The Cougars let one get away on Sunday afternoon but won the series from Northwestern State. Each week, GoCoogs will look at what went right and what went wrong for the Coogs.
What Went Right: A 2-1 weekend. Ideally, you’d like to sweep but we saw some positives from a number of players. Things to build off of. Now you get to see how these individual players handle adversity.
What Went Wrong: Sunday was there for the taking. You got a good start out of Lael Lockhart. Damn near a perfect opening-weekend start, really, but you couldn’t back him up. Seven strikeouts out of the 1 and 2 holes is brutal – especially when Triolo and Davis combined for 4 hits behind them.
What Went Right: Solid starts out of Ryan Randel and Lockhart. On the first weekend, 5 innings is all you can expect from a starter. Last year, Cumbie (5.1 IP), Fletcher (5.0) and Randel (5.2) got you to the 6th – the same thing we got from Ryan and Lael this weekend (both 5.0).
What Went Wrong: What was attempted with Tyler Bielamowicz on Friday night. We’ve had pitchers that hit but none have ever led off. Those two spots are the QBs of your offense and defense and it was too much to handle in the season opener.
Biela’s starting history has basically been limited to a midweek TSU game and a spot start in UH’s pod final in the AAC tourney last year. Neither went more than 3 innings which made the season opener a strange spot for him. Friday, he was roughed up on the mound (2.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1:1 K:BB) and had an 0/4 night at the plate. Think Todd put a little too much on him.
What Went Right: The bullpen. Rooney’s boys went 14.2 innings pitched with an ERA of just 2.16. Fred Villarreal didn’t give up a run Friday night in 5.1 relief innings – the longest outing by any Cougar pitcher. Devon Roedahl was lights-out in two appearances (and picked up both wins, too). Gotta figure he’s your closer going forward.
Tristen Bayless also made two appearances, gave up a hit and a walk but didn’t allow a run. Curious to see how he develops.
What Went Wrong: The top of the lineup. UH’s leadoff guys need to set the table for us to have any chance of offensive success. This weekend, the first two guys went 4/26 (.154 BA) with 10 strikeouts.
What Went Right: Unlikely heroes in games 1 and 2. Kobe Hyland looked awful in his first appearance, swinging at 3 bad pitches, but progressively got better with each AB. He took it to the warning track in the 6th and then homered in the 9th. Saturday, Kyle Lovelace collected two hits including a walk-off single up the middle. It took Lovelace 31 ABs to get 3 hits last season – he’s done that in just 11 ABs in 2019.
What Went Wrong: Aggressive base running. Cougar runners were nailed on 5 of 8 attempts this weekend – on two separate occasions, it happened twice in the same inning. Last year, the Coogs were 32nd in stolen bases and 98th in caught stealing – a success rate of 79% which was among the nation’s leaders. While it’s one weekend, you don’t like losing 5 outs on the base paths.
What Went Right: Brad Burckel had a nice first weekend in a UH uniform, going 3 for 10. He made an error in Friday’s game but immediately nailed a runner at home. Triolo had 5 singles and Grayson Padgett was 3/8.
What Went Wrong: The Coogs scored just 1 run total in the first 5 innings of each of the 3 games. That’s two trips through the line-up with nothing happening. Each starting pitcher left the game with 0 runs scored behind him. That’s unacceptable.
Cover Photo By Mario Puente
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