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Posts Tagged ‘Blake Kelso’

ElViento: So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this site, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’m planning to have one weekly update, with links to applicable UH-related posts from SB Nation, as well as links and commentary on any other Cougar news items of the week. Then, a top-five list that’s completely unrelated, just for giggles.  So it’ll look something like this:

This Week On SB Nation Houston (7/1)

“Just Trust Me” – Feature on Mack Rhoades’ first year at UH

Karma delivered by former Cougar Rob Johnson

Sporting News gives Keeum back-handed compliment

Around The Web

Houston Cougar volleyball announces its 2010 schedule… First-year coach Molly Alvey isn’t ducking anybody. The Coogs will play TCU, UT-Austin, Florida State, Oklahoma and Tennessee among others.

Recent Astro draftee, and former Cougar Chris Wallace is tearing the cover off the ball with Greeneville. He homered three times in his first seven games as a professional.

And at last check, Blake Kelso was hitting .333 for the Vermont Lake Monsters (yes, that’s the real team name) in the Washington Nationals system.

Unrelated Top Five – Songs About Heaven Or Hell

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

AC/DC – Hell’s Bells

OPM – Heaven is a Halfpipe

The Clash – Straight to Hell

Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven

P.S.

I’m now actively looking for more writers to have a better variety of opinions ’round here. If you want to sound off, use the ‘Contact Us’ tab to shoot me off an e-mail. Thanks.

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ElViento: Although the Cougar baseball team’s record still stands below .500 on the season (4-5), you can pretty safely say that the season-opening sweep at the hands of Texas State, and the team’s pitching woes are distant memories.

All year, the Houston staff has shown the ability to miss bats. Through nine games, the Cougars have been outhit just once. But until the first two games of the Houston College Classic, we didn’t know just how good this staff could be if it finally started attacking the strike zone, and stopped giving up so damn many free baserunners.

Now we know.

On Friday, the Cougars brought Chase Dempsay out of the bullpen for a start, and he responded with a strong outing. Dempsay, William Kankel and Matt Creel combined on a shutout, as the Cougars scored a 3-0 victory over a Missouri Tiger team that was 4-2 heading into the contest.

On Saturday, Houston got a rare chance to face UT-Austin in any sport, and the team was up to the challenge. Before the game, I remarked that starter Michael Goodnight‘s 6.85 ERA was too high for his relatively impressive peripheral numbers (9 hits in 9.2 innings, 11-4 K-BB ratio). His ERA will come down eventually, I reasoned. Even optimistically, I didn’t expect it to come down this quick.

Goodnight was flat-out dominant. He didn’t let a couple of mystery balk calls get to him, and threw the game of his career thus far: 7 scoreless IP, 2 H, 9 K. Even if one were so inclined as to nitpick and point to his four walks, I would counter that at least three of them came on extremely questionable calls. That ERA? All the way down to 3.78.

Goodnight left after the seventh with a 1-0 lead, which came two pitches into the bottom of the first for the Coogs. Blake Kelso (who notoriously rarely swings at first pitches) cranked the first pitch of the game for a triple to center. The next pitch from Brandon Workman (brother of Cougar women’s hoopster Megan Workman) went to the backstop, and Kelso scampered home. That would be all the offense Houston would need.

The bullpen picked up right where Goodnight left off.  Ty Stuckey came in for the eighth, and struck out the first two Longhorns he faced. A two-out walk was nullified when Stuckey picked the runner off. Matt Creel came on, looking for his second save in as many games. After giving up a single and a walk to his first two hitters, Creel struck out the next two, and with two outs, pinch hitter Paul Montalbano lined out to Kelso, who made a nice, leaping grab at shortstop. And the celebration was on:

Next up for the Cougars is Texas Tech on Sunday at 2:30. The Cougars have already earned their first winning record at the Houston College Classic since 2002, and have a chance for their first ever weekend sweep of the annual showcase, which is in its tenth season.

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Both Houston Cougar basketball teams are preparing for the Conference USA tournament, and they could not possibly be headed in more opposite directions.

