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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Baseball

Cougar baseball, softball struggle over Easter weekend


Behind a grand slam from sophomore Joe Davis (44) the Cougars went 2-1 in Memphis over Easter weekend. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

After the rain got the best of the Cougars last week, both the baseball and softball teams took to the road for their series against American Athletic Conference foes.

Baseball

The Cougars traveled to Memphis, Tenn. for three games against the Tigers. The Cougars won the series 2-1, improving to 6-3 in conference play.

The Cougars started the series with a blast, thumping the Tigers 13-3 on Thursday. Sophomore designated hitter Joe Davis hit his first grand slam of the season en route to a six-run Cougar fourth.

Sophomore pitcher Trey Cumbie (6-0 1.40 ERA) continued his dominance, giving up three runs on nine hits in eight innings of work.

The Tigers would tie the series up 1-1 on Friday behind a six-run fourth inning of their own. Sophomore pitcher Mitch Ullom (5-2, 3.50 ERA) lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on six hits.

Freshman reliever Fred Villarreal (1-1, 1.59 ERA) stopped the bleeding, allowing just one run on one hit in 3 1/3 innings. The Cougars would come back to tie it at 7-7 in the top of the eighth, but the Tigers would add three runs in the bottom of the inning for the 10-8 victory.

In a close final game of the series, the Cougars clenched the series with an 8-7 victory. They got out to an early 5-0 lead in the fourth, highlighted by a 3-run home run by freshman Nick Slaughter, the first of his career.

The Tigers didn’t go down easily though, taking a 7-5 lead in the sixth. Houston quickly came back in the seventh, adding four more runs to narrowly beat Memphis 8-7.

Softball

While the baseball team was in Tennessee, the softball team traveled to Tulsa, Okla. for a series against the No. 1 team in the AAC.

Despite coming in tied with the Golden Hurricane at 5-1 in the conference, the Cougars were unable to secure a victory, getting swept in the three-game series.

After the sweep, the Cougars fell back to .500 at 20-20 overall, 5-4  in the AAC. They dropped to third in the American, whereas this series cemented Tulsa’s first place standing, with an 8-1 record.

After nine scoreless innings Thursday night, play was halted and the Golden Hurricane came back with a run in the bottom of the tenth Friday for the series-opening victory. Sophomore pitcher Savannah Heebner pitched a gem, but was unable to come away with the victory, giving up one run on four hits in 9 2/3 innings.

Houston took an early 4-0 lead in game two, but Tulsa rebounded, scoring the next six runs of the game to take the lead. The Cougars made it a one-run game in the seventh, but couldn’t score anymore runs and fell 6-5.

The Golden Hurricane would complete the sweep on Saturday, beating the Cougars 7-3. Heeber ( 9-8, 2.21 ERA) surrendered seven runs, four earned, on eight hits in four innings. Freshman pitcher Hannah Wolfe (3.32 ERA) came in as a reliever in the fifth, pitching two perfect innings.

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