Houston forces another extra-innings game but fall short to UTRGV
A web gem of a catch followed by a moonshot over the right-centerfield scoreboard was not enough for the Cougars to complete a comeback win as Houston fell to Texas-Rio Grande Valley 6-5 in 12 innings on Tuesday evening at Schroeder Park.
Down 5-1 with only three hits through seven innings it appeared as if the Cougars would drop their third game in a row, but things quickly changed.
Freshman Rey Mendoza, who came in to pinch-hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, was just the spark Houston needed. Mendoza picked up his first career collegiate hit by turning a 1-0 pitch into a two-run single to cut Houston’s deficit to 5-3. Senior center fielder Tyler Bielamowicz followed Mendoza’s two-run single with an RBI single of his own to make it a 5-4 game.
In the ninth inning, UTRGV was threatening to add a couple of insurance runs with runners on second and third with two outs, but Bielamowicz made a web gem of a catch, saving two runs and getting the Cougars out of the inning without sustaining any damage.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, junior right fielder Steven Rivas crushed a ball to right-center, hitting it over the scoreboard to tie the game at five and send it into extra innings.
After a scoreless tenth inning, the Cougars had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the 11th inning when the Vaqueros had a sensational defensive sequence, turning a 5-2-5-6-4 triple play to get out of the inning.
Christian Sepulveda put the Vaqueros back on top 6-5 in the top of the 12th inning on a sac fly, which proved to be the winning run.
Darlan Luper earned the win for the Vaqueros while junior Isaiah Blaylock took the loss for the Cougars.