Feb. 7, 2003
MALIBU, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara scored three times in the top of the 12th inning and held off a late Cougar rally to take a 4-2 win over the sixth-ranked University of Houston baseball team Friday at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
After the Gauchos put runners on first and third with two outs, Bill Rowe scored from third on a UH balk. Greg Powers followed with a two-RBI single through the right side of the infield to give UCSB a three-run cushion.
However, the Cougars would not go quietly in the bottom of the 12th inning. Stuart Musslewhite and Greg Buchanan led off with back-to-back walks and Hyung Cho followed with a single through the left side to load the bases with no outs. Sam Mitchell then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Musslewhite and cut the deficit to two runs.
However, UCSB reliever Michael Martin entered the game and forced a popout and a strikeout to end the Cougar threat.
Before that inning, offense was scarce for both teams. Entering the final frame, UH and UCSB had combined for two runs and only 11 hits.
UH starter Brad Sullivan threw six innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts and no walks. In addition, the Nederland, Texas, native pushed his consecutive scoreless inning streak to 30.2 innings, the third-longest in school history. With his second out in the first inning, Sullivan moved past Bobby Hollman.
UCSB starter Matt Vasquez was equally effective, holding the Cougars to only one run and four hits in the game's first 6.2 innings.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in the seventh inning. Thanos Papavasiliou reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on an infield groundout. After falling behind 1-2 in the count, right fielder Matt Farrington, making his first collegiate appearance, fouled off five straight pitches before lacing a Vasquez offering into right center to plate pinch runner Greg Buchanan.
However, the Gauchos answered right back in the next half inning. Nate Sutton blasted a double into left center and moved to third on Blair Havens' infield single. Powers then grounded out but not before scoring Sutton from third base and knotting the score at 1-1.
The Cougars return to action at 4 p.m. (CST) as they face host Pepperdine during the second day of the tournament. Junior southpaw Danny Zell is expected to make his first start of the year against the Waves.
A year ago, Zell broke into UH's starting rotation and finished the season tied for second on the staff with eight wins. The Cypress, Texas, native also added 37 strikeouts and a 2.86 ERA.
Pepperdine righthander Greg Ramirez (5-4 record, 4.91 ERA in 2002) is scheduled to oppose the Cougars.