Houston Defeats Memphis, Takes Series

Nathan Medrano throws the first pitch on Sunday against Memphis

Houston held on to a late lead, in a reversal of the previous two games, in a 7-5 victory on Sunday at Schroeder Park to take their second straight conference series. The Cougars had to win the final two games of the weekend to claim the series.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a bases loaded walk to Ryan Hernandez.

The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning when Memphis tied the game on a bases loaded groundout double-play after having loaded the bases with no one out . . . Houston starter Nathan Medrano worked around further damage by getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Still tied in the bottom of the fifth inning, Alex Lopez (3-for-4) started a two-out rally with a double . . . Two walks loaded the bases for Hernandez who proceeded to hit a grand slam over the wall in left field for a 5-1 Houston lead . . . Hernandez accounted for five of the Houston runs batted in on Sunday.

The Tigers got two runs back in the top of the seventh inning and Medrano exited the game with two outs having allowed three runs, all of them unearned, on 104 pitches.

The Cougars added to their tally in the seventh inning as well . . . Lopez singled on the infield to lead off the inning . . . Anthony Tulimero doubled to the wall in center field to plate Lopez from first base . . . Cameron Nickens followed with a double to the gap in left-center scoring Tulimero and the Cougars had a four run cushion once again, 7-3.

Ben Sears came on in relief of Logan Clayton with two outs in the eighth inning and although Memphis got a run, Sears limited the damage . . . Memphis added another run in the ninth, but Sears limited it to that.

Medrano improved to 5-3 on the season with the 7-5 win and Sears picked up his eighth save in recording the final four outs . . . Lopez was the only Houston hitter with multiple hits in the game.

Houston ended its eight game homestand and will now be on the road for the next four games . . . The road schedule begins with a midweek matchup on Tuesday in Beaumont against Lamar, first pitch is scheduled for 6pm.

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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.

Houston Takes Tulane Series with 10-9 Win

Derrick Cherry opens up the Saturday finale against Tulane

Houston took advantage of a nine run inning on Saturday afternoon to claim their second conference series win in three attempts with a 10-9 victory over Tulane.

The Green Wave jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead with the help of two home runs in the opening frame . . . While Houston was kept off the board in the meantime, Tulane added a run in the fourth and Houston went to the bullpen.

Houston got a run in the fourth when Cameron Nickens (2-for-3) doubled to the wall in right-center field and scored Anthony Tulimero from first base, but Houston trailed 4-1.

Logan Clayton took the mound in the fourth and also handled the fifth, striking out two batters while Tulimero caught another runner trying to steal second base.

The Cougars then exploded in the fifth inning . . . A two-out double to left-center field by Zach Arnold (3-for-5) scored two runs before Alex Lopez smoked a ball toward second base that the fielder had no chance on, but the ball made contact with him and lost momentum as it rolled into right field allowing Arnold to score from second to tie the game at four.

Tulimero singled and a walk to Nickens loaded the bases for Ryan Hernandez . . . Hernandez (3-for-4) drove a ball to left field that was mis-played by the left fielder which allowed the bases to clear and Hernandez ended up at second base with a double . . . Samuel Tormos (2-for-3) followed with his second single of the inning, this one drove in Hernandez from second base . . . Ian McMillan then homered to left field for the second day in a row and the Cougars led 10-4 having scored nine runs in the inning with two outs.

Ben Sears took the mound with two outs in the sixth inning and got a strike out to end the frame . . . Sears stayed in the game to record the final ten outs and despite allowing a pair of runs in the eighth inning, closed out the 10-9 victory to earn his seventh save of the season, while Clayton took the win and improved to 2-3.

The Houston offense scored ten or more runs in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season . . . Five different Houston batters had multiple hits in the Saturday game.

The Cougars are off until Tuesday when they will welcome Houston Baptist to Schroeder Park for a midweek contest . . . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Houston Loses Sunday, Evens Conference Record

Ryan Hernandez bats with two runners on base Sunday in Cincinnati

Houston took an early lead but was unable to stop the explosive Cincinnati offense on Sunday as the Cougars lost 9-6.

