Cougars Claim Silver Glove Series with 12 Inning Win at Rice

Brandon Uhse led off against Rice Tuesday at Reckling Park

It took twelve innings on Wednesday night at Reckling Park but Houston eventually took the game 8-5 and with it Silver Glove Series from Rice.

Brandon Uhse hit the second pitch of the game for a leadoff single . . . Zach Arnold followed with a single of his own in front of a walk to Alex Lopez to load the bases with no outs . . . A bases loaded walk to Anthony Tulimero gave Houston the early lead . . . A wild pitch brought another run across the plate to give Houston a 2-0 first inning lead.

Rice tied the game almost immediately to reset the game going to the second inning.

Thomas Lyssy led off the top of the fourth inning by reaching base on an error by the Rice second baseman . . . One out later, Drew Bianco hammered a ball to the wall in deep right-center field to score Lyssy from first base . . . Arnold singled home Bianco to give Houston a 4-2 lead.

A leadoff walk to Ian McMillan started the top of the sixth inning . . . Bianco was hit by a pitch to put the first two Cougars batters of the inning on base with no outs . . . Arnold grounded out to second base to move both runners into scoring position . . . McMillan then scored on a wild pitch to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead.

Rice rallied for a run in the ninth to force the game into extra innings.

After two scoreless innings in extras, the Cougars offense delivered a three-run top of the twelfth inning to put the game away . . . Pinch-hitter Cary Arbolida walked with one out to get things started . . . Tulimero then reached base on catcher’s interference . . . Murray then pulled a single into left field as pinch-runner Brandon Burckel was moving with the pitch allowing him to cross the plate easily as the go ahead run . . . Nickens singled to plate Tulimero and the Cougars led by two runs . . . With runners on the corners, a pick-off attempt at first base allowed Murray to steal home for an 8-5 lead.

Owen Woodward came in to handle the bottom of the twelfth inning . . . After allowing a leadoff double, Woodward struck out the next two batters swinging and the final batter looking to strand the runner at second base and give Houston the Silver Glove Series for another year . . . Most of the 2,060 patrons had vacated Reckling Park as the ballgame ran 4 hours and 20 minutes.

The two teams combined to use 21 pitchers in the twelve inning midweek contest, the Cougars themselves used ten arms. In addition to Murray and Woodward, Houston pitched Graysen Drezek, Braedyn Cunningham, Ryan Dollar, Braden Forsyth, Dan Wright, Brendan O’Donnell, Maddux Miller, and Kyle Ayers . . . Only Wright and Ayers pitched more than two innings, with Ayers showing up clutch in the tenth and eleventh innings . . . Ayers got the win and improved to 2-1 this season and Woodward earned his fourth save this year.

Houston will host Wichita State at Schroeder Park this weekend for their second conference matchup of the season . . . The Cougars and the Shockers are tied for first place in the conference right now, so this weekend will create separation one way or the other . . . First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 6:30pm.


Lamar Edges Houston 4-2 in Final Home Midweek of 2023

Kyle Ayers started for Houston against Lamar on Tuesday night

Houston fell to Lamar 4-2 on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park in the last midweek game of the season on the Cougars home field.

After a single by Justin Murray to lead off the bottom of the second inning, the Cougars offense was hitless until Ian McMillan led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a single of his own . . . One-out singles by Zach Arnold and Alex Lopez loaded the bases for Anthony Tulimero . . . Arnold and Lopez were both 1-for-2 with two walks against the Cardinals . . . Tulimero hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field to score McMillan and the Cougars deficit was cut in half 2-1.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Brandon Uhse was walked and moved to second base on catchers indifference . . . One out later, Thomas Lyssy (2-for-4) recorded his second hit of the ballgame, a double into the right field corner that brought Uhse across the plate as the Cougars second run in the game . . . Lyssy, who started the game at second base, was responsible for two of Houston’s six hits in the contest, and was the only Cougars hitter with multiple hits in the 4-2 loss.

Lamar threw a different pitch let at Houston in every inning of the ballgame, and used two pitchers in the dicey ninth inning, a total of ten arms that kept the Cougars lineup from getting comfortable with any one pitcher and never allowing a Houston batter to see the same Cardinals pitcher twice.

The Cougars got a nice start by Kyle Ayers, who took the game into the fourth inning and allowed just one run . . . Owen Woodward relieved Ayers in the fourth inning and threw 2 1/3 innings allowing a single run . . . Justin Murray took the mound with one out in the eighth inning and recorded the final five outs, retiring five of the six batters he faced.

