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Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Houston secures Don Sanders Cup with road win

Junior Kobe Hyland started Houston’s seven-run second inning that earned the team the game-winning lead. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

The Cougars won the third annual Don Sanders Cup series against Sam Houston with a 12-7 win Tuesday night.

The offenses from both teams controlled the game from start to finish. After Sam Houston took an early 1-2 lead in the first inning, Houston’s offense exploded in the second inning for seven runs and would hold the lead for the rest of the game.

“Big night for our team to come up here on the road in a hostile environment and beat a really good opponent. Especially to win the Sanders Cup, Don has done so much for our team, our program and our University over the years,” said head coach Todd Whitting.

Junior Kobe Hyland began the onslaught with a solo home run at the top of the inning, and junior Tyler Bielamowicz sealed it with a two-run home run of his own to bring the score to 8-2 in the bottom of the second.

By the end of the game, eight Houston players had recorded an RBI.

The Bearkats never folded, though. Sophomore Jack Rogers answered with a solo home run in the third inning, and three RBIs from redshirt junior Gavin Johnson helped the Bearkats weather the storm through the seventh inning to remain within two at a score of 9-7.

The offense led the way, but it was Houston’s clutch pitching that won the game as Sam Houston was unable to score for the final four innings.

After entering the game in the fifth inning, junior Devon Roedahl faced 11 batters in 2.2 innings and tallied three strikeouts with no runs allowed. Junior Fred Villarreal closed the final 1.2 innings with only one hit allowed and no runs.

The first meeting between the teams ended with a final score of 2-1. Houston will meet Sam Houston for the third and final time this season on April 23 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.

Before then, the Cougars will go on the road over the weekend for its next conference series against Wichita State, who currently sits at No. 5 in the American Athletic Conference with a conference record of 3-3.

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