Two quick outs began the opening inning for the Cougars, but then Alex Lopez doubled and that was followed by a walk to Cameron Nickens . . . With a 3-0 count on him, Ryan Hernandez had the green light to swing, and he put a charge into the next pitch and sent it 441 feet over the wall in left field for an early 3-0 Houston lead.

Cincinnati got a run back in the bottom of the first before taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second after the bases were loaded with the assistance of two walks and a hit batter.

In the top of the third, Malachi Lott led off the inning with a walk and one out later Lopez homered to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead . . . Lopez (3-for-5) finished the game a triple shy of the cycle and the home run was his second of the weekend.

Ian McMillan hit a one-out double in the fourth inning ahead of a single by Dylan Post . . . Brandon Burckel then put down a bunt single that was indefensible to plate McMillan and extend the Houston lead, 6-4.

Right-hander Maddux Miler took the mound in the bottom of the fourth with Houston pitchers struggling to eliminate free passes and Cincinnati runs . . . Miller pitched a valuable two innings to get the Cougars into the sixth inning . . . Houston pitchers walked six batters on Sunday, in addition to hitting two batters with pitches.

Ben Sears pitched the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a baserunner.

Trail 9-6 in the ninth, Houston put two runners on base to start the inning, but a pop-up and a caught-stealing extinguished hope before a looking strike out ended the game and gave Cincinnati a home series win . . . The Cougars are now 3-3 in conference play and will take on Tulane in Houston next weekend.

The Cougars will return home now and have Monday off before they welcome UTRGV on Tuesday night for the second time this season . . . The first pitch at Schroeder Park is set for 6:30pm.

Cougars Grab Early Lead, Win at Cincinnati 5-4

Alex Lopez bats against Cincinnati on Friday

Houston took its show on the road for only the third full weekend road trip of the season and took game one in Cincinnati 5-4 on Friday.

After having the lead off batter retired, Houston responded with five straight hits in which four runs scored and Cincinnati was down 4-0 before they even came to bat . . . Alex Lopez’s two-run home run was the biggest hit of the inning, with Ryan Hernandez and Malachi Lott (2-for-4) also driving in a run each.

Right-hander Jaycob Deese started on the mound for Houston and allowed four runs over six innings, he was not hit hard, he gave up runs in three different innings . . . Two of the runs allowed scored on a mis-played ball in left field when a dying liner got past the diving fielder.

Leading 4-2 in the top of the third, the Cougars added a run when an infield hit by Lott forced a throwing error on the Bearcats third baseman allowed Anthony Tulimero (2-for-4) to score from first base while Lott stopped at second base and Houston led 5-2.

Deese took his exit after six innings leading 5-4 with his pitch count over one hundred and Kyle LaCalameto took the mound . . . LaCalameto pitched two innings, retiring all six batters he faced allowing none to reach base before Ben Sears entered the game to work the ninth inning . . . Sears threw eleven pitches in the ninth to retire all three Cincinnati batters, striking out two of them to close out the Houston road win . . . Sears earned his sixth save and Deese got the win to improve to 2-2 on the season.

The Cougars and the Bearcats pick it back up tomorrow afternoon in Cincinnati . . . First pitch will take place at 3pm.

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.

Cougars Tame Panthers 13-1 Ahead of Conference Play

Logan Clayton gets the game started against the Panthers Tuesday at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougars remained a perfect 7-0 in midweek games this season as they won 13-1 against Prairie View A&M on Tuesday before opening conference play this weekend.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Alex Lopez led off the inning with a double to the wall in left-center field . . . Anthony Tulimero then hit the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to put the Cougars in front by a run . . . Ryan Hernandez followed with a double to left field two pitches later . . . One out later, Ian McMillan flied out to center field and scored Hernandez to extend the Houston lead to 3-1.