Houston’s offense left eight runners on base, while the Cougars pitching staff stranded nine Cardinals runners on base.

Houston (23-18, 8-4) will now travel to Orlando to take on UCF in a weekend conference series . . . The Cougars are entering the second half of conference play having won all four of their previous conference series . . . First pitch on Friday night in Orlando will take place at 5pm.

Cougars Roll 11-1 Over Memphis, Take Series

Cade Citelli was on the mound Sunday in Memphis to close out the series

Houston took an early lead Sunday in Memphis and never let the Tigers into the game as the Cougars rolled to an 11-1 victory and road series win.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Justin Murray (5-for-5) singled in the infield to drive in a run . . . With Murray then attempting to steal second base, the throw from the catcher sailed into center field allowing another run to score for a 2-0 lead before Memphis even got to the plate.

Murray led off the ninth inning with a home run deep to left-center field, his fifth hit of the game and his fifth home run of the season and the Houston lead was back up to ten runs, 11-1.

Owen Woodward handled the final three innings of work after taking over for Citelli . . . Woodward allowed just one hit, a solo home run, but was otherwise flawless as he struck out four Tigers batters . . . Citelli improved to 3-4 with the win and Woodward earned his third save of the season.

Head Coach Todd Whitting spoke of his teams resilience after the series win.

“I am proud of our guys for bouncing back and winning the series,” Whitting said. “Citelli set the tone on the mound and the offense once again showed up in a big way.”

Whitting added, “We have had as much adversity in regards to injuries as any team I have had but they continue to play gritty baseball with a next man up mentality.”

The Cougars return home for a Tuesday night midweek game against Lamar at Schroeder Park . . . Houston then heads to Orlando to play a second straight weekend road series, this time against UCF . . . First pitch Tuesday will be at 6:30pm.

Houston Takes Opener Against Bulls 6-5

Houston opened a weekend series with South Florida Friday at Schroeder Park

The Cougars took the first game of their weekend series with conference foe South Florida on Friday night with a 6-5 victory at Schroeder Park.

South Florida jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead against Houston.

Brandon Uhse led off the top of the second inning with a single, the first hit of the game for the Cougars . . . One out later, Justin Murray (3-for-4) tripled to the wall in right-center field to score Uhse . . . Brandon Burckel followed with a two-out single into left-center field bringing Murray across the plate . . . After an errant throw on a pick-off attempt at first base allowed Burckel to reach second base, Ian McMillan (2-for-3) singled into center field to tie the game at three.

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the third inning, the Houston offense got churning once again . . . Zach Arnold singled to lead off the inning and extend his reached-base streak to 30 games . . . Alex Lopez followed with a walk . . . Two outs later Murray doubled off the wall in right field to give Houston a one-run lead, driving in his third run of the game . . . Cameron Nickens followed with a single into right field to drive home Murray and the Cougars led 6-4.

Right-hander Owen Woodward took the mound in the third inning with two outs . . . Woodward proceeded to throw five innings when the Cougars needed someone to eat up some innings after the short outing by the Friday starter . . . Woodward allowed just one run and struck out four while not walking any batters . . . Brendan O’Donnell got the final out of the top of the eighth inning, striking out the only batter he faced.

Murray took the mound in the top of the ninth inning to protect the 6-5 lead . . . Murray allowed a one-out infield single on a slow-roller to shortstop but he worked around it to retire the next two batters and earn the save, his fifth of the season . . . Woodward picked up the win for his effort, he improves to 3-0 this season.

The Cougars (19-15, 5-2) and the Bulls will continue their series on Saturday afternoon at Schroeder Park . . . Due to the potential for weather issues later in the night, Saturday’s first pitch has been moved up to 2pm . . . Paul Schmitz will be on the mound for Houston as they look to capture the series.

Houston Run-Rules Wichita State 17-3, Takes Road Series

Houston took the series win on Saturday at Wichita State

Houston clinched a series win on the road against Wichita State on Saturday in a decisive 17-3 run-rule victory.

Zach Arnold was bit by a pitch with one out in the top of the first inning . . . Arnold then moved to third base on a two-out single to left field by Brandon Uhse (2-for-3) . . . After a steal of second base by Uhse, Anthony Tulimero (3-for-5) doubled to left field to drive in both runners on base . . . Justin Murray followed with a single to right-center field to score Tulimero and give Houston a 3-0 lead in the opening frame.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the fifth inning when Ian McMillan led off the inning with a single before he stole second base to reach scoring position with one out . . . Malachi Lott (3-for-5) then drove a single the opposite way into left field to plate McMillan and extend the Cougars lead.

