No. 25 UH Cougars: Monster Eighth Inning Beats Bearkats

After going 1-3 to begin March, Cougars get much needed win at Sam Houston.

HUNTSVILLE, TX – A midweek match-up of Houston area teams looked a lot worse on paper than it did live, but the University of Houston Cougars won an important midweek game against the Sam Houston State Bearkats. One of the causes of the early season rough patch that UH has gone through has been the slow start at the plate. They didn’t do that tonight though, as they were able to touch up Dylan Ebbs for two runs in the top of the first. Kyle Survance led off the game with a walk. After Josh Vidales flied out to center field, Chris Iriart and Justin Montemayor hit singles into left field to score the first run of the game. Jacob Campbell came up two hitters later and, with two outs, hit another single into left to score Iriart for the second run of the ball game.

The Cougars picked up another run in the second to open up the lead to 3-0, but that lead didn’t last long as the Bearkats came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning. Ebbs walked to lead off the inning, followed by singles from Spence Rahm and Collin Yellich and a double from Jake MacWilliam to cut the lead to 3-2. Miles Manning was next and he reached on a fielder’s choice on a play at the plate that was too high to get Yellich, and the game was tied. Colt Atwood then stepped up to the plate and bunted at the first pitch of the at-bat. The UH pitcher, Jared Robinson, slipped on the grass and threw the ball away at first base allowing another run to score giving SHSU their first lead of the ball game at 4-3. When the dust settled in the bottom of the second, Sam Houston State had scored six runs on only three hits.

The teams went back and forth in the middle innings putting zeros on the board. SHSU added to the lead in the seventh when pinch hitter Bryce Johnson hit a two out double to score Atwood from second. That would be the last run SHSU would score in the game.

The Cougars came all the way back to take the lead in an eighth inning that lasted over an hour. 20 Cougar hitters came up to the plate and 14 of them scored on nine hits and two Bearkat errors. Bearkats head coach Matt Deggs said of the inning after the game, “I’ve never seen an inning like that. Literally everything they hit found a hole. The most runs I’ve ever seen in an inning with one out is nine. To see 14 and literally everything they hit found a hole. There wasn’t a whole lot you could do about it.”

Getting the win on the mound for the Houston Cougars was Kyle Dowdy (1-0), who pitched eight full innings out of the bullpen, allowing only two hits and one run. Deggs, when asked after the game about what Dowdy was doing to keep SHSU off the basepaths, said, “He established the fastball to both sides of the plate. We hit a lot of balls at them. He did a really nice job.”

Alex Bisacca (1-1) took the loss for SHSU giving up two runs (one earned) without retiring a Cougar hitter. The final score from Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, No. 25 Houston Cougars 17 SHSU 7.

Deggs soke on the end of the game.

“Like I told the team just now, baseball is such a crazy game, we were clicking on every cylinder and we needed six outs. Just because we don’t get those six outs, it shouldn’t shake our confidence in how we’re playing and our confidence in who we are.”

Deggs on direction of the team:

“It’s going to sound funny, but I like the direction we’re heading. We’re playing hard, we’re competing…. We just have to keep working.”

Deggs on Dylan Ebbs and Ryan Brinley:

“We’re going to start Brinley on Sunday and so it’s a situation where we wanted to extend him (Ebbs) and get him some more pitches and a couple more innings out there.”

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