Cougars Walk-off Winners in the Ninth, 6-5

Ben Sears delivers Saturday’s first pitch at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats needed all nine frames to decide a winner at Schroeder Park on Saturday as the Cougars walked off winners 6-5.

Ben Sears was on the mound for Houston on Saturday and his first two innings were smooth as he was getting ahead of batters and getting first-pitch outs.

Cincinnati led off the third with a solo home run and added two in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead.

Ryan Hernandez led off the Houston fourth by hitting his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall on the first pitch of the inning.

Samuel Tormos, who collected his first college base hit on Saturday, added his second hit in the second inning on Saturday, a double to the left field corner . . . He added his first collegiate home run in the fifth when he hit a no-doubter over the wall in left, Tormos knew he had hit it well off the bat.

The Cougars were not done in the frame though, as three of the next four batters singled and Ryan Hernandez was hit by a pitch to walk in a run . . . Will Pendergrass followed with a single to center to put the Cougars in front 4-3 going to the sixth.

A Brandon Uhse single in the sixth scored Tormos from second and increased the Cougar lead to 5-3 heading to the seventh inning.

Cincinnati got a run back in the seventh on a leadoff solo home run which led to the exit of Ben Sears and the arrival of Derrick Cherry . . . Cherry retired the side to end the seventh, striking out two.

Cincinnati tied the game at five in the bottom of the ninth on a single to left that plated a runner from second base.

Ryan Hernandez (2-for-4) led off the ninth with a single deep behind second base, he was able to leg-out a close attempt at first to reach base . . . Samuel Benjamin pinch-ran for Hernandez and promptly stole second base . . . With one out, Steven Rivas was intentionally walked to put two runners on . . . Ian McMillan hit a ground ball through the hole at second and Benjamin raced around third and beat a throw to the plate to give the Cougars a 6-5 win.

Derrick Cherry, who pitched the final three innings in relief of Ben Sears, picked up the win, his second of the season . . . The Houston offense pounded out twelve base hits in the Saturday contest.

“The Coaches have been working with me and I’ve been squaring the ball up the last two days,” Tormos said after the game . . . “Awesome,” Tormos replied with a sigh when asked about his first collegiate home run . . . The freshman, who was 2-for-3 in the game with two RBI, expects to hit well after his stellar high school career and a solid fall camp which included a home run in the Red vs. White series . . . When asked how that first collegiate home run felt, and about the fact that he knew it was gone off the bat, Tormos just laughed and said, “yeah.”

The Cougars and the Bearcats close out the series and the final Cougars home game of 2021 on Sunday at noon . . . Prior to the game, Houston will recognize its seven senior student athletes . . . Carter Henry will be on the mound for the Cougars. –

Cougars Walk-Off Winners in 11 Over UT

Ben Sears throws the first pitch of Saturday’s game at Schroeder Park

The Houston Cougars took the field on Saturday afternoon having not scored a run since last Sunday in Corpus Christi . . . While runs were hard to come by on Saturday, the Cougars got one more than the Texas Longhorns did in an eleven inning thriller at Schroeder Park.

Kyle Lovelace drove in the first run of the game in the bottom of the second when he hit a two-out single to center to score Samuel Benjamin to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead . . . Lovelace was 1-for-5 on the afternoon but was again a vacuum behind the plate and caught the only Longhorn that attempted to steal a base.

Ben Sears worked 5 1/3 innings as he got the start for the third time this season . . . Sears only allowed two runs and struck out six and left the game as a would-be losing pitcher if things remained as they were . . . It worked out differently.

Ryne Huggins entered the game, after Layne Looney faced a batter, to get the final out of the sixth, but the Longhorns had taken a 2-0 lead at that point.

Samuel Benjamin had two hits in this game, a single in the second, and a two-out double to left-center in the sixth which led to Texas going to their bullpen for the first time of the weekend . . . Will Pendergrass welcomed the new pitcher by lining a triple to the wall in right-center scoring Benjamin and tying the game . . . Head Coach Todd Whitting mentioned earlier in the week that Benjamin and Pendergrass were the future of the program, comparing them to Rivas and Hernandez, the duo looked the part on Saturday afternoon.

Steven Rivas returned to the line-up after only appearing once in a one at-bat pinch-hitting role in Friday nights 1-0 defeat . . . Rivas was 1-for-5 with a single to right field in the seventh that looked to be part of a potential rally, but was foiled soon after . . . The Cougars again threatened when they loaded the bases in the eighth but that rally ended with a strikeout.

