Houston falls at Shriners Classic
The Cougars faced entirely in-state opponents over the weekend at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic and came out with three losses.
Houston’s pitching struggled throughout the weekend, facing top level competition such as No. 17 TCU as well as Texas State and Texas A&M, which all hit well.
Houston started its weekend with a 10-6 loss versus TCU Friday afternoon.
Junior Tyler Bielamowicz struggled out of the gate and allowed two runners to get on base before junior Alex Isola hit a three-run home run to put the Horned Frogs on the board.
Bielamowicz’s counterpart, junior Nick Lodolo, was anything but shaky. Lodolo threw 4.2 hitless innings to start the game and finished with six innings pitched and 11 strikeouts.
In the bottom of the fourth, Bielamowicz allowed another three-run home run before he was pulled from the game for senior Nolan Bond to take the mound. Bond closed out the inning, but it was too little too late.
TCU put together another three runs in the seventh inning and another in the eighth to make it 10 runs for the Horned Frogs, but the Cougars did not give up.
Houston scored one in the seventh inning, two in the eighth and three in the ninth and had the bases loaded with senior Joe Davis up to bat.
Davis made good contact with the bat, but it fell just short, like the Cougars’ comeback.
Houston’s second game did not go much better as it fell 9-4 to Texas State.
Houston took the lead with a two-run home run by junior Blake Way, but Texas State tied it with a pair of runs in the third inning.
The Bobcats piled on the runs in the fourth inning as it scored four unearned runs from errors and walks.
That would seal the game, though the teams did trade some runs later on.
One positive for the Cougars was that senior Rey Fuentes III, a utility player that can pitch and hit, did a good job in the designated hitter role and had two hits and a home run.
Fuentes would start as the DH in Houston’s Sunday game against Texas A&M.
The Cougars had a little bit more success against the Aggies but could not keep up with its scoring in the 3-2 loss.
The Aggies strung together some hits in the top of the fourth to score the first run, followed by redshirt sophomore Bryce Blaum’s solo home run in the fifth to make it 2-0.
Houston loaded the bases in the sixth inning and scored after senior Grayson Padgett hit the ball to the shortstop, but Texas A&M failed to convert a double play to end the inning.
The Aggies loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk in the eighth and capitalized when sophomore Aaron Walters hit a grounder to shortstop to send one runner home, but that was all the Aggies got.
Houston responded in the bottom of the inning when junior Jared Triolo was walked and then Davis made a big hit just short of the Crawford boxes to make it a one-run game again.
The Cougars could not make anything happen in the bottom of the ninth and fell for the final time over the weekend.
Houston got into scoring position multiples times but ended the game with seven men left on base and missed opportunities.
Houston will begin the Silver Glove Series against Rice at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.