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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Baseball

UH snaps four-game losing streak


UH righthander Michael Goodnight tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings in Tuesday’s 4-2 win against Sam Houston State to improve to 4-3 and help the Cougars snap a four-game losing streak. | Justin Flores/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars received a yeoman-like performance from righthander Michael Goodnight against Sam Houston State on Tuesday night.

Goodnight tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings in his first midweek start of the season, striking out eight batters to propel UH to a 4-2 win at Cougar Field.

Goodnight, who improved to 4-3, allowed only five hits to help the Cougars (13-14) snap a four-game losing streak. He also didn’t issue any walks, the first time he’s accomplished that feat this season.

“That’s exactly what I was hoping that he would do,” UH head coach Rayner Noble said. “He just needs to get himself to (the point) where he’s attacking the strike zone and not fumbling around throwing 20 pitch innings. He did a marvelous job tonight. He almost threw six innings and 75 pitches, and that’s real efficient.”

It wasn’t quite like Goodnight’s seven-shutout innings performance against Texas in the Houston College Classic, but it was good enough for the struggling Cougars.

The offense had a rather mundane performance, but provided just enough runs to hold off Sam Houston State (12-17), which scored twice in the eighth inning to make things interesting

The Cougars struggled at the plate for most of the game and didn’t score a run off Sam Houston starter Jordan Westra (0-2) until the fourth inning when Zak Presley scored on a groundout by Chris Wallace.

Meanwhile, Goodnight gave up only three hits until the sixth inning when he gave up two more and was replaced by Codey Morehouse with one out left in that frame.

“Mainly, the goal was no walks, because that’s been killing our team and our pitching staff the whole year,” Goodnight said. “When you don’t walk anybody, you just give up two runs, one run and zero runs, and it’s a lot better for the team. It just really helps them win.”

Noble said the key for Goodnight was spotting his pitches, especially his fastball.

“His location was good; he stayed with his fastball a lot because they were a little bit behind it,” Noble said. “The only thing he’s missing right now is getting his changeup to where it has to be respected by the other team, and that would be the next thing we’ll go to work on with him.”

The Cougars scored three runs in the seventh inning on a two-run single by Joel Ansley and an RBI single by Caleb Ramsey.

UH will begin a three-game series against TCU this weekend, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cougar Field.

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