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Friday, September 22, 2023


UH baseball sweeps Tulane to remain atop AAC standings

The UH Cougars needed two comebacks to complete their sweep of Tulane on the road. | Raphael Fernandez/The Cougar

The UH baseball team faced the Tulane Green Wave in a three-game series on the road in New Orleans this past weekend, sweeping Tulane and maintaining pole position in the American Athletic Conference.

Game 1

In game one on Friday, Houston beat Tulane 9-3. 

The Cougars got out to a blistering start on offense early to take control of the game, leading 9-0 at the end of four innings. Junior third baseman Zach Arnold went yard in the first inning, with a two-run homer to left center. 

Sophomore left fielder Cameron Nickens added an RBI single to give UH a 3-0 lead at the end of the first frame.

Then, Senior right fielder Brandon Uhse and sophomore second baseman Brandon Burckel each popped sacrificial flyouts in the next two innings to add a couple more runs to the total.

In the third inning, senior shortstop Ian McMillan knocked a two-RBI single to left field, driving in Nickens and junior catcher Anthony Tulimero. 

Junior first baseman Justin Murray then all but put the game away with a two-run home run to right field, scoring Arnold, and giving the Cougars a 9-0 lead.

The Green Wave brought in three runs in the fifth inning in a comeback attempt, but it was far too late. 

Junior starting pitcher Josh Eckness had four innings of two-run ball, with two hits and three strikeouts. Senior reliever Maddux Miller picked up his third win of the season, going 1.2 innings of shutout baseball. 

Freshman reliever Braedyn Cunningham got his first save of the season on an impressive three-inning shutout. 

Game 2

In game two on Saturday, UH beat Tulane in a nailbiter comeback 5-4. 

The Green Wave took the early 4-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a bases-loaded double and subsequent RBI singles.

After a slow start, McMillan blasted a two-run homer down the left-field line in the fifth inning to put Houston on the board. 

Down 4-2 in the eighth inning, the Cougars came up clutch and tied the game thanks to a Murray RBI single down the line and a wild pitch by Tulane. 

In the ninth inning, Nickens gave Houston the go-ahead sacrifice fly, bringing home junior designated hitter Alex Lopez. 

UH ended up closing it out, with Murray showing off his two-way skills, pitching two perfect innings to pick up the win and improve to 4-0 on the season. 

Sophomore reliever Kyle Ayers also pitched four shutout innings, giving up only one hit with four strikeouts. 

Game 3

In the final game on Sunday, the Cougars ended up on top in an explosive 17-11 win. 

Down 8-6 at the end of five innings, Houston put up five runs in the sixth., starting with a bases-loaded hit by pitch allowed McMillan to score.

Later, Murray and Nickens each added RBI singles to give UH the lead, and Arnold scored on a fielder’s choice. Another wild pitch by the Green Wave allowed Murray to score, making it 11-8. 

In the eighth inning, Nickens added an insurance run with an RBI single before Tulane came up a run short of tying the game in the bottom of the frame.

In a tight 12-11 game, the Cougars broke the game open and seized control, putting up another five runs in the ninth to make it 17-11. Sophomore outfielder Malachi Lott hit a two-RBI single to center field, Murray added a sac fly and Nickens added a two-RBI triple to right field to seal it.

Graduate reliever Braden Forsyth picked up his second win of the season, going 3.1 innings, only giving up one earned run with three strikeouts. 

The Cougars improved to 31-20 overall on the year and have a half-game lead over East Carolina with a 15-5 conference record.

Up next, UH will take on Sam Houston at Constellation Field in Sugar Land on Tuesday.

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