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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Baseball

Houston falls short against Cincinnati


Sophomore Lael Lockhart Jr. led the Cougars with a .400 batting average and three RBIs against the Bearcats. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

Houston traveled to take on Cincinnati in a three-game series last weekend but came out with just one win in a trio of close games.

Houston’s pitching was good for most of the series, but the batters were unable to string hits together and create points.

The Thursday game of the series was moved to Friday due to bad weather, meaning the Cougars had a double-header on Friday and closed the series on Saturday.

Starting strong

Junior Joe Davis got the Cougars going in the first inning of the first game when his hit, combined with a Bearcat error, got him to second base. Sophomore Lael Lockhart Jr. then hit a hard drive to get himself to second base and send Davis home for the first run of the game.

Junior Trey Cumbie took the mound for the Cougars in game one and delivered another good showing.

Houston only had six hits in the game, but the team was able to score four runs off of errors committed by Cincinnati.

Cumbie threw 108 pitches across eight innings, struck out 10 batters and allowed just four hits before being pulled in the ninth inning.

Sophomore Carter Henry closed out the game with a flyball and a pair of strikeouts, securing Houston’s 4-2 win.

A close loss

Junior Aaron Fletcher took the mound for the second game on Friday, entering the game with a .95 ERA and a 4-0 record.

Much like the first game, Davis got to first base in the first inning but was tagged out this time as he tried to make it to third after Lockhart’s hit.

Houston earned five hits during the game. Cincinnati cleaned up their play and committed only two errors, both in the sixth inning. These errors allowed Houston to even the game.

Cincinnati retook the lead in the seventh, triggering UH head coach Todd Whitting to pull Fletcher.

Fletcher threw 97 pitches in six innings and allowed seven hits and two runs before being pulled for  senior Joey Pulido.

Pulido cleaned up the seventh inning and the next, but Houston’s bats were too cold to even the score again, and the team lost 2-1.

Getting out of hand

The final game of the series on Saturday was a duel of two starting pitchers that have been shaky this season. Junior Ryan Randel started for the Cougars with a 2-2 record, while sophomore Cam Alldred started for the Bearcats with a 1-2 record.

Randel closed out the first inning well with three outs in just nine pitches, but things started to go wrong in the second inning.

Cincinnati hit a home run in the second inning, a pair of hits to score another run in the third, then another homer and a few hits in the fourth to give Cincinnati a 4-0 lead.

Randel was pulled and Pulido was called in to calm the storm, but the damage was done.

Houston scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning, closing the lead by two, but Cincinnati struck out a pair of batters in the ninth and tossed out the third man to secure the 4-2 win.

The Cougars are now 4-2 in the AAC and 17-11 overall.

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