Cougars Win at Rice, 6-4

Houston Cougars 3-4-2020 via FERGTEXAS409
The Houston Cougars win at Rice on Wednesday night.
(Photo courtesy of @FERGTEXAS409 via Twitter)

The Houston Cougars traveled a few miles to Rice’s Reckling Park on Wednesday night for the first of three games against the Owls in the 2020 Silver Glove Series.

Nick Rupp got the start on the mound for the Cougars and faced early trouble loading the bases with no outs, but he would work out of the situation without allowing a run.

Ian McMillan led off the top of the second with a single, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rey Mendoza and then a fly out to right by Luke Almendarez, before finally scoring on a passed ball to give Houston a 1-0 lead . . . Rice would take the lead right back in their half of the second on a back-to-back single and double.

In the top of the third, Brad Burckel, in his first game back since suffering an injury in Round Rock, singled home Steven Rivas from second to tie the game at two.

Tanner Green entered in the third and pitched 2 1/3 innings and did not give up any runs while only yielding two hits and walk.

The Cougars took 4-2 lead in the fourth when Tyler Bielamowicz singled to center to plate Luke Almendarez and Kyle Lovelace, both reached base on singles . . . After a scoreless fourth for Cougar pitching, Derrick Cherry doubled off the wall in right-center, and was brought home from second two batters later on an Ian McMillan single to increase the Cougars lead to 5-2.

The Cougars ran into trouble in the sixth as two runners reached base with no outs behind Jared Pettitte . . . Derrick Cherry entered the game and gave up a quick RBI single on a wild hop past third baseman Ian McMillan, then an RBI double by Trei Cruz to put Owl runners on second and third with no one out . . . Cherry then struck out the next three Rice batters swinging, the heart of the Owl lineup could not deliver as Cherry buckled-down and held on to a 5-4 lead.

Cherry followed with a scoreless seventh inning in which Kobe Hyland made two great defensive plays at shortstop, showing range and movement on both, one to his right, and one to his left in which he was well behind second when he threw the ball to first.

Tyler Bielamowicz brought home an insurance run in the eighth when he doubled to left-center to bring home Rey Mendoza from second . . . Mendoza had walked to reach base in a ten-pitch at-bat that included fouling-off five pitches . . . For Bielamowicz, the double capped-off a 3-for-4 night with a walk and a stolen base . . . Ironically, Tyler’s stolen base came when he was on first because of a fielder’s choice, the one time he did not reach base cleanly all night.

Meanwhile, Derrick Cherry was dominating on the mound, going four scoreless innings, hitting 87-89mph in his final inning of work . . . Cherry struck out five, only allowed three hits and picked up a save for his effort . . . Tanner Green got the win by virtue of his being the pitcher of record when the Cougars took the lead once and for all.

The Cougars are off tomorrow before opening a series at Arizona Friday night at 7pm. –

Cougars Edged by Rice 2-1

Houston vs. Rice Owls 5-14-2019
Jared Pettitte prepares for the first pitch Tuesday in Sugar Land.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

After a soggy week in the Houston area, Constellation Field in Sugar Land provided a perfect atmosphere for baseball on Tuesday night as the Houston Cougars and Rice Owls played their third game of the season against each other, this one was the rubber game to see who would take home the Silver Glove.

Jared Pettitte made his fourth start of the season and he was getting good movement in his three innings of work . . . Leadoff walks in the third and fourth would score in both innings, the only two runs of the night for Rice . . . In both instances, the leadoff walks were followed by more free baserunners, a walk in the third and a hit batter in the fourth.

The Cougars got on the board in the fifth when Tyler Bielamowicz hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Jared Triolo who had reached base by getting hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.

Aside from Cherry, Houston’s offense was mostly silenced by Rice pitching . . . The Cougars were limited to the one run and only six hits . . . The six hits were collected by only three Cougars, Cherry had three, Burckel had two, and Jared Triolo had a two-out single in the six . . . Nine walks kept runners on the bases all evening for the Cougars, that make the fourteen runners left on base a difficult stat to accept in a one-run loss.

Cougars pitching did not allow a run after the fourth inning as Nolan Bond, Brayson Hurdsman, and Devon Roedahl went the final six innings worth and only allowed two hits.

Derrick Cherry reached base all five times he batted on Tuesday with three singles and two walks . . . A disciplined ninth inning at-bat ended with a one-out single to center that moved Brad Burckel from first to second ahead of potential late-inning heroics, but it was not to be as the next two Cougars batters both grounded out to give Rice the 2-1 victory and the Silver Glove to hold onto for a year.