Houston added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by Zach Arnold and another run in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead . . . The Cougars put the game away in an eight run eighth inning where the Cougars collected eights hits, the big blow was a two out 416 foot home run to left by Hernandez, who was 3-for-4 in the game.

Logan Clayton started for the Cougars and handled the first two innings and allowed the only Panthers run of the game . . . The Houston bullpen sent six pitchers to the mound after Clayton, and no one surrendered a run . . . Taylor Parrett was impressive over two innings in which he struck out four of the six outs he recorded . . . Colby Casey, Jackson Dannelley, Cameron Prayer, Derrick Cherry, and Malachi Lott all pitched one inning in relief and 

Lott, batting lead off on Tuesday night, was 3-for-4 and reached base when he was hit by a pitch . . . Lott was part of the eighth inning onslaught when he doubled to the wall in center to drive in two runs . . . Another freshman in the lineup, Brandon Buckel, has improved quite a bit over the last couple of weeks after some early season struggles, he was 2-for-4 on Tuesday night and is now hitting .235 . . . Dylan Post was behind the plate on Tuesday, with Tulimero batting cleanup, and Post picked up his first two base hits of the season in a 2-for-5d effort.

Houston won 13-1 and knocked out nineteen hits against Panther pitching which sets a new high for the season, passing by two hits their previous season high from their game against UTRGV in February.

Houston’s pitching was a point of pride after the game for head coach Todd Whitting. “Very excited about the continued progress of our pitching staff,” Whitting said. “I feel like we have five solid starters fighting for three spots on the weekend. The back end of the bullpen led by Ben Sears has been outstanding.” Whitting added, “It’s great to see that unit come together under Coach Bunn”

The Cougars (17-8) have a couple of days off before they start conference play on Friday when they host the Wichita State Shockers for a weekend series, the first of six games against the Shockers this season . . . That first pitch at Schroeder Park is set 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 Drops Middle Game to Western Carolina

Anthony Tulimero doubles in the second inning Friday night at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougar offense that produced thirteen runs on Friday night was significantly less productive on Saturday night at Schroeder Park as they fell to Western Carolina, 6-3.

The Catamounts led 2-0 after scoring a run in the first and another in the second . . . The Cougars got on the board in the bottom of the second when a wild pitch plated Anthony Tulimero from third.

Down by a run in the bottom of the third, Zach Arnold led off the inning with a walk, and the Catamounts immediately went to the bullpen . . . Arnold then stole second and third, which allowed him to score moments later on a wild pitch while Ryan Hernandez was at-bat to tie the game.

Western Carolina got the lead right back by adding a run in the fourth and adding two in the sixth and one in the eighth to extend their lead to 6-2.

The Cougars were unable to manufacture much offense on Saturday night, the team had three hits through seven innings before Zach Arnold led off the bottom of the eighth with a mammoth home run to deep left-center to get Houston to within a run, 6-3.

The Cougars used seven pitchers on Saturday night, notably, Jackson Dannelley tossed a scoreless inning after inheriting a runner on base after a lead off walk, it is another good sign for Dannelley as he works his way back from an injury on opening weekend . . . Logan Clayton tossed a scoreless inning for the second night in a row . . . And Derrick Cherry, off of his career high 121 pitch outing on Tuesday night, pitched a scoreless inning in what is the equivalent of a bullpen session in between appearances . . . Nathan Medrano was tagged with the loss but only allowed two earned runs over five innings with nine strike outs.

The Catamounts 6-3 win Saturday evened the series which sets up Sunday’s finale as the rubber match . . . Houston had four base hits in the contest, notable there is that Brandon Uhse did not have a hit, so his 18 game hit streak comes to an end in the loss.

Houston and Western Carolina close out the weekend series on Sunday at Schroeder Park . . . First pitch is scheduled for 1pm, while no announcement has been made yet as to the starting pitcher on Sunday, expect to see Kyle LaCalameto take the mound for the Cougars.