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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Baseball

Missed opportunities allow Lamar win


Catcher John Cannon and the Cougars could not stage a rally and have lost three of their last four contests. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

UH headed east to Beaumont, looking to avenge a loss to Lamar earlier this month.

Instead it ended up losing to Lamar for the second time this season, 7-4.

The Cougars (20-22) started the game off by scoring a run in the first inning, but the offense could not match the Cardinals’ production.

The Cougars had runners on second and third base with no outs and only managed to get a single run. The trend of leaving runners on base would continue throughout the game.

“We left 13 runners on base,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “We had some opportunities throughout the game to win the game, but we just couldn’t get that hit.

“We just have to keep working and fight the fight.”

Lamar (23-19) answered in the bottom half of the first inning by scoring three runs to take a 3-1 lead.

Starting pitcher Codey Morehouse walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a double before surrendering a three-run home run to designated hitter Jeff Abt.

The Cougars battled back to tie the game in the fourth with a two-run inning.

Ryan Still grounded out to the pitcher and drove in Austin Gracey. Caleb Ramsey then drove in Landon Appling with a single to left field.

The Cardinals put up another three runs in the sixth inning as UH pitching became erratic.

Taylor Hammack, who entered the game in relief of Morehouse in the fifth inning, hit a batter and had a wild pitch in the inning before being pulled for Dustin Fuerst.

UH added a run in the seventh to cut the lead to 6-4, but Lamar answered back with a run in the eighth to score the eventual final run.

The Cougars tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth, getting the bases loaded with two outs, but they could not come through with a clutch hit.

Morehouse pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits while walking five batters and striking out four.

Dakota Dill and Luke Moran also saw action in the game, combining to pitch the final two innings, allowing one run on two hits.

“The pitching was pretty consistent with what we’ve done all year,” Whitting said. “We struck out six, but we walked seven and hit one batter.

“We have to minimize our time on defense and maximize our time on offense; when we don’t do that we are very beatable.”

Four UH batters had a multi-hit night, including designated hitter Matt Creel, who went 3-for-4.

With the win, Lamar head coach Jim Gilligan earned his 1,200th victory. Gilligan has been a head baseball coach for 35 years, with 34 of those years at his alma mater Lamar.

The Cougars will continue C-USA action this weekend as they travel to Orlando to take on the Central Florida Knights for a three-game series.

The Knights won their last conference series over Memphis, winning two of three games.


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