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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Baseball

UH baseball splits weekend series with USF


Freshman infielder Will Pendergrass launched his first carer grand slam to help lift UH baseball to a series opening victory Saturday afternoon. | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

Freshman infielder Will Pendergrass launched his first career grand slam to help lift UH baseball to a series opening victory Saturday afternoon. | Andy Yanez/The Cougar

After losing seven straight, the Houston baseball team moved in a positive direction over the weekend, splitting a four-game series with USF at Schroeder Park.

The Cougars, who came into the weekend having not played a game since April 11 due to COVID-19 issues within the program, kicked off the weekend with a dominating 9-2 victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

UH ace Robert Gasser pitched as he has all season. The junior left-hander threw eight innings, allowing two runs while striking out seven to earn the win.

At the plate, the Cougars collected 10 hits with the biggest one coming from freshman infielder Will Pendergrass, who belted a grand slam to right center in the bottom of the seventh to put an exclamation point on the UH win.

In Saturday’s second game, UH jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after two innings, but USF tied things up in the third with a three-run blast from second baseman Roberto Pena.

Pitching dominated the next six innings as neither team was able to score, sending the game to extras.

In the top of 10th, UH sophomore reliever Derrick Cherry, who had pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, fell into some trouble. As a result, five Bulls crossed home plate to break the game open.

The Cougars scored a run in the bottom half of the inning and had a chance to tie things with the bases loaded and two outs, but junior outfielder Steven Rivas struck out, handing the Bulls an 8-4 victory.

UH sophomore right-hander Jaycob Deese picked up a quality start, throwing seven innings of a three run baseball with six strikeouts.

Sunday featured another doubleheader due to the series opener on Friday being postponed because of inclement weather.

USF took the first game, which was only seven innings, 4-0 as the Cougars failed to get anything going offensively, tallying only two hits.

Despite getting outhit in the second game of the afternoon, UH bounced back with a 5-2 win behind a strong start from senior right-hander Carter Henry to split the series.

Tied 2-2, the Cougars got huge hits from sophomore infielder Brad Burckel and junior first baseman Ryan Hernandez to put up a crooked number in the inning, which proved to be enough to power UH to the win.

Henry pitched eight innings, allowing two runs to earn the win while senior righty Sean Bretz came out of the bullpen to pitch the night, retiring the side in order to earn his first save of the season.

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