Cougars sweep Saturday double header
After winning their rescheduled game Saturday morning, the Cougars had their eyes set for a victory of the series as they took the field for an impromptu double header against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Houston, feeling good from game one, wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with freshman Connor Wong standing at second after a double and junior Justin Montemayor at first after being walked.
Freshman Corey Julks would knock an RBI-single, scoring Wong for the run. Centerfielder Zac Taylor then knocked an RBI-double to score Montemayor.
In the bottom of the sixth, Houston led 6-0 and had bases loaded for junior catcher Jacob Campbell, who hit his third home run of the season and first grand slam.
Offensively, the Cougars were patient and consistent at the plate, drawing a season-high 15 walks. Those walks accompanied four hit-by-pitches for 19 free passes in the game.
“A doubleheader sweep in conference play is huge, especially two wins,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “We didn’t get a lot hits; we just took what was given to us, and I thought we did a great job today.”
Junior Kyle Dowdy gave a dominant pitching performance on his first complete game shutout, recording a career-high 13 strikeouts, no walks, no runs and two hits. The right-hander retired the first 12 batters with no hits before giving up a lead-off double on the top of the fifth.
“I thought we threw well; pitching was lights out,” Whitting said. “Lantrip was good in game one. Dowdy was outstanding in game two. Dowdy was big time today.”
Campbell shared Whitting’s thoughts about the Houston pitching performance.
“Those guys were on. We talk about all the time pounding the strike zone. That’s what they did today,” Campbell said. “They went out today and threw everything for strikes, hats off to them.”
With the doubleheader sweep, Houston improves their record to 6-5 on the conference.
“It’s huge to get two wins on a doubleheader conference,” Dowdy said. “We need every conference win we can get at this point. We are just taking it one day at a time right now and trying to battle back and win conference and we are doing everything we can to make it.”
With Saturday’s wins, the Cougars have a chance for the sweep before leaving for the coming road games.