What Went Right/What Went Wrong: McNeese & Arizona

What Went Right: In 38 innings of play this weekend, UH gave up just 10 runs. That’s pretty good.

What Went Wrong: Unfortunately, the Coogs played 41 innings and gave up 20 runs in the other 3.

What Went Right: Starting pitching. The Coogs got 3 solid starts this week out of 4. Tyler Bielamowicz rebounded from a rough opening-night to give his team a quality outing on Friday (6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER).

Ryan Randel put up an even better game on Saturday (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and has been impressive in both of his starts. And Wednesday night, Clay Aguilar put up 3 IP with 4 hits and 0 runs (in a game that was planned to be by-committee).

What Went Wrong: Left Lockhart in too long. Only the Lockhart start on Sunday was not great. He pitched pretty well for 4 innings before coming undone in the 5th. Lockhart gave up two walks and a single in the first 4 batters in the 5th – he should have been replaced at that point. The previous pitching coach, Frank Anderson, would have likely pulled him then.

Prior to that, Lockhart was unfairly tagged with 2 earned runs in the first inning after a scorer’s error called a dropped ball a hit.

What Went Right: Joe Davis. Davis had a mammoth week – he went 6 of 17 with 3 homers, 2 doubles, and 7 RBI. He also took 5 walks (3 intentional).

Davis looks like he’s having fun this season and it shows: a year ago, Davis slugged just .357 in the first two weeks of the season – this year, he’s at .889. But he needs help.

What Went Wrong: Situational hitting. To date, there’s no one in the line-up that can drive in runs other than Joe Davis. Davis has 7 of the team’s 16 extra-base hits and 10 of 28 RBI.

Sunday’s game was the perfect example of the lack of situational hitting: in the 4th, Davis led-off with a home run. Bielamowicz and Hyland singled to give the Coogs 1st & 2nd with no outs. After a pitching change, the Coogs saw just 8 pitches while making 3 quick outs.

The next inning, Lovelace doubled and Burckel was hit with a two-strike pitch. Again, first and second with no outs. And once again, nothing doing. A fly ball to left that can’t advance the runners, a strikeout, and a well-hit liner that was snagged by the first baseman.

The Cougars have to find a way to take advantage of the limited opportunities they’ve been getting.

What Went Right: Fred Villarreal continues to shine out of the bullpen for the Cougars. Coach Whitting might be tempted to start him at Lamar Tuesday night or against Rice next week but his value as the #1 reliever shouldn’t be underestimated.

Villarreal got the win Friday night and went a total of 5 innings this week (1 hit, 4 Ks, 1 walk) in two appearances. Most impressive is how he did it: Fred threw just 58 pitches in his 5 innings – incredibly efficient. So far in 2019, he’s thrown 134 pitches, 68% of which have been strikes – a stout number for a long reliever.

What Went Wrong: Devon Roedahl’s week. Roedahl went 2-0 in 3 innings of work in the first weekend of the season and didn’t give up a hit. But in two appearances in week 2, he struggled with his command.

He gave up 6 runs (5 earned) and 8 hits in work against McNeese and Arizona. He came into to save the game against McNeese and gave up two runs to tie it. Saturday against Arizona, he was given some leeway with a 9-3 lead but again gave up multiple runs in his first inning of work.

That’s most concerning because it appeared he was being groomed to be the closer. I expect to see him back out there in Beaumont on Tuesday. 

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