws the first pitch Saturday night against Memphis

Memphis rallied late for the second night in a row, but on Saturday night Houston responded with a walk off home run to win 5-4 at Schroeder Park.

Brandon Uhse led off the Cougars first with a walk, and one out later Alex Lopez doubled to put runners at second and third . . . Anthony Tulimero singled to the gap in left-center to bring in the first two runs of the game . . . With Houston runners on second and third, Ryan Hernandez singled through the infield and the Cougars led 4-0.

Kyle LaCalameto departed after the seventh inning sporting a 4-1 lead . . . LaCalameto struck out eight and allowed just five hits on 125 pitches in an outstanding outing . . . LaCalameto also lowered his ERA to 2.92.

For the second night in a row, the Tigers rallied late to tie the game, this time it was with a three-run eighth inning against the Cougars bullpen.

The bullpen continued to struggle in the ninth and after the first two Tigers batters reached base, Houston went to the bullpen again, this time Ben Sears took the mound . . . Sears induced a groundout, a pop up on the infield, and a fly ball to center field to end the threat and send the game to the bottom of the ninth.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Anthony Tulimero hit a home run to deep left-center on a hanging breaking ball to make the Cougars walk off winners, 5-4 . . . The home run was Tulimero’s second of the season . . . Ben Sears improved to 6-2 with his inning of work in relief.

Houston and Memphis conclude the weekend series on Sunday with a scheduled first pitch at 1pm . . . At the moment, Houston has not announced a starting pitcher for the game.

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 Wins 20th Game of 2022, Retains Don Sanders Cup

Tuesday night’s first pitch from Logan Clayton against Sam Houston State

The Houston Cougars retained possession of the Don Sanders Cup for another year after a late rally in a back-and-forth game, eventually winning 8-6 on Tuesday night. The win over Sam Houston State did two other things: It kept Houston a perfect 8-0 in midweek games this year, and it gave the Cougars their 20th win of the season after they won 19 games a season ago.

After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning, the Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Anthony Tulimero grounded out to short allowing Zach Arnold scored from third base.

The Cougars took a brief lead in the third inning when Ryan Hernandez plated Alex Lopez with a two out single.

Logan Clayton started for Houston and handled the first three innings of work in what seemed like a bullpen game as the Cougars used six pitchers after Clayton, including: Jose Torrealba, Jackson Dannelley, Cameron Prayer, Taylor Parrett, and Kyle LaCalameto.

The Bearkats tied the game in the top of the fourth and took a 3-2 in the top of the fifth.

With two outs and runners on second and third, Malachi Lott put down a bunt toward short on a perfect line that no fielder was close to as Lott crossed first base, and Arnold scored the tying run easily from third base.

Still tied in the sixth, Brandon Burckel reached base on a one out bunt single . . . With two outs in the inning, Arnold landed a ball on Elgin Street, a home run measuring 411 feet, and the Cougars had a 5-3 advantage . . . Arnold was 3-for-5 on Tuesday night.

Sam Houston State scored three runs over the seventh and eighth innings to take a 6-5 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Brandon Uhse hit a three-run home run with one out to put Houston in front 8-6 . . . Ben Sears who handled the eighth inning, set down the Bearkats in order in the ninth inning to close out the victory.

Houston now has a couple of days off before opening up another American Athletic Conference weekend series on Friday, this time in Cincinnati . . . First pitch on Friday is set for 4pm.

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.

LaCalameto, Sears Lead Houston to Series Win

Ben Sears faces Western Carolina at Schroeder Park on Sunday

Houston concluded its final weekend before conference play begins next weekend by defeating Western Carolina 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Schroeder Park.

The Cougars opened the scoring first when Alex Lopez hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Brandon Uhse from third base for a 1-0 Houston lead . . . After Anthony Tulimero doubled into the right field corner, Ryan Hernandez doubled to left-center to score Tulimero and extend the lead to 2-0.

Kyle LaCalameto got the start for the Cougars, and aside from a single run in the second inning, he carried Houston through six innings and struck out seven batters along the way on just at one hundred pitches.

Still 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Hernandez hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot with two outs, to push the advantage to two runs.

Ben Sears took the ball in the seventh inning in relief of LaCalameto and went the final three innings to close out the game . . . Sears tossed two innings where the Catamounts went down in order, striking out three as well.

The Cougars added three runs in the eighth Zach Arnold led off the inning with a double and after moving over to third and then loading the bases, he scored on a wild pitch . . . Malachi Lott then hit an infield single that allowed two more runs to score before going to the ninth inning.

The 6-1 victory gave Houston another weekend series win . . . LaCalameto picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the year . . . Sears earned the save, his fifth of the season.

After the game, head coach Todd Whitting was happy to talk about Sunday’s pitching duo, “Proud of Kyle for grinding out the W today. We had a few things go sideways early but he just kept competing.”

“Fired up for Ben and the success he is having,” Whitting said. “He and Coach Bunn have worked hard on a few mental and mechanical tweaks that have made him one of top closers in the nation.”

The Cougars have an off day before they host Prairie View A&M on Tuesday night . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm at Schroeder Park.

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.

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.