Cade Citelli made the Saturday start for Houston and was really good in his outing . . . Citelli pitched five complete innings before being removed in the top of the sixth inning . . . Citelli allowed just one earned run on four hits while striking out eight and was in line for the win if the Cougars held on the rest of the way.

Leading 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, Brandon Burckel was hit by a pitch to reach base before he stole second base ahead of a Drew Bianco infield single to put runners on the corners with no one out, forcing Wichita State to their bullpen once again . . . Arnold then drove a ball to the wall in left field for a two-run double . . . Alex Lopez immediately followed with a single into right field to score Arnold, but Houston was not done in the inning.

A walk to Uhse was followed by a RBI single by Tulimero setting the stage for a Murray three-run home run deep to left field . . . Burckel was hit by a pitch for the second time in the same inning ahead of walks to McMillan and Bianco to load the bases . . . Lott then drove a ball deep the opposite way off the top of the wall just about a foot or two from the foul pole for a bases clearing double.

Still in the top of the seventh inning, Arnold was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game . . . Cary Arbolida pinch-hit for Lopez and promptly drove the third pitch of his at-bat over the wall in center field for a three-run home run and a 17-3 Cougars lead heading to the seventh inning stretch.

The Cougars scored 13 runs in the seventh inning, all of them with two outs . . . Houston also sent 17 batters to the plate in the inning.

Owen Woodward took the mound for the bottom of the seventh inning and struck out all three batters that he faced to close out the victory.

After some travel woes caused the delay of the start of the weekend series and forced a doubleheader to be played on Saturday, Cougars head coach Todd Whitting had good reason to wonder what his team would do with three games to play in just over 24 hours.

“I thought the team was tough and grinded all weekend,” Whitting said. “After delays, we didn’t get to the hotel until 6am on Thursday, I thought fatigue caught up with us in game two [Friday] but we came out today ready to play from the first pitch.”

In all three games this weekend, the Cougars got five or more innings from their starting pitchers and had minimal need for the bullpen in what could have been a difficult short-term situation with both fatigue and over-use real possibilities.

“I have said all along we have a talented pitching staff and it would take us some time to get roles established,” Whitting said after Saturday’s win. “With LaCalameto and Phelps out, and Torrealba out until this past weekend . . . it took a little longer than we wanted.”

Lott and Murray each had four RBI in the Saturday win, while Tulimero and Arbolida each had three RBI.

Houston (17-15, 4-2) returns home after the Saturday contest and will next be in action on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park when the Cougars will host Sam Houston State . . . Houston will be trying to even the three-game Don Sanders Cup series after dropping the first game in Huntsville last month . . . First pitch on Tuesday night is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Houston, Schmitz Dominate Northwestern 10-2

Paul Schmitz delivers the first pitch of Saturday’s game against Northwestern

After a miserable Friday night performance, the Cougars rebounded on Saturday against the Northwestern Wildcats behind right-hander Paul Schmitz for a 10-2 victory.

Zach Arnold got the scoring started in the bottom of the third inning with a RBI single into left-center for a 1-0 Houston lead.

Cameron Nickens hit his third home run of the week, a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning to give Houston a 5-0 lead . . . Malachi Lott was 4-for-5 in the game with a RBI in both the fifth and seventh innings.

Schmitz has earned his way into the weekend rotation and his Saturday outing was another shining example of his efficiency and effectiveness as a starter . . . Schmitz took the game into the seventh inning, when the Wildcats scored their only runs of the game, getting two outs before giving way to Owen Woodward.

After the seventh inning stretch, Anthony Tulimero hit a three-run home run over the wall in left-field, a ball that traveled 406 feet and the Cougars led 8-2.

Woodward handled the final 2 1.3 innings of word and earned his second save of the season . . . Schmitz (1-1) earned his first win of the season.

The Cougars close out the homestand on Sunday when they will face Friday’s opponent, UT Arlington . . . A properly rested Josh Ekness will get the start for Houston, his second consecutive Sunday start . . . First pitch at Schroeder Park is scheduled for 1pm.

Houston Rallies in Final Frames to Take Series

Houston rallied for two runs in the ninth inning and two more in the tenth inning to earn a 4-2 victory in ten innings on Saturday afternoon at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Right-hander Paul Schmitz made his second consecutive Saturday start for Houston and was really sharp despite two solo home runs, the only runs he allowed . . . Schmitz tossed 6 2/3 innings, the second day in a row the Cougars starter has pitched until they had two outs in the seventh inning . . . Schmitz was working fast and was very efficient on the mound, only yielding the two solo home runs and striking out seven and he also retired eleven straight batters between the second and the fifth innings.

