UH baseball opens AAC play with series win over Wichita State
UH baseball took two out of three against Wichita State over the weekend at Schroeder Park to open up American Athletic Conference play.
Pitching was the storyline of Friday night’s series opener as both UH’s Jaycob Deese and Wichita State’s Jace Kaminska frustrated hitters all night.
Deese tossed a complete game, allowing one earned run and striking out seven Shockers. The one blemish on Deese’s night came in the third inning when he allowed what proved to be the game-winning run.
Kaminska one-upped the UH right-handed pitcher, allowing just four hits and striking out 12 Cougars in eight shutout innings.
Wichita State capitalized on a UH error in the ninth, adding three insurance runs.
Connor Holden closed things out for the Shockers, throwing a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to hand the Cougars a 4-0 series-opening loss.
After being shut down offensively in the series opener, UH got the bats going to even up the series with a 5-3 win on Saturday night.
Freshman center fielder Malachi Lott got the scoring started for the Cougars, driving in a run on a single to left-center in the bottom of the second.
Junior shortstop Ian McMillian followed with a two-run shot, his first of the year, to extend the lead to 3-0.
UH plated two more runs in the seventh off a sacrifice fly from junior left fielder Brandon Uhse and a solo home run by sophomore third baseman Zach Arnold.
Junior right-hander Nathan Medrano got the start for the Cougars on the bump and was excellent, throwing 7 and 1/3 innings of one-run baseball, striking out nine.
The Shockers made a comeback effort, putting up a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth, but it was too little, too late as UH evened up the series.
McMillan was the hero in Sunday afternoon’s rubber match, launching a 1-0 pitch into right field for a walk-off RBI double.
A Uhse solo home run was all the damage UH had done through seven innings, as the Cougars found themselves trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the eighth.
Uhse once again sparked the UH offense with a RBI single up the middle to cut the deficit in half. A couple batters later, the Cougars tied the game, capitalizing on a Wichita State throwing error.
Junior right-handed pitcher Ben Sears threw a perfect ninth on just seven pitches, setting up McMillan’s heroics in the bottom half of the inning to give the Cougars a 4-3 series-clinching victory.
With the win, UH improved to 19-9 on the season.