The Lady Coogs have won their last three games by a combined 65 points, including a 12-point victory over first-place Tulane. Houston has the #2 seed in the women’s bracket, and will play at 8:30 PM on Tuesday against the winner of Monday night’s contest between Rice and UTEP.

The men’s team had a chance to build some momentum after a dominating win over Memphis, and fell flat on its face instead, losing to SMU, barely edging last-place Rice, and losing to second-to-last place Tulane. The Coogs are the 7-seed, and face 10-seed ECU on Tuesday at noon. Should they win, they would get another shot at Memphis, on Wednesday at noon.

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The Cougar softball team’s three-run seventh inning rally wasn’t enough on Wednesday, as they lost 6-4 to #19 Texas A&M. The ladies have a home double-header against the Southern Jaguars this Wednesday, starting at 5:00. It’s the team’s annual Striking Out Breast Cancer game(s), so come support the team, and breast cancer research.

Plus, the shirts they’re giving out are going to be hilarious. Trust me.

That’s all for me for now. Hope to see you at Minute Maid tomorrow! Go Coogs!

(Video courtesy of Scott & Holman‘s own jtdees.)

(Just for fun, if you’re looking for your favorite S&H personality, ElViento is in the first row, with the red shirt and blue/white hat. Bobb-o is in the jeans and red jacket, no hat, and comes over and leads the “Whose house?” at the end. jtdees, is, quite obviously, behind the camera.)

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ElViento: Every time I look at wordpress’ site statistics, I am amazed anybody reads this site. Turns out, on Saturday, this site had it’s 100,000th visitor since its first post last May. (And WordPress swears that number doesn’t count our own visits, which would probably put us up at 150K by now.) So thanks to everybody who has dropped by, thanks to the 400-some odd of you who have left a comment, and thanks to every site for an opposing team which has ripped us, because that is always entertaining. Hell, while we’re here, thanks to all the people who have posted spam that I have deleted. Even that can be funny.

Anyway, enough gratuitous back-patting. On to the Coogs…

The Cougar baseball team came dangerously close to a series sweep against Santa Clara this weekend that would have brought their season record right back to .500, but ended up having to settle for a series victory.

On Friday, the Cougar bats woke up in a big way, putting up four straight innings of 3+ runs and turning a 3-0 deficit into a 17-9 victory. Sophomore transfer Matt Creel had a monster game, with 4 hits, 4 runs scored and 7 RBI. Junior Caleb Ramsey contributed 4 hits of his own, scoring three times.

Saturday’s game looked like it might be more of the same, with the home team scoring in each of the first two innings to take a 2-1 lead. But the bats went cold, the Broncos eventually tied up the game, and the Coogs would have to scratch out a victory by showing a flair for the dramatic. (With some help from the Bronco defense.)

With Creel in to pitch for the bottom of the ninth, Santa Clara put runners on first and third with just one out. But Creel induced the fifth double play of the game for the Coogs to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, SC pitcher J.R. Graham looked like he would send the game to extra innings, retiring the first two hitters he faced. But lead-off hitter Joel Ansley hit an infield single, aided by Graham stumbling off the mound attempting to play the ball. With Blake Kelso batting, Ansley took off for second. He had the throw beaten for a stolen base, and when the throw to second found its way into center field, Ansley took off for third. Bronco CF Lucas Herbst tried to scoop the ball up and throw Ansley out at third in one motion, but ended up overrunning the ball. On the misplay, Ansley came all the way around to score, ending the game.

In the Sunday finale, the Cougars came up just short of a sweep, dropping an 8-7 decision after rallying from a 5-0 deficit after two innings. Kelso rapped out four hits, driving in three runs and scoring twice, but the Cougars failed to pick up an extra base hit, and left 11 runners on base, and the comeback bid fell just short.

While the series victory was certainly heartening (the team didn’t win two games between Friday and Sunday until the fifth weekend of the year last year), there are still reasons for concern:

-The Cougars have been a fantastic example so far of why batting average is an overrated statistic. Houston has outhit its opponents .303 to .269, and has been outhit in just one game out of six. But the UH pitching staff has surrendered a staggering 50 free baserunners (BB + HBP) in 54 innings pitched, while the Houston hitters have been given just 28 free trips to first. This tips the on-base percentage in favor of the opposition, and is the main reason Houston is out to just a 2-4 record.