Jaycob Deese pitched three scoreless innings in relief to move the game along and he was dominating . . . Deese was consistently throwing 92 plus and ended his first inning of work on a 97mph fastball . . . Overall Deese struck out five and allowed both a hit and a walk and saw his ERA drop to 2.03 . . . Blake Schultz took the mound in the tenth and eleventh and blanked Texas in both . . . Discussing the bullpen’s effort on Saturday, Head Coach Todd Whitting said, “For those guys to come in and throw strikes like they did, it was huge for us to give us a chance to win that game.”

With one out in the eleventh, Tyler Bielamowicz hit an 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence off of Texas pitcher Aaron Nixon to send the Cougars home with a 3-2 victory . . . Bielamowicz was 1-for-4 with two walks on Saturday, but the one was a big one . . . After the celebration at home plate, Tyler was quick to heap praise on his teammates for the win, “Ben Sears pitched a hell of a game today. The guys coming out of the pen pitched a hell of a game.” “Benjamin and Pendergrass had some good late hits to get the rally going.”

Blake Schultz picked up the win to improve to 2-0 with his two innings of late relief work . . . Schultz has been the Sunday starter to begin the season, but having pitched on Saturday now, there is a change afoot for Sunday’s game, no decision on who will start Sunday has been announced yet.

Coach Whitting said after the game about the series with Texas, “That’s a resume builder is what that is. And tomorrow we have to get right back to it and keep building that resume.” “This is resume-building time of year and that’s why they’re on the schedule.”

The Longhorns and Cougars return to action on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 for the rubber match at Schroeder Park, both teams have scored just three runs each in the first two games . . . Asked how his team can win on Sunday, Tyler Bielamowicz said, “Energy. Sunday is all about energy.” –

Cougars Dominate the Islanders 14-1

Nothing about the Houston Cougars 3-2 loss to the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders on Friday night indicated that twenty-fours hours later would see a monster offensive performance in which the offense set a new school record for home runs in a game . . . A record previously set at seven in May of 1999 . . . But that is what happened at Whataburger Field on Saturday night as the Cougars scored a run in six of the nine innings.

Brad Burckel got the Cougars offense started on Saturday night when he hit the second pitch of the game out of the ballpark for a lead off home run . . . After a single by Brandon Uhse, Steven Rivas hit a two-run home run to center to give the Cougars a quick 3-0 lead.

Freshman Will Pendergrass hit his first collegiate home run in the second to lead off the inning . . . Batting again in the second, with Brandon Uhse on second base after reaching on a double, Steven Rivas delivered another two-run home run to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead.

Freshman Samuel Benjamin also hit his first collegiate home run, this one coming in the third inning . . . Tyler Bielamowicz kept the scoring going in the fourth with a two-run homerun to increase the Cougars lead to 9-0.

Will Pendergrass hit his second home run of the night, this time a two-run shot in the fifth to make the score 11-0 . . .  Later in the inning, Brandon Uhse hit a home run to give the Cougars a 13-0 lead . . . Adam Becker capped the Cougars scoring with a single in the seventh that plated Brandon Uhse and put the Cougars on top 14-0.

The eight home runs for the Cougars set a school record for a single game . . . Five of the home runs were hit with a runner on base . . . Brandon Uhse was 3-for-4 and was on base in each of his first five plate appearances . . . In addition to his two home runs, Will Pendergrass reached base two other times, hit by a pitch one time and walked another time, good production from the eight spot in the lineup . . . Samuel Benjamin was 2-for-4 with a single in addition to the solo home run.

For as good as the offense was on Saturday night, Ben Sears was that dominant on the other side . . . Staked to a big lead that continued to grow as the game went on, Sears scattered four hits over seven innings and did not walk a batter, only departing in the eighth inning after two singles started the inning for the Islanders . . . Sears gave way to Andrew Belcik, eventually one of the runners allowed on base by Sears would score on a sacrifice fly to left field accounting for the sole Islanders run in the game.

Maddux Miller started the ninth in relief, but he gave way to Derrick Cherry who recorded the final out on a fly ball to left and secured the 14-1 victory for the Cougars . . . The Cougars improved to 5-1 on the season with the win.

These two teams close out the weekend series with a rubber game on Sunday afternoon at 1pm at Whataburger Field . . . .Blake Schultz with his record of 1-0 will take the mound for the Cougars.