On Tuesday, April 27th, the Houston Cougars got a win against a fairly good, regional opponent, in Sam Houston State. This victory lifts the Cougars to 23-16, though does nothing to help their unimpressive 5-7 conference record. Hopefully, though, the win will give them momentum going forward into this weekend, when they take on No.20 Tulane in New Orleans.
SHSU came into Schroeder Park having won seven straight, including two series sweeps and a win against Baylor in Waco. The Cougars, on the other hand, had won only two of their last six, which included a sweep from UConn and a subsequent loss of their national ranking. Many publications no longer had them regional bound.
Houston’s pitching has been great, with a team 2.37 ERA. Aces Andrew Lantrip and Seth Romero are pitching 1.82 and 2.18, respectively. And the new Sunday starter, Freshman Mitch Ullom, also has an impressive 2.59 ERA.
It has been the hitting, however, that has gotten the Cougars in trouble in recent weeks. On Tuesday, though, the offense did enough to help secure the victory.
Freshman, Trey Cumbie, got the pitching start. In his impressive outing, he threw five strikeouts, no walks, and allowed only two runs. He pitched until the eighth, when trusty closer Nick Hernandez came in to swiftly end the game. Although there was a scare in the top of the ninth, which included the loading of the bases, and a runner scoring on a wild pitch, Hernandez got out of it with the Cougars still on top, and Cumbie got his second win of the season, and Houston its 25th.
Corey Julks was the difference, offensively. He was 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Cougars. His timely hitting was an enormous factor in the eventual 4-3 victory, and could mean a lot going forward if it is sustained.
Houston will need the momentum, as they are currently unranked and on the outside looking in, when it comes to the post-season. But their remaining schedule does give them the opportunity to win back some praise. They still have to play two series against No.20 Tulane and one against conference leading Cincinnati. Also, too, they have midweek matchups against Rice and UL-Lafayette.
The Cougars must finish their season strong if they want to reach a regional for the third straight season.