Bath (12) 15
Tries: Higgins 2 Con: Kydd Pen: Kydd
Leicester (13) 19
Try: Youngs Con: Hougaard Pens: Hougaard 3 Drop: Hougaard
Hougaard was signed from the Blue Bulls over the summer
Leicester's South African fly-half Derick Hougaard kicked 14 points on his club debut to give the Tigers a comeback victory in the EDF Energy Cup.
Bath took an early lead through Andrew Higgins but two penalties from Hougaard and a converted try from Ben Youngs put the visitors 13-7 in front.
Higgins reduced the deficit with his second try on 32 minutes before Robbie Kydd's penalty put Bath ahead again.
But Hougaard claimed the win for the Tigers with a penalty and a drop-goal.
The result gives Hougaard the perfect start to his career in England and also puts the Tigers on top of Group B with one game played.
Hougaard missed the start to the season following his summer move from the Blue Bulls because of a shoulder injury.
Both sides had decided on wholesale changes following their midweek exertions in the Premiership and it was Bath, with Robbie Kydd and Shontayne Hape making their debuts, who made the first move.
Michael Stephenson came across from the left to open up the defence and Higgins touched down for the game's opening try on five minutes.
Leicester responded with two Hougaard penalties before Youngs crashed over following a line-out steal from Ben Hemingway.
Bath were keen to move the ball wide at every opportunity and centre Ayoola Erinle had to produce some defensive heroics to prevent Higgins scoring.
Leicester had their chances too, Kydd stopping lock Sam Raven with a last-gasp tackle.
The home side lost Justin Harrison through injury on 32 minutes but they reduced the deficit to just one point when Higgins touched down in the corner after collecting Sam Vesty's scuffed clearance kick.
With the rain pouring down at the Rec, scoring opportunities were at a premium in the second half and the scores were locked at 16-15 going into the final 10 minutes after Kydd and Hougaard traded penalties.
And Hougaard's drop goal on 70 minutes sealed the hard-fought victory.
Bath head coach Steve Meehan:
"I would rather go down playing rugby rather than relying on kicking and penalties. The players' attitude was to attack and I'm not going to berate them for that.
"It's all about their development and maturity and learning to execute skills under pressure. We learnt a lot about our players today."
Leicester boss Heyneke Meyer on Hougaard's display:
"It's great to have a guy who is used to playing tactically and we used our chances better in the game.
"You need very good number 10 in these competitions and Derick is a good tactical player who can turn a game around.
"He will be one of the best players in the Premiership especially as he learns to play in different conditions. He's got a lot to offer."
Tigers fly-half Derick Hougaard:
"The game didn't start very well for me but I got into the groove. I didn't panic, just tried to keep myself focused.
"With a slight lead and wind advantage for the second half we knew we were in a good position."
Bath: Kydd; Stephenson, Hape, Cheeseman, Higgins; Fuimaono-Sapolu, Bemand; Flatman, Hawkins, Ion, Harrison, Hobson, J Ovens, Scaysbrook, James.
Replacements: Crane for Cheeseman (73), Baxter for Bemand (71), Catt for Flatman (67), Dixon for Hawkins (67), Jarvis for Ion (40), Hooper for Harrison (27), Griffith for Hobson (71).
Leicester: Vesty; Varndell, Erinle, T Youngs, Tuilagi; Hougaard, B Youngs; Stankovich, Davies, Cole, Raven, Kay, Hemingway, Pearson, B Deacon.
Replacements: Smith for Tuilagi (64), Bonorino for Stankovich (61), Chuter for Davies (55), Goldspink for Raven (71), Wentzel for Pearson (47).
Not Used: Harrison, Hurrell.
Ref: Dean Richards (RFU).