-In six games, just one Cougar starter has lasted five innings, Michael Goodnight in Friday’s win. (In that outing, he went five and gave up five runs.) On Sunday, starter Eric Brooks didn’t make it out of the first. With the meat of the schedule coming up, and a number of mid-week games in store, this trend will eventually wear out the Cougar bullpen. Rayner Noble has been pretty quick with the hook so far, so maybe we’ll see him give his pitchers a longer leash in coming weeks.

Speaking of the upcoming schedule, we are about to find out what these Cougars are made of. On Tuesday, the Coogs head across town to take on Rice at Reckling Park. After getting out to a shocking 0-4 start, the Owls have won three straight. Next weekend, Houston will take on a trio of Big XII opponents at the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park, in Texas Tech, UT-Austin and Missouri.

After that, it’s out west for the Cougars’ annual, brutal California trip. This year, Houston starts with a weekend series at Cal Poly. The team will have revenge on its minds, after losing two of three to the Mustangs at Cougar Field last year.

Then it’s up to the Bay Area, for mid-weekers against solid clubs in San Francisco and Cal. But the biggest test will be the trip-ending series at Arizona State. The Sun Devils are in the top 10 in every poll, and as high as #2 in some. They are off to a 7-0 start (albeit against weak competition).

If Houston can go 6-6 in its next 12 games, it’ll be a victory for the team, and will do wonders for the RPI.
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I tried to warn some of you against using the four-letter H-word in regards to this Cougar men’s basketball team, and Saturday’s 94-83 loss to the SMU Mustangs proved me right. This team cannot consistently defend. Even in a game when the 3-pointers were falling for the Cougars, the defense was non-existent. The host Mustangs shot 52% from the floor, 59% from beyond the arc and attempted 29 free throws. At some point, when every team has a “hot-shooting night” against you, it’s not just hot-shooting. It’s bad defense.

The Coogs end the regular season with a home game against Rice on Wednesday and a roadie at Tulane on Saturday. The Rice game is Senior Night, so come support your Cougar athletes, and thank them for all of the effort they have put in.
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The Lady Cougar hoopsters had better luck, battering the conference-leading Green Wave from start to finish on Saturday, in a 74-62 victory that was less close than the final score would indicate. This makes two straight dominating victories for the women, who host Rice on Thursday for the season-finale. The Coogs are tied for third-place in C-USA with a 9-6 mark, with the conference tournament starting a week from today (Monday).
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After ten straight home games to start the season, the Cougar softball team finally hit the road this weekend for the LSU Tiger Invitational. Houston earned three victories by a combined score of 29-9, but fell just short in a pair of upset bids against their ranked hosts. The Coogs dropped a 2-0 decision to LSU on Saturday, beforing losing 5-4 in 10 innings on Sunday.

Houston now sports a 7-8 record on the year, and continues their challenging schedule with a contest against Texas A&M in College Station on Wednesday.

That’s all for me for now. Hope to see you at Reckling Park, Hofheinz Pavilion and/or Minute Maid Park this week!

Go Coogs!

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ElViento: The Cougar baseball team put on a clinic on Friday night. Unfortunately, the clinic was titled, “How to Lose by Six Runs Despite Outhitting Your Opponent”.

Those of us hoping to make last year’s cold start by the Cougar baseball team a distant memory were treated to some painful reminders on Friday night at Cougar Field, to the tune of a 6-0 loss to Texas State.

Free baserunners given up, a lack of pop on offense, and questionable decision-making by Rayner Noble left me checking the date on my phone to make sure I hadn’t been transported back to 2009.

Through the first four innings, Cougar starter Michael Goodnight didn’t allow a baserunner. But on the other side, the Cougar hitters failed to take advantage of a lead-off double in the first, and one-out baserunners the next three innings. Baseball is predictable sometimes. And when you keep wasting opportunities early while the other team can’t get anything started at all, you just get that sneaking suspicion that you’re going to end up getting punished for not taking advantage of the chances you had.

