Horned Frogs show Cougars the broom
The Cougars came into their weekend series against TCU looking to build off of Tuesday’s win over Sam Houston State, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Horned Frogs put them back in their funk and left town with a three-game sweep after a 12-2 victory Sunday.
UH followed the disastrous formula that led to three straight losses to Rice last weekend, looking lost on the mound and in the batter’s box against the No. 12 team in the nation.
The Cougars hit a dismal .200 for the series, committing more errors (nine) than runs scored (four).
The result was the fourth time an opponent swept the Cougars (13-17) this season, pushing them four games below .500 for the first time this season. UH has lost seven of their last eight, marking their worst stretch of 2010.
“The whole weekend was one where we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were in front of us. We had opportunities to drive in runs, and it just didn’t happen this weekend,” head coach Rayner Noble said. “Very sloppy in the field, you know, it was a weekend where you just assume forget, and we’ve got to regroup. There’s half a season left, and we’ve got to get it together.”
Sunday, UH starter Michael Goodnight was attempting to build off his win against Sam Houston State last Tuesday. But that was quickly forgotten in the second inning when he gave up a three-run homer to Aaron Schultz that gave TCU (23-7) a 3-0 lead.
The Horned Frogs added nine more runs over the next seven innings to seal the sweep.
Despite Saturday’s 6-1 loss, lefty Taylor Hammack gave the Cougars what they were looking for in his second start of the season. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing his only run on a fly ball centerfielder Joel Ansley misjudged in the sixth inning.
The Cougars, though, couldn’t score a run off six hits against TCU starter Kyle Winkler. Along with Ansley’s misplay, Caleb Ramsey dropped a routine fly ball in left field that scored Jerome Pena in the seventh inning and gave the Horned Frogs a 2-1 lead they never relinquished.
“When you can’t catch a fly ball, I mean that’s just demoralizing. I mean it just absolutely is,” Noble said. “But you know, we’ve got to be good enough to overcome that, and we had opportunities to put some more runs on the board, and just couldn’t get the clutch hit. I mean we hit the ball hard, but it was right at (TCU’s players).”
The Cougars also made a mistake on the base paths when the Horned Frogs picked off M.P. Cokinos after UH got two straight hits off of Winkler. The Cougars managed only two hits over the next five innings.
Lefty William Kankel put himself into a precarious position from the first pitch of Friday’s series-opener. Kankel never found his command against TCU, and when he was forced to throw a pitch on the plate the Horned Frog hitters were waiting to pounce.
The end result was a 15-1 drubbing, marking the first time the Cougars allowed 15 runs since March 10, 2009 in an 18-16 home loss to Sam Houston State.
The Cougars will try to salvage a split in their season series with Texas-San Antonio at 6 p.m. Tuesday in San Antonio.