Coog Baseball Don’t Start the Season the Way You Would Hope. Fall to Texas State 6-0.
The Houston Cougars baseball team opened play last night in refurbished Cougar Field. It was a chilly night in the mid-fifties but the temperature was not as cold as the Cougars offense.
Starting pitcher Michael Goodnight started the game strong, mowing over Texas State hitters with a lively fastball. He held the Bobcats hitless through 3 innings while UH was getting good contact on Michael Russo but could only manage 2 hits.
0-0 after 3 innings.
Beginning in the 4th, Goodnight’s delivery began to look a little less crisp than it had in the first 3 innings. It seemed like was falling toward 1st instead of finishing his pitches cleanly. He was still able to get out of the inning without much damage but the next inning would be different.
After DH Matt Creel was thrown out at home by Daniel Neumann in the bottom of the 4th to keep the Coogs off the board, Kyle Kubitza started the 5th with Texas State’s first hit. Goonight looked like he would recover when he struckout two straight hitters but then he hit Laurn Randell with a pitch and walked Jordan Kopycinski to load the bases.
Senior William Kankel came in to try to stop the bleeding but he struggled with his control. He walked 2 hitters on 9 pitches as he consistently missed down-and-in with his heater. He probably should have thrown some off-speed stuff to get settled because he was over-throwing his fastball; he didn’t stick around long enough to settle down though and Codey Morehouse had to come in and get UH out of the inning.
The offense failed to answer the 2 runs as they went 3-up, 3-down in the 5th and 6th innings. The Bobcats, on the other hand, got a 2-run homer to left from Kyle Livingstone in the Texas State half of the 6th to extend the gap for the visitors.
4-0 after 6.
The Bobcats would load the bases again in the 7th off two walks and an error but only got one run home on a fielder’s choice to the UH 1st bagger, David Murphy. Errors would cost the Coogs in the top of the 9th as well when two staright throwing errors on plays at 1st base would allow Texas State’s 6th run to cross the plate. Houston only came up with one base hit in each of the final two innings because sophomore Carson Smith pitched beautifully in the last 3 innings to close it out.
This is only one game and there are plenty of things for the Coogs to be optomistic about this year. The most obvious in this game was the play behind the plate of their star catcher, Chris Wallace.
Wallace had some good at-bats but the thing that stcuk out the most is that the coaches and ptichers for UH have all the confidence in the world in his ability to stop balls and play a great defensive game. They have no problems throwing breaking balls in the dirt with runners in scoring position and they even give him the green light to throw behind guys and try to pick them off.
It is immeasurable how much of an advatage this will be all season because hitters can’t sit on fastballs just because they have teammates on base and runners can’t put as much pressure on teh pitchers since they have to worry about getting “gunned-down” if they get too far off the bag. On a staff that has 4 or 5 freshmen who may have to throw significant innings, he is going to be a very important part of UH’s success defensively.
If you would’ve been at the game you would know that thisgame was much closer than the score implies. There were some crucial defensive mistakes that will be cleaned up as the season progresses and the bats were making good contact but the ball just wasn’t finding its way into holes.
Eat ‘Em Up,
Houston 0 (0-1)
Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB
Blake Kelso ss……….. 3 0 1 0 1 1 3 2 0
Caleb Ramsey lf………. 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 1
Chris Wallace c………. 3 0 1 0 1 0 7 1 0
Matt Creel rf………… 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 2
M.P. Cokinos dh………. 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Austin Gracey 3b……… 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1
Ryan Still 2b………… 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
David Murphy 1b………. 3 0 0 0 0 1 8 1 1
Zak Presley cf……….. 3 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0
Michael Goodnight p…… 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
William Kankel p…….. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Codey Morehouse p……. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Taylor Hammack p…….. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals………………. 31 0 6 0 2 7 27 9 6