The Cougars will travel to Orlando, Florida to begin a three-game weekend series with the University of Central Florida to close out the regular season schedule . . . The series in Orlando begins Thursday at 5:00pm local time. –

Cougars Romp at Rice in Extras

Devon Roedahl faces the Rice Owls in the 9th inning Tuesday night. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Devon Roedahl faces the Rice Owls in the 9th inning Tuesday night.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Rice Owls had won six straight entering play on Wednesday night, and the Houston Cougars were coming off a series loss last weekend in Tampa, Florida . . . The first inning indicated that the streaks would continue, but there is a reason baseball has nine innings and sometimes a tenth.

Wednesday night got off to a shaky start as the Owls scored two runs on three hits and a hit batter . . . The got one hit in the first, and would not get another hit until sixth.

Right-hander Nolan Bond took the mound to start the second inning after Brayson Hurdsman started the game pitching only the first . . . Bond retired the first seven batters he faced as his breaking balls were finding the strike zone and his fastballs were finding the corners and freezing batters for called third strikes . . . In the bottom of the fourth two walks and a fielders choice in addition to a high pitch count after a long layoff ended Bond’s night after 2 2/3 innings.

Sean Bretz would relieve Nolan Bond in the bottom of the fourth and get the final out to keep the Rice lead to 2-0 . . . Bond’s outing was a welcome result after a rocky first inning for the Cougars, and it would be the first of four good outings for the Cougars bullpen in the game.

Houston was held scoreless going into the eighth, and after a leadoff strike out, things did not look to be changing . . . After Kobe Hyland walked and Kyle Lovelace singled, both moved into scoring position after a wild pitch . . . Jared Triolo, who had a great game defensively with plenty of opportunities, hit a clutch two-out double down the right-field line as he went where the pitch was thrown and even the score 2-2.

In the tenth, the Cougars managed to score six runs on only one hit, instead relying on six walks, an intentional walk, and a batter hit by a pitch . . . The single came when Kobe Hyland hit a two-out single to right to drive in the fifth of the Cougars six runs in the inning . . . In a game where the Cougars managed to score eight runs in ten innings, they did it on only five hits . . . Kyle Lovelace was the only Cougar with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 and walked once.

The Cougars bullpen went nine scoreless innings after Hurdsman left the game after the first inning . . . The Owls only collected five hits in the final nine innings and the Cougars only issued three walks while striking out eight.

Devon Roedahl picked up his seventh win on the year after 2 2/3 innings of work at the end of the game . . . Roedahl struck out four and looked really strong all the way through the final out in the tenth . . . The Cougars improve to 27-18 on the season with the 8-2 victory, and they evened 2019’s Silver Glove Series, which will be decided with a third and final game in a little under two weeks down in Sugar Land.

The Cougars are off tomorrow and host University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) on Friday for a weekend non-conference series . . . The weather forecast is looking ominous so if you plan to attend any part of this weekend series, you will want to check for updates . . . As of now, first pitch Friday is at 6:30pm. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Rice Tops Cougars 5-3

Houston Cougars scorecard by Cougars Beat vs. Rice 3-5-2019
Houston Cougars vs. Rice. Scorecard by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars hosted the Rice Owls Tuesday afternoon at Schroeder Park . . . A brilliant sky was marred only by a first pitch temperature of 48 degrees.

The Cougars sent left-hander Spencer Hynes to the mound for the mid-week start . . . Hynes would struggle with command and would allow three runs in the second inning before the Cougars called on Nolan Bond out of the bullpen . . . Bond came in to stop the bleeding and stranded two Rice Owls on base to end the second.

The bottom of the order would help the Cougars manufacture two runs in the third . . . Tyler Bielamowicz would highlight the inning with a triple, and he would score on a Grayson Padgett sacrifice bunt as the Cougars clawed closer making the score 3-2.

Bond continued to made quick work of the Owls going four innings, striking out three, and walking none . . . Fred Villarreal came in to relieve Bond and after and infield hit, he would strike out Rice shortstop Trei Cruz looking to end the sixth inning.

The Cougars had a chance to do more scoring damage in the sixth with Bielamowicz and Jared Triolo reaching base for the middle of the order, but Joe Davis and Lael Lockhart Jr. would make quiet outs and the threat was snuffed out.

In the top of the seventh, the Owls would get two singles and a walk to load the bases with no one out . . . The Owls would score two runs and after a fielders choice, extending their lead to 5-2. Villarreal would strike out the final two batters before the fans on hand enjoyed a chance to warm up a bit during the seventh inning stretch. 

Rey Fuentes would get the Cougars eighth started with a leadoff triple. He would be brought home on a Bielamowicz single . . . Three outs later Bielamowicz was still on first base as the Owls took their 5-3 lead into the ninth and closed out the game.

The Cougars could only muster five hits on the afternoon, and they would leave five runners on base.

The Cougars are off until Friday when Army comes to Schroeder Park for a three game weekend series . . . Stay tuned for weather updates as the forecasts look very questionable. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap