Cougars Claim First Victory of 2022, Win 3-2 at McNeese

Houston faces McNeese in Lake Charles on Tuesday

After a disappointing weekend in Arizona, the Cougars picked up their first victory of the season against McNeese in Lake Charles on Tuesday.

Samuel Tormos got the scoring started for the Cougars in the top of the first when he singled home two runs with two outs and the Cougars took the early lead.

Derrick Cherry started on the mound for the Cougars . . . Coach Whitting said pregame they wanted two to three innings out of Cherry, they got two scoreless as Cherry yielded one hit and struck out three and he left with the Cougars leading 2-0.

McNeese tied the game in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run . . . The game would remain tied until the top of the sixth when a bases loaded grounder off the bat of Ian McMillan scored Santiago Garcia from third base and the Cougars led once again, 3-2.

Ben Sears threw four scoreless innings with seven strike outs while allowing just two hits, and no walks . . . It was a solid outing for the right-hander from Rhode Island as he was efficient with his pitches and got a lot of first pitch strikes.

Jose Torrealba, who left Sunday’s game in Scottsdale after being hit by a batted ball, returned for the Cougars on Tuesday night and retired the only three batters he faced, two of them by strike out . . . Nathan Medrano took the mound for the ninth inning and struck out the first two batters on the way to closing out the 3-2 victory and picking up the save, his first of the season . . . Ben Sears earned the win and is now 1-0.

Coach Todd Whitting was pleased with the outcome and had high praise for his pitching staff. “Great display of Grit and courage by Cherry and Sears tonight, this was a game where their team needed a great performance and they both delivered,” Whitting said. “Overall great performance by the entire staff tonight with Torrealba and Medrano slamming the door.”

The Cougars offense only had two hits in the win, but it was enough to win on this night.

The Cougars head back to town and will open up the home portion of their season on Friday night when they face Texas Southern at Schroeder Oark . . . First pitch on Friday is at 6:30pm.

Advertisement

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.” –

Clay Aguilar Leads Cougars Past Bearkats

Clay Aguilar and the Houston Cougars face Sam Houston State Bearkats Tuesday night. Photo by Cougars Beat.
Clay Aguilar and the Cougars face Sam Houston St. Tuesday night.
Photo by Cougars Beat.

The Houston Cougars and the Sam Houston State Bearkats played a fast game on Tuesday night at Schroeder Park, the result of only three runs and nine hits combined . . . The Bearkats entered the game with a record of 15-6 and a team batting average of .303 . . . Clay Aguilar was not interested in any of that, however . . . The Bearkats were not going to ruin Clay’s birthday.

Jonathan Thomas got the scoring started in the second with an RBI single to bring home Derrick Cherry who had powered his way on base with a leadoff double to right-center.

Clay Aguilar was effective all night, he had the Bearkats batters completely off balance and they were not able to put much together . . . Clay’s pitching game was so complete he even picked-off a runner at first in the fourth.

Jared Triolo drove in the Cougars second and final run of the evening with a hard hit ball past the Bearkats third baseman driving in Brad Burckel for an RBI in fifth to give Aguilar a 2-0 lead . . . Aguilar would yield his one and only run in sixth when the Bearkats took advantage of a leadoff hit-by-pitch, then they moved the runner around until he scored on a single by right-fielder Jordan Cannon.

Fred Villarreal entered the game in the eighth inning, and as has been the case more often than not, he shut the door . . . The Bearkats would get one hit in the final two innings as Villarreal was mixing speeds well and his fastball was clocking 91 . . . Fred lowered his ERA to .091 (to match his fastball?) as he earned his fourth save on the season . . . Aguilar picked up his second win of the year and got his own ERA down to 2.86.

The 2-1 win for the Cougars marked the 300th win in the career of head coach Todd Whitting.

The Cougars hit the road tomorrow for a game in Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin at 2pm before heading to Memphis for a three game weekend series. –

 

Newspaper column version of this recap

Houston Cougars Begin 2019 Season Tonight at Home

Houston Cougars Baseball

The Houston Cougars baseball team opens its 2019 regular season tonight on the campus . . .  Tyler Bielamowicz takes the mound for game one of the three game series . . .  The Coogs are defending their American Athletic Conference regular-season title of a year ago . . . Head Coach Todd Whitting begins his ninth season leading the Cougars . . . Senior Joe Davis and junior Jared Triolo begin what are expected to be amazing 2019 campaigns for each of them . . . First pitch is at 6:30pm, gates open at 4:30 . . . The weather for opening weekend should be perfect, so that is not an excuse for not attending this weekend.