Tuesday, May 19, 2015

UConn Huskies 0 at Houston Cougars 1 (American Conference Baseball) - May 16, 2015


The college baseball season is nearly over and I had yet to see a full game this year. Fortunately, the Houston Cougars were home to the Connecticut Huskies this weekend and they had kindly scheduled an afternoon affair on Saturday to close out the regular season.



The University of Houston campus is just south of the city, and Cougar Field is right on the eastern edge. Parking is free off Cullen Boulevard, from where a short walk takes you to the park. Like all college ballparks, Cougar Field is simple, with no distractions. There are plaques commemorating some of the program’s retired numbers (including Doug Drabek) and All-Americans, but that is about it on the outside.



I am not sure how much tickets are because a kind lady was handing out freebies. If you do visit Cougar Field for an afternoon game, buy the general admission seats because you’ll want to be covered from the relentless sun and only the top few benches provide that protection.



Inside the stadium, you'll notice the red dirt surrounding the bases, and there are a couple of standing plaques commemorating College World Series trips but little else. There are a few food options, with water an outrageous $3.50. Sneak one in instead.



The Game

Taylor Cobb started for Houston and walked the first two batters, earning him the quickest hook I’ve ever seen. Aaron Garza (below), a senior, came in and induced a fly ball to right. The runner on second tagged and was thrown out by Zac Taylor, a great way to get out of the jam. Garza retired the next batter and what had initially appeared to be a long game turned out to be a fast-paced pitchers duel.



Jordan Tabakman (below) was the Husky starter and matched Garza in efficiency, throwing only 22 pitches through three innings. In the fourth, he gave up a single to Taylor, who took second when he saw it uncovered. Two singles by Josh Vidales and Jacob Campbell plated Taylor and the Cougars had the 1-0 lead.



Garza threw 5 solid innings and was replaced by Jared Robinson, who gave up two singles to the first two batters he faced before retiring 11 in a row, including Joe Deroche-Duffin on a called third strike (below) to end the game.



A really fun afternoon and the most enjoyable game of the weekend, given how terrible Toronto was playing. The 1-0 victory took only 2:13, very quick for an NCAA ballgame.

Notes

There were 11 hits in the game, all singles.

Houston is the 2015 American Conference champ as you can see in the scoreboard shot below. Sadly, the final score did not show up from the angle I was shooting, but rest assured I did stay to the end.



Best,

Sean

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