Feb. 8, 2003
MALIBU, Calif. - Three Cougar pitchers combined to limit Pepperdine to only one hit as the University of Houston baseball team posted a 2-0 win during the second day of the Battle at the Beach at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
Zell was masterful in collecting the Cougars' first win of the season, limiting Pepperdine - ranked No. 43 in Baseball America's preseason poll -- to only one hit with two walks and four strikeouts in a career-best 7.0 innings of work. Patrick Rooney's leadoff single in the third inning was the only blemish on the scoreboard for the Cougars.
Putman retired the Pepperdine lineup in order in the eighth, and Cooley, the Cougars' regular first baseman, iced the game in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts during his first pitching appearance at UH.
The Cougar bats erupted in the game, posting a pair of hits in four different innings. Thanos Papavasiliou led the attack, going 3-for-3 with a double and run. Sam Mitchell, making his first start of the year, also batted 2-for-3 with an RBI.
UH was without the services of regular center fielder Michael Bourn, who stayed at the team hotel Saturday while recovering from the stomach flu. It was the first game that Bourn had not started since Feb. 24, 2001, his freshman season - a streak of 112 consecutive games.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Stuart Musslewhite started the rally with a double down the left field line and came around to score when Papavasiliou's fly ball fell just out of the reach of Pepperdine's diving right fielder Cory Brightwell.
UH added an insurance run in the seventh inning on Mitchell's two-out, RBI-single. Papavasiliou again started the rally with a single to right field and moved to second on a balk by Ramirez. Pinch-runner Adam Bluhm then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored easily when Mitchell ripped a Ramirez offering through the left side of the infield.
Pepperdine starter Greg Ramirez dropped to 0-1 after allowing eight hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
The Cougars wrap up their stay at the tournament when they face Washington at Noon (CST) Sunday. Sophomore righthander Garrett Mock is slated to make his first appearance for the Cougars after transferring from Grayson County College.
Washington righthander Clay Johnson is scheduled to start for the Huskies.
Fans can catch the action on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com.