Kyle Kubitza led off the top of the fifth with a single for the Bobcats, Goodnight’s first baserunner allowed. He promptly struck the next two batters, leading to…Noble coming out to the mound to talk to his starter?? The inexplicable decision backfired, with Goodnight hitting and walking the next two batters, respectively. Still, he was only at 79 pitches, he’s supposed to be the ace of this team, and it’s only the fifth inning. Much to the surprise of the Cougar faithful (or at least me), Noble lifted Goodnight for William Kankel, who promptly walked the next two batters while throwing just one strike, forcing in two runs.

The Bobcats continued the attack the next inning with a two-run homer off of converted pitcher Codey Morehouse (a reserve infielder a year ago).

Things didn’t improve after that, with walks and errors leading to unearned runs in the 7th and 9th innings.

Meanwhile, the Cougar offense went from unable to cash in on its opportunities to unable to generate any opportunities. When that mess of a game was finally over, Texas State had a comfortable 6-0 win.

So I’m trying not to completely overreact to a loss that felt even worse than the final score indicated. Here are some bright spots:

-Goodnight retired 14 of his first 15 batters faced, with five strikeouts. I truly believe that if Noble just lets him pitch, he gets through the fifth unscathed, and probably could have gone another inning or two.

-Sophomore transfer Austin Gracey picked up hits in his first two at-bats as a Division 1 athlete. Unfortunately, he cancelled that out by picking up two errors.

-Lead-off hitter Blake Kelso reached base on a double and a walk. Unfortunately, the double led off the game and was not followed up by another Cougar extra base hit for the rest of the game, and after the walk, Kelso was thrown out attempting to steal.

-After a forgettable 2008 season, and a missed 2009 season due to injury, Taylor Hammack was impressive in relief on Friday, going two innings and allowing just an unearned run on one hit, with two strikeouts. I wish we had used him back when the outcome of the game was still in doubt. Yes, I realize I’m utilizing 20-20 hindsight.

Here’s the real silver lining to the cloud that was Friday night’s game: things can only get better. And I believe they will. Hope to see you Saturday night, same time, same place.
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Just around the corner, the Cougars were having much better luck on the softball diamond. Houston kicked off its second tournament in as many weekends with a 2-1, extra innings victory over #16 Louisiana-Lafayette. Amanda Crabtree went the distance in the circle for Houston, earning her first victory of the season.

The second win of the day, over Texas-San Antonio, came in decidedly less dramatic fashion. Trailing 3-2 after four innings, Houston used a 7-run fifth to start the rout against the Roadrunners. The final score was 13-3, with freshman phenom Bailey Watts improving to 3-1 on the year. Jennifer Klinkert, Holly Anderson and Brooke Lathan all homered for Houston. Anderson’s shot was of the grand slam variety.

Houston is now 4-3 on the year, and faces Purdue and Iowa State on Saturday, before finishing up with UT-Austin on Sunday.

Anyway, that’s all for me for now.

Go Coogs!

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SarCoog: Recently, former Cougar pitchers like Donnie Joseph and Wes Musick have made their professional debuts. But let’s not forget that there are guys on the current roster who will be back next year that are seeing summer action.

On the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Blake Kelso is still the every day starter at 2nd base and is batting .304 (3rd on team) with 6 RBI and team-highs in walks (9) and stolen bases (8). This past week Kelso had 2 hits against Orleans (6/26) and Falmouth (6/28 game 2), while driving in 2 runs with a triple against Brewster (6/27). Jared Ray leads all Y-D starting pitchers with his 1.20 ERA in 3 appearances (3 starts) and 15.0 innings pitched (2nd on team). Most recently Ray threw 6.0 innings against Orleans (6/26) in which he gave up no earned runs (1 unearned) and struck out 5. On the season Ray has struck out 14, only walked 5 and has thrown no wild pitches (a big issue for Cougar pitchers in ’08). Michael Goodnight made his 2nd appearance last Wednesday, coming in during the 1st inning and giving Y-D 5.1 innings of 1-run ball, in which he surrendered only 2 hits but walked 4. So far Goodnight has thrown 11.1 innings total, while walking 8 and striking out 9 in that time.

kelso at capeKelso squares away for the Y-D Red Sox (courtesy of Aaron Burns)

After a brutal start playing for the Bourne Braves, Chris Wallace has put his 1 for 10 slump in the rear view mirror. In the past week Wallace has gone a combined 9 for 16 and pulled his average up to .231 for the year. He also hit his first home run of the season: a 2-run bomb against Harwich (6/28), to help put Bourne on top in a 6-3 win.  One of the other highlights from the past week was a game-tying RBI single against Cotuit (6/29) in what would end up being a 2-1 Bourne win. Hopefully ‘Wally’ has put the slump of the previous couple weeks behind him for good.

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SarCoog: I know there isn’t much to talk about at this time of the year when it comes to University of Houston sports. But we at Scott & Holman will be keeping a weekly update on the activity of the four Cougars playing in the prestigious wood-bat Cape Cod League.

blake kelsoBlake Kelso

Although his original status is that of a “temporary” player, I have little doubt that Cougar  junior shortstop Blake Kelso will be sticking around for a while with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. Currently, Kelso is tied for 2nd on his team with a .345 average while leading Y-D in stolen bases (4) and walks (6). He’s seen action in all 8 games, while starting 6 at 2nd base and the remaining 2 at shortstop. Arguably his best so far was a 3-3, 2 BB and 2 RBI showing against Harwich (June 16).  On the mound, junior RHP Jared Ray has turned in two sterling peformances, including his most recent start against Wareham (June 19) where he threw 4.0 innings of shutout, 1-hit ball and didn’t issue a single walk. Ray currently has a 2.00 ERA and no record, while striking out 9 and walking 3 in 9.0 innings total (2 starts). The other Cougar hurler on the Y-D roster, sophomore RHP Michael Goodnight,threw 6.0 innings in his first appearance vs. Harwich (June 16), allowing no earned runs (3 unearned), only 3 hits and striking out 6.

On the Bourne Braves, senior catcher Chris Wallace has struggled early on and has a .100 average, with only 1 hit in his 10 at-bats so far. To Wally’s credit I’m sure it’s much more difficult to the ‘Cape adjust when you’re not only handling the duties of a catcher, but having to also hit with a wood bat. So far Wallace has seen action in 5 of Bourne’s 6 games.

One final note: look for updates on the professional debut and subsequent performance of former Cougar lefty and S&H favorite Donnie Joseph as he’s joined the Billings Mustangs (the Cincinnati Reds’ Rookie Ball affiliate). The Mustangs will begin their season tomorrow night against the Great Falls Voyagers. Go DJ!

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SarCoog: Although we (mainly Bobb-O) at S&H broke the story of University of Houston junior pitcher Jared Ray pitching in the prestigious summer Cape Cod League, it was made official on the team rosters today.

Ray, along with sophomore pitcher Michael Goodnight and junior shortstop Blake Kelso will be playing this summer for the Yarmouth-Dennis (YD) Red Sox. Currenly on the YD Roster Ray and Goodnight are classified as LOC (committed players) and Kelso is a TMP (temporary player). Although I believe the Cougars’ spark-plug shortstop has enough talent to stay with and contribute to YD. The YD Sox have won the Cape Cod League championship in 2004, 2006 and 2007 with notable recent alums such as Jason Castro (Stanford/Houston Astros) and Buster Posey (Florida State/San Francisco Giants). Here’s how these Cougars have faired in the first few games:

Kelso currently has a .333 average with 4 hits and a walk in 12 at-bats, along with 2 RBI and has played in 3 games (2 at SS, 1 at 2B). Ray has started 1 game and in 5.0 innings gave up on 2 earned runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6. Goodnight has not seen any action up to this point.

bourne braves

Also, on the Bourne Braves’ roster is the Cougars’ senior catcher: Chris Wallace. I’ll be interested to see how ‘Wally’ keeps progressing after the horrific facial injury he suffered at the beginning of this past baseball season. Granted, he did play a good number of games last season, but I’d imagine his hitting and general play will improve as he recovers more from the injury. Currently he is hitting .167 with 1 hit and a walk in 6 at-bats, along with 1 run scored.

Keep reading S&H for weekly updates on how Ray, Kelso, Goodnight and Wallace are doing at the Cape!

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