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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Baseball

Weigel’s seven innings of relief leads UH to win


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Junior second baseman Josh Vidales made junior reliever Patrick Weigel’s job easy as he went 4-4 at the plate with two RBI and four runs. | File Photo/The Cougar

For 7.1 innings on Saturday, junior right hander Patrick Weigel worked his way through the Buffalo batting orders with fastballs as high 96 and sliders once they started to swing early. When it was over, a brisk two hours and 39 minutes later, the 6-foot-5 Weigel had 11 strikeouts with only one walk and had thrown a one-hit shutout in relief to lead Houston to a 9-3 win.

Weigel, who from the mound looks like an assembly of tree trunks for arms and legs, relieved junior starter Jake Lemoine after he allowed three earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. Weigel took a simple approach to fulfilling the role of a long reliever.

“You take every inning as an individual inning. You don’t really think about it,” said Weigel.

“Coming in, my job was to get that one out, then get to the dugout and reset. After that, my job was to get three more outs, then come back in and get three more outs. You don’t really think about how long you’re going to be out there.”

With perception to match his high powered arsenal, Weigel pointed out that he and the coaches relied on a systemic approach to the art of relief pitching.

“They started to cheat on the first pitch fastball, so we mixed in some sliders to make them stay honest, and that was our gameplan going forward.”

With Weigel handcuffing the Buffalo hitters, the Houston offense continued to build on their momentum, scoring runs in all but the sixth and eighth innings.

“I thought we had great at-bats the entire game,” said Houston head coach Todd Whitting. “We gave up the three spot their in the second inning but we battled back. I’m proud of us. We punched back. We didn’t lie down and feel sorry for ourselves, we just kept playing.”

The Houston offense, with exclamation marks such as a two-run homerun by junior catcher Jacob Campbell, seemed centered around the overdrive performance of junior second baseman Josh Vidales, who went 4-4 with two RBI and scored four runs. In the process he reached base in ten straight plate appearances, breaking a record going back to 2005.

“I just come out here and take every at bat like it’s my last,” said Vidales, who is hitting .418 for the season.

“You just grind away at bats, as many as you can. Hits are contagious. Once one guy starts getting on, then the next guy keeps getting on. That’s how you win games.”

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