Houston was hitless in the game until a two-out single by Alex Lopez in the top of the sixth inning, but first base was as far as Lopez would get.

Minnesota starter George Klassen pitched 7 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball before being relieved on the mound having baffled Houston hitters all afternoon.

With one out in the top of the ninth inning, Zach Arnold singled to begin a rally, also extending his games-reached streak to 17 games . . . Justin Murray then pinch-hit for Alex Lopez and hit a game-tying two-run home run over the left field wall.

Still tied in the tenth inning, Ian McMillan hit a two-out double down the left field line . . . Drew Bianco drove McMillan home with a double of his own, and that was followed by a Cameron Nickens double to give the Cougars a 4-2 lead.

Brendan O’Donnell, Cade Citelli, and Owen Woodward all pitched in relief over the last 3 1/3 innings and kept Minnesota from starting anything resembling a rally with Woodward recording the final four outs of the game to secure the series win.

Houston and Minnesota conclude their weekend series in Minneapolis on Sunday at noon . . . Expect to see left-hander Malachi Lott on the mound to start the game as the Cougars go for their first sweep of 2023.

Cougars Dominate Utes 14-5

Anthony Tulimero is greeted at home plate by teammates after a fourth inning home run on Friday

The Houston Cougars opened the 2023 Kleburg Bank Classic in Corpus Christi with an offensive explosion at Whataburger Field defeating the Utah Utes 14-5 on Friday afternoon.

After an Alex Lopez single gave Houston a 1-0 first inning lead, catcher Anthony Tulimero tripled to drive him in and the Cougars took a two-run lead before the Utes had even been up to bat.

The Cougars added two runs in the second inning and led 4-2 going into the fourth inning.

Lopez doubled to get the fourth inning scoring started, his third hit in three at-bats at that point . . . One out later, Tulimero followed with a two-run home run to left field and the Cougars took an 8-2 lead . . . It was Tulimero’s first home run of the season.

Brandon Burckel hit a two-out solo home run in the fifth inning . . . Cary Arbolida got a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning when Utah went to the bullpen in the middle of a Malachi Lott at-bat . . . Arbolida hit the first pitch he saw for a run-scoring double and the lead was extended to 10-2, the first time this season Houston scored double-digit runs.

Houston starter Cade Citelli was removed from the game during his third inning having allowed two runs and was hampered with five walks in 2 2/3 innings pitched . . . Maddux Miller took the ball to end the inning and stayed in to record 3 1/3 scoreless innings where he also did not allow a hit.

With the Cougars leading 10-5 in the top of the ninth inning, Drew Bianco got  his first hit in a Houston uniform, a three-run home run to left field . . . Justin Murray added an RBI and the Cougars took a 14-5 into the bottom of the frame where Owen Woodward closed out the game.

Tulimero went 3-for-4 with a walk in the contest and finished just a double shy of hitting for the cycle . . . Burckel tripled in the ninth inning, the Cougars second three-bagger of the game . . . Houston had hit just one home run in their previous four games, a Brandon Uhse solo home run last weekend against Cal, but the offense accounted for three of them in Friday’s victory

The Cougars return to action Saturday night when they face Texas A&M Corpus Christi . . . Expect to see left-hander Kyle LaCalameto make his second straight Saturday start in the game . . . First pitch in Corpus Christi is scheduled for 7pm.

Houston Shut Out in 2023 Opener

Cade Citelli delivers the first pitch to open the 2023 season against Cal

The Houston Cougars opened the 2023 campaign with a 7-0 loss at the hands of the Cal Bears at Schroeder Park.

Cade Citelli marched through the Cal lineup in smooth fashion to open the season while also making his Houston debut . . . Citelli retired the first nine batters he faced and was perfect through three innings before things fell apart for him in a three-run fourth inning.

Cal left-hander Ian May went eight strong innings allowing just three hits to the Cougars and striking out seven along the way.

Alex Lopez hit May twice, the only Houston hitter with multiple hits in the game, and just one of two Cougars with hits against the Bears.

In addition to Citelli, Paul Schmitz, Travis Phelps, Owen Woodward and Graysen Dezek also made their Houston debuts.

Former Cougar Joe Davis, the all-time home run hitter in program history, was on hand Friday night to throw out the honorary first pitch prior to the game . . . Davis retired from baseball back in December after three seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization . . . Davis is back in Texas now, having returned to his hometown of Austin.

The Cougars and the Bears resume their opening weekend series on Saturday when the Cougars will send left-hander Kyle LaCalameto to the mound . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.