Astros get the walk-off win in extra innings

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-3 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Back at home after a 6-1 road trip including the 14th inning win over the Mariners on Thursday, the Astros looked to open a homestand on a good note with a victory in the first of three games against the struggling Orioles. Here's how Friday night's game went:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 4, Orioles 3.

Record: 44-21, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cionel Perez (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Branden Kline (1-3, 5.89 ERA).

1) Bad start, great finish for Cole 

Gerrit Cole started his night with a near-disastrous first inning, allowing Baltimore to score two quick runs in an inning with an error hit batter, and two hits which gave the Orioles an immediate 2-0 lead. Cole would get dinged again in the third after a solo home run extended the deficit to 3-0.

Cole would lock in and dominate after that, though, allowing just one hit the rest of his night, a night where he would throw 113 pitches over seven innings and hit a season-high in strikeouts. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14K.

2) Reddick and Kemp tie it in the fifth, Chirinos walks it off in the eleventh

After a slow offensive start and watching the Orioles build a 3-0 lead, Josh Reddick finally broke through in the fifth inning with a leadoff solo home run to trim the lead to 3-1. One out later, Tyler White worked a walk before Tony Kemp connected and launched a two-run bomb into the upper deck in right-field to tie the game at 3-3.

After missing their chance to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth and tenth, Houston would eventually get the walk-off in the bottom of the eleventh on an RBI from Robinson Chirinos.

3) Cionel Perez supports a fatigued bullpen 

After logging a lot of innings on the recent road trip, including the 14-inning game in Seattle on Thursday, the bullpen looked to keep Baltimore off the board and give Houston's offense a chance to go-ahead. Hector Rondon took over for Gerrit Cole in the eighth and worked around a two-out single for a scoreless inning.

Cionel Perez, who was called up after Brady Rodgers was optioned down to AAA, was called on for the ninth inning and was able to retire the Orioles in order. After the offense came up empty in the bottom half of the inning, Perez returned for the top of the tenth and would make it back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. He'd return for another inning in the eleventh making it nine batters sat down in a row and setting up the Astros for their eventual walk-off.

Up Next: Houston and Baltimore will continue this series tomorrow with a Saturday afternoon game starting at 3:10 PM. With Corbin Martin's move back to AAA, Framber Valdez (2-2, 3.12 ERA) will get at least one start in the rotation as Houston tries to fill the starter spot on the roster originally vacated by Collin McHugh. He'll go up against Andrew Cashner (6-2, 5.04 ERA) for the Orioles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Kelvin Sampson has the Cougars rolling. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The final regular season game for the Houston Cougars men's basketball team took place Sunday, March 7th in the Fertitta Center.

There was some controversy as the game was initially scheduled to take place in Memphis, but was moved to Houston due to a COVID-19 related issues. The contest was originally supposed to happen on Feb. 14 in Houston but was postponed due to the aforementioned COVID issues in the Memphis program.

The American Athletic Conference stated that if a game had to be postponed it would be played at the venue of the team that did not have the COVID-19 issues.

Memphis was not happy about the relocation.

"In a year full of challenges, we are greatly disappointed for our players and fans that our final home game of the season could not remain in Memphis," Memphis Director of Athletics Laird Veatch said. "This is especially sad for our senior managers and students in band, cheer and pom, who will not be able to celebrate their last experience in FedExForum.

Although unfortunate for Memphis and their fans, it did give Houston one extra home game, and a chance to have their true senior day.

Seniors Dejon Jarreau, Justin Gorham and Brison Gresham were honored during a pregame ceremony in front of a socially distanced crowd at the Fertitta Center.

There were few dry eyes on the court including head coach Kelvin Sampson who was emotional during the ceremony.

Those emotions quickly changed from bittersweet to confusion as Memphis jumped out to an early lead in the first half.

Head coach Penny Hardaway had his Tigers play trap style defense which lead to many double teams on Quentin Grimes and Jarreau, forcing other players to step up.

This strategy worked as Memphis was able to force the Cougars to make multiple turnovers early on.

Houston had a four point lead at halftime, and the game continued to be a back and forth contest until the end.

Houston was up 64-61 with nine seconds left to go in the game, and Memphis had one shot to tie the game.

Sophomore guard Lester Quinones missed a 3-pointer, but Houston couldn't secure the rebound to put the game away.

Instead, the ball bounced out to Boogie Ellis who hit his lone 3-pointer of the game with 1.7 seconds left to tie it at 64.

Coach Sampson was able to call a final timeout with 1.7 seconds left in the game.

For the final play, he drew up an inbounds play that had been tried in practice, but has never been performed in a game.

"I don't think it's ever worked," UH forward Justin Gorham said.

From the opposite side of the court, Marcus Sasser inbounded the ball via a bounce pass to Tramon Mark near center court.

Mark was double-teamed by the Houston logo and threw up a prayer.

That prayer resulted in a bank shot off of the backboard to win the game 67-64 as time expired.

"To do that on senior day for those guys, that just makes it even better," Mark said after the game on Twitter.

It was a tremendous way to end the regular season for the Cougars as they gear up and head to the AAC tournament in Fort Worth.

Before Houston headed to the locker room to celebrate, Sampson had some final words for Cougars fans.

"Never give up on your Coogs!"

MOVING UP: With this victory, Houston has moved up to the 7th ranked team in the country and are looking to secure a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT: March is in full swing, and the Cougars will be the No. 2 seed in the AAC tournament. They will face the winner of Tulsa and Tulane on Friday, March 12th at 6 